Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
"At ten," he told her. "Beaudelet wants to wait for the moon."
"Are you all ready to go?"
"Quite ready. I shall only take a hand-bag, and shall pack my
trunk in the city."
He turned to answer some question put to him by his mother,
and Edna, having finished her black coffee, left the table.
She went directly to her room. The little cottage was close
and stuffy after leaving the outer air. But she did not mind;
there appeared to be a hundred different things demanding her
attention indoors. She began to set the toilet-stand to rights,
grumbling at the negligence of the quadroon, who was in the
adjoining room putting the children to bed. She gathered together
stray garments that were hanging on the backs of chairs, and put
each where it belonged in closet or bureau drawer. She changed her
gown for a more comfortable and commodious wrapper. She rearranged
her hair, combing and brushing it with unusual energy. Then she went in
and assisted the quadroon in getting the boys to bed.
They were very playful and inclined to talk--to do anything
but lie quiet and go to sleep. Edna sent the quadroon away to her
supper and told her she need not return. Then she sat and told the
children a story. Instead of soothing it excited them, and added
to their wakefulness. She left them in heated argument,
speculating about the conclusion of the tale which their mother
promised to finish the following night.
The little black girl came in to say that Madame Lebrun would
like to have Mrs. Pontellier go and sit with them over at the house
till Mr. Robert went away. Edna returned answer that she had
already undressed, that she did not feel quite well, but perhaps
she would go over to the house later. She started to dress again,
and got as far advanced as to remove her peignoir. But
changing her mind once more she resumed the peignoir, and went
outside and sat down before her door. She was overheated and
irritable, and fanned herself energetically for a while. Madame
Ratignolle came down to discover what was the matter.
"All that noise and confusion at the table must have upset
me," replied Edna, "and moreover, I hate shocks and surprises.
The idea of Robert starting off in such a ridiculously sudden
and dramatic way! As if it were a matter of life and death!