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

Beethoven, covered with a hood of dust, scowled at her from the

"Ah! here comes the sunlight!" exclaimed Mademoiselle, rising
from her knees before the stove. "Now it will be warm and bright
enough; I can let the fire alone."

She closed the stove door with a bang, and approaching,
assisted in removing Edna's dripping mackintosh.

"You are cold; you look miserable. The chocolate will soon be hot.
But would you rather have a taste of brandy? I have scarcely
touched the bottle which you brought me for my cold." A piece of
red flannel was wrapped around Mademoiselle's throat; a stiff neck
compelled her to hold her head on one side.

"I will take some brandy," said Edna, shivering as she removed
her gloves and overshoes. She drank the liquor from the glass as
a man would have done. Then flinging herself upon the
uncomfortable sofa she said, "Mademoiselle, I am going to move
away from my house on Esplanade Street."

"Ah!" ejaculated the musician, neither surprised nor especially interested.
Nothing ever seemed to astonish her very much. She was endeavoring to adjust
the bunch of violets which had become loose from its fastening in her hair.
Edna drew her down upon the sofa, and taking a pin from her own hair,
secured the shabby artificial flowers in their accustomed place.

"Aren't you astonished?"

"Passably. Where are you going? to New York? to Iberville?
to your father in Mississippi? where?"

"Just two steps away," laughed Edna, "in a little four-room
house around the corner. It looks so cozy, so inviting and
restful, whenever I pass by; and it's for rent. I'm tired looking
after that big house. It never seemed like mine, anyway--like
home. It's too much trouble. I have to keep too many servants.
I am tired bothering with them."

"That is not your true reason, ma belle. There is no use
in telling me lies. I don't know your reason, but you have not
told me the truth." Edna did not protest or endeavor to justify
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