Her face lit up. That would be lovely, she owned: she would love to travel. But her mother would not understand their wanting to do things so differently.
As if the mere differently didnt account for it! the wooer insisted.
Newland! Youre so original! she exulted.
His heart sank, for he saw that he was saying all the things that young men in the same situation were expected to say, and that she was making the answers that instinct and tradition taught her to makeeven to the point of calling him original.
Original! Were all as like each other as those dolls cut out of the same folded paper. Were like patterns stencilled on a wall. Cant you and I strike out for ourselves, May?
He had stopped and faced her in the excitement of their discussion, and her eyes rested on him with a bright unclouded admiration.
Mercyshall we elope? she laughed.
If you would
You do love me, Newland! Im so happy.
But thenwhy not be happier?
We cant behave like people in novels, though, can we?
Why notwhy notwhy not?
She looked a little bored by his insistence. She knew very well that they couldnt, but it was troublesome to have to produce a reason. Im not clever enough to argue with you. But that kind of thing is rathervulgar, isnt it? she suggested, relieved to have hit on a word that would assuredly extinguish the whole subject.
Are you so much afraid, then, of being vulgar?
She was evidently staggered by this. Of course I should hate itso would you, she rejoined, a trifle irritably.
He stood silent, beating his stick nervously against his boot-top; and feeling that she had indeed found the right way of closing the discussion, she went on light- heartedly: Oh, did I tell you that I showed Ellen my ring? She thinks it the most beautiful setting she ever saw. Theres nothing like it in the rue de la Paix, she said. I do love you, Newland, for being so artistic!
The next afternoon, as Archer, before dinner, sat smoking sullenly in his study, Janey wandered in on him. He had failed to stop at his club on the way up from the office where he exercised the profession of the law in the leisurely manner common to well-to-do New Yorkers of his class. He was out of spirits and slightly out of temper, and a haunting horror of doing the same thing every day at the same hour besieged his brain.
Samenesssameness! he muttered, the word running through his head like a persecuting tune as he saw the familiar tall-hatted figures lounging behind the plate-glass; and because he usually dropped in at the club at that hour he had gone home instead. He knew not only what they were likely to be talking about, but the part each one would take in the discussion. The Duke of course would be their principal theme; though the appearance in Fifth Avenue of a golden-haired lady in a small canary-coloured brougham with a pair of black cobs (for which Beaufort was generally thought responsible) would also doubtless be
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