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a man with lofty aims and ability to reach them; one who stood high
enough to attract the notice of his fellow-men. It seems to me if
I were young and in love I should never deem a man of ordinary
caliber worthy of my devotion."
"Now it is you who are telling lies and seeking to deceive me,
Mademoiselle; or else you have never been in love, and know nothing
about it. Why," went on Edna, clasping her knees and looking up
into Mademoiselle's twisted face, "do you suppose a woman knows why
she loves? Does she select? Does she say to herself: `Go to! Here
is a distinguished statesman with presidential possibilities; I
shall proceed to fall in love with him.' Or, `I shall set my heart
upon this musician, whose fame is on every tongue?' Or, `This
financier, who controls the world's money markets?'
"You are purposely misunderstanding me, ma reine. Are you
in love with Robert?"
"Yes," said Edna. It was the first time she had admitted it,
and a glow overspread her face, blotching it with red spots.
"Why?" asked her companion. "Why do you love him when you
ought not to?"
Edna, with a motion or two, dragged herself on her knees
before Mademoiselle Reisz, who took the glowing face between her
"Why? Because his hair is brown and grows away from his
temples; because he opens and shuts his eyes, and his nose is a
little out of drawing; because he has two lips and a square chin,
and a little finger which he can't straighten from having played
baseball too energetically in his youth. Because--"
"Because you do, in short," laughed Mademoiselle. "What will
you do when he comes back?" she asked.
"Do? Nothing, except feel glad and happy to be alive."
She was already glad and happy to be alive at the mere thought
of his return. The murky, lowering sky, which had depressed her a
few hours before, seemed bracing and invigorating as she splashed
through the streets on her way home.
She stopped at a confectioner's and ordered a huge box of