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humanity like worms struggling blindly toward inevitable
annihilation. She could not work on such a day, nor weave fancies
to stir her pulses and warm her blood.
It was during such a mood that Edna hunted up Mademoiselle
Reisz. She had not forgotten the rather disagreeable impression
left upon her by their last interview; but she nevertheless felt a
desire to see her--above all, to listen while she played upon the
piano. Quite early in the afternoon she started upon her quest for
the pianist. Unfortunately she had mislaid or lost Mademoiselle
Reisz's card, and looking up her address in the city directory, she
found that the woman lived on Bienville Street, some distance away.
The directory which fell into her hands was a year or more old,
however, and upon reaching the number indicated, Edna discovered
that the house was occupied by a respectable family of mulattoes
who had chambres garnies to let. They had been living there
for six months, and knew absolutely nothing of a Mademoiselle
Reisz. In fact, they knew nothing of any of their neighbors; their
lodgers were all people of the highest distinction, they assured
Edna. She did not linger to discuss class distinctions with Madame
Pouponne, but hastened to a neighboring grocery store, feeling sure
that Mademoiselle would have left her address with the proprietor.
He knew Mademoiselle Reisz a good deal better than he wanted
to know her, he informed his questioner. In truth, he did not want
to know her at all, or anything concerning her--the most
disagreeable and unpopular woman who ever lived in Bienville
Street. He thanked heaven she had left the neighborhood, and was
equally thankful that he did not know where she had gone.
Edna's desire to see Mademoiselle Reisz had increased tenfold
since these unlooked-for obstacles had arisen to thwart it.
She was wondering who could give her the information she sought,
when it suddenly occurred to her that Madame Lebrun would be
the one most likely to do so. She knew it was useless to ask
Madame Ratignolle, who was on the most distant terms with
the musician, and preferred to know nothing concerning her.
She had once been almost as emphatic in expressing herself