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"No; I have found when she is absent this long, she is liable
not to come back till late." She drew on her gloves, and Robert
picked up his hat.
"Won't you wait for her?" asked Edna.
"Not if you think she will not be back till late," adding, as
if suddenly aware of some discourtesy in his speech, "and I should
miss the pleasure of walking home with you." Edna locked the door
and put the key back in its hiding-place.
They went together, picking their way across muddy streets and
sidewalks encumbered with the cheap display of small tradesmen.
Part of the distance they rode in the car, and after disembarking,
passed the Pontellier mansion, which looked broken and half torn
asunder. Robert had never known the house, and looked at it with
"I never knew you in your home," he remarked.
"I am glad you did not."
"Why?" She did not answer. They went on around the corner,
and it seemed as if her dreams were coming true after all, when he
followed her into the little house.
"You must stay and dine with me, Robert. You see I am all
alone, and it is so long since I have seen you. There is so much
I want to ask you."
She took off her hat and gloves. He stood irresolute, making
some excuse about his mother who expected him; he even muttered
something about an engagement. She struck a match and lit the lamp
on the table; it was growing dusk. When he saw her face in the
lamp-light, looking pained, with all the soft lines gone out of it,
he threw his hat aside and seated himself.
"Oh! you know I want to stay if you will let me!" he
exclaimed. All the softness came back. She laughed, and went and
put her hand on his shoulder.
"This is the first moment you have seemed like the old Robert.
I'll go tell Celestine." She hurried away to tell Celestine to set
an extra place. She even sent her off in search of some added