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fter leaving therestaurant Nick tramped the sultry by-ways till his tired legsbrought him to a standstill under the vine-covered pergola of agondolier’s wine-shop at a landing close to the Piazzetta.
There he could absorb cooling drinks until it was time to go tothe stat nike air max 95 ion.
It was after eleven, and he was beginning to look about for aboat, when a black prow pushed up to the steps, and with muchchaff and laughter a party of young people in e nike air max 90 sale vening dressjumped out. Nick, from under the darkness of the vine, saw thatthere was only one lady among them, and cheap nike air max it did not need the lampabove the landing to reveal her identity. Susy, bareheaded andlaughing, a light scarf slipping from her bare shoulders, acigarette between her fingers, took Strefford’s arm and turnedin the direction of Florian’s, with Gillow, the Prince and youngBreckenridge in her wake ….
Nick had relived this rapid scene hundreds of times during hishours in the train and his aimless trampings through the streetsof Genoa. In that squirrel-wheel of a world of his and Susy’syou had to keep going or drop out–and Susy, it was evident, hadchosen to keep going. Under the lamp-flare on the landing hehad had a good look at her face, and had seen that the mask ofpaint and powder was carefully e Cheap Air Max nough adjusted to hide anyravages the scene between them might have left. He even fanciedthat she had dropped a little atropine into her eyes ….
There was no time to spare if he meant to catch the midnighttrain, and no gondola in sight but that which his wife had justleft. He sprang into it, and bade the gondolier carry him tothe station. The cushions, as he leaned back, gave out a breathof her scent; and in the glare of electric light at the stationhe saw at his feet a rose which had fallen from her dress. Heground his heel into it as he got out.
There it was, then; that nike air max 90 was the last picture he was to have ofher. For he knew now that he was not going back; at least notto take up their life together. He supposed he should have tosee her once, to talk things over, settle something for theirfuture. He had been sincere in saying that he bore her no ill-will; only he could never go back into that slough nike air max again. If hedid, he knew he would inevitably be drawn under, slippingdownward from concession to concession ….
The noises of a hot summer night in the port of Genoa would havekept the most care-free from slumber; but though Nick lay awakehe did not notice them, for the tumult in his brain was moredeafening. Dawn brought a negative relief, and out of sheerweariness he dropped into a heavy sleep. When he woke it wasnearly noon, and from his window he saw the well-known outlineof the Ibis standing up dark against the glitter of the harbour.
He had no fear of meeting her owners, who had doubtless longsince landed and betaken themselves to cooler and morefashionable cheap nike air max regions: oddly enough, the fact seemed toaccentuate his loneliness, his sense of having no one on earthto turn to. He dressed, and wandered out disconsolately to pickup a cup of coffee in some shady corner.
As he drank his coffee his thoughts gradually cleared. Itbecame obvious to him that he had behaved like a madman or apetulant child–he preferred to think it was like a madman. Ifhe and Susy were to separate there was no reason why it shouldnot be done decently and quietly, as such transactions werehabituall Cheap Nike Air Max y managed among people of their kind. It seemedgrotesque to introduce melodrama into their little world ofunruffled Sybarites, and he felt inclined, now, to smile at theincongruity of his gesture …. But suddenly his eyes filledwith tears. The future without Susy was unbearable,inconceivable. Why, after all, should they separate? At thequestion, her soft face seemed close to his, and that slightlift of the upper lip that made her smile so exquisite. Well-he would go back. But not with any presence of going to talkthings over, come to an agreement, wind up their joint life likea business association. No–if he went back he would go withoutconditions, for good, forever ….
Only, what about the future? What about the not far-distant daywhen the wedding cheques would have been spent, and Granny’spearls sold, and nothing left except unconcealed andunconditional dependence on rich friends, the role of theacknowledged hangers-on? Was there no other possible solution,no new way of ordering their lives? No–there was none: hecould Nike Air Max not picture Susy out of her setting of luxury and leisure,could not picture either of them living such a life as the NatFulmers, for instance! He remembered the shabby untidy bungalowin New Hampshire, the slatternly servants, uneatable food andubiquitous children. How could he ask Susy to share such a lifewith him? If he did, she would probably have the sense torefuse. Their alliance had been based on a moment nike air max classic ‘s midsummermadness; now the score must be paid ….
He decided to write. If they were to part he could not trusthimself to see her. He called a waiter, asked for pen andpaper, and pushed aside a pile of unread newspapers on thecorner of the table where his coffee had been served. As he didso, his eye lit on a Daily Mail of two days before. As apretext for postponing his letter, he took up the paper andglanced down the first page. He read:
“Tragic Yachting Accident in the Solent. The Earl of Altringhamand his son Viscount d’Amblay drowned in midnight collision.
Both bodies recovered.”He read on. He grasped the fact that the disaster had happenedthe night before he had left Venice and that, as the result of afog in the Solent, their old friend Strefford was now Earl ofAltringham, and possessor of one of the largest cheap nike air max trainers private fortunesin England. It was vertiginous to think of their oldimpecunious Streff as the hero of such an adventure. And whatirony in that double turn of the wheel which, in one day, hadplunged him, Nick Lansing, into nethermost misery, while ittossed the other to the stars!
With an intenser precision he saw again Susy’s descent from thegondola at the calle steps, the sound of her laughter and ofStrefford’s chaff, the way she had caught his arm and clung toit, sweeping the other men on in her train. Strefford–Susy andStrefford! … More than once, Nick had noticed the softerinflections of his friend’s voice when he spoke to Susy, thebrooding look in his lazy eyes when they rested on her. In thesecurity of his wedded bliss Nick had made light of those signs.
The only real jealousy he had felt had been of Fred Gil nike air max 1 low,because of his unlimited power to satisfy a woman’s whims. YetNick knew that such material advantages would never againsuffice for Susy. With Strefford it was different. She haddelighted in his society while he was notoriously ineligible;might not she find him irresistible now?
The forgotten terms of their bridal compact came back to Nick:
the absurd agreement on which he and Susy had solemnly pledgedtheir faith. But was it so absurd, after all? It had beenSusy’s suggestion (not his, thank God!); and perhaps in makingit she had been more serious than he imagined. Perhaps, even iftheir rupture had not occurred, Strefford’s sudden honours mighthave caused her to ask for her freedom ….
Money, luxury, fashion, pleasure: those were the fourcornerstones of her existence. He had always known it–sheherself had alway nike air max sale s acknowledged it, even in their last dreadfultalk together; and once he had gloried in her frankness. Howcould he ever have imagined that, to have her fill of thesethings, she would not in time stoop lower than she had yetstooped? Perhaps in giving her up to Strefford he might besaving her. At any rate, the taste of the past was now sobitter to him that he was moved to thank wha

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