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PinkMonkey.com Digital Library-The Awakening by Kate Chopin


XXXVIII

Edna still felt dazed when she got outside in the open air.
The Doctor's coupe had returned for him and stood before the
porte cochere. She did not wish to enter the coupe, and told
Doctor Mandelet she would walk; she was not afraid, and would go
alone. He directed his carriage to meet him at Mrs. Pontellier's,
and he started to walk home with her.

Up--away up, over the narrow street between the tall houses,
the stars were blazing. The air was mild and caressing, but cool
with the breath of spring and the night. They walked slowly, the
Doctor with a heavy, measured tread and his hands behind him; Edna,
in an absent-minded way, as she had walked one night at Grand Isle,
as if her thoughts had gone ahead of her and she was striving to
overtake them.

"You shouldn't have been there, Mrs. Pontellier," he said.
"That was no place for you. Adele is full of whims at such times.
There were a dozen women she might have had with her,
unimpressionable women. I felt that it was cruel, cruel. You
shouldn't have gone."

"Oh, well!" she answered, indifferently. "I don't know that
it matters after all. One has to think of the children some time
or other; the sooner the better."

"When is Leonce coming back?"

"Quite soon. Some time in March."

"And you are going abroad?"

"Perhaps--no, I am not going. I'm not going to be forced into
doing things. I don't want to go abroad. I want to be let alone.
Nobody has any right--except children, perhaps--and even then, it
seems to me--or it did seem--" She felt that her speech was voicing
the incoherency of her thoughts, and stopped abruptly.

"The trouble is," sighed the Doctor, grasping her meaning
intuitively, "that youth is given up to illusions. It seems to be
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