Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
sitting so stiff up there in their mother's bright atelier. When
they drew near he motioned them away with an expressive action of
the foot, loath to disturb the fixed lines of his countenance, his
arms, or his rigid shoulders.
Edna, anxious to entertain him, invited Mademoiselle Reisz to
meet him, having promised him a treat in her piano playing; but
Mademoiselle declined the invitation. So together they attended a
soiree musicale at the Ratignolles'. Monsieur and Madame
Ratignolle made much of the Colonel, installing him as the guest of
honor and engaging him at once to dine with them the following
Sunday, or any day which he might select. Madame coquetted with
him in the most captivating and naive manner, with eyes, gestures,
and a profusion of compliments, till the Colonel's old head felt
thirty years younger on his padded shoulders. Edna marveled, not
comprehending. She herself was almost devoid of coquetry.
There were one or two men whom she observed at the soiree
musicale; but she would never have felt moved to any kittenish
display to attract their notice--to any feline or feminine wiles to
express herself toward them. Their personality attracted her in an
agreeable way. Her fancy selected them, and she was glad when a
lull in the music gave them an opportunity to meet her and talk
with her. Often on the street the glance of strange eyes had
lingered in her memory, and sometimes had disturbed her.
Mr. Pontellier did not attend these soirees musicales.
He considered them bourgeois, and found more diversion at the club.
To Madame Ratignolle he said the music dispensed at her soirees
was too "heavy," too far beyond his untrained comprehension. His
excuse flattered her. But she disapproved of Mr. Pontellier's
club, and she was frank enough to tell Edna so.
"It's a pity Mr. Pontellier doesn't stay home more in the
evenings. I think you would be more--well, if you don't mind my
saying it--more united, if he did."
"Oh! dear no!" said Edna, with a blank look in her eyes.
"What should I do if he stayed home? We wouldn't have anything to
say to each other."
She had not much of anything to say to her father, for that
matter; but he did not antagonize her. She discovered that he
interested her, though she realized that he might not interest her
long; and for the first time in her life she felt as if she were