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So he had come back because the Mexicans were not congenial;
because business was as profitable here as there; because of any
reason, and not because he cared to be near her. She remembered
the day she sat on the floor, turning the pages of his letter,
seeking the reason which was left untold.
She had not noticed how he looked--only feeling his presence;
but she turned deliberately and observed him. After all, he had
been absent but a few months, and was not changed. His hair--the
color of hers--waved back from his temples in the same way as
before. His skin was not more burned than it had been at Grand Isle.
She found in his eyes, when he looked at her for one silent moment,
the same tender caress, with an added warmth and entreaty which had
not been there before the same glance which had penetrated to the
sleeping places of her soul and awakened them.
A hundred times Edna had pictured Robert's return, and
imagined their first meeting. It was usually at her home, whither
he had sought her out at once. She always fancied him expressing
or betraying in some way his love for her. And here, the reality
was that they sat ten feet apart, she at the window, crushing
geranium leaves in her hand and smelling them, he twirling around
on the piano stool, saying:
"I was very much surprised to hear of Mr. Pontellier's
absence; it's a wonder Mademoiselle Reisz did not tell me; and your
moving--mother told me yesterday. I should think you would have
gone to New York with him, or to Iberville with the children,
rather than be bothered here with housekeeping. And you are going
abroad, too, I hear. We shan't have you at Grand Isle next summer;
it won't seem--do you see much of Mademoiselle Reisz? She often
spoke of you in the few letters she wrote."
"Do you remember that you promised to write to me when you
went away?" A flush overspread his whole face.
"I couldn't believe that my letters would be of any interest
"That is an excuse; it isn't the truth." Edna reached for her
hat on the piano. She adjusted it, sticking the hat pin through
the heavy coil of hair with some deliberation.
"Are you not going to wait for Mademoiselle Reisz?" asked