The morning was full of sunlight and hope. Edna could see before her n_enial—only the promise of excessive joy. She lay in bed awake, with brigh_yes full of speculation. "He loves you, poor fool." If she could but get tha_onviction firmly fixed in her mind, what mattered about the rest? She fel_he had been childish and unwise the night before in giving herself over t_espondency. She recapitulated the motives which no doubt explained Robert'_eserve. They were not insurmountable; they would not hold if he really love_er; they could not hold against her own passion, which he must come t_ealize in time. She pictured him going to his business that morning. She eve_aw how he was dressed; how he walked down one street, and turned the corne_f another; saw him bending over his desk, talking to people who entered th_ffice, going to his lunch, and perhaps watching for her on the street. H_ould come to her in the afternoon or evening, sit and roll his cigarette,
talk a little, and go away as he had done the night before. But how deliciou_t would be to have him there with her! She would have no regrets, nor seek t_enetrate his reserve if he still chose to wear it.
Edna ate her breakfast only half dressed. The maid brought her a deliciou_rinted scrawl from Raoul, expressing his love, asking her to send him som_onbons, and telling her they had found that morning ten tiny white pigs al_ying in a row beside Lidie's big white pig.
A letter also came from her husband, saying he hoped to be back early i_arch, and then they would get ready for that journey abroad which he ha_romised her so long, which he felt now fully able to afford; he felt able t_ravel as people should, without any thought of small economies—thanks to hi_ecent speculations in Wall Street.
Much to her surprise she received a note from Arobin, written at midnight fro_he club. It was to say good morning to her, to hope she had slept well, t_ssure her of his devotion, which he trusted she in some faintest manne_eturned.
All these letters were pleasing to her. She answered the children in _heerful frame of mind, promising them bonbons, and congratulating them upo_heir happy find of the little pigs.
She answered her husband with friendly evasiveness, —not with any fixed desig_o mislead him, only because all sense of reality had gone out of her life;
she had abandoned herself to Fate, and awaited the consequences wit_ndifference.
To Arobin's note she made no reply. She put it under Celestine's stove-lid.
Edna worked several hours with much spirit. She saw no one but a pictur_ealer, who asked her if it were true that she was going abroad to study i_aris.
She said possibly she might, and he negotiated with her for some Parisia_tudies to reach him in time for the holiday trade in December.
Robert did not come that day. She was keenly disappointed. He did not come th_ollowing day, nor the next. Each morning she awoke with hope, and each nigh_he was a prey to despondency. She was tempted to seek him out. But far fro_ielding to the impulse, she avoided any occasion which might throw her in hi_ay. She did not go to Mademoiselle Reisz's nor pass by Madame Lebrun's, a_he might have done if he had still been in Mexico.
When Arobin, one night, urged her to drive with him, she went—out to the lake,
on the Shell Road. His horses were full of mettle, and even a littl_nmanageable. She liked the rapid gait at which they spun along, and th_uick, sharp sound of the horses' hoofs on the hard road. They did not sto_nywhere to eat or to drink. Arobin was not needlessly imprudent. But they at_nd they drank when they regained Edna's little dining-room—which wa_omparatively early in the evening.
It was late when he left her. It was getting to be more than a passing whi_ith Arobin to see her and be with her. He had detected the latent sensuality,
which unfolded under his delicate sense of her nature's requirements like _orpid, torrid, sensitive blossom.
There was no despondency when she fell asleep that night; nor was there hop_hen she awoke in the morning.