Read Books Online, for Free
|The Awakening||Kate Chopin|
|Page 2 of 3||
"Nothing. I simply felt like going out, and I went out."
"Well, I hope you left some suitable excuse," said her husband, somewhat appeased, as he added a dash of cayenne pepper to the soup.
"No, I left no excuse. I told Joe to say I was out, that was all."
"Why, my dear, I should think you'd understand by this time that people don't do such things; we've got to observe les convenances if we ever expect to get on and keep up with the procession. If you felt that you had to leave home this afternoon, you should have left some suitable explanation for your absence.
"This soup is really impossible; it's strange that woman hasn't learned yet to make a decent soup. Any free-lunch stand in town serves a better one. Was Mrs. Belthrop here?"
"Bring the tray with the cards, Joe. I don't remember who was here."
The boy retired and returned after a moment, bringing the tiny silver tray, which was covered with ladies' visiting cards. He handed it to Mrs. Pontellier.
"Give it to Mr. Pontellier," she said.
Joe offered the tray to Mr. Pontellier, and removed the soup.
Mr. Pontellier scanned the names of his wife's callers, reading some of them aloud, with comments as he read.
"`The Misses Delasidas.' I worked a big deal in futures for their father this morning; nice girls; it's time they were getting married. `Mrs. Belthrop.' I tell you what it is, Edna; you can't afford to snub Mrs. Belthrop. Why, Belthrop could buy and sell us ten times over. His business is worth a good, round sum to me. You'd better write her a note. `Mrs. James Highcamp.' Hugh! the less you have to do with Mrs. Highcamp, the better. `Madame Laforce.' Came all the way from Carrolton, too, poor old soul. 'Miss Wiggs,' `Mrs. Eleanor Boltons.'" He pushed the cards aside.
"Mercy!" exclaimed Edna, who had been fuming. "Why are you taking the thing so seriously and making such a fuss over it?"
"I'm not making any fuss over it. But it's just such seeming trifles that we've got to take seriously; such things count."
The fish was scorched. Mr. Pontellier would not touch it. Edna said she did not mind a little scorched taste. The roast was in some way not to his fancy, and he did not like the manner in which the vegetables were served.
"It seems to me," he said, "we spend money enough in this house to procure at least one meal a day which a man could eat and retain his self-respect."
"You used to think the cook was a treasure," returned Edna, indifferently.
"Perhaps she was when she first came; but cooks are only human. They need looking after, like any other class of persons that you employ. Suppose I didn't look after the clerks in my office, just let them run things their own way; they'd soon make a nice mess of me and my business."
|Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
|The Awakening and Selected Short Stories
Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004