Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
her open door, and received the cup from his hands. She told him
he was a bon garcon, and she meant it. Robert thanked her and
turned away toward "the house."
The lovers were just entering the grounds of the pension.
They were leaning toward each other as the wateroaks bent from the
sea. There was not a particle of earth beneath their feet. Their
heads might have been turned upside-down, so absolutely did they
tread upon blue ether. The lady in black, creeping behind them,
looked a trifle paler and more jaded than usual. There was no sign
of Mrs. Pontellier and the children. Robert scanned the distance
for any such apparition. They would doubtless remain away till the
dinner hour. The young man ascended to his mother's room. It was
situated at the top of the house, made up of odd angles and a queer,
sloping ceiling. Two broad dormer windows looked out toward the Gulf,
and as far across it as a man's eye might reach. The furnishings
of the room were light, cool, and practical.
Madame Lebrun was busily engaged at the sewing-machine. A
little black girl sat on the floor, and with her hands worked the
treadle of the machine. The Creole woman does not take any chances
which may be avoided of imperiling her health.
Robert went over and seated himself on the broad sill of one
of the dormer windows. He took a book from his pocket and began
energetically to read it, judging by the precision and frequency
with which he turned the leaves. The sewing-machine made a
resounding clatter in the room; it was of a ponderous, by-gone
make. In the lulls, Robert and his mother exchanged bits of
"Where is Mrs. Pontellier?"
"Down at the beach with the children."
"I promised to lend her the Goncourt. Don't forget to take it
down when you go; it's there on the bookshelf over the small
table." Clatter, clatter, clatter, bang! for the next five or eight
"Where is Victor going with the rockaway?"
"The rockaway? Victor?"
"Yes; down there in front. He seems to be getting ready to