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The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 46 The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 46

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 46
XLVIIn the great high-ceilinged library of a private hotel overlooking one of the new quarters of Paris, Paul Marvell stood listlessly gazing out into the twilight.The trees were budding symmetrically along the avenue below; and Paul, looking down, saw, between windows and tree-tops, a pair of tall iron gates with gilt ornaments, the marble curb of a semi-circular drive, and bands of spring flowers set in turf. He was now a big boy of nearly nine, who went to a fashionable private school, and he had come home that day for the Easter holidays. He had not been back since Christmas,... Long Stories - Post by : mentor4u - Date : April 2012 - Author : Edith Wharton - Read : 1552

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 45 The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 45

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 45
XLVShe advanced into the room and slowly looked about her. The big vulgar writing-table wreathed in bronze was heaped with letters and papers. Among them stood a lapis bowl in a Renaissance mounting of enamel and a vase of Phenician glass that was like a bit of rainbow caught in cobwebs. On a table against the window a little Greek marble lifted its pure lines. On every side some rare and sensitive object seemed to be shrinking back from the false colours and crude contours of the hotel furniture. There were no books in the room, but the florid console under... Long Stories - Post by : snowleprd56 - Date : April 2012 - Author : Edith Wharton - Read : 1203

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 44 The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 44

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 44
XLIVUndine had been right in supposing that her husband would expect their life to go on as before. There was no appreciable change in the situation save that he was more often absent-finding abundant reasons, agricultural and political, for frequent trips to Saint Desert--and that, when in Paris, he no longer showed any curiosity concerning her occupations and engagements. They lived as much apart is if their cramped domicile had been a palace; and when Undine--as she now frequently did--joined the Shallums or Rollivers for a dinner at the Nouveau Luxe, or a party at a petit theatre, she was not... Long Stories - Post by : ralstonian - Date : April 2012 - Author : Edith Wharton - Read : 807

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 43 The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 43

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 43
XLIIIShe watched him go in a kind of stupour, knowing that when they next met he would be as courteous and self-possessed as if nothing had happened, but that everything would nevertheless go on in the same way--in HIS way--and that there was no more hope of shaking his resolve or altering his point of view than there would have been of transporting the deep-rooted masonry of Saint Desert by means of the wheeled supports on which Apex architecture performed its easy transits.One of her childish rages possessed her, sweeping away every feeling save the primitive impulse to hurt and destroy;... Long Stories - Post by : accelorator - Date : April 2012 - Author : Edith Wharton - Read : 3187

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 42 The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 42

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 42
XLIIUndine had gained her point, and the entresol of the Hotel de Chelles reopened its doors for the season.Hubert and his wife, in expectation of the birth of an heir, had withdrawn to the sumptuous chateau which General Arlington had hired for them near Compiegne, and Undine was at least spared the sight of their bright windows and animated stairway. But she had to take her share of the felicitations which the whole far-reaching circle of friends and relations distributed to every member of Hubert's family on the approach of the happy event. Nor was this the hardest of her trials.... Long Stories - Post by : biz123 - Date : April 2012 - Author : Edith Wharton - Read : 860

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 41 The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 41

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 41
XLIThe incident left Undine with the baffled feeling of not being able to count on any of her old weapons of aggression. In all her struggles for authority her sense of the rightfulness of her cause had been measured by her power of making people do as she pleased. Raymond's firmness shook her faith in her own claims, and a blind desire to wound and destroy replaced her usual business-like intentness on gaining her end. But her ironies were as ineffectual as her arguments, and his imperviousness was the more exasperating because she divined that some of the things she said... Long Stories - Post by : jasonroland - Date : April 2012 - Author : Edith Wharton - Read : 3200

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 40 The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 40

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 40
XLAfter the Princess Estradina's departure, the days at Saint Desert succeeded each other indistinguishably; and more and more, as they passed, Undine felt herself drawn into the slow strong current already fed by so many tributary lives. Some spell she could not have named seemed to emanate from the old house which had so long been the custodian of an unbroken tradition: things had happened there in the same way for so many generations that to try to alter them seemed as vain as to contend with the elements.Winter came and went, and once more the calendar marked the first days... Long Stories - Post by : lawhite777 - Date : April 2012 - Author : Edith Wharton - Read : 719

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 39 The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 39

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 39
XXXIXUndine did not fulfil her threat. The month of May saw her back in the rooms she had declared she would never set foot in, and after her long sojourn among the echoing vistas of Saint Desert the exiguity of her Paris quarters seemed like cosiness.In the interval many things had happened. Hubert, permitted by his anxious relatives to anticipate the term of the family mourning, had been showily and expensively united to his heiress; the Hotel de Chelles had been piped, heated and illuminated in accordance with the bride's requirements; and the young couple, not content with these utilitarian changes... Long Stories - Post by : nigemizu - Date : April 2012 - Author : Edith Wharton - Read : 1955

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 38 The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 38

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 38
XXXVIIIIn a window of the long gallery of the chateau de Saint Desert the new Marquise de Chelles stood looking down the poplar avenue into the November rain. It had been raining heavily and persistently for a longer time than she could remember. Day after day the hills beyond the park had been curtained by motionless clouds, the gutters of the long steep roofs had gurgled with a perpetual overflow, the opaque surface of the moat been peppered by a continuous pelting of big drops. The water lay in glassy stretches under the trees and along the sodden edges of the... Long Stories - Post by : surinam - Date : April 2012 - Author : Edith Wharton - Read : 3319

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 37 The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 37

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 37
XXXVIIIn a drawing-room hung with portraits of high-nosed personages in perukes and orders, a circle of ladies and gentlemen, looking not unlike every-day versions of the official figures above their heads, sat examining with friendly interest a little boy in mourning.The boy was slim, fair and shy, and his small black figure, islanded in the middle of the wide lustrous floor, looked curiously lonely and remote. This effect of remoteness seemed to strike his mother as something intentional, and almost naughty, for after having launched him from the door, and waited to judge of the impression he produced, she came forward... Long Stories - Post by : Deck_Warrior - Date : April 2012 - Author : Edith Wharton - Read : 1451

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 36 The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 36

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 36
XXXVIHe stood at the corner of Wall Street, looking up and down its hot summer perspective. He noticed the swirls of dust in the cracks of the pavement, the rubbish in the gutters, the ceaseless stream of perspiring faces that poured by under tilted hats.He found himself, next, slipping northward between the glazed walls of the Subway, another languid crowd in the seats about him and the nasal yelp of the stations ringing through the car like some repeated ritual wail. The blindness within him seemed to have intensified his physical perceptions, his sensitiveness to the heat, the noise, the smells... Long Stories - Post by : adept - Date : April 2012 - Author : Edith Wharton - Read : 3208

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 35 The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 35

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 35
XXXVWithin forty-eight hours Ralph's money was in Moffatt's hands, and the interval of suspense had begun.The transaction over, he felt the deceptive buoyancy that follows on periods of painful indecision. It seemed to him that now at last life had freed him from all trammelling delusions, leaving him only the best thing in its gift--his boy.The things he meant Paul to do and to be filled his fancy with happy pictures. The child was growing more and more interesting--throwing out countless tendrils of feeling and perception that delighted Ralph but preoccupied the watchful Laura."He's going to be exactly like you, Ralph--"... Long Stories - Post by : ninjajim4 - Date : April 2012 - Author : Edith Wharton - Read : 3075

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 34 The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 34

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 34
XXXIVThe means of raising the requisite amount of money became, during the next few weeks, the anxious theme of all Ralph's thoughts. His lawyers' enquiries soon brought the confirmation of Clare's surmise, and it became clear that--for reasons swathed in all the ingenuities of legal verbiage--Undine might, in return for a substantial consideration, be prevailed on to admit that it was for her son's advantage to remain with his father.The day this admission was communicated to Ralph his first impulse was to carry the news to his cousin. His mood was one of pure exaltation; he seemed to be hugging his... Long Stories - Post by : classc4 - Date : April 2012 - Author : Edith Wharton - Read : 1146

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 33 The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 33

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 33
XXXIIIThe upshot of Ralph's visit was that Mr. Spragg, after considerable deliberation, agreed, pending farther negotiations between the opposing lawyers, to undertake that no attempt should be made to remove Paul from his father's custody. Nevertheless, he seemed to think it quite natural that Undine, on the point of making a marriage which would put it in her power to give her child a suitable home, should assert her claim on him. It was more disconcerting to Ralph to learn that Mrs. Spragg, for once departing from her attitude of passive impartiality, had eagerly abetted her daughter's move; he had somehow... Long Stories - Post by : planetwealth - Date : April 2012 - Author : Edith Wharton - Read : 1527

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 32 The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 32

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 32
XXXIIRalph, as the days passed, felt that Clare was right: if Undine married again he would possess himself more completely, be more definitely rid of his past. And he did not doubt that she would gain her end: he knew her violent desires and her cold tenacity. If she had failed to capture Van Degen it was probably because she lacked experience of that particular type of man, of his huge immediate wants and feeble vacillating purposes; most of all, because she had not yet measured the strength of the social considerations that restrained him. It was a mistake she was... Long Stories - Post by : Inet2005 - Date : April 2012 - Author : Edith Wharton - Read : 3293

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 31 The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 31

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 31
XXXINearly two years had passed since Ralph Marvell, waking from his long sleep in the hot summer light of Washington Square, had found that the face of life was changed for him.In the interval he had gradually adapted himself to the new order of things; but the months of adaptation had been a time of such darkness and confusion that, from the vantage-ground of his recovered lucidity, he could not yet distinguish the stages by which he had worked his way out; and even now his footing was not secure.His first effort had been to readjust his values--to take an inventory... Long Stories - Post by : Bill_Shor - Date : April 2012 - Author : Edith Wharton - Read : 1837

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 30 The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 30

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 30
XXXA few days after her decisive conversation with Raymond de Chelles, Undine, emerging from the doors of the Nouveau Luxe she had been to call on the newly-arrived Mrs. Homer Branney, once more found herself face to face with Elmer Moffatt.This time there was no mistaking his eagerness to be recognized. He stopped short as they met, and she read such pleasure in his eyes that she too stopped, holding out her hand."I'm glad you're going to speak to me," she said, and Moffatt reddened at the allusion."Well, I very nearly didn't. I didn't know you. You look about as... Long Stories - Post by : sander4 - Date : April 2012 - Author : Edith Wharton - Read : 942

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 29 The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 29

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 29
XXIXThe early spring found Undine once more in Paris.She had every reason to be satisfied with the result of the course she had pursued since she had pronounced her ultimatum on the subject of Raymond de Chelles. She had continued to remain on the best of terms with the Princess, to rise in the estimation of the old Duchess, and to measure the rapidity of her ascent in the upward gaze of Madame de Trezac; and she had given Chelles to understand that, if he wished to renew their acquaintance, he must do so in the shelter of his venerable aunt's... Long Stories - Post by : rento - Date : April 2012 - Author : Edith Wharton - Read : 3029

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 28 The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 28

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 28
XXVIII"What do you say to Nice to-morrow, dearest?" the Princess suggested a few evenings later as she followed Undine upstairs after a languid evening at bridge with the Duchess and Madame de Trezac.Half-way down the passage she stopped to open a door and, putting her finger to her lip, signed to Undine to enter. In the taper-lit dimness stood two small white beds, each surmounted by a crucifix and a palm branch, and each containing a small brown sleeping child with a mop of hair and a curiously finished little face. As the Princess stood gazing on their innocent slumbers she... Long Stories - Post by : dingamot - Date : April 2012 - Author : Edith Wharton - Read : 907

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 27 The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 27

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 27
XXVIIShe was still brooding over this last failure when one afternoon, as she loitered on the hotel terrace, she was approached by a young woman whom she had seen sitting near the wheeled chair of an old lady wearing a crumpled black bonnet under a funny fringed parasol with a jointed handle.The young woman, who was small, slight and brown, was dressed with a disregard of the fashion which contrasted oddly with the mauve powder on her face and the traces of artificial colour in her dark untidy hair. She looked as if she might have several different personalities, and as... Long Stories - Post by : esmeralda - Date : April 2012 - Author : Edith Wharton - Read : 2068