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"No; I shan't tell you anything of the sort, though I
shouldn't be lying if I did."
"Do you know Mademoiselle Reisz?" she asked irrelevantly.
"The pianist? I know her by sight. I've heard her play."
"She says queer things sometimes in a bantering way that you don't notice
at the time and you find yourself thinking about afterward."
"Well, for instance, when I left her to-day, she put her arms
around me and felt my shoulder blades, to see if my wings were
strong, she said. `The bird that would soar above the level plain
of tradition and prejudice must have strong wings. It is a sad
spectacle to see the weaklings bruised, exhausted, fluttering back
to earth.' "Whither would you soar?"
"I'm not thinking of any extraordinary flights. I only half
"I've heard she's partially demented," said Arobin.
"She seems to me wonderfully sane," Edna replied.
"I'm told she's extremely disagreeable and unpleasant. Why
have you introduced her at a moment when I desired to talk of you?"
"Oh! talk of me if you like," cried Edna, clasping her hands
beneath her head; "but let me think of something else while you do."
"I'm jealous of your thoughts tonight. They're making you a
little kinder than usual; but some way I feel as if they were
wandering, as if they were not here with me." She only looked at
him and smiled. His eyes were very near. He leaned upon the
lounge with an arm extended across her, while the other hand still
rested upon her hair. They continued silently to look into each
other's eyes. When he leaned forward and kissed her, she clasped
his head, holding his lips to hers.
It was the first kiss of her life to which her nature had
really responded. It was a flaming torch that kindled desire.