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

half hour to talk over the horses with her. She counted the money
she had won. But there was nothing else to do, so she went to bed,
and tossed there for hours in a sort of monotonous agitation.

In the middle of the night she remembered that she had
forgotten to write her regular letter to her husband; and she
decided to do so next day and tell him about her afternoon at the
Jockey Club. She lay wide awake composing a letter which was
nothing like the one which she wrote next day. When the maid
awoke her in the morning Edna was dreaming of Mr. Highcamp
playing the piano at the entrance of a music store on Canal Street,
while his wife was saying to Alcee Arobin, as they boarded an
Esplanade Street car:

"What a pity that so much talent has been neglected! but I must go."

When, a few days later, Alcee Arobin again called for Edna in
his drag, Mrs. Highcamp was not with him. He said they would pick
her up. But as that lady had not been apprised of his intention of
picking her up, she was not at home. The daughter was just leaving
the house to attend the meeting of a branch Folk Lore Society, and
regretted that she could not accompany them. Arobin appeared
nonplused, and asked Edna if there were any one else she cared to

She did not deem it worth while to go in search of any of the
fashionable acquaintances from whom she had withdrawn herself. She
thought of Madame Ratignolle, but knew that her fair friend did not
leave the house, except to take a languid walk around the block
with her husband after nightfall. Mademoiselle Reisz would have
laughed at such a request from Edna. Madame Lebrun might have
enjoyed the outing, but for some reason Edna did not want her. So
they went alone, she and Arobin.

The afternoon was intensely interesting to her. The
excitement came back upon her like a remittent fever. Her talk
grew familiar and confidential. It was no labor to become intimate
with Arobin. His manner invited easy confidence. The preliminary
stage of becoming acquainted was one which he always endeavored to
ignore when a pretty and engaging woman was concerned.

He stayed and dined with Edna. He stayed and sat beside the
wood fire. They laughed and talked; and before it was time to go
he was telling her how different life might have been if he had
known her years before. With ingenuous frankness he spoke of what
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