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manner when she saw him there.

"Will you let me speak to you a moment or two, Mr. Brantain?"
she asked with an engaging but perturbed smile. He seemed
extremely unhappy; but when she took his arm and walked
away with him, seeking a retired corner, a ray of hope
mingled with the almost comical misery of his expression.

She was apparently very outspoken.

"Perhaps I should not have sought this interview, Mr.
Brantain; but--but, oh, I have been very uncomfortable, almost
miserable since that little encounter the other afternoon. When I
thought how you might have misinterpreted it, and believed things"
--hope was plainly gaining the ascendancy over misery in Brantain's
round, guileless face--"Of course, I know it is nothing to you, but
for my own sake I do want you to understand that Mr. Harvy is an
intimate friend of long standing. Why, we have always been like
cousins--like brother and sister, I may say. He is my brother's
most intimate associate and often fancies that he is entitled to
the same privileges as the family. Oh, I know it is absurd,
uncalled for, to tell you this; undignified even," she was almost
weeping, "but it makes so much difference to me what you think
of--of me." Her voice had grown very low and agitated. The misery had
all disappeared from Brantain's face.

"Then you do really care what I think, Miss Nathalie? May I
call you Miss Nathalie?" They turned into a long, dim corridor that
was lined on either side with tall, graceful plants. They walked
slowly to the very end of it. When they turned to retrace their
steps Brantain's face was radiant and hers was triumphant.

Harvy was among the guests at the wedding; and he sought her
out in a rare moment when she stood alone.

"Your husband," he said, smiling, "has sent me over to kiss
you. "

A quick blush suffused her face and round polished throat. "I
suppose it's natural for a man to feel and act generously on an
occasion of this kind. He tells me he doesn't want his marriage to
interrupt wholly that pleasant intimacy which has existed between
you and me. I don't know what you've been telling him," with an
insolent smile, "but he has sent me here to kiss you."
<- Previous | Table of Contents | Next -> Digital Library-The Awakening by Kate Chopin

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