Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
Dawn O'Hara Edna Ferber

A Tragedy Of Gowns

Page 5 of 6

Table Of Contents: Dawn O'Hara

Previous Page

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

More by this Author

There came a blur of tears to my eyes. "It is called ashes of roses," I answered. "Ashes of roses."

Konrad Nirlanger threw back his head and laughed a laugh as stinging as a whip-lash. "Ashes of roses! So? It is well named. For my dear wife it is poetically fit, is it not so? For see, her roses are but withered ashes, eh Anna?"

Deliberately and in silence Anna Nirlanger walked to the mirror and stood there, gazing at the woman in the glass. There was something dreadful and portentous about the calm and studied deliberation with which she critically viewed that reflection. She lifted her arms slowly and patted into place the locks that had become disarranged, turning her head from side to side to study the effect. Then she took from a drawer the bit of chamois skin that I had given her, and passed it lightly over her eyelids and cheeks, humming softly to herself the while. No music ever sounded so uncanny to my ears. The woman before the mirror looked at the woman in the mirror with a long, steady, measuring look. Then, slowly and deliberately, the long graceful folds of her lovely gown trailing behind her, she walked over to where her frowning husband stood. So might a queen have walked, head held high, gaze steady. She stopped within half a foot of him, her eyes level with his. For a long half-minute they stood thus, the faded blue eyes of the wife gazing into the sullen black eyes of the husband, and his were the first to drop, for all the noble blood in Anna Nirlanger's veins, and all her long line of gently bred ancestors were coming to her aid in dealing with her middle-class husband.

We have hundreds more books for your enjoyment. Read them all!

"You forget," she said, very slowly and distinctly. "If this were Austria, instead of Amerika, you would not forget. In Austria people of your class do not speak in this manner to those of my caste."

"Unsinn!" laughed Konrad Nirlanger. This is Amerika."

"Yes," said Anna Nirlanger, "this is Amerika. And in Amerika all things are different. I see now that my people knew of what they spoke when they called me mad to think of wedding a clod of the people, such as you."

For a moment I thought that he was going to strike her. I think he would have, if she had flinched. But she did not. Her head was held high, and her eyes did not waver.

"I married you for love. It is most comical, is it not? With you I thought I should find peace, and happiness and a re-birth of the intellect that was being smothered in the splendor and artificiality and the restrictions of my life there. Well, I was wrong. But wrong. Now hear me!" Her voice was tense with passion. "There will be gowns--as many and as rich as I choose. You have said many times that the ladies of Amerika you admire. And see! I shall be also one of those so-admired ladies. My money shall go for gowns! For hats! For trifles of lace and velvet and fur! You shall learn that it is not a peasant woman whom you have married. This is Amerika, the land of the free, my husband. And see! Who is more of Amerika than I? Who?"

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
Dawn O'Hara
Edna Ferber

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004