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fighting against since last summer at Grand Isle; what drove me
away and drove me back again."

"Why have you been fighting against it?" she asked. Her face
glowed with soft lights.

"Why? Because you were not free; you were Leonce Pontellier's
wife. I couldn't help loving you if you were ten times his wife;
but so long as I went away from you and kept away I could help
telling you so." She put her free hand up to his shoulder, and then
against his cheek, rubbing it softly. He kissed her again. His
face was warm and flushed.

"There in Mexico I was thinking of you all the time, and
longing for you."

"But not writing to me," she interrupted.

"Something put into my head that you cared for me; and I lost
my senses. I forgot everything but a wild dream of your some way
becoming my wife."

"Your wife!"

"Religion, loyalty, everything would give way if only you cared."

"Then you must have forgotten that I was Leonce Pontellier's wife."

"Oh! I was demented, dreaming of wild, impossible things,
recalling men who had set their wives free,
we have heard of such things."

"Yes, we have heard of such things."

"I came back full of vague, mad intentions. And when I got here--"

"When you got here you never came near me!" She was still
caressing his cheek.

"I realized what a cur I was to dream of such a thing, even if
you had been willing."

She took his face between her hands and looked into it as if
she would never withdraw her eyes more. She kissed him on the
forehead, the eyes, the cheeks, and the lips.
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