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

"The house, the money that provides for it, are not mine.
Isn't that enough reason?"

"They are your husband's," returned Mademoiselle, with a shrug
and a malicious elevation of the eyebrows.

"Oh! I see there is no deceiving you. Then let me tell you:
It is a caprice. I have a little money of my own from my mother's
estate, which my father sends me by driblets. I won a large sum
this winter on the races, and I am beginning to sell my sketches.
Laidpore is more and more pleased with my work; he says it grows in
force and individuality. I cannot judge of that myself, but I feel
that I have gained in ease and confidence. However, as I said, I
have sold a good many through Laidpore. I can live in the tiny
house for little or nothing, with one servant. Old Celestine, who
works occasionally for me, says she will come stay with me and do
my work. I know I shall like it, like the feeling of freedom and

"What does your husband say?"

"I have not told him yet. I only thought of it this morning.
He will think I am demented, no doubt. Perhaps you think so."

Mademoiselle shook her head slowly. "Your reason is not yet
clear to me," she said.

Neither was it quite clear to Edna herself; but it unfolded
itself as she sat for a while in silence. Instinct had prompted
her to put away her husband's bounty in casting off her allegiance.
She did not know how it would be when he returned. There would
have to be an understanding, an explanation. Conditions would
some way adjust themselves, she felt; but whatever came,
she had resolved never again to belong to another than herself.

"I shall give a grand dinner before I leave the old house!"
Edna exclaimed. "You will have to come to it, Mademoiselle.
I will give you everything that you like to eat and to drink.
We shall sing and laugh and be merry for once." And she uttered
a sigh that came from the very depths of her being.

If Mademoiselle happened to have received a letter from Robert
during the interval of Edna's visits, she would give her the letter
unsolicited. And she would seat herself at the piano and play as
her humor prompted her while the young woman read the letter.
<- Previous | Table of Contents | Next -> Digital Library-The Awakening by Kate Chopin

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