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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesMoon And Sixpence - Chapter 37
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Moon And Sixpence - Chapter 37 Post by :myonlineincome Category :Long Stories Author :W. Somerset Maugham Date :March 2011 Read :1381

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Moon And Sixpence - Chapter 37

The circumstances of Blanche Stroeve's death necessitated all
manner of dreadful formalities, but at last we were allowed to
bury her. Dirk and I alone followed the hearse to the cemetery.
We went at a foot-pace, but on the way back we trotted,
and there was something to my mind singularly horrible in
the way the driver of the hearse whipped up his horses.
It seemed to dismiss the dead with a shrug of the shoulders.
Now and then I caught sight of the swaying hearse in
front of us, and our own driver urged his pair so that we
might not remain behind. I felt in myself, too, the desire to
get the whole thing out of my mind. I was beginning to be
bored with a tragedy that did not really concern me, and
pretending to myself that I spoke in order to distract
Stroeve, I turned with relief to other subjects.

"Don't you think you'd better go away for a bit?" I said.
"There can be no object in your staying in Paris now."

He did not answer, but I went on ruthlessly:

"Have you made any plans for the immediate future?"


"You must try and gather together the threads again.
Why don't you go down to Italy and start working?"

Again he made no reply, but the driver of our carriage came to
my rescue. Slackening his pace for a moment, he leaned over
and spoke. I could not hear what he said, so I put my head
out of the window. he wanted to know where we wished to be
set down. I told him to wait a minute.

"You'd better come and have lunch with me," I said to Dirk.
"I'll tell him to drop us in the Place Pigalle."

"I'd rather not. I want to go to the studio."

I hesitated a moment.

"Would you like me to come with you?" I asked then.

"No; I should prefer to be alone."

"All right."

I gave the driver the necessary direction, and in renewed
silence we drove on. Dirk had not been to the studio since
the wretched morning on which they had taken Blanche to the hospital.
I was glad he did not want me to accompany him, and when
I left him at the door I walked away with relief. I took
a new pleasure in the streets of Paris, and I looked with
smiling eyes at the people who hurried to and fro. The day
was fine and sunny, and I felt in myself a more acute delight
in life. I could not help it; I put Stroeve and his sorrows
out of my mind. I wanted to enjoy.

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Moon And Sixpence - Chapter 38 Moon And Sixpence - Chapter 38

Moon And Sixpence - Chapter 38
I did not see him again for nearly a week. Then he fetched mesoon after seven one evening and took me out to dinner.He was dressed in the deepest mourning, and on his bowler was abroad black band. He had even a black border to his handkerchief.His garb of woe suggested that he had lost in onecatastrophe every relation he had in the world, even tocousins by marriage twice removed. His plumpness and his red,fat cheeks made his mourning not a little incongruous. It wascruel that his extreme unhappiness should have in it somethingof buffoonery.He told me

Moon And Sixpence - Chapter 36 Moon And Sixpence - Chapter 36

Moon And Sixpence - Chapter 36
The next week was dreadful. Stroeve went twice a day to thehospital to enquire after his wife, who still declined to seehim; and came away at first relieved and hopeful because hewas told that she seemed to be growing better, and then indespair because, the complication which the doctor had fearedhaving ensued, recovery was impossible. The nurse was pitifulto his distress, but she had little to say that could consolehim. The poor woman lay quite still, refusing to speak, withher eyes intent, as though she watched for the coming of death.It could now be only the question of