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<- Previous | Table of Contents | Next -> Digital Library-The Awakening by Kate Chopin

well to make such a blunder as that.

He did not resume his book immediately, but sat for a while
meditatively looking out into the garden.


Edna's father was in the city, and had been with them several
days. She was not very warmly or deeply attached to him, but they
had certain tastes in common, and when together they were
companionable. His coming was in the nature of a welcome
disturbance; it seemed to furnish a new direction for her emotions.

He had come to purchase a wedding gift for his daughter,
Janet, and an outfit for himself in which he might make a
creditable appearance at her marriage. Mr. Pontellier had selected
the bridal gift, as every one immediately connected with him always
deferred to his taste in such matters. And his suggestions on the
question of dress--which too often assumes the nature of a
problemwere of inestimable value to his father-in-law. But for the past
few days the old gentleman had been upon Edna's hands, and in his
society she was becoming acquainted with a new set of sensations.

He had been a colonel in the Confederate army, and still
maintained, with the title, the military bearing which had always
accompanied it. His hair and mustache were white and silky,
emphasizing the rugged bronze of his face. He was tall and thin, and
wore his coats padded, which gave a fictitious breadth and depth to
his shoulders and chest. Edna and her father looked very
distinguished together, and excited a good deal of notice during
their perambulations. Upon his arrival she began by introducing
him to her atelier and making a sketch of him. He took the whole
matter very seriously. If her talent had been ten-fold greater
than it was, it would not have surprised him, convinced as he was
that he had bequeathed to all of his daughters the germs of a
masterful capability, which only depended upon their own efforts
to be directed toward successful achievement.

Before her pencil he sat rigid and unflinching, as he had
faced the cannon's mouth in days gone by. He resented the
intrusion of the children, who gaped with wondering eyes at him,
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