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

their espousal. There was the remnant of one back in the drawer
from which he took them. But it was not Desiree's; it was part of
an old letter from his mother to his father. He read it. She was
thanking God for the blessing of her husband's love:--

"But above all," she wrote, "night and day, I thank the good
God for having so arranged our lives that our dear Armand will
never know that his mother, who adores him, belongs to the race
that is cursed with the brand of slavery."

A Respectable Woman

Mrs. Baroda was a little provoked to learn that her husband
expected his friend, Gouvernail, up to spend a week or two on the

They had entertained a good deal during the winter; much of
the time had also been passed in New Orleans in various forms of
mild dissipation. She was looking forward to a period of unbroken
rest, now, and undisturbed tete-a-tete with her husband, when he
informed her that Gouvernail was coming up to stay a week or two.

This was a man she had heard much of but never seen. He had
been her husband's college friend; was now a journalist, and in no
sense a society man or "a man about town," which were, perhaps,
some of the reasons she had never met him. But she had
unconsciously formed an image of him in her mind. She pictured him
tall, slim, cynical; with eye-glasses, and his hands in his
pockets; and she did not like him. Gouvernail was slim enough, but
he wasn't very tall nor very cynical; neither did he wear
eyeglasses nor carry his hands in his pockets. And she rather liked
him when he first presented himself.

But why she liked him she could not explain satisfactorily to
herself when she partly attempted to do so. She could discover in
him none of those brilliant and promising traits which Gaston, her
husband, had often assured her that he possessed. On the contrary,
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