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After breakfast they all dispersed. Eugene as usual went to his study, but instead of beginning to read or write his letters, he sat smoking one cigarette after another and thinking. He was terribly surprised and disturbed by the unexpected recrudescence within him of the bad feeling from which he had thought himself free since his marriage. Since then he had not once experienced that feeling, either for her — the woman he had known — or for any other woman except his wife. He had often felt glad of this emancipation, and now suddenly a chance meeting, seemingly so unimportant, revealed to him the fact that he was not free. What now tormented him was not that he was yielding to that feeling and desired her — he did not dream of so doing — but that the feeling was awake within him and he had to be on his guard against it. He had not doubt but that he would suppress it.
And yet away down at the bottom of his heart he had misgivings. When day after day went on and the nymph stood still in the same place, he could not help thinking to himself, “What if it should be a wooden image, after all!”
“If you beat me, Frank,” he said, “I shall take to drink. What will you do, if it goes the other way?”详情 ➢
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