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<- Previous | Table of Contents | Next -> Digital Library-The Awakening by Kate Chopin

There was a garden out in the suburbs; a small, leafy corner,
with a few green tables under the orange trees. An old cat slept
all day on the stone step in the sun, and an old mulatresse
slept her idle hours away in her chair at the open window, till,
some one happened to knock on one of the green tables. She had
milk and cream cheese to sell, and bread and butter. There was no
one who could make such excellent coffee or fry a chicken so
golden brown as she.

The place was too modest to attract the attention of people of
fashion, and so quiet as to have escaped the notice of those in
search of pleasure and dissipation. Edna had discovered it
accidentally one day when the high-board gate stood ajar. She
caught sight of a little green table, blotched with the checkered
sunlight that filtered through the quivering leaves overhead.
Within she had found the slumbering mulatresse, the drowsy cat,
and a glass of milk which reminded her of the milk she had tasted
in Iberville.

She often stopped there during her perambulations; sometimes
taking a book with her, and sitting an hour or two under the trees
when she found the place deserted. Once or twice she took a quiet
dinner there alone, having instructed Celestine beforehand to
prepare no dinner at home. It was the last place in the city where
she would have expected to meet any one she knew.

Still she was not astonished when, as she was partaking of a
modest dinner late in the afternoon, looking into an open book,
stroking the cat, which had made friends with her--she was not
greatly astonished to see Robert come in at the tall garden gate.

"I am destined to see you only by accident," she said, shoving
the cat off the chair beside her. He was surprised, ill at ease,
almost embarrassed at meeting her thus so unexpectedly.

"Do you come here often?" he asked.

"I almost live here," she said.

"I used to drop in very often for a cup of Catiche's good
coffee. This is the first time since I came back."

"She'll bring you a plate, and you will share my dinner.
There's always enough for two--even three." Edna had intended to be
indifferent and as reserved as he when she met him; she had reached
<- Previous | Table of Contents | Next -> Digital Library-The Awakening by Kate Chopin

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