Yes, Vance said, he’d like first-rate to look round. He explained eagerly that he’d seen hardly any pictures, and wanted to get hold of some good books on the history of painting maybe she could lend him some? But he was checked by the perception that Mrs. Pulsifer was no longer nike free run 2 listening, and that this was not the sort of thing she wanted to hear. He was dimly aware that he had missed his chance, that had he imprisoned her hand the prize would have been his. “Rauch would never have let her go,” he thought, half amused. But she was too unlike the other women with whom he had exchanged easy caresses. She seemed bloodless, immaterial, as if she were a part of her splendid and unfamiliar setting, and might at any moment recede into one of the great gilt frames at which he stood gazing. She poured out a glib patter about the pictures, HER pictures; her Constable, HER Rembrandt, HER Ver Meer, other names he didn’t catch in his excitement; and then led him to another room to show him her “moderns,” bewildering things with unknown names, but all alluded to in the same proprietary tone, as if the artists, whoever they were, had worked, like her architect, only for her and under her direction. Some painters, not represented on her walls, she spoke of with contempt, said she wouldn’t have them at any price though other people fought for them — she was determined to be herself, to be independent, no matter how hard people tried to influence her. Didn’t he think she was right, she challenged him? Her nervous chatter disturbed his enjoyment of the pictures, and prevented the isolation of soul in which great impressions reached him. What a pity, he thought! His heart was beating and murmuring with new harmonies; but perhaps another day, when he got to know her better, and they felt more nike free powerlines ext at ease with each other, he could ask her to let him come back. And he thought how different it would have been if the woman at his side had been Halo Tarrant, who always made him see beautiful things more clearly instead of blurring themAh — here’s tea. But you’d rather have a cocktail?” Mrs. Pulsifer said. They had returned to the circular room; by the fire stood a table with cups of thin porcelain around a shining urn. Vance said he’d rather have tea. No one had ever offered it to him at that hour, and it amused him to watch her slim hands moving over the tray, shaking the tea into the teapot, regulating the flame of the urn. It reminded him of a scene in an English novel he had read at the Willows. He began to think of his own novel again, and had to rouse himself to hear what Mrs. Pulsifer was saying — something hurried and confused about being lonely, and hating her riches because they shut her off from the only people she cared to see and worshipping genius, and wondering if he wouldn’t promise to be her great great friend, and come often to see her, and tell her all her faults, and let her talk to him about herself — which, it seemed to Vance, was just what she had been doing for the last hourHe mumbled that he was ever so grateful, and would be glad if she’d let him come back for another look at the pictures; but she said if it was only to see the pictures that he wanted to come he was like everybody else, and didn’t care for her but for her house, and what she wanted was a friend who would feel the same about her if she lived in a hovel; but she supposed she wasn’t clever enough to interest the only kind of people who interested her, and must just make the best of this dreadful nike air max 90 loneliness that her money seemed to condemn her toHer eyes filled, and for a moment she seemed to break her unreality and become human. “Oh, don’t say that — you mustn’t, you know — ” he began, putting down his cup and moving nearer; but as he did so he caught sight of a clock over her shoulder, and exclaimed: “God, I’ve only just got time to catch my train — Sorry I’ve got to run for it .” Her face changed again, narrowing into distrust and resentment. Why did he have to catch that particular train? Weren’t there plenty of others? She forced a smile to add that people always made excuses like that when they were bored with you, and she supposed she’d bored him or else why wouldn’t he stay? But Vance remembered a promise to get back with a new tonic for Laura Lou. No, he couldn’t, he said; there was no train till much later, and he had his work“Ah, your work; how I envy people with work, work like yours, I mean .” Her face softened, she left her hand in his. “You’ll really come again soon, won’t you? You’ll come next week? You shall have the pictures all to yourself; I’ll hide away, and you won’t even see me,” she assured him laughingly; and he thanked her and fled. By the time he reached Paul’s Landing the whole episode had faded into unreality. Were there houses like that, women like that, pictures like that? The chief impression that remained was that she had said he could come back and see the pictures . Mrs. Tracy was waiting on the threshold, and he handed her the tonic with the satisfaction he felt when he had managed not to forget an errand. How was Laura Lou? Had the day been good? Pretty good — yes; but she was a little tired. He’d better not go up: she was sleeping. He turned in to the dining room and went over to his desk, his mind full of things he wanted to put down while they were hot. But Mrs. Tracy followed, and after straightening the plates on the dinner table came and stood by the desk. “There was someone called to see you,” she saidSomeone — whoBunty Hayes.” The blood rushed to Vance’s forehead. Hayes — the cheek of the fellow’s having followed him here! “I’ll have to fight it out with him after all,” he thoughtHe’s been after me already, at the office. He says he wants to fight me.” Mrs. Tracy smiled coldly. “He didn’t want to fight you today. What he wanted was his money.” Vance’s anger exploded. “His money? I’m doing all I can to earn it for him. If I could do it quicker I wouldThat’s what I told him,” she agreed, still coldlyWell, did he go away after that?” Mrs. Tracy hesitated, and wiped her wasted hands on her apron. “Not right offWhy — what else did he wantTo see Laura LouLaura Lou? The fellow’s impudence!” Vance laughed indignantlyHe wasn’t impudent. He was sorry she was so sick. I could see how bad he felt.” Vance found nothing to say. The remembrance nike air max 1 of the crumpled letter on the floor of his wife’s room shot through him with the same pang as beforeWell, I’ve got to get to work,” he said. Chapter 27 Laura Lou’s convalescence was slow, her illness expensive. Upton, appealed to by Mrs. Tracy, said all his savings had gone into buying a Ford, and he could do nothing for them for the present. Vance knew that his mother-in-law expected his family to come to his aid. She ascribed Laura Lou’s illness to his imprudence, and felt that, since his endless scribbling brought in so little, he ought to get help from home. But Vance could not bring himself to ask for money, and his reports of Laura Lou’s illness produced only letters of sympathy from his mother and grandmother, and knitted bed jackets from the girls. His father wrote that times were bad in real estate, and offered again to try and get him a job on the Free Speaker if he would come back to live at Euphoria. And there the matter ended.  
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