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insisted the young woman, picking up bits of the broken vase that
were scattered upon the carpet. "And here's your ring, ma'am,
under the chair."

Edna held out her hand, and taking the ring, slipped it upon
her finger.


The following morning Mr. Pontellier, upon leaving for his
office, asked Edna if she would not meet him in town in order to
look at some new fixtures for the library.

"I hardly think we need new fixtures, Leonce. Don't let us
get anything new; you are too extravagant. I don't believe you
ever think of saving or putting by."

"The way to become rich is to make money, my dear Edna, not to
save it," he said. He regretted that she did not feel inclined to
go with him and select new fixtures. He kissed her good-by, and
told her she was not looking well and must take care of herself.
She was unusually pale and very quiet.

She stood on the front veranda as he quitted the house, and
absently picked a few sprays of jessamine that grew upon a trellis
near by. She inhaled the odor of the blossoms and thrust them into
the bosom of her white morning gown. The boys were dragging along
the banquette a small "express wagon," which they had filled with
blocks and sticks. The quadroon was following them with little
quick steps, having assumed a fictitious animation and alacrity for
the occasion. A fruit vender was crying his wares in the street.

Edna looked straight before her with a self-absorbed
expression upon her face. She felt no interest in anything about
her. The street, the children, the fruit vender, the flowers
growing there under her eyes, were all part and parcel of an alien
world which had suddenly become antagonistic.

She went back into the house. She had thought of speaking to
the cook concerning her blunders of the previous night; but Mr.
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