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nsing’s wife she hadconsciously acknowledged 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 cease 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, ghd straighteners or her precious moral dignity, if only she were inNick’s arms again!
But there was Nick’s icy letter, 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 cheap ghds transaction with Ellie Vanderlyn, Nick had secretly 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 cheap ghd straighteners £50 had forever destroyed the innerharmony between them.
Well–there it was, and the fault was doubtless neither hers norh ghd straighteners is, but that of the world they had grown up in, of their ownmoral contempt for it and physical dependence on 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 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 conclu heap ghd hair straighteners uk ded that,foreseeing the probability of h Cheap GHD Straighteners er leaving Venice, he would writeto her in care of their Paris bank. But though she hadimmediately notified 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 experience of such sojourns was varied enough tomake her acutely conscious cheap ghd air of their effect on her temporaryhosts; and in the present case she knew that Violet was hardlyaware of her presence. cheap ghd flat iron 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 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 succumbin g to thefamiliar spell of heaped-up finery. It seemed impossible, asfurs and laces and brocades were tossed aside, brought back, andat last carelessly selected from, that anything but the whim ofthe moment need count in deciding whether one 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 wou cheap ghd wide plate straighteners ldevaporate, 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 be 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. Fulmer,did not have the hoped-for effect. It was one thing for Graceto put up with such quarters when ghd outlet she shared them with Fulmer;but to live there while he basked in the lingering radiance ofVersailles, or rolled from chateau to picture gallery in Mrs.
Melrose’s motor, showed a courage that Susy felt unable toemulate.
“My dear! I knew you’d look me up,” Grace’s joyous voice randown the stairway; and in another moment she was clasping Susyto her tumbled person.
“Nat couldn’t remember if he’d given you our ad cheap ghd straighteners dress, though hepromised me he would, the last time he was here.” She held Susyat arms’ length, beaming upon her with blinking short-sightedeyes: the same old dishevelled Grace, so careless of herneglected beauty and her squandered youth, so amused and absent-minded and improvident, that the boisterous air of the NewHampshire bungalow seemed to enter with her into the little air-tight salon.
While she poured out the tale of Nat’s sudden celebrity, and itsunexpected consequences, Susy marvelled and dreamed. Was thesecret of his triumph perhaps due to those long hard unrewardedyears, the steadfast scorn of popularity, the indifference toevery kind of material ease in which his wife had so gailyabetted him? Had it been bought at the cost of her ownfreshness and her own talent, of the children’s “advantages,” ofeverything exc cheap ghd straighteners next day delivery ept the closeness of the tie between husband andwife? Well–it was worth the price, no doubt; but what if, nowthat honours and prosperity had come, the tie were snapped, andGrace were left alone among the ruins?
There was nothing in her tone or words to suggest such apossibility. Susy noticed that her ill-assorted raiment wascostlier in quality and more professional in cut than the home-made garments which had draped her growing bulk at the bungalow:
it was clear that she was trying to dress up to Nat’s newsituation. But, above all, she was rejoicing in it, filling herhungry lungs with the strong air of his success. It hadevidently not occurred to her as yet that those who consent toshare the bread of adversity may want the whole cake ofprosperity for themselves.
“My dear, it’s too wonderful! He’s told me to take as m Cheap ghds anyconcert and opera tickets as I like; he lets me take all thechildren

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