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The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 26 The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 26

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 26
XXVIThe next phase in the unrolling vision was the episode of her return to New York. She had gone to the Malibran, to her parents--for it was a moment in her career when she clung passionately to the conformities, and when the fact of being able to say: "I'm here with my father and mother" was worth paying for even in the discomfort of that grim abode. Nevertheless, it was another thorn in her pride that her parents could not--for the meanest of material reasons--transfer themselves at her coming to one of the big Fifth Avenue hotels. When she had suggested... Long Stories - Post by : judym - Date : April 2012 - Author : Edith Wharton - Read : 1013

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 25 The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 25

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 25
XXVUndine Marvell, for the next few months, tasted all the accumulated bitterness of failure. After January the drifting hordes of her compatriots had scattered to the four quarters of the globe, leaving Paris to resume, under its low grey sky, its compacter winter personality. Noting, from her more and more deserted corner, each least sign of the social revival, Undine felt herself as stranded and baffled as after the ineffectual summers of her girlhood. She was not without possible alternatives; but the sense of what she had lost took the savour from all that was left. She might have attached herself... Long Stories - Post by : Hoick - Date : April 2012 - Author : Edith Wharton - Read : 2778

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 24 The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 24

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 24
XXIV"If you'd only had the sense to come straight to me, Undine Spragg! There isn't a tip I couldn't have given you--not one!"This speech, in which a faintly contemptuous compassion for her friend's case was blent with the frankest pride in her own, probably represented the nearest approach to "tact" that Mrs. James J. Rolliver had yet acquired. Undine was impartial enough to note in it a distinct advance on the youthful methods of Indiana Frusk; yet it required a good deal of self-control to take the words to herself with a smile, while they seemed to be laying a visible... Long Stories - Post by : KiloHealth - Date : April 2012 - Author : Edith Wharton - Read : 3438

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 23 The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 23

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 23
XXIIIIn the Adirondacks Ralph Marvell sat day after day on the balcony of his little house above the lake, staring at the great white cloud-reflections in the water and at the dark line of trees that closed them in. Now and then he got into the canoe and paddled himself through a winding chain of ponds to some lonely clearing in the forest; and there he lay on his back in the pine-needles and watched the great clouds form and dissolve themselves above his head.All his past life seemed to be symbolized by the building-up and breaking-down of those fluctuating shapes,... Long Stories - Post by : Infobiz - Date : April 2012 - Author : Edith Wharton - Read : 871

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 22 The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 22

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 22
XXIIWhen he woke, the first thing he remembered was the fact of having cried.He could not think how he had come to be such a fool. He hoped to heaven no one had seen him. He supposed he must have been worrying about the unfinished piece of work at the office: where was it, by the way, he wondered? Why--where he had left it the day before, of course! What a ridiculous thing to worry about--but it seemed to follow him about like a dog...He said to himself that he must get up presently and go down to the office. Presently--when... Long Stories - Post by : REClapp - Date : April 2012 - Author : Edith Wharton - Read : 1652

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 21 The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 21

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 21
XXIThe spring in New York proceeded through more than its usual extremes of temperature to the threshold of a sultry June.Ralph Marvell, wearily bent to his task, felt the fantastic humours of the weather as only one more incoherence in the general chaos of his case. It was strange enough, after four years of marriage, to find himself again in his old brown room in Washington Square. It was hardly there that he had expected Pegasus to land him; and, like a man returning to the scenes of his childhood, he found everything on a much smaller scale than he had... Long Stories - Post by : nathanb2121 - Date : April 2012 - Author : Edith Wharton - Read : 1141

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 20 The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 20

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 20
XXSome six weeks later. Undine Marvell stood at the window smiling down on her recovered Paris.Her hotel sitting-room had, as usual, been flowered, cushioned and lamp-shaded into a delusive semblance of stability; and she had really felt, for the last few weeks, that the life she was leading there must be going to last--it seemed so perfect an answer to all her wants!As she looked out at the thronged street, on which the summer light lay like a blush of pleasure, she felt herself naturally akin to all the bright and careless freedom of the scene. She had been away from... Long Stories - Post by : demir2 - Date : April 2012 - Author : Edith Wharton - Read : 3000

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 19 The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 19

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 19
XIX"The Parisian Diamond Company--Anglo-American branch."Charles Bowen, seated, one rainy evening of the Paris season, in a corner of the great Nouveau Luxe restaurant, was lazily trying to resolve his impressions of the scene into the phrases of a letter to his old friend Mrs. Henley Fairford.The long habit of unwritten communion with this lady--in no way conditioned by the short rare letters they actually exchanged--usually caused his notations, in absence, to fall into such terms when the subject was of a kind to strike an answering flash from her. And who but Mrs. Fairford would see, from his own precise angle,... Long Stories - Post by : pandoy - Date : April 2012 - Author : Edith Wharton - Read : 2183

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 18 The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 18

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 18
XVIIIUndine stood alone on the landing outside her father's office.Only once before had she failed to gain her end with him--and there was a peculiar irony in the fact that Moffatt's intrusion should have brought before her the providential result of her previous failure. Not that she confessed to any real resemblance between the two situations. In the present case she knew well enough what she wanted, and how to get it. But the analogy had served her father's purpose, and Moffatt's unlucky entrance had visibly strengthened his resistance.The worst of it was that the obstacles in the way were real... Long Stories - Post by : dawson_trading - Date : April 2012 - Author : Edith Wharton - Read : 816

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 17 The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 17

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 17
XVIINothing was bitterer to her than to confess to herself the failure of her power; but her last talk with Van Degen had taught her a lesson almost worth the abasement. She saw the mistake she had made in taking money from him, and understood that if she drifted into repeating that mistake her future would be irretrievably compromised. What she wanted was not a hand-to-mouth existence of precarious intrigue: to one with her gifts the privileges of life should come openly. Already in her short experience she had seen enough of the women who sacrifice future security for immediate success,... Long Stories - Post by : BIG_Mike - Date : April 2012 - Author : Edith Wharton - Read : 1937

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 16 The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 16

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 16
XVIThe turnings of life seldom show a sign-post; or rather, though the sign is always there, it is usually placed some distance back, like the notices that give warning of a bad hill or a level railway-crossing.Ralph Marvell, pondering upon this, reflected that for him the sign had been set, more than three years earlier, in an Italian ilex-grove. That day his life had brimmed over--so he had put it at the time. He saw now that it had brimmed over indeed: brimmed to the extent of leaving the cup empty, or at least of uncovering the dregs beneath the nectar.... Long Stories - Post by : Dealmaker - Date : April 2012 - Author : Edith Wharton - Read : 3012

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 15 The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 15

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 15
XVIn the Dagonet drawing-room the lamps had long been lit, and Mrs. Fairford, after a last impatient turn, had put aside the curtains of worn damask to strain her eyes into the darkening square. She came back to the hearth Charles Bowen stood leaning between the prim caryatides of the white marble chimney-piece."No sign of her. She's simply forgotten."Bowen looked at his watch, and turned to compare it with the high-waisted Empire clock."Six o'clock. Why not telephone again? There must be some mistake. Perhaps she knew Ralph would be late."Laura laughed. "I haven't noticed that she follows Ralph's movements so... Long Stories - Post by : drpepper - Date : April 2012 - Author : Edith Wharton - Read : 2658

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 14 The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 14

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 14
XIVIt was one of the distinctions of Mr. Claud Walsingham Popple that his studio was never too much encumbered with the attributes of his art to permit the installing, in one of its cushioned corners, of an elaborately furnished tea-table flanked by the most varied seductions in sandwiches and pastry.Mr. Popple, like all great men, had at first had his ups and downs; but his reputation had been permanently established by the verdict of a wealthy patron who, returning from an excursion into other fields of portraiture, had given it as the final fruit of his experience that Popple was the... Long Stories - Post by : larrmac - Date : April 2012 - Author : Edith Wharton - Read : 3563

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 13 The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 13

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 13
XIIIHe had expected to find Undine still out; but on the stairs he crossed Mrs. Shallum, who threw at him from under an immense hat-brim: "Yes, she's in, but you'd better come and have tea with me at the Luxe. I don't think husbands are wanted!"Ralph laughingly rejoined that that was just the moment for them to appear; and Mrs. Shallum swept on, crying back: "All the same, I'll wait for you!"In the sitting-room Ralph found Undine seated behind a tea-table on the other side of which, in an attitude of easy intimacy, Peter Van Degen stretched his lounging length.He did... Long Stories - Post by : wgrustas - Date : April 2012 - Author : Edith Wharton - Read : 3523

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 12 The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 12

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 12
XIIIn the quiet place with the green water-fall Ralph's vision might have kept faith with him; but how could he hope to surprise it in the midsummer crowds of St. Moritz? Undine, at any rate, had found there what she wanted; and when he was at her side, and her radiant smile included him, every other question was in abeyance. But there were hours of solitary striding over bare grassy slopes, face to face with the ironic interrogation of sky and mountains, when his anxieties came back, more persistent and importunate. Sometimes they took the form of merely material difficulties. How,... Long Stories - Post by : fleshas - Date : April 2012 - Author : Edith Wharton - Read : 1190

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 11 The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 11

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 11
XIThe July sun enclosed in a ring of fire the ilex grove of a villa in the hills near Siena.Below, by the roadside, the long yellow house seemed to waver and palpitate in the glare; but steep by steep, behind it, the cool ilex-dusk mounted to the ledge where Ralph Marvell, stretched on his back in the grass, lay gazing up at a black reticulation of branches between which bits of sky gleamed with the hardness and brilliancy of blue enamel.Up there too the air was thick with heat; but compared with the white fire below it was a dim and... Long Stories - Post by : cremoso - Date : April 2012 - Author : Edith Wharton - Read : 2729

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 10 The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 10

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 10
XMr. and Mrs. Spragg were both given to such long periods of ruminating apathy that the student of inheritance might have wondered whence Undine derived her overflowing activity. The answer would have been obtained by observing her father's business life. From the moment he set foot in Wall Street Mr. Spragg became another man. Physically the change revealed itself only by the subtlest signs. As he steered his way to his office through the jostling crowd of William Street his relaxed muscles did not grow more taut or his lounging gait less desultory. His shoulders were hollowed by the usual droop,... Long Stories - Post by : evco8 - Date : April 2012 - Author : Edith Wharton - Read : 3426

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 9 The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 9

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 9
IXUndine, late the next day, waited alone under the leafless trellising of a wistaria arbour on the west side of the Central Park. She had put on her plainest dress, and wound a closely, patterned veil over her least vivid hat; but even thus toned down to the situation she was conscious of blazing out from it inconveniently.The habit of meeting young men in sequestered spots was not unknown to her: the novelty was in feeling any embarrassment about it. Even now she--was disturbed not so much by the unlikely chance of an accidental encounter with Ralph Marvell as by the... Long Stories - Post by : mmoneys - Date : April 2012 - Author : Edith Wharton - Read : 3294

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 8 The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 8

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 8
VIIIIt was doubtless owing to Mrs. Fairford's foresight that such possibilities of tension were curtailed, after dinner, by her carrying off Ralph and his betrothed to the theatre.Mr. Dagonet, it was understood, always went to bed after an hour's whist with his daughter; and the silent Mr. Fairford gave his evenings to bridge at his club. The party, therefore, consisted only of Undine and Ralph, with Mrs. Fairford and her attendant friend. Undine vaguely wondered why the grave and grey-haired Mr. Bowen formed so invariable a part of that lady's train; but she concluded that it was the York custom for... Long Stories - Post by : 1000asale.com - Date : April 2012 - Author : Edith Wharton - Read : 1240

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 7 The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 7

The Custom Of The Country - Chapter 7
VIISome two months later than the date of young Marvell's midnight vigil, Mrs. Heeny, seated on a low chair at Undine's knee, gave the girl's left hand an approving pat as she laid aside her lapful of polishers."There! I guess you can put your ring on again," she said with a laugh of jovial significance; and Undine, echoing the laugh in a murmur of complacency, slipped on the fourth finger of her recovered hand a band of sapphires in an intricate setting.Mrs. Heeny took up the hand again. "Them's old stones, Undine--they've got a different look," she said, examining the ring... Long Stories - Post by : ni_rumi - Date : April 2012 - Author : Edith Wharton - Read : 711