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

at rest upon the sea. The day was clear and carried the gaze out
as far as the blue sky went; there were a few white clouds
suspended idly over the horizon. A lateen sail was visible in the
direction of Cat Island, and others to the south seemed almost
motionless in the far distance.

"Of whom--of what are you thinking?" asked Adele of her
companion, whose countenance she had been watching with a little
amused attention, arrested by the absorbed expression which seemed
to have seized and fixed every feature into a statuesque repose.

"Nothing," returned Mrs. Pontellier, with a start, adding at
once: "How stupid! But it seems to me it is the reply we make
instinctively to such a question. Let me see," she went on,
throwing back her head and narrowing her fine eyes till they shone
like two vivid points of light. "Let me see. I was really not
conscious of thinking of anything; but perhaps I can retrace my

"Oh! never mind!" laughed Madame Ratignolle. "I am not quite
so exacting. I will let you off this time. It is really too hot
to think, especially to think about thinking."

"But for the fun of it," persisted Edna. "First of all, the
sight of the water stretching so far away, those motionless sails
against the blue sky, made a delicious picture that I just wanted
to sit and look at. The hot wind beating in my face made me
think--without any connection that I can trace of a summer day in
Kentucky, of a meadow that seemed as big as the ocean to the very
little girl walking through the grass, which was higher than her
waist. She threw out her arms as if swimming when she walked,
beating the tall grass as one strikes out in the water. Oh, I see
the connection now!"

"Where were you going that day in Kentucky, walking through
the grass?"

"I don't remember now. I was just walking diagonally across
a big field. My sun-bonnet obstructed the view. I could see only
the stretch of green before me, and I felt as if I must walk on
forever, without coming to the end of it. I don't remember whether
I was frightened or pleased. I must have been entertained.

"Likely as not it was Sunday," she laughed; "and I was running
away from prayers, from the Presbyterian service, read in a spirit
<- Previous | Table of Contents | Next -> Digital Library-The Awakening by Kate Chopin

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