Halfway House: A Comedy of Degrees

By Maurice Hewlett | Go to book overview
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VII
SHE GLOSSES THE TEXT

HAD Duplessis, flowers in hand, sued his forgiveness at any time, she was not the woman to be stern. That was not in her; she was at once too sensitive to the flattery of the prayer, and too generous to refuse it. But at this particular time she felt very strong; fresh from communion with her friend, secure in him, she felt equal to judging a dozen Tristrams -- and to judging them leniently. "They know not what they do." That was why she had smiled so wisely to herself on her way upstairs; and it may have been why she wore some of his flowers in the waistband of her gown that night. It was one of her most charming gowns, too; mouse-coloured tulle. In the belt of this she set crimson roses, of Tristram's offering.

She dined out, and went on to a party. Duplessis was waiting for her at the foot of the stairs; they went up together. He had never yet taken possession of her in that manner, and cannot be excused of brutality. But he was quick to presume; was not at all a good object for generosity. Her eyes had answered his inquiry -- "Forgiven?" before he touched

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