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

Chapter XVII

Page 5 of 6

Table Of Contents: The Glimpses of the Moon

Previous Page

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

More by this Author

Until she became Lady Altringham? Well, perhaps. At any rate, she was not going back to slave for Ursula.

She shook her head with a faint smile. "I'm so sorry, Ursula: of course I want awfully to oblige you--"

Mrs. Gillow's gaze grew reproachful. "I should have supposed you would," she murmured. Susy, meeting her eyes, looked into them down a long vista of favours bestowed, and perceived that Ursula was not the woman to forget on which side the obligation lay between them.

Susy hesitated: she remembered the weeks of ecstasy she had owed to the Gillows' wedding cheque, and it hurt her to appear ungrateful.

"If I could, Ursula ... but really ... I'm not free at the moment." She paused, and then took an abrupt decision. "The fact is, I'm waiting here to see Strefford."

"Strefford' Lord Altringham?" Ursula stared. "Ah, yes-I remember. You and he used to be great friends, didn't you?" Her roving attention deepened .... But if Susy were waiting to see Lord Altringham--one of the richest men in England! Suddenly Ursula opened her gold-meshed bag and snatched a miniature diary from it.

"But wait a moment--yes, it is next week! I knew it was next week he's coming to Ruan! But, you darling, that makes everything all right. You'll send him a wire at once, and come with me tomorrow, and meet him there instead of in this nasty sloppy desert .... Oh, Susy, if you knew how hard life is for me in Scotland between the Prince and Fred you couldn't possibly say no!"

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

Susy still wavered; but, after all, if Strefford were really bound for Ruan, why not see him there, agreeably and at leisure, instead of spending a dreary day with him in roaming the wet London streets, or screaming at him through the rattle of a restaurant orchestra? She knew he would not be likely to postpone his visit to Ruan in order to linger in London with her: such concessions had never been his way, and were less than ever likely to be, now that he could do so thoroughly and completely as he pleased.

For the first time she fully understood how different his destiny had become. Now of course all his days and hours were mapped out in advance: invitations assailed him, opportunities pressed on him, he had only to choose .... And the women! She had never before thought of the women. All the girls in England would be wanting to marry him, not to mention her own enterprising compatriots. And there were the married women, who were even more to be feared. Streff might, for the time, escape marriage; though she could guess the power of persuasion, family pressure, all the converging traditional influences he had so often ridiculed, yet, as she knew, had never completely thrown off .... Yes, those quiet invisible women at Altringham-his uncle's widow, his mother, the spinster sisters--it was not impossible that, with tact and patience--and the stupidest women could be tactful and patient on such occasions--they might eventually persuade him that it was his duty, they might put just the right young loveliness in his way .... But meanwhile, now, at once, there were the married women. Ah, they wouldn't wait, they were doubtless laying their traps already! Susy shivered at the thought. She knew too much about the way the trick was done, had followed, too often, all the sinuosities of such approaches. Not that they were very sinuous nowadays: more often there was just a swoop and a pounce when the time came; but she knew all the arts and the wiles that led up to it. She knew them, oh, how she knew them--though with Streff, thank heaven, she had never been called upon to exercise them! His love was there for the asking: would she not be a fool to refuse it?

Page 5 of 6 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