• 2017/6/7

pity as much as her condemnation


She drew her bath and peered out of the window at[125] the sunlight. Familiar sounds and sights reassured her, and with her plunge came rehabilitation, physical and mental. Poor Coley! How jealous he was, and how unghostlike! So jealous, perhaps, that he had lied to her The thought of the possibility of this moral turpitude caused her to pause in the midst of her toilet and smile at her reflection in the mirror. It was a gay little smile which seemed out of place on the pale image which confronted her. She drew back her curtains and the morning sunlight streamed into the room bringing life and good cheer. No, she would not—could not believe what Coley had told of Philip Gallatin.

She dressed quickly, and before her astonished maid had her eyes open, had found the dog, Chicot, downstairs, and was out in the frosty air breasting the keen north wind in the Avenue. It was Kee-way-din that kissed her brow, Kee-way-din that brought the flush of health and youth into her cheeks, the breath of Kee-way-din which came with a winter message of hopefulness from the distant north woods. Chicot was joyful, too, and bounded like a harlequin along the walk and into the reaches of the Park. This was an unusual privilege for him, for his mistress carried not even a leash, and he was bent on making the most of his opportunities. He seemed to be aware that only business of unusual importance would take her out at this hour of the day, and came back barking and whining his sympathy and encouragement. Like most jesters, Chicot was foolish, but he had a heart under his Eton jacket, and he took pains that she should know it.

Chicot’s philosophy cleared the atmosphere. Her course of action now seemed surprisingly clear to Jane . Philip Gallatin being no more and no less to her than any other man, deserved exactly the consideration to which her gratitude entitled him, deserved the punishment which[126] fitted the crime—precisely the punishment which she had given him. If they met, she would simply ignore him as she did other men to whom she was indifferent, and she thought that she could trust herself to manage the rest if, indeed, her rebuff had not already made her intentions clear to Gallatin. Refusing to meet him or cutting him in public would only draw attention and give him an importance with which she was far from willing to invest him. If, as she had said, he was not responsible for his actions, he was a very unfortunate young man, and deserved her ; and it was obvious that he could not be more responsible for his actions in New York than elsewhere. She still refused to believe that her name had passed his lips, for of his honor in all things save one, reason as well as instinct now assured her no1 cosmedic.

The story of Coleman Van Duyn’s no longer persisted. In spite of herself she made a mental picture of the two men, and Van Duyn suffered in the comparison. Coley had lied to her. That was all.



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