Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
Part III Edith Wharton

Chapter XXX

Page 3 of 4

Table Of Contents: The Glimpses of the Moon

Previous Page

Next Page

Previous Chapter

More Books

More by this Author

"But it does matter--it matters more than you can think!"

She straightened herself, still kneeling before him, and lifted her head so that the firelight behind her turned her hair into a ruddy halo. "Oh, Nick, the bracelet--Ellie's bracelet .... I've never returned it to her," she faltered out.

He felt himself recoiling under the hands with which she clutched his knees. For an instant he did not remember what she alluded to; it was the mere mention of Ellie Vanderlyn's name that had fallen between them like an icy shadow. What an incorrigible fool he had been to think they could ever shake off such memories, or cease to be the slaves of such a past!

"The bracelet?--Oh, yes," he said, suddenly understanding, and feeling the chill mount slowly to his lips.

"Yes, the bracelet ... Oh, Nick, I meant to give it back at once; I did--I did; but the day you went away I forgot everything else. And when I found the thing, in the bottom of my bag, weeks afterward, I thought everything was over between you and me, and I had begun to see Ellie again, and she was kind to me and how could I?" To save his life he could have found no answer, and she pressed on: "And so this morning, when I saw you were frightened by the expense of bringing all the children with us, and when I felt I couldn't leave them, and couldn't leave you either, I remembered the bracelet; and I sent you off to telephone while I rushed round the corner to a little jeweller's where I'd been before, and pawned it so that you shouldn't have to pay for the children .... But now, darling, you see, if you've got all that money, I can get it out of pawn at once, can't I, and send it back to her?"

Tired of reading? Add this page to your Bookmarks or Favorites and finish it later.

She flung her arms about him, and he held her fast, wondering if the tears he felt were hers or his. Still he did not speak; but as he clasped her close she added, with an irrepressible flash of her old irony: "Not that Ellie will understand why I've done it. She's never yet been able to make out why you returned her scarf-pin."

For a long time she continued to lean against him, her head on his knees, as she had done on the terrace of Como on the last night of their honeymoon. She had ceased to talk, and he sat silent also, passing his hand quietly to and fro over her hair. The first rapture had been succeeded by soberer feelings. Her confession had broken up the frozen pride about his heart, and humbled him to the earth; but it had also roused forgotten things, memories and scruples swept aside in the first rush of their reunion. He and she belonged to each other for always: he understood that now. The impulse which had first drawn them together again, in spite of reason, in spite of themselves almost, that deep-seated instinctive need that each had of the other, would never again wholly let them go. Yet as he sat there he thought of Strefford, he thought of Coral Hicks. He had been a coward in regard to Coral, and Susy had been sincere and courageous in regard to Strefford. Yet his mind dwelt on Coral with tenderness, with compunction, with remorse; and he was almost sure that Susy had already put Strefford utterly out of her mind.

Page 3 of 4 Previous Page   Next Page
Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
The Glimpses of the Moon
Edith Wharton

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004