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Chapter 27

  • "What is the matter with you?" asked Arobin that evening. "I never found yo_n such a happy mood." Edna was tired by that time, and was reclining on th_ounge before the fire.
  • "Don't you know the weather prophet has told us we shall see the sun prett_oon?"
  • "Well, that ought to be reason enough," he acquiesced. "You wouldn't give m_nother if I sat here all night imploring you." He sat close to her on a lo_abouret, and as he spoke his fingers lightly touched the hair that fell _ittle over her forehead. She liked the touch of his fingers through her hair,
  • and closed her eyes sensitively.
  • "One of these days," she said, "I'm going to pull myself together for a whil_nd think—try to determine what character of a woman I am; for, candidly, _on't know. By all the codes which I am acquainted with, I am a devilishl_icked specimen of the sex. But some way I can't convince myself that I am. _ust think about it."
  • "Don't. What's the use? Why should you bother thinking about it when I ca_ell you what manner of woman you are." His fingers strayed occasionally dow_o her warm, smooth cheeks and firm chin, which was growing a little full an_ouble.
  • "Oh, yes! You will tell me that I am adorable; everything that is captivating.
  • Spare yourself the effort."
  • "No; I shan't tell you anything of the sort, though I shouldn't be lying if _id."
  • "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 a_he time and you find yourself thinking about afterward."
  • "For instance?"
  • "Well, for instance, when I left her to-day, she put her arms around me an_elt my shoulder blades, to see if my wings were strong, she said. `The bir_hat would soar above the level plain of tradition and prejudice must hav_trong 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 comprehend her."
  • "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 introduce_er 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 tha_sual; but some way I feel as if they were wandering, as if they were not her_ith me." She only looked at him and smiled. His eyes were very near. H_eaned upon the lounge with an arm extended across her, while the other han_till rested upon her hair. They continued silently to look into each other'_yes. When he leaned forward and kissed her, she clasped his head, holding hi_ips to hers.
  • It was the first kiss of her life to which her nature had really responded. I_as a flaming torch that kindled desire.