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had shaken off Fred Gillow, sulkilydeparting for his moor (where she had half-promised to join himin September); the Prince, young Breckenridge, and the fewremaining survivors of the Venetian group, had dispersed in thedirection of the Engadine or Biarritz; and now she could atleast collect her wits, take stock of herself, and prepare thecountenance with which she was to face the next stage in hercareer. Thank God it was raining at Versailles!
The door opened, she heard voices in the drawing-room, and aslender languishing figure appeared on the threshold.
“Darling!” Violet Melrose cried in an embrace, drawing her intothe dusky perfumed room.
“But I thought you were in China!” Susy stammered.
nike huarache free In China … in China,” Mrs. Melrose stared with dreamy eyes,and Susy remembered her drifting disorganised life, a life moreplanless, more inexplicable than that of any of the otherephemeral beings blown about upon the same winds of pleasure.
“Well, Madam, I thought so myself till I got a wire from Mrs.
Melrose last evening,” remarked the perfect house-keeper,following with Susy’s handbag.
Mrs. Melrose clutched her cavernous temples in her attenuatedhands. “Of course, of course! I had meant to go to China–no,India …. But I’ve discovered a genius … and Genius, youknow ….” Unable to complete her thought, she sank down upon apillowy divan, stretched out an arm, cried: “Fulmer! Fulmer!”and, while Susy Lansing stood in the middle of the room withwidening eyes, a man emerged from the more deeply cushioned andscent nike free running shoes ed twilight of some inner apartment, and she saw withsurprise Nat Fulmer, the good Nat Fulmer of the New nike free 3.0 sale Hampshirebungalow and the ubiquitous progeny, standing before her inlordly ease, his hands in his pockets, a cigarette between hislips, his feet solidly planted in the insidious depths of one ofViolet Melrose’s white leopard skins.
“Susy!” he shouted with open arms; and Mrs. Melrose murmured:
“You didn’t know, then? You hadn’t heard of his masterpieces?”In spite of herself, Susy burst into a laugh. “Is Nat yourgenius?”Mrs. Melrose looked at her reproachfully.
Fulmer laughed. “No; I’m Grace’s. But Mrs. Melrose has beenour Providence, and ….””Providence?” his hostess interrupted. “Don’t talk as if youwere at a prayer-meeting! He had an exhibition in New York …
it was the most fabulous success. He’s come abr nike free 3.0 review oad to makestudies for the decoration of my music-room in New York. UrsulaGillow has given him nike free trainers uk her garden-house at Roslyn to do. And Mrs.
Bockheimer’s ball-room–oh, Fulmer, where are the cartoons?”She sprang up, tossed about some fashion-papers heaped on alacquer table, and sank back exhausted by the effort. “I’d gotas far as Brindisi. I’ve travelled day and night to be here tomeet him,” she declared. “But, you darling,” and she held out acaressing hand to Susy, “I’m forgetting to ask if you’ve hadtea?”An hour later, over the tea-table, Susy already felt herselfmysteriously reabsorbed into what had so long been her nativeelement. Ellie Vanderlyn had brought a breath of it to Venice;but Susy was then nourished on another air, the air of Nick’spresence and personality; now that she was abandoned, left againto her own d nike huarache evices, she felt herself suddenly at the mercy ofthe influences from w nike free run plus hich she thought she had escaped.
In the queer social whirligig from which she had so lately fled,it seemed natural enough that a shake of the box should havetossed Nat Fulmer into celebrity, and sent Violet Melrosechasing back from the ends of the earth to bask in his success.
Susy knew that Mrs. Melrose belonged to the class of moralparasites; for in that strange world the parts were sometimesreversed, and the wealthy preyed upon the pauper. Whereverthere was a reputation to batten on, there poor Violet appeared,a harmless vampire in pearls who sought only to feed on thenotoriety which all her millions could not create for her. Anyone less versed than Susy in the shallow mysteries of her littleworld would have seen in Violet Melrose a baleful en nike free run 2 review chantress,in Nat Ful nike huarache free run mer her helpless victim. Susy knew better. Violet,poor Violet, was not even that. The insignificant EllieVanderlyn, with her brief trivial passions, her artless mixtureof amorous and social interests, was a woman with a purpose, acreature who fulfilled herself; but Violet was only a driftinginterrogation.
And what of Fulmer? Mustering with new eyes his short sturdily-built figure, his nondescript bearded face, and the eyes thatdreamed and wandered, and then suddenly sank into you likeclaws, Susy seemed to have found the key to all his years ofdogged toil, his indifference to neglect, indifference topoverty, indifference to the needs of his growing family ….
Yes: for the first time she saw that he looked commonpla nike free ceenough to be a genius–was a genius, perhaps, even though it wasViolet Melrose who affirmed it! Susy looked steadily at Fulmer,their eyes met, and he smiled at her faintly through his beard.
“Yes, I did discover him–I did,” Mrs. Melrose was insisting,from the depths of the black velvet divan in which she lay sunklike a wan Nereid in a midnight sea. “You mustn’t believe aword that Ursula Gillow tells you about having pounced on his’Spring Snow Storm’ in a dark corner of the American Artists’
exhibition–skied, if you please! They skied him less than ayear ago! And naturally Ursula never in her life looked highe cheap nike free run 2 rthan the first line at a picture-show. And now she actuallypretends … oh, for pity’s sake don’t say it doesn’t matter,Fulmer! Your saying that just encourages her, and makes peoplethink she did. When, in reality, any one who saw me at theexhibition on varnishing-day …. Who? Well, EddyBreckenridge, for instance. He was in Egypt, you say? Perhapshe was! As if one could remember the people about one, whensudde nike free review nly one comes upon a great work of art, as St. Paul did–didn’t he?–and the scales fell from his eyes. Well … that’sexactly what happened to me that day … and Ursula, everybodyknows, was down at Roslyn at the time, and didn’t come up forthe opening of the exhibition at all. And Fulmer sits there andlaughs, and says it doesn’t matter, and that he’ll paint anotherpicture any day for me to discover!”Susy had rung the door-bell with a hand trembling witheagerness–eagerness to be alone, to be quiet, to stare hersituation in the face, and collect herself before she came outagain among her kind. She had stood on the door-step, coweringamong her bags, counting the instants till a step sounded andthe door-knob turned, letting her in from the searching glare ofthe outer world …. And now she had sat for an hour inViolet’s dr awing-room, in the very house where her honey-moonmight have been spent; and no one had asked her where she hadcome from, or why she was alone, or what was the key to thetragedy written on her shrinking face ….
That was the way of the world they lived in. Nobody questioned,nobody wondered any more-because nobody had time to remember.
The old risk of prying curiosity, of malicious gossip, wasvirtually over: one was left with one’s drama, one’s disaster,on one’s hands, because there was nobody to stop and notice thelittle shrouded object one was carrying. As Susy watched thetwo people before her, each so frankly unaffected by herpresence, Violet Melrose so engrossed in her feverish pursuit ofnotoriety, Fulmer so plunged in the golden sea of his success,she felt like a ghost making inaudible and imperceptible appealsto nike free 5.0 v4 the grosser senses of the living.
“If I wanted to be alone,” she thought, “I’m alone enough, inall conscience.” There

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