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improvement over the one he had left in New Orleans, but of course
the prospects were vastly better. He wrote of the City of Mexico,
the buildings, the people and their habits, the conditions of life
which he found there. He sent his love to the family. He inclosed
a check to his mother, and hoped she would affectionately remember
him to all his friends. That was about the substance of the two
letters. Edna felt that if there had been a message for her, she
would have received it. The despondent frame of mind in which she
had left home began again to overtake her, and she remembered that
she wished to find Mademoiselle Reisz.
Madame Lebrun knew where Mademoiselle Reisz lived. She gave
Edna the address, regretting that she would not consent to stay and
spend the remainder of the afternoon, and pay a visit to
Mademoiselle Reisz some other day. The afternoon was already well
Victor escorted her out upon the banquette, lifted her parasol,
and held it over her while he walked to the car with her.
He entreated her to bear in mind that the disclosures of
the afternoon were strictly confidential. She laughed
and bantered him a little, remembering too late that she
should have been dignified and reserved.
"How handsome Mrs. Pontellier looked!" said Madame Lebrun
to her son.
"Ravishing!" he admitted. "The city atmosphere has improved her.
Some way she doesn't seem like the same woman."
Some people contended that the reason Mademoiselle Reisz
always chose apartments up under the roof was to discourage the
approach of beggars, peddlars and callers. There were plenty of
windows in her little front room. They were for the most part
dingy, but as they were nearly always open it did not make so much
difference. They often admitted into the room a good deal of smoke
and soot; but at the same time all the light and air that there was
came through them. From her windows could be seen the crescent of