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while he was notoriously ineligible;might not she find him irresistible now?
The forgotten terms of their bridal compa ct 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 be cheap nike air max trainers enSusy’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 always 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 whatever gods therewere for pushing that mortuary paragraph under his eye ….
“Susy, dear [he wrote], the fates seem to have taken our futurein hand, and spared us the trouble of unravelling it. If I havesometimes been selfish enough to forget the conditions on whichyou agreed to marry me, they nike canada have come back to me during thesetwo days of solitude. You’ve given me the best a man can have,and nothing else will ever be worth much to me. But since Ihaven’t the ability to provide you with what you want, Irecognize that I’ve no right to stand in your way. We must oweno more Venetian palaces to underhand services. I see by thenewspapers that Streff can now give you as many palaces as youwant. Let him have t nike canada online he chance–I fancy he’ll jump at it, andhe’s the best man in sight. I wish I were in his shoes.
“I’ll write again in a day or two, when I’ve collected my wits,and can give you an address. NICK.”He added a line on the subject of their modest funds, put theletter into an envelope, and addressed it to Mrs. NicholasLansing. As he did so, he reflected that it was the first timehe had ever written his wife’s married name.
“Well–by God, no other woman shall have it after her,” hevowed, as he groped in his pocketbook for a stamp.
He stood up with a stretch of weariness–the heat was stifling!
–and put the letter in his pocket.
“I’ll post it myself, it’s safer,” he thought; “and then what inthe name of goodness shall I do next, I wonder?” He jammed hishat down on his head and walked out into the sun-blaze.
As he was nike air max 90 sale turning away from the square by the general PostOffice, a white parasol waved from a passing cab, and CoralHicks leaned forward with outstretched hand. “I knew I’d findyou,” she triumphed. “I’ve been driving up and down in thisbroiling sun for hours, shopping and watching for you at thesame time.”He stared at her blankly, too bewildered even to wonder how sheknew he was in Genoa; and she continued, with the kind of shyimperiousness that always made him feel, in her presence, like amember of an orchestra under a masterful baton; “Now please getright into this carriage, and don’t keep me roasting hereanother minute.” To the cabdriver she called out: Al porto.”Nick Lansing sank down beside her. As he did so he noticed aheap of bundles at her feet, and felt that he had simply addedone more to the number. He supposed that she cheap nike air max was taking herspoils to the Ibis, and that he would be carried up to the deck-house to be displayed with the others. Well, it would all helpto pass the day–and by night he would have reached some kind ofa decision abou nike air max t his future.
On the third day after Nick’s departure the post brought to thePalazzo Vanderlyn three letters for Mrs. Lansing.
The first to arrive was a word from Strefford, scribbled in thetrain and posted at Turin. In it he briefly said that he hadbeen called home by the dreadful accident of which Susy hadprobably read in the daily papers. He added that he would writeagain from England, and then–in a blotted postscript–: “Iwanted uncommonly badly to see you for good-bye, but the hourwas impossible. Regards to Nick. Do write me just a word toAltringham.”The other two letters, which came together in nike air max 1 the afternoon,were both from Genoa. Susy scanned the addresses and fell uponthe one in her husband’s writing. Her hand trembled so muchthat for a moment she could not open the envelope. When she haddone so, she devoured the letter in a flash, and then sat andbrooded over the outspread page as it lay on he nike air max 95 r knee. It mightmean so many things–she could read into it so many harrowingalternatives of indifference and despair, of irony andtenderness! Was he suffering tortures when he wrote it, orseeking only to inflict them upon her? Or did the wordsrepresent his actual feelings, no more and no less, and did hereally intend her to understand that he considered it his dutyto abide by the letter of their preposterous compact? He hadleft her in wrath and indignation, yet, as a closer scrutinyrevealed, there was not a word of reproach in his brief lines.
Perhaps that was why, in t cheap nike air max he last issue, they seemed so cold toher …. She shivered and turned to the other envelope.
The large stilted characters, though half-familiar, called up nodefinite image. She opened the envelope and discovered a post-card of the Ibis, canvas spread, bounding over a rippled sea.
On the back was written:
“So awfully dear of you to lend us Mr. Lansing for a littlecruise. You may count on our taking the best of care o nike canada store f him.
Chapter 13
WHEN Violet Melrose had said to Susy Branch, the winter beforein New York: “But why on earth don’t you and Nick go to mylittle place at Versailles for the honeymoon? I’m off to China,and you could have it to yourselves all summer,” the offer hadbeen tempting enough to make the lovers waver.
It was such a nike air max classic n artless ingenuous little house, so full of thedemoralizing simplicity of great wealth, that it seemed to Susyjust the nike air max sale kind of place in which to take the first steps inrenunciation. But Nick had objected that Paris, at that time ofyear, would be swarming with acquaintances who would hunt themdown at all hours; and Susy’s own experience had led her toremark that there was nothing the very rich enjoyed more thantaking pot-luck with the very poor. They therefore gaveStrefford’s villa the preference, with an inward proviso (onSusy’s part) that Violet’s house might very conveniently servetheir purpose at another season.
These thoughts were in her mind as she drove up to nike air max 90 Mrs.
Melrose’s door on a rainy afternoon late in August, her boxespiled high on the roof of the cab she had taken at the station.
She had travelled straight through from Venice, stopping inMilan just long enough to pick up a reply to the telegram shehad

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