The Place of Honeymoons (Chapter 2, page 2 of 9)


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Chapter 2

"That echoes of the Ambigu-Comique." He leaned upon his arms. "What are
you doing here?"

"I?"

"Yes. You do not talk like the other girls who come here."

"Monsieur comes here frequently, then?"

"This is the first time in five years. I came here to-night because I
wanted to be alone, because I did not wish to meet any one I knew. I have
scowled at every girl in the room, and they have wisely left me alone. I
haven't scowled at you because I do not know what to make of you. That's
frankness. Now, you answer my question."

"Would you spare me a glass of wine? I am thirsty."

He struck his hands together, a bit of orientalism he had brought back
with him. The observant waiter instantly came forward with a glass.

The young woman sipped the wine, gazing into the glass as she did so.
"Perhaps a whim brought me here. But I repeat, Monsieur is lonely."

"So lonely that I am almost tempted to put you into a taxicab and run away
with you."

She set down the glass.

"But I sha'n't," he added.

The spark of eagerness in her eyes was instantly curtained. "There is a
woman?" tentatively.

"Is there not always a woman?"

"And she has disappointed Monsieur?" There was no marked sympathy in the
tone.

"Since Eve, has that not been woman's part in the human comedy?" He was
almost certain that her lips became firmer. "Smile, if you wish. It is not
prohibitory here."

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