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

and glanced through it, cutting the pages with a blunt edge of her
knife. It was all very agreeable. The damask was even more
spotless than it had seemed through the window, and the crystal
more sparkling. There were quiet ladies and gentlemen, who did not
notice her, lunching at the small tables like her own. A soft,
pleasing strain of music could be heard, and a gentle breeze, was
blowing through the window. She tasted a bite, and she read a word
or two, and she sipped the amber wine and wiggled her toes in the
silk stockings. The price of it made no difference. She counted
the money out to the waiter and left an extra coin on his tray,
whereupon he bowed before her as before a princess of royal blood.

There was still money in her purse, and her next temptation
presented itself in the shape of a matinee poster.

It was a little later when she entered the theatre, the play
had begun and the house seemed to her to be packed. But there were
vacant seats here and there, and into one of them she was ushered,
between brilliantly dressed women who had gone there to kill time
and eat candy and display their gaudy attire. There were many
others who were there solely for the play and acting. It is safe
to say there was no one present who bore quite the attitude which Mrs.
Sommers did to her surroundings. She gathered in the whole--stage
and players and people in one wide impression, and absorbed it and
enjoyed it. She laughed at the comedy and wept--she and the gaudy
woman next to her wept over the tragedy. And they talked a little
together over it. And the gaudy woman wiped her eyes and sniffled
on a tiny square of filmy, perfumed lace and passed little Mrs.
Sommers her box of candy.

The play was over, the music ceased, the crowd filed out. It
was like a dream ended. People scattered in all directions. Mrs.
Sommers went to the corner and waited for the cable car.

A man with keen eyes, who sat opposite to her, seemed to like
the study of her small, pale face. It puzzled him to decipher what
he saw there. In truth, he saw nothing-unless he were wizard
enough to detect a poignant wish, a powerful longing that the cable
car would never stop anywhere, but go on and on with her forever.
<- Previous | Table of Contents | Next -> Digital Library-The Awakening by Kate Chopin

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