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

The little stove was roaring; it was red-hot, and the
chocolate in the tin sizzled and sputtered. Edna went forward and
opened the stove door, and Mademoiselle rising, took a letter from
under the bust of Beethoven and handed it to Edna.

"Another! so soon!" she exclaimed, her eyes filled with
delight. "Tell me, Mademoiselle, does he know that I see his

"Never in the world! He would be angry and would never write
to me again if he thought so. Does he write to you? Never a line.
Does he send you a message? Never a word. It is because he loves
you, poor fool, and is trying to forget you, since you are not free
to listen to him or to belong to him."

"Why do you show me his letters, then?"

"Haven't you begged for them? Can I refuse you anything? Oh!
you cannot deceive me," and Mademoiselle approached her beloved
instrument and began to play. Edna did not at once read the
letter. She sat holding it in her hand, while the music penetrated
her whole being like an effulgence, warming and brightening the
dark places of her soul. It prepared her for joy and exultation.

"Oh!" she exclaimed, letting the letter fall to the floor.
"Why did you not tell me?" She went and grasped Mademoiselle's hands
up from the keys. "Oh! unkind! malicious! Why did you not tell me?"

"That he was coming back? No great news, ma foi. I wonder
he did not come long ago."

"But when, when?" cried Edna, impatiently. "He does not say when."

"He says `very soon.' You know as much about it as I do; it is
all in the letter."

"But why? Why is he coming? Oh, if I thought--" and she
snatched the letter from the floor and turned the pages this way
and that way, looking for the reason, which was left untold.

"If I were young and in love with a man," said Mademoiselle,
turning on the stool and pressing her wiry hands between her knees
as she looked down at Edna, who sat on the floor holding the
letter, "it seems to me he would have to be some grand esprit;
<- Previous | Table of Contents | Next -> Digital Library-The Awakening by Kate Chopin

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