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

Chapter XVI

Page 3 of 5

Table Of Contents: The Glimpses of the Moon

Previous Page

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

More by this Author

Her daughter might perhaps have helped her; but it was not Miss Hicks's way to mother her parents. She was exceedingly kind to them, but left them, as it were, to bring themselves up as best they could, while she pursued her own course of self-development. A sombre zeal for knowledge filled the mind of this strange girl: she appeared interested only in fresh opportunities of adding to her store of facts. They were illuminated by little imagination and less poetry; but, carefully catalogued and neatly sorted in her large cool brain, they were always as accessible as the volumes in an up-to-date public library.

To Nick there was something reposeful in this lucid intellectual curiosity. He wanted above all things to get away from sentiment, from seduction, from the moods and impulses and flashing contradictions that were Susy. Susy was not a great reader: her store of facts was small, and she had grown up among people who dreaded ideas as much as if they had been a contagious disease. But, in the early days especially, when Nick had put a book in her hand, or read a poem to her, her swift intelligence had instantly shed a new light on the subject, and, penetrating to its depths, had extracted from them whatever belonged to her. What a pity that this exquisite insight, this intuitive discrimination, should for the most part have been spent upon reading the thoughts of vulgar people, and extracting a profit from them--should have been wasted, since her childhood, on all the hideous intricacies of "managing"!

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

And visible beauty--how she cared for that too! He had not guessed it, or rather he had not been sure of it, till the day when, on their way through Paris, he had taken her to the Louvre, and they had stood before the little Crucifixion of Mantegna. He had not been looking at the picture, or watching to see what impression it produced on Susy. His own momentary mood was for Correggio and Fragonard, the laughter of the Music Lesson and the bold pagan joys of the Antiope; and then he had missed her from his side, and when he came to where she stood, forgetting him, forgetting everything, had seen the glare of that tragic sky in her face, her trembling lip, the tears on her lashes. That was Susy ....

Closing his book he stole a glance at Coral Hicks's profile, thrown back against the cushions of the deck-chair at his side. There was something harsh and bracing in her blunt primitive build, in the projection of the black eyebrows that nearly met over her thick straight nose, and the faint barely visible black down on her upper lip. Some miracle of will-power, combined with all the artifices that wealth can buy, had turned the fat sallow girl he remembered into this commanding young woman, almost handsome at times indisputably handsome--in her big authoritative way. Watching the arrogant lines of her profile against the blue sea, he remembered, with a thrill that was sweet to his vanity, how twice--under the dome of the Scalzi and in the streets of Genoa--he had seen those same lines soften at his approach, turn womanly, pleading and almost humble. That was Coral ....

Page 3 of 5 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