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

What pretensions, Madame! The artist must possess the courageous
soul that dares and defies."

Exhaustion was pressing upon and overpowering her.

"Good-by--because I love you." He did not know; he did not
understand. He would never understand. Perhaps Doctor Mandelet
would have understood if she had seen him--but it was too late; the
shore was far behind her, and her strength was gone.

She looked into the distance, and the old terror flamed up for
an instant, then sank again. Edna heard her father's voice and her
sister Margaret's. She heard the barking of an old dog that was
chained to the sycamore tree. The spurs of the cavalry officer
clanged as he walked across the porch. There was the hum of bees,
and the musky odor of pinks filled the air.

Beyond the Bayou

The bayou curved like a crescent around the point of land on
which La Folle's cabin stood. Between the stream and the hut lay
a big abandoned field, where cattle were pastured when the bayou
supplied them with water enough. Through the woods that spread
back into unknown regions the woman had drawn an imaginary line,
and past this circle she never stepped. This was the form of her
only mania.

She was now a large, gaunt black woman, past thirty-five. Her
real name was Jacqueline, but every one on the plantation called
her La Folle, because in childhood she had been frightened
literally "out of her senses," and had never wholly regained them.

It was when there had been skirmishing and sharpshooting all
day in the woods. Evening was near when P'tit Maitre, black with
powder and crimson with blood, had staggered into the cabin of
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