The Awakening, and Other Stories

By Kate Chopin; Pamela Knights | Go to book overview
Save to active project

BEYOND THE BAYOU

The bayou* curved like a crescent around the point of land on which La Folle's cabin stood. Between the stream and the hut lay a big abandoned field, where cattle were pastured when the bayou supplied them with water enough. Through the woods that spread back into unknown regions the woman who lived in the hut had drawn an imaginary line, and past this circle she never stepped. All was flaming red beyond there, La Folle believed. This was the form of her only mania.

She was now a large, gaunt, black woman, past thirty-five years of age. Her real name was Jacqueline, but every one on the plantation called her La Folle, or the Crazy Woman, because she had been frightened literally "out of her senses" in childhood.

On that far-past day, which was in the time of the Civil War,* there had been skirmishing and sharpshooting all day in the woods. Evening was near when P'tit Ma?i?tre, -- the young master, -- black with powder and crimson with blood, had staggered into the cabin of Jacqueline's mother. His pursuers were close at his heels.

The horror of that spectacle had stunned Jacqueline's childish reason. And so all across the bayou seemed to her aflame with blood color, alternating with black.

Alone she dwelt in her solitary cabin. The rest of the quarters had long since been removed* beyond her sight and knowledge. She had more physical strength than most men, and made her patch of cotton and corn and tobacco like the best of them. Of the world beyond the bayou she had long known nothing, save what her morbid imagination conceived.

People across the bayou at Bellissime* had grown used to her and her way, and they thought nothing of it. Even when "Old Mis"' died, La Folle had not crossed the bayou. She had stood upon her side of it, wailing and lamenting. This did not astonish the people at Bellissime. They would have been amazed had she overcome her fear of everything beyond the water.

P'tit Ma?i?tre was now the owner of Bellissime. He was a middleaged man, with a family of beautiful daughters about him, and a little son whom La Folle loved as if he had been her own. He had often

-166-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Awakening, and Other Stories
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 410

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?