colorado …. related tags essay management informal numbers value privacy rights taks overland trucking boston crab meat analytics educational case study digital book guides slaughterhouse five O t h e r

colorado …. related tags essay management informal numbers value privacy rights taks overland trucking boston crab meat analytics educational case study digital book guides slaughterhouse five O t h e r


Questions for Responding to Fiction in English 2328

Use these questions below to guide you as you complete your reading responses
for short stories (fiction). I suggest that you choose only a few questions to
answer in your response–but make the response a paragraph–don’t number
your responses. You will probably notice that some of the questions are similar
and that some of the responses may overlap–that’s fine. Your response should
reflect your own thoughts and analysis of the story. Your response to each
story should be at least 200 words (but will probably be longer) and should
show that you have read the story carefully. You should mention the names of
characters, details from the story that support your response, incidents in the
story that affect your reading of it, etc. You must use quotations from the
stories in your responses.

1. What did you like about the story? What did you dislike? Why?

2. Who is your favorite character? Is he or she like you in any way? Would you
make the same decisions (or react in the same ways) in the same situations as this
character? Why or why not? Which characters remind you of people you know?

3. What did you learn about American history, society, art, literature,
philosophy, science (etc.) from this story? What research might you do to help
you understand the story better?

4. What did you learn about life from the story?

5. In what ways do you identify with the story?

6. How would you describe the writer’s style or voice? Style includes use of
irony, symbolism, figurative language, point of view, etc.
Here’s an interesting checklist of literary style that you might find helpful: Checklist: Elements of Literary Style

7. What are your favorite sentences, passages, words, etc. from the story?
Explain your choice.

8. What would you tell a friend about this story?

9. Who would you recommend this story to and why?

10. What value does this story have for you?

11. What connections do you find between the life of the author and his or her

12. What questions did you have after you finished the story?

13. What words did you look up?


                                                “At the ‘Cadian Ball”

                                           by Kate Chopin (1850-1904)

 Bobinôt, that big, brown, good-natured
Bobinôt, had no intention of going to the ball, even though he knew Calixta
would be there. For what came of those balls but heartache, and a sickening
disinclination for work the whole week through, till Saturday night came again
and his tortures began afresh? Why could he not love Ozéina, who would marry
him to-morrow; or Fronie, or any one of a dozen others, rather than that little
Spanish vixen? Calixta’s slender foot had never touched Cuban soil; but her
mother’s had, and the Spanish was in her blood all the same. For that reason
the prairie people forgave her much that they would not have overlooked in
their own daughters or sisters.

eyes,–Bobinôt thought of her eyes, and weakened,–the bluest, the drowsiest,
most tantalizing that ever looked into a man’s, he thought of her flaxen hair
that kinked worse than a mulatto’s close to her head; that broad, smiling mouth
and tip-tilted nose, that full figure; that voice like a rich contralto song,
with cadences in it that must have been taught by Satan, for there was no one
else to teach her tricks on that ‘Cadian prairie. Bobinôt thought of them all
as he plowed his rows of cane.

had even been a breath of scandal whispered about her a year ago, when she went
to Assumption,–but why talk of it? No one did now. “C’est Espagnol,
ça,” most of them said with lenient shoulder-shrugs. “Bon chien tient
de race,”the old men mumbled over their pipes, stirred by recollections.
Nothing was made of it, except that Fronie threw it up to Calixta when the two
quarreled and fought on the church steps after mass one Sunday, about a lover.
Calixta swore roundly in fine ‘Cadian French and with true Spanish spirit, and
slapped Fronie’s face. Fronie had slapped her back; “Tiens, bocotte,
va!” “Espèce de lionèse; prends ça, et ça!” till the curé
himself was obliged to hasten and make peace between them. Bobinôt thought of
it all, and would not go to the ball.

 But in
the afternoon, over at Friedheimer’s store, where he was buying a trace-chain,
he heard some one say that Alcée Laballière would be there. Then wild horses
could not have kept him away. He knew how it would be–or rather he did not
know how it would be–if the handsome young planter came over to the ball as he
sometimes did. If Alcée happened to be in a serious mood, he might only go to
the card-room and play a round or two; or he might stand out on the galleries
talking crops and politics with the old people. But there was no telling. A
drink or two could put the devil in his head,–that was what Bobinôt said to
himself, as he wiped the sweat from his brow with his red bandanna; a gleam
from Calixta’s eyes, a flash of her ankle, a twirl of her skirts could do the
same. Yes, Bobinôt would go to the ball.

 That was the year Alcée Laballière put nine
hundred acres in rice. It was putting a good deal of money into the ground, but
the returns promised to be glorious. Old Madame Laballière, sailing about the
spacious galleries in her white volante, figured it all out in her head.
Clarisse, her goddaughter helped her a little, and together they built more
air-castles than enough. Alcée worked like a mule that time; and if he did not
kill himself, it was because his constitution was an iron one. It was an
every-day affair for him to come in from the field well-nigh exhausted, and wet
to the waist. He did not mind if there were visitors; he left them to his
mother and Clarisse. There were often guests: young men and women who came up
from the city, which was but a few hours away, to visit his beautiful
kinswoman. She was worth going a good deal farther than that to see. Dainty as
a lily; hardy as a sunflower; slim, tall, graceful, like one of the reeds that
grew in the marsh. Cold and kind and cruel by turn, and everything that was
aggravating to Alcée.

would have liked to sweep the place of those visitors, often. Of the men, above
all, with their ways and their manners; their swaying of fans like women, and
dandling about hammocks. He could have pitched them over the levee into the
river, if it hadn’t meant murder. That was Alcée. But he must have been crazy
the day he came in from the rice-field, and, toil-stained as he was, clasped
Clarisse by the arms and panted a volley of hot, blistering love-words into her
face. No man had ever spoken love to her like that.

she exclaimed, looking him full in the eyes, without a quiver. Alcée’s hands
dropped and his glance wavered before the chill of her calm, clear eyes.

” she muttered disdainfully, as she turned from him, deftly
adjusting the careful toilet that he had so brutally disarranged.

happened a day or two before the cyclone came that cut into the rice like fine
steel. It was an awful thing, coming so swiftly, without a moment’s warning in
which to light a holy candle or set a piece of blessed palm burning. Old madame
wept openly and said her beads, just as her son Didier, the New Orleans one,
would have done. If such a thing had happened to Alphonse, the Laballière
planting cotton up in Natchitoches, he would have raved and stormed like a
second cyclone, and made his surroundings unbearable for a day or two. But
Alcée took the misfortune differently. He looked ill and gray after it, and
said nothing. His speechlessness was frightful. Clarisse’s heart melted with
tenderness; but when she offered her soft, purring words of condolence, he
accepted them with mute indifference. Then she and her nénaine wept afresh in
each other’s arms.

night or two later, when Clarisse went to her window to kneel there in the
moonlight and say her prayers before retiring, she saw that Bruce, Alcée’s
negro servant, had led his master’s saddle-horse noiselessly along the edge of
the sward that bordered the gravel-path, and stood holding him nearby.
Presently, she heard Alcée quit his room, which was beneath her own, and
traverse the lower portico. As he emerged from the shadow and crossed the strip
of moonlight, she perceived that he carried a pair of well-filled saddle-bags
which he at once flung across the animal’s back. He then lost no time in
mounting, and after a brief exchange of words with Bruce, went cantering away,
taking no precaution to avoid the noisy gravel as the negro had done.

had never suspected that it might be Alcée’s custom to sally forth from the
plantation secretly, and at such an hour; for it was nearly midnight. And had
it not been for the telltale saddle-bags, she would only have crept to bed, to
wonder, to fret and dream unpleasant dreams. But her impatience and anxiety
would not be held in check. Hastily unbolting the shutters of her door that
opened upon the gallery, she stepped outside and called softly to the old

Peter! Miss Clarisse. I was n’ sho it was a ghos’ o’ w’at, stan’in’ up dah,
plumb in de night, dataway.”

mounted halfway up the long, broad flight of stairs. She was standing at the

w’ere has Monsieur Alcée gone?” she asked.

he gone ’bout he business, I reckin, “replied Bruce, striving to be
noncommittal at the outset.

has Monsieur Alcée gone?” she reiterated, stamping her bare foot. “I
won’t stan’ any nonsense or any lies; mine, Bruce.”

don’ ric’lic ez I eva tole you lie yit, Miss Clarisse. Mista Alcée, he
all broke up, sho.”

gone? Ah, Sainte Vierge! faut de la patience! butor, va!”

I was in he room, a-breshin’ off he clo’es to-day, ” the darkey began,
settling himself against the stair-rail, “he look dat speechless an’ down,
I say, ‘You ‘pear tu me like some pussun w’at gwine have a spell o’ sickness,
Mista Alcée.’ He say, ‘You reckin?’ ‘I dat he git up, go look hisse’f stiddy in
de glass. Den he go to de chimbly an’ jerk up de quinine bottle an po’ a gre’t
hoss-dose on to he han’. An’ he swalla dat mess in a wink, an’ wash hit down
wid a big dram o’ w’iskey w’at he keep in he room, aginst he come all soppin’
wet outen de fiel’.

‘lows, ‘No, I ain’ gwine be sick, Bruce.’ Den he square off. He say, ‘I kin mak
out to stan’ up an’ gi’ an’ take wid any man I knows, lessen hit ‘s John L.
Sulvun. But w’en God A’mighty an’ a ‘omen jines fo’ces agin me, dat ‘s one too
many fur me.’ I tell ‘im, ‘Jis so,’ whils’ I’se makin’ out to bresh a spot off
w’at ain’ dah, on he coat colla. I tell ‘im, ‘You wants li’le res’, suh.’ He
say, ‘No, I wants li’le fling; dat w’at I wants; an I gwine git it. Pitch me a
fis’ful o’ clo’es in dem ‘ar saddle-bags.’ Dat w’at he say. Don’t you bodda,
missy. He jis’ gone a-caperin’ yonda to de Cajun ball. Uh–uh–de skeeters is
fair’ a-swarmin’ like bees roun’ yo’ foots!”

mosquitoes were indeed attacking Clarisse’s white feet savagely. She had
unconsciously been alternately rubbing one foot over the other during the
darkey’s recital.

‘Cadian ball, ” she repeated contemptously. “Humph! Par exemple!Nice
conduc’ for a Laballière. An’ he needs a saddle-bag, fill’ with clothes, to go
to the ‘Cadian ball!”

Miss Clarisse; you go on to bed, chile; git yo’ soun’ sleep. He ‘low he
comeback in couple weeks o’ so. I kiarn be repeatin’ lot o’ truck w’at young
mans say, out heah face o’ a young gal.”

said no more, but turned and abruptly reentered the house.

done talk too much wid yo’ mouf already, you ole fool nigga, you,”
muttered Bruce to himself as he walked away.

reached the ball very late, of course–too late for the chicken gumbo which had
been served at midnight.

big, low-ceiled room–they called it a hall–was packed with men and women
dancing to the music of three fiddles. There were broad galleries all around
it. There was a room at one side where sober-faced men were playing cards.
Another, in which babies were sleeping, was called le parc aux petits.
Any one who is white may go to a ‘Cadian ball, but he must pay for his
lemonade, his coffee and chicken gumbo. And he must behave himself like a
‘Cadian. Grosboeuf was giving this ball. He had been giving them since he was a
young man, and he was a middle-aged one, now. In that time he could recall but
one disturbance, and that was caused by American railroaders, who were not in
touch with their surroundings and had no business there. “Ces maudits gens
du raiderode,” Grosboeuf called them.

Laballière’s presence at the ball caused a flutter even among the men, who
could not but admire his “nerve” after such misfortune befalling him.
To be sure, they knew the Laballières were rich–that there were resources
East, and more again in the city. But they felt it took a brave hommeto
stand a blow like that philosophically. One old gentleman, who was in the habit
of reading a Paris newspaper and knew things, chuckled gleefully to everybody
that Alcée’s conduct was altogether chic, mais chic. That he had more panache
than Boulanger. Well, perhaps he had.

what he did not show outwardly was that he was in a mood for ugly things
to-night. Poor Bobinôt alone felt it vaguely. He discerned a gleam of it in
Alcée’s handsome eyes, as the young planter stood in the doorway, looking with
rather feverish glance upon the assembly, while he laughed and talked with a
‘Cadian farmer who was beside him.

himself was dull-looking and clumsy. Most of the men were. But the young women
were very beautiful. The eyes that glanced into Alcée’s as they passed him were
big, dark, soft as those of the young heifers standing out in the cool prairie

the belle was Calixta. Her white dress was not nearly so handsome or well made
as Fronie’s (she and Fronie had quite forgotten the battle on the church steps,
and were friends again), nor were her slippers so stylish as those of Ozéina;
and she fanned herself with a handkerchief, since she had broken her red fan at
the last ball, and her aunts and uncles were not willing to give her another.
But all the men agreed she was at her best to-night. Such animation! and
abandon! such flashes of wit!

Bobinôt! Mais w’at’s the matta? W’at you standin’ planté là like
ole Ma’ame Tina’s cow in the bog, you?”

was good. That was an excellent thrust at Bobinôt, who had forgotten the figure
of the dance with his mind bent on other things, and it started a clamor of
laughter at his expense. He joined good-naturedly. It was better to receive
even such notice as that from Calixta than none at all. But Madame Suzonne,
sitting in a corner, whispered to her neighbor that if Ozéina were to conduct
herself in a like manner, she should immediately be taken out to the mule-cart
and driven home. The women did not always approve of Calixta.

and then were short lulls in the dance, when couples flocked out upon the
galleries for a brief respite and fresh air. The moon had gone down pale in the
west, and in the east was yet no promise of day. After such an interval, when
the dancers again assembled to resume the interrupted quadrille, Calixta was
not among them.

was sitting upon a bench out in the shadow, with Alcée beside her. They were
acting like fools. He had attempted to take a little gold ring from her finger;
just for the fun of it, for there was nothing he could have done with the ring
but replace it again. But she clinched her hand tight. He pretended that it was
a very difficult matter to open it. Then he kept the hand in his. They seemed
to forget about it. He played with her ear-ring, a thin crescent of gold
hanging from her small brown ear. He caught a wisp of the kinky hair that had
escaped its fastening, and rubbed the ends of it against his shaven cheek.

know, last year in Assumption, Calixta?” They belonged to the younger
generation, so preferred to speak English.

come say Assumption to me, M’sieur Alcée. I done yeard Assumption till I ‘m
plumb sick.”

I know. The idiots! Because you were in Assumption, and I happened to go to
Assumption, they must have it that we went together. But it was nice–hein,
Calixta?–in Assumption?”

saw Bobinôt emerge from the hall and stand a moment outside the lighted
doorway, peering uneasily and searchingly into the darkness. He did not see
them, and went slowly back.

is Bobinôt looking for you. You are going to set poor Bobinôt crazy. You ‘ll
marry him some day; hein, Calixta?”

don’t say no, me,” she replied, striving to withdraw her hand, which he
held more firmly for the attempt.

come, Calixta; you know you said you would go back to Assumption, just to spite

I neva said that, me. You mus’ dreamt that.”

I thought you did. You know I ‘m going down to the city.”



make has’e, then; it ‘s mos’ day.”

to-morrow ‘ll do.”

you goin’ do, yonda?”

don’t know. Drown myself in the lake, maybe; unless you go down there to visit
your uncle.”

senses were reeling; and they well-nigh left her when she felt Alcée’s lips
brush her ear like the touch of a rose.

Alcée! Is dat Mista Alcée?” the thick voice of a negro was asking; he
stood on the ground, holding to the banister-rails near which the couple sat.

do you want now?” cried Alcée impatiently. “Can’t I have a moment of

ben huntin’ you high an’ low, suh,” answered the man. “Dey–dey some
one in de road, onda de mulbare-tree, want see you a minute.”

wouldn’t go out to the road to see the Angel Gabriel. And if you come back here
with any more talk, I’ll have to break your neck.” The negro turned
mumbling away.

and Calixta laughed softly about it. Her boisterousness was all gone. They
talked low, and laughed softly, as lovers do.

Alcée Laballière!”

 It was
not the negro’s voice this time; but one that went through Alcée’s body like an
electric shock, bringing him to his feet.

was standing there in her riding-habit, where the negro had stood. For an
instant confusion reigned in Alcée’s thoughts, as with one who awakes suddenly
from a dream. But he felt that something of serious import had brought his
cousin to the ball in the dead of night.

does this mean, Clarisse?” he asked.

means something has happen’ at home. You mus’ come.”

to maman?” he questioned, in alarm.

nénaine is well, and asleep. It is something else. Not to frighten you. But you
mus’ come. Come with me, Alcée.”

was no need for the imploring note. He would have followed the voice anywhere.

had now recognized the girl sitting back on the bench.

c’est vous, Calixta? Comment ça va, mon enfant?”

va b’en; et vous, mam’zélle?”

swung himself over the low rail and started to follow Clarisse, without a word,
without a glance back at the girl. He had forgotten he was leaving her there.
But Clarisse whispered something to him, and he turned back to say
“Good-night, Calixta,” and offer his hand to press through the
railing. She pretended not to see it.

 “How come that? You settin’ yere by yo’se’f,
Calixta?” It was Bobinôt who had found her there alone. The dancers had
not yet come out. She looked ghastly in the faint, gray light struggling out of
the east.

that ‘s me. Go yonda in the parc aux petits an’ ask Aunt Olisse fu’ my
hat. She knows w’ere ‘t is. I want to go home, me.”

you came?”

come afoot, with the Cateaus. But I’m goin’ now. I ent goin’ wait fu’ ’em. I’m
plumb wo’ out, me.”

I go with you, Calixta?”

don’ care.”

went together across the open prairie and along the edge of the fields,
stumbling in the uncertain light. He told her to lift her dress that was
getting wet and bedraggled; for she was pulling at the weeds and grasses with
her hands.

don’ care; it ‘s got to go in the tub, anyway. You been sayin’ all along you
want to marry me, Bobinôt. Well, if you want, yet, I don’ care, me.”

glow of a sudden and overwhelming happiness shone out in the brown, rugged face
of the young Acadian. He could not speak, for very joy. It choked him.

well, if you don’ want,” snapped Calixta, flippantly, pretending to be
piqued at his silence.

You know that makes me crazy, w’at you sayin’. You mean that,
Calixta? You ent goin’ turn roun’ agin?”

neva tole you that much yet, Bobinôt. I mean that. Tiens,
and she held out her hand in the business-like manner of a man who clinches a
bargain with a hand-clasp. Bobinôt grew bold with happiness and asked Calixta
to kiss him. She turned her face, that was almost ugly after the night’s
dissipation, and looked steadily into his.

don’ want to kiss you, Bobinôt,” she said, turning away again, “not
to-day. Some other time. Bonté divine! ent you satisfy, yet!

I ‘m satisfy, Calixta,” he said.

 Riding through a patch of wood, Clarisse’s saddle
became ungirted, and she and Alcée dismounted to readjust it.

the twentieth time he asked her what had happened at home.

Clarisse, w’at is it? Is it a misfortune?”

Dieu sait!” It ‘s only something that happen’ to me.”


saw you go away las night, Alcée, with those saddle-bags,” she said,
haltingly, striving to arrange something about the saddle, “an’ I made
Bruce tell me. He said you had gone to the ball, an’ wouldn’ be home for weeks
an’ weeks. I thought, Alcée–maybe you were going to–to Assumption. I got
wild. An’ then I knew if you didn’t come back, now, to-night, I could
n’t stan’ it,–again.”

had her face hidden in her arm that she was resting against the saddle when she
said that.

began to wonder if this meant love. But she had to tell him so, before he
believed it. And when she told him, he thought the face of the Universe was
changed–just like Bobinôt. Was it last week the cyclone had well-nigh ruined
him? The cyclone seemed a huge joke, now. It was he, then, who, an hour ago was
kissing little Calixta’s ear and whispering nonsense into it. Calixta was like
a myth, now. The one, only, great reality in the world was Clarisse standing
before him, telling him that she loved him.

 In the
distance they heard the rapid discharge of pistol-shots; but it did not disturb
them. They knew it was only the negro musicians who had gone into the yard to
fire their pistols into the air, as the custom is, and to announce “le
bal est fini


                       The Storm

                          by Kate

The leaves were so still that even Bibi thought it was going to rain.
Bobint, who was accustomed to converse on terms of perfect equality with his
little son, called the child’s attention to certain sombre clouds that were
rolling with sinister intention from the west, accompanied by a sullen,
threatening roar. They were at Friedheimer’s store and decided to remain there
till the storm had passed. They sat within the door on two empty kegs. Bibi was
four years old and looked very wise.

“Mama’ll be ‘fraid, yes, he suggested with blinking eyes.

“She’ll shut the house. Maybe she got Sylvie helpin’ her this
evenin’,” Bobint responded reassuringly.

“No; she ent got Sylvie. Sylvie was helpin’ her yistiday,’ piped Bibi.

Bobint arose and going across to the counter purchased a can of shrimps, of
which Calixta was very fond. Then he retumed to his perch on the keg and sat
stolidly holding the can of shrimps while the storm burst. It shook the wooden
store and seemed to be ripping great furrows in the distant field. Bibi laid
his little hand on his father’s knee and was not afraid.


Calixta, at home, felt no uneasiness for their safety. She sat at a side
window sewing furiously on a sewing machine. She was greatly occupied and did
not notice the approaching storm. But she felt very warm and often stopped to
mop her face on which the perspiration gathered in beads. She unfastened her
white sacque at the throat. It began to grow dark, and suddenly realizing the
situation she got up hurriedly and went about closing windows and doors.

Out on the small front gallery she had hung Bobint’s Sunday clothes to dry
and she hastened out to gather them before the rain fell. As she stepped
outside, Alce Laballire rode in at the gate. She had not seen him very often
since her marriage, and never alone. She stood there with Bobint’s coat in her
hands, and the big rain drops began to fall. Alce rode his horse under the
shelter of a side projection where the chickens had huddled and there were
plows and a harrow piled up in the corner.

“May I come and wait on your gallery till the storm is over,
Calixta?” he asked.

Come ‘long in, M’sieur Alce.”

His voice and her own startled her as if from a trance, and she seized
Bobint’s vest. Alce, mounting to the porch, grabbed the trousers and snatched
Bibi’s braided jacket that was about to be carried away by a sudden gust of
wind. He expressed an intention to remain outside, but it was soon apparent
that he might as well have been out in the open: the water beat in upon the
boards in driving sheets, and he went inside, closing the door after him. It
was even necessary to put something beneath the door to keep the water out.

“My! what a rain! It’s good two years sence it rain’ like that,”
exclaimed Calixta as she rolled up a piece of bagging and Alce helped her to
thrust it beneath the crack.

She was a little fuller of figure than five years before when she married;
but she had lost nothing of her vivacity. Her blue eyes still retained their
melting quality; and her yellow hair, dishevelled by the wind and rain, kinked
more stubbornly than ever about her ears and temples.

The rain beat upon the low, shingled roof with a force and clatter that
threatened to break an entrance and deluge them there. They were in the dining
room the sitting room the general utility room. Adjoining was her bed room,
with Bibi’s couch along side her own. The door stood open, and the room with
its white, monumental bed, its closed shutters, looked dim and mysterious.

Alce flung himself into a rocker and Calixta nervously began to gather up
from the floor the lengths of a cotton sheet which she had been sewing.

lf this keeps up, Dieu sait if the levees goin’ to stan it!” she exclaimed.

“What have you got to do with the levees?”

“I got enough to do! An’ there’s Bobint with Bibi out in that storm if
he only didn’ left Friedheimer’s!”

“Let us hope, Calixta, that Bobint’s got sense enough to come in out of
a cyclone.”

She went and stood at the window with a greatly disturbed look on her face.
She wiped the frame that was clouded with moisture. It was stiflingly hot. Alce
got up and joined her at the window, looking over her shoulder. The rain was
coming down in sheets obscuring the view of far-off cabins and enveloping the
distant wood in a gray mist. The playing of the lightning was incessant. A bolt
struck a tall chinaberry tree at the edge of the field. It filled all visible
space with a blinding glare and the crash seemed to invade the very boards they
stood upon.

Calixta put her hands to her eyes, and with a cry, staggered backward.
Alce’s arm encircled her, and for an instant he drew her close and
spasmodically to him.

“Bont!” she cried, releasing herself from his encircling arm and
retreating from the window, the house’ll go next! If I only knew w’ere Bibi
was!” She would not compose herself; she would not be seated. Alce clasped
her shoulders and looked into her face. The contact of her warm, palpitating
body when he had unthinkingly drawn her into his arms, had aroused all the
old-time infatuation and desire for her flesh.

“Calixta,” he said, “don’t be frightened. Nothing can happen.
The house is too low to be struck, with so many tall trees standing about.
There! aren’t you going to be quiet? say, aren’t you?” He pushed her hair
back from her face that was warm and steaming. Her lips were as red and moist
as pomegranate seed. Her white neck and a glimpse of her full, firm bosom
disturbed him powerfully. As she glanced up at him the fear in her liquid blue
eyes had given place to a drowsy gleam that unconsciously betrayed a sensuous
desire. He looked down into her eyes and there was nothing for him to do but to
gather her lips in a kiss. It reminded him of Assumption.

“Do you rememberin Assumption, Calixta?” he asked in a low voice
broken by passion. Oh! she remembered; for in Assumption he had kissed her and
kissed and kissed her; until his senses would well nigh fail, and to save her
he would resort to a desperate flight. If she was not an immaculate dove in
those days, she was still inviolate; a passionate creature whose very
defenselessness had made her defense, against which his honor forbade him to
prevail. Now well, now her lips seemed in a manner free to be tasted, as well as
her round, white throat and her whiter breasts.

They did not heed the crashing torrents, and the roar of the elements made
her laugh as she lay in his arms. She was a revelation in that dim, mysterious
chamber; as white as the couch she lay upon. Her firm, elastic flesh that was
knowing for the first time its birthright, was like a creamy lily that the sun
invites to contribute its breath and perfume to the undying life of the world.

The generous abundance of her passion, without guile or trickery, was like a
white flame which penetrated and found response in depths of his own sensuous
nature that had never yet been reached.

When he touched her breasts they gave themselves up in quivering ecstasy,
inviting his lips. Her mouth was a fountain of delight. And when he possessed
her, they seemed to swoon together at the very borderland of life’s mystery.

He stayed cushioned upon her, breathless, dazed, enervated, with his heart
beating like a hammer upon her. With one hand she clasped his head, her lips
lightly touching his forehead. The other hand stroked with a soothing rhythm
his muscular shoulders.

The growl of the thunder was distant and passing away. The rain beat softly
upon the shingles, inviting them to drowsiness and sleep. But they dared not


The rain was over; and the sun was turning the glistening green world into a
palace of gems. Calixta, on the gallery, watched Alce ride away. He turned and
smiled at her with a beaming face; and she lifted her pretty chin in the air
and laughed aloud.

Bobint and Bibi, trudging home, stopped without at the cistern to make
themselves presentable.

“My! Bibi, w’at will yo’ mama say! You ought to be ashame’. You oughta’
put on those good pants. Look at ’em! An’ that mud on yo’ collar! How you got
that mud on yo’ collar, Bibi? I never saw such a boy!” Bibi was the
picture of pathetic resignation. Bobint was the embodiment of serious
solicitude as he strove to remove from his own person and his son’s the signs
of their tramp over heavy roads and through wet fields. He scraped the mud off
Bibi’s bare legs and feet with a stick and carefully removed all traces from
his heavy brogans. Then, prepared for the worst the meeting with an
over-scrupulous housewife, they entered cautiously at the back door.

Calixta was preparing supper. She had set the table and was dripping coffee
at the hearth. She sprang up as they came in.

“Oh, Bobint! You back! My! But I was uneasy. W’ere you been during the
rain? An’ Bibi? he ain’t wet? he ain’t hurt?” She had clasped Bibi and was
kissing him effusively. Bobint’s explanations and apologies which he had been
composing all along the way, died on his lips as Calixta felt him to see if he
were dry, and seemed to express nothing but satisfaction at their safe return.

“I brought you some shrimps, Calixta,” offered Bobint, hauling the
can from his ample side pocket and laying it on the table.

“Shrimps! Oh, Bobint! you too good fo’ anything!” and she gave him
a smacking kiss on the cheek that resounded, “J’vous rponds, we’ll have a
feas’ to-night! umph-umph!”

Bobint and Bibi began to relax and enjoy themselves, and when the three
seated themselves at table they laughed much and so loud that anyone might have
heard them as far away as Laballire’s.


Alce Laballire wrote to his wife, Clarisse, that night. It was a loving
letter, full of tender solicitude. He told her not to hurry back, but if she
and the babies liked it at Biloxi, to stay a month longer. He was getting on
nicely; and though he missed them, he was willing to bear the separation a while
longerrealizing that their health and pleasure were the first things to be


As for Clarisse, she was charmed upon receiving her husband’s letter. She
and the babies were doing well. The society was agreeable; many of her old
friends and acquaintances were at the bay. And the first free breath since her
marriage seemed to restore the pleasant liberty of her maiden days. Devoted as
she was to her husband, their intimate conjugal life was something which she
was more than willing to forego for a while.

So the storm passed and every one was happy.

Bottom of Form



                                                         THE OTHER TWO

BY Edith wartthon 


Waythorn, on the drawing-room
hearth, waited for his wife to come down to dinner.

  It was
their first night under his own roof, and he was surprised at his thrill of
boyish agitation. He was not so old, to be sure – his glass gave him little
more than the five-and-thirty years to which his wife confessed – but he had
fancied himself already in the temperate zone; yet here he was listening for
her step with a tender sense of all it symbolized, with some old trail of
verse about the garlanded nuptial door-posts floating through his enjoyment
of the pleasant room and the good dinner just beyond it.

  They had
been hastily recalled from their honeymoon by the illness of Lily Haskett,
the child of Mrs. Waythorn’s first marriage. The little girl, at Waythorn’s
desire, had been transferred to his house on the day of her mother’s wedding,
and the doctor, on their arrival, broke the news that she was ill with
typhoid, but declared that all the symptoms were favorable. Lily could show
twelve years of unblemished health, and the case promised to be a light one.
The nurse spoke as reassuringly, and after a moment of alarm Mrs. Waythorn
had adjusted herself to the situation. She was very fond of Lily – her affection
for the child had perhaps been her decisive charm in Waythorn’s eyes – but
she had the perfectly balanced nerves which her little girl had inherited,
and no woman ever wasted less tissue in unproductive worry. Waythorn was
therefore quite prepared to see her come in presently, a little late because
of a last look at Lily, but as serene and well-appointed as if her good-night
kiss had been laid on the brow of health. Her composure was restful to him;
it acted as ballast to his somewhat unstable sensibilities. As he pictured
her bending over the child’s bed he thought how soothing her presence must be
in illness: her very step would prognosticate recovery.

  His own
life had been a gray one, from temperament rather than circumstance, and he
had been drawn to her by the unperturbed gayety which kept her fresh and
elastic at an age when most women’s activities are growing either slack or
febrile. He knew what was said about her; for, popular as she was, there had
always been a faint undercurrent of detraction. When she had appeared in New
York, nine or ten years earlier, as the pretty Mrs. Haskett whom Gus Varick
had unearthed somewhere – was it in Pittsburgh or Utica? – society, while
promptly accepting her, had reserved the right to cast a doubt on its own
discrimination. Inquiry, however, established her undoubted connection with a
socially reigning family, and explained her recent divorce as the natural
result of a runaway match at seventeen; and as nothing was known of Mr.
Haskett it was easy to believe the worst of him.

Haskett’s remarriage with Gus Varick was a passport to the set whose
recognition she coveted, and for a few years the Varicks were the most
popular couple in town. Unfortunately the alliance was brief and stormy, and
this time the husband had his champions. Still, even Varick’s stanchest
supporters admitted that he was not meant for matrimony, and Mrs. Varick’s
grievances were of a nature to bear the inspection of the New York courts. A
New York divorce is in itself a diploma of virtue, and in the semi- widowhood
of this second separation Mrs. Varick took on an air of sanctity, and was
allowed to confide her wrongs to some of the most scrupulous ears in town.
But when it was known that she was to marry Waythorn there was a momentary
reaction. Her best friends would have preferred to see her remain in the role
of the injured wife, which was as becoming to her as crape to a rosy
complexion. True, a decent time had elapsed, and it was not even suggested
that Waythorn had supplanted his predecessor. Still, people shook their heads
over him, and one grudging friend, to whom he affirmed that he took the step
with his eyes open, replied oracularly: “Yes – and with your ears

could afford to smile at these innuendoes. In the Wall Street phrase, he had
“discounted” them. He knew that society has not yet adapted itself
to the consequences of divorce, and that till the adaptation takes place
every woman who uses the freedom the law accords her must be her own social
justification. Waythorn had an amused confidence in his wife’s ability to
justify herself. His expectations were fulfilled, and before the wedding took
place Alice Varick’s group had rallied openly to her support. She took it all
imperturbably: she had a way of surmounting obstacles without seeming to be
aware of them, and Waythorn looked back with wonder at the trivialities over
which he had worn his nerves thin. He had the sense of having found refuge in
a richer, warmer nature than his own, and his satisfaction, at the moment,
was humorously summed up in the thought that his wife, when she had done all
she could for Lily, would not be ashamed to come down and enjoy a good

anticipation of such enjoyment was not, however, the sentiment expressed by
Mrs. Waythorn’s charming face when she presently joined him. Though she had
put on her most engaging teagown she had neglected to assume the smile that
went with it, and Waythorn thought he had never seen her look so nearly

“What is it?” he asked. “Is anything wrong with Lily?”

I’ve just been in and she’s still sleeping.” Mrs. Waythorn hesitated.
“But something tiresome has happened.”

  He had
taken her two hands, and now perceived that he was crushing a paper between

“This letter?”

– Mr. Haskett has written – I mean his lawyer has written.”

felt himself flush uncomfortably. He dropped his wife’s hands.

“What about?”

“About seeing Lily. You know the courts — ”

“Yes, yes,” he interrupted nervously.

was known about Haskett in New York. He was vaguely supposed to have remained
in the outer darkness from which his wife had been rescued, and Waythorn was
one of the few who were aware that he had given up his business in Utica and
followed her to New York in order to be near his little girl. In the days of
his wooing, Waythorn had often met Lily on the doorstep, rosy and smiling, on
her way “to see papa.”

am so sorry,” Mrs. Waythorn murmured.

  He roused
himself. “What does he want?”

wants to see her. You know she goes to him once a week.”

“Well – he doesn’t expect her to go to him now, does he?” <

– he has heard of her illness; but he expects to come here.”


Waythorn reddened under his gaze. They looked away from each other.

afraid he has the right. . . . You’ll see. . . .” She made a proffer of
the letter.

moved away with a gesture of refusal. He stood staring about the softly
lighted room, which a moment before had seemed so full of bridal intimacy.

so sorry,” she repeated. “If Lily could have been moved — ”

out of the question,” he returned impatiently.

suppose so.”

  Her lip
was beginning to tremble, and he felt himself a brute.

must come, of course,” he said. “When is – his day?”

afraid – to-morrow.”

“Very well. Send a note in the morning.”

butler entered to announce dinner.

turned to his wife. “Come – you must be tired. It’s beastly, but try to
forget about it,” he said, drawing her hand through his arm.

“You’re so good, dear. I’ll try,” she whispered back.

  Her face
cleared at once, and as she looked at him across the flowers, between the
rosy candle-shades, he saw her lips waver back into a smile.

pretty everything is!” she sighed luxuriously.

  He turned
to the butler. “The champagne at once, please. Mrs. Waythorn is

  In a
moment or two their eyes met above the sparkling glasses. Her own were quite
clear and untroubled: he saw that she had obeyed his injunction and


Waythorn, the next morning, went
down town earlier than usual. Haskett was not likely to come till the
afternoon, but the instinct of flight drove him forth. He meant to stay away
all day – he had thoughts of dining at his club. As his door closed behind
him he reflected that before he opened it again it would have admitted
another man who had as much right to enter it as himself, and the thought
filled him with a physical repugnance.

  He caught
the “elevated” at the employees’ hour, and found himself crushed
between two layers of pendulous humanity. At Eighth Street the man facing him
wriggled out and another took his place. Waythorn glanced up and saw that it
was Gus Varick. The men were so close together that it was impossible to
ignore the smile of recognition on Varick’s handsome overblown face. And
after all – why not? They had always been on good terms, and Varick had been
divorced before Waythorn’s attentions to his wife began. The two exchanged a
word on the perennial grievance of the congested trains, and when a seat at
their side was miraculously left empty the instinct of self-preservation made
Waythorn slip into it after Varick.

latter drew the stout man’s breath of relief.

“Lord – I was beginning to feel like a pressed flower.” He leaned
back, looking unconcernedly at Waythorn. “Sorry to hear that Sellers is
knocked out again.”

“Sellers?” echoed Waythorn, starting at his partner’s name.

looked surprised. “You didn’t know he was laid up with the gout?”

I’ve been away – I only got back last night.” Waythorn felt himself
reddening in anticipation of the other’s smile.

– yes; to be sure. And Sellers’s attack came on two days ago. I’m afraid he’s
pretty bad. Very awkward for me, as it happens, because he was just putting
through a rather important thing for me.” <

“Ah?” Waythorn wondered vaguely since when Varick had been dealing
in “important things.” Hitherto he had dabbled only in the shallow
pools of speculation, with which Waythorn’s office did not usually concern

occurred to him that Varick might be talking at random, to relieve the strain
of their propinquity. That strain was becoming momentarily more apparent to
Waythorn, and when, at Cortlandt Street, he caught sight of an acquaintance,
and had a sudden vision of the picture he and Varick must present to an
initiated eye, he jumped up with a muttered excuse.

hope you’ll find Sellers better,” said Varick civilly, and he stammered
back: “If I can be of any use to you — ” and let the departing
crowd sweep him to the platform.

  At his
office he heard that Sellers was in fact ill with the gout, and would
probably not be able to leave the house for some weeks.

sorry it should have happened so, Mr. Waythorn,” the senior clerk said
with affable significance. “Mr. Sellers was very much upset at the idea
of giving you such a lot of extra work just now.”

that’s no matter,” said Waythorn hastily. He secretly welcomed the
pressure of additional business, and was glad to think that, when the day’s
work was over, he would have to call at his partner’s on the way home.

  He was
late for luncheon, and turned in at the nearest restaurant instead of going
to his club. The place was full, and the waiter hurried him to the back of
the room to capture the only vacant table. In the cloud of cigar-smoke
Waythorn did not at once distinguish his neighbors; but presently, looking
about him, he saw Varick seated a few feet off. This time, luckily, they were
too far apart for conversation, and Varick, who faced another way, had
probably not even seen him; but there was an irony in their renewed nearness.


was said to be fond of good living, and as Waythorn sat despatching his
hurried luncheon he looked across half enviously at the other’s leisurely
degustation of his meal. When Waythorn first saw him he had been helping
himself with critical deliberation to a bit of Camembert at the ideal point
of liquefaction, and now, the cheese removed, he was just pouring his cafe
double from its little two-storied earthen pot. He poured slowly, his ruddy
profile bent above the task, and one beringed white hand steadying the lid of
the coffee-pot; then he stretched his other hand to the decanter of cognac at
his elbow, filled a liqueur-glass, took a tentative sip, and poured the
brandy into his coffee-cup.

watched him in a kind of fascination. What was he thinking of – only of the
flavor of the coffee and the liqueur? Had the morning’s meeting left no more
trace in his thoughts than on his face? Had his wife so completely passed out
of his life that even this odd encounter with her present husband, within a
week after her remarriage, was no more than an incident in his day? And as
Waythorn mused, another idea struck him: had Haskett ever met Varick as
Varick and he had just met? The recollection of Haskett perturbed him, and he
rose and left the restaurant, taking a circuitous way out to escape the
placid irony of Varick’s nod.

  It was
after seven when Waythorn reached home. He thought the footman who opened the
door looked at him oddly.

is Miss Lily?” he asked in haste.

“Doing very well, sir. A gentleman — ”

“Tell Barlow to put off dinner for half an hour,” Waythorn cut him
off, hurrying upstairs.

  He went
straight to his room and dressed without seeing his wife. When he reached the
drawing-room she was there, fresh and radiant. Lily’s day had been good; the
doctor was not coming back that evening.

  She set
down the coffee-pot, and reaching for the decanter of cognac, measured off a
liqueur-glass and poured it into his cup.

uttered a sudden exclamation.

“What is the matter?” she said, startled.

“Nothing; only – I don’t take cognac in my coffee.”

how stupid of me,” she cried.

eyes met, and she blushed a sudden agonized red.


Ten days later, Mr. Sellers, still
house-bound, asked Waythorn to call on his way downtown.

senior partner, with his swaddled foot propped up by the fire, greeted his
associate with an air of embarrassment.

sorry, my dear fellow; I’ve got to ask you to do an awkward thing for

waited, and the other went on, after a pause apparently given to the
arrangement of his phrases: “The fact is, when I was knocked out I had
just gone into a rather complicated piece of business for – Gus Varick.”

“Well?” said Waythorn, with an attempt to put him at his ease.

“Well – it’s this way: Varick came to me the day before my attack. He
had evidently had an inside tip from somebody, and had made about a hundred
thousand. He came to me for advice, and I suggested his going in with

the deuce!” Waythorn exclaimed. He saw in a flash what had happened. The
investment was an alluring one, but required negotiation. He listened
intently while Sellers put the case before him, and, the statement ended, he
said: “You think I ought to see Varick?”

afraid I can’t as yet. The doctor is obdurate. And this thing can’t wait. I
hate to ask you, but no one else in the office knows the ins and outs of

anything happens before Sellers is about, I’ll see you again,” said
Waythorn quietly. He was glad, in the end, to appear the more self-possessed
of the two.

course of Lily’s illness ran smooth, and as the days passed Waythorn grew
used to the idea of Haskett’s weekly visit. The first time the day came
round, he stayed out late, and questioned his wife as to the visit on his
return. She replied at once that Haskett had merely seen the nurse
downstairs, as the doctor did not wish any one in the child’s sick-room till
after the crisis.

following week Waythorn was again conscious of the recurrence of the day, but
had forgotten it by the time he came home to dinner. The crisis of the
disease came a few days later, with a rapid decline of fever, and the little
girl was pronounced out of danger. In the rejoicing which ensued the thought
of Haskett passed out of Waythorn’s mind and one afternoon, letting himself
into the house with a latchkey, he went straight to his library without
noticing a shabby hat and umbrella in the hall.

  In the
library he found a small effaced-looking man with a thinnish gray beard
sitting on the edge of a chair. The stranger might have been a piano-tuner,
or one of those mysteriously efficient persons who are summoned in
emergencies to adjust some detail of the domestic machinery. He blinked at
Waythorn through a pair of gold-rimmed spectacles and said mildly: “Mr.
Waythorn, I presume? I am Lily’s father.”

flushed. “Oh — ” he stammered uncomfortably. He broke off,
disliking to appear rude. Inwardly he was trying to adjust the actual Haskett
to the image of him projected by his wife’s reminiscences. Waythorn had been
allowed to infer that Alice’s first husband was a brute.

am sorry to intrude,” said Haskett, with his over-the- counter

“Don’t mention it,” returned Waythorn, collecting himself. “I
suppose the nurse has been told?”

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