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power and dignity.
Dignity! It was odd what weight that word had come to have forher. She had dimly felt its significance, felt the need of itspresence in her inmost soul, even in the young thoughtless dayswhen she had seemed to sacrifice so little to the austeredivinities. And since she had been Nick Lansing’s wife she hadconsciously a cheap nike air max cknowledged it, had suffered and agonized when shefell beneath its standard. Yes: to marry Strefford would giveher that sense of self-respect which, in such a world as theirs,only wealth and position could ensure. If she had not themental or moral training to attain independence in any otherway, was she to blame for seeking it on such terms?
Of course there was always the chance that Nick would come back,would find life without her as intolerable as she was finding itwithout him. If that happened–ah, if that happened! Then shewould ce ase to strain her eyes into the future, would seize uponthe present moment and plunge into it to the very bottom ofoblivion. Nothing on earth would matter then–money or freedomor pride, or her precious moral dignity, if only she were inNick’s arms again!
But there was Nick’s icy letter, nike air max 95 there was Coral Hicks’sinsolent post-card, to show how little chance there was of sucha solution. Susy understood that, even before the discovery ofher transaction with Ellie Vanderlyn, Nick had secr cheap nike air max etly wearied,if not of his wife, at least of the life that their marriagecompelled him to lead. His passion was not strong enough-hadnever been strong enough–to outweigh his prejudices, scruples,principles, or whatever one chose to call them. Susy’s dignitymight go up like tinder in the blaze of her love; but his wasmade of a less combustible substance. She had felt, in theirlast talk together, that she had forever destroyed the innerharmony between them.
Well–there it was, and the fault was doubtless neither hers norhis, but that of the world they had grown up in, of their ownmoral contempt for it and physical dependence o nike air max 1 n it, of hishalf-talents and her half-principles, of the something in themboth that was not stout enough to resist nor yet pliant enoughto yield. She stared at the fact on the journey back toVersailles, and all that sleepless night in her room; and thenext morning, when the housemaid came in with her breakfasttray, she felt the factitious energy that nike air max 90 comes from havingdecided, however half-heartedly, on a definite course.
She had said to herself: “If there’s no letter from Nick thistime next week I’ll write to Streff–” and the week had passed,and there was no letter.
It was now three weeks since he had left her, and she had had noword but his note from Genoa. She had concluded that,foreseeing the probability of her leaving Venice, he would writeto her in care of their Paris bank. But though she hadimmediately notified nike air max sale the bank of her change of address nocommunication from Nick had reached her; and she smiled with atouch of bitterness at the difficulty he was doubtless findingin the composition of the promised letter. Her own scrap-basket, for the first days, had been heaped with the fragmentsof the letters she had begun; and she told herself that, sincethey both found it so hard to write, it was probably becausethey had nothing left to say to each other.
Meanwhile the days at Mrs. Melrose’s drifted by as they had beenwont to drift when, under the roofs of the rich, Susy Branch hadmarked time between one episode and the next of her precariousexistence. Her experienc air max 95 e of such sojourns was varied enough tomake her acutely conscious of their effect on her temporaryhosts; and in the present case she knew that Violet was hardlyaware of her cheap air max 95 presence. But if no more than tolerated she was atleast not felt to be an inconvenience; when your hostess forgotabout you it proved that at least you were not in her way.
Violet, as usual, was perpetually on the wing, for her profoundindolence expressed itself in a disordered activity. Nat Fulmerhad returned to Paris; but Susy guessed that his benefactresswas still constantly in his company, and that when Mrs. Melrosewas whirled away in her nike air max noiseless motor it was generally towardthe scene of some new encounter between Fulmer and the arts. Onthese occasions she sometimes offered to carry Susy to Paris,and they devoted several long and hectic mornings to the dress-makers, where Susy felt herself gradually succumbing to thefamiliar spell of heaped-up finery. It seemed impossible, asfurs and laces and brocades were tossed aside, brought back, andat nike air max 90 sale last carelessly selected from, that anything but the whim ofthe moment need count in deciding whether o cheap nike air max trainers ne should take all ornone, or that any woman could be worth looking at who did notpossess the means to make her choice regardless of cost.
Once alone, and in the street again, the evil fumes wouldevaporate, and daylight re-enter Susy’s soul; yet she felt thatthe old poison was slowly insinuating itself into her system.
To dispel it she decided one day to look up Grace Fulmer. Shewas curious to know how the happy-go-lucky companion of Fulmer’sevil days was bearing the weight of his prosperity, and shevaguely felt that it would b nike air max classic e refreshing to see some one who hadnever been afraid of poverty.
The airless pension sitting-room, where she waited while areluctant maid-servant screamed about the house for Mrs. Fulme cheap nike air max 95 r,did

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