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meat, that they would require only half their usual quantity of
bread, of milk and groceries. She told the cook that she herself
would be greatly occupied during Mr. Pontellier's absence, and she
begged her to take all thought and responsibility of the larder
upon her own shoulders.
That night Edna dined alone. The candelabra, with a few
candies in the center of the table, gave all the light she needed.
Outside the circle of light in which she sat, the large dining-room
looked solemn and shadowy. The cook, placed upon her mettle,
served a delicious repast--a luscious tenderloin broiled a
point. The wine tasted good; the marron glace seemed to be
just what she wanted. It was so pleasant, too, to dine in a
She thought a little sentimentally about Leonce and the
children, and wondered what they were doing. As she gave a dainty
scrap or two to the doggie, she talked intimately to him about
Etienne and Raoul. He was beside himself with astonishment and
delight over these companionable advances, and showed his
appreciation by his little quick, snappy barks and a lively
Then Edna sat in the library after dinner and read Emerson
until she grew sleepy. She realized that she had neglected her
reading, and determined to start anew upon a course of improving
studies, now that her time was completely her own to do with as she
After a refreshing bath, Edna went to bed. And as she
snuggled comfortably beneath the eiderdown a sense of restfulness
invaded her, such as she had not known before.
When the weather was dark and cloudy Edna could not work. She
needed the sun to mellow and temper her mood to the sticking point.
She had reached a stage when she seemed to be no longer feeling her
way, working, when in the humor, with sureness and ease. And being
devoid of ambition, and striving not toward accomplishment, she