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iet,” she laughed, shining in on him an instant from thethreshold.
She turned back feeling weak with shame. Ellie’s letter lay onthe floor: reluctantly she stooped to pick it up, and one byone the expected phrases sprang out at her.
“One good turn deserves another …. Of course you and Nick arewelcome to stay all summer …. There won’t be a particle ofexpense for you–the servants have orders …. If you’ll justbe an angel and post these letters yourself …. It’s been myonly chance for such an age; when we meet I’ll explaineverything. And in a month at latest I’ll be back to fetchClarissa ….”Susy lifted the letter to the lamp to be sure she had readaright. To fetch Clarissa! Then Ellie’s child was here? Here,under the roo nike air max 1 grey f with them, left to their care? She read on,raging. “She’s so delighted, poor darling, to know you’recoming. I’ve had to sack her beastly governess forimpertinence, and if it weren’t for you she’d be all alone witha lot of servants I don’t much trust. So for pity’s sake begood to my child, and forgive me for leaving her. She thinksI’ve gone to take a cure; and she knows she’s not to tell herDaddy that I’m away, because it would only worry him if hethought I was ill. She’s perfectly to be trusted; you’ll seewhat a clever angel she is ….” And then, at the bottom of thepage, in a last slanting postscript: “Susy darling, if you’veever owed me anything in the way of kindness, you won’t, on yoursacred honour, say a word of this to any one, even to Nick. AndI know I can count on you to rub out the numbers.”Susy sp air max 1 rang up an cheap nike air max 1 d tossed Mrs. Vanderlyn’s letter into the fire:
then she came slowly back to the chair. There, at her elbow,lay the four fatal envelopes; and her next affair was to make upher mind what to do with them.
To destroy them on the spot had seemed, at first thought,inevitable: it might be saving Ellie as well as herself. Butsuch a step seemed to Susy to involve departure on the morrow,and this in turn involved notifying Ellie, whose letter she hadvainly scanned for an address. Well–perhaps Clarissa’s nursewould know where one could write to her mother; it was unlikelythat even Ellie would go off without assuring some means ofcommunication with her child. At any rate, there was n nike air max 1 premium othing tobe done that night: nothing but to work out the details oftheir flight on the morrow, and rack her brains to find asubstitute for the ho nike air max 1 black spitality they were rejecting. Susy didnot disguise from herself how much she had counted on theVanderlyn apartment for the summer: to be able to do so hadsingularly simplified the future. She knew Ellie’s largeness ofhand, and had been sure in advance that as long as they were herguests their only expense would be an occasional present to theservants. And what would the alternative be? She and Lansing,in their cheap air max 1 endless talks, had so lived themselves into the visionof indolent summer days on the lagoon, of flaming hours on thebeach of the Lido, and evenings of music and dreams on theirbroad balcony above the Giudecca, that the idea of having torenounce these joys, and deprive her Nick of them, filled Susywith a wrath intensified by his having confided in her that whenthey were quietly settled in Venice he “meant to write.”Already nascent in her breast was the fierce resolve of theauthor’s wife to defend her husband’s privacy and facilitate hisencounters with the Muse. It was abominable, simply abominable,that Ellie Vanderlyn should have drawn her into such a trap!
Well–there was nothing for it but to make a clean breast of thewhole thing to Nick. The trivial incident of the cigars-howtrivial it now seemed!–showed her the kind of stand he wouldtake, and communicated to her something of his ownuncompromising energy. She would tell him the whole story inthe morning, and try to find a way out with him: Susy’s faithin her power of finding a way out was inexhaustible. Butsuddenly she remembered the adjuration at the end of Mrs.
Vanderlyn’s letter: “If you’re ever owed me anything in the wayof kindness, you won’t, on your sacred honour, say a word toNick ….”It was, of course, exactly what no one had the right to ask ofher: if indeed the word “right”, could be used in anyconceivable relation to this coil of wrongs. But the factremained that, in the way of kindness, she did owe much toEllie; and that this was the first payment her friend had everexacted. She found herself, in fact, in exactly the sameposition as when Ursula Gillow, using the same argument, hadappealed to nike air max 1 her to give up Nick Lansing. Yes, Susy reflected;but then Nelson Vanderlyn had been kind to her too; and themoney Ellie had been so kind with was Nelson’s …. The queeredifice of Susy’s standards tottered on its base she honestlydidn’t know where fairness lay, as between so much that wasfoul.
The very depth of her perplexity puzzled her. She had been in”tight places” before; had indeed been in so few that were not,in one way or another, constricting! As she looked back on herpast it lay before her as a very network of perpetualconcessions and contrivings. But never before had she had sucha sense of being tripped up, gagged and pinioned. The littlemisery of the cigars still galled her, and now this bighumiliation superposed itself on the raw wound. Decidedly, thesecond month of their honey-moon was beginning cloudily ….
She glanced at the enamel led travelling-clock on her dressingtable–one of the few wedding-presents she had consented toaccept in kind–and was startled at the lateness of the hour.
In a moment Nick would be coming; and an uncomfortable sensationin her throat warned her that through sheer nervousness and nike air max 1 ebay exasperation she might blurt out something ill-advised. The oldhabit of being always on her guard made her turn once more tothe looking-glass. Her face was pale and haggard; and having,by a swift and skilful application of cosmetics, increased itsappearance of fatigue, she crossed the room and softly openedher husband’s door.
He too sat by a lamp, reading a letter which he put aside as sheentered. His face was grave, and she said to herself that hewas certainly still thinking about the cigars.
“I’m very tired, dearest, and my head aches so horribly thatI’ve come to bid you good-night.” Bending over the back of hi cheap air max 1 schair, she laid her arms on his shoulders. He lifted his handsto clasp hers, but, as he threw his head back to smile up at hershe noticed that his look was still serious, almost remote. Itwas as if, for the first time, a faint veil hung between hiseyes and hers.
“I’m so sorry: it’s been a long day for you,” he said absently,pressing his lips to her handsShe felt the dreaded twitch in her throat.
“Nick!” she nike air max 1 red burst out, tightening her embrace, “before I go,you’ve got to swear to me on your honour that you know I shouldnever have taken those cigars for myself!”For a moment he stared at her, and she stared back at him withequal gravity; then the same irresistible mirth welled up inboth, and Susy’s compunctions were swept away on a gale oflaughter.
When she woke the next morning the sun was pouring in betweenher curtains of old brocade, and its refraction from the ripplesof the Canal was drawing a network of golden scales across thevaulted ceiling. The maid had just placed a tray on a slimmarquetry table near the bed, and over the edge of the tray Susydiscovered the small serious face of Clarissa Vanderlyn. At thesight of the little girl all her dormant qualms awoke.
Clarissa was just eight, and small for her age: her little nike air max 1 sale round chin was barely on a level with the tea-service, and herclear brown eyes gazed at Susy between the ribs of the toast-rack and the single tea-rose in an old Murano glass. Susy hadnot seen her for two years, and she seemed, in the interval, tohave passed from a thoughtful infancy to complete ripeness offeminine experience. She was looking with approval at hermother’s guest.
“I’m so glad you’ve come,” she said in a small sweet voice. “Ilike you so very much. I know I’m not to be often with you; butat least you’ll have an eye on me, won’t you?””An eye on you! I shall never want to have it off you, if yousay such nice things to me!” Susy laughed, leaning from herpillows to draw the little girl up to her side.
Clarissa smiled and settled herself down comfortably on thesilken bedspread. “Oh, I know I’m not to be always nike air max 1 about,because you’re just married; but could you see to it that I havemy meals regularly?””Why, you poor darling! Don’t you always?””Not when mother’s away on these cures. The servants don’talways obey me: you see I’m so little for my age. In a fewyears, of course, they’ll have to–even if I don’t grow much,”she added judiciously. She put out her hand and touched thestring of pearls about Susy’s throat. “They’re small, butthey’re very good. I suppose you don’t take the others when youtravel?””The others? Bless you! I haven’t any others–and never shallhave, probably.””No other pearls?””No other jewels at all.”Clarissa stared. “Is that really true?” she asked, as if inthe presence of the unprecedented.
“Awfully true,” Susy confessed. “But I think I can make theservants obey me all the same.”This point seemed to have los nike air max 1 leopard t its interest for Clarissa, whowas still gravely scrutinizing her companion. After a while

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