to her was still, and perhaps always would be, Halo Tarrant. For whatever cause, he saw at a glance that she nursed a grievance, a fact confirmed by her not replying to his remark. It was always a proof of resentment in Laura Lou to ignore what he said, and meet each of his conversational jordan 10 shoes attempts by a totally irrelevant replyThe dinner bell rang ever so long ago,she said, rising listlessly from her rocking chairI could smell that fact as soon as I opened the front door,he returned, his eagerness driven back on itself by her indifference.Just let me wash my hands and he began to throw down on the floor a pile of linen stacked in the washbasinOh don’t, Vance it’s the laundry, just come home,she exclaimed, stooping to pick up the scattered garments.And this floor’s so dirty Well, you’ve got a closet to keep things in,he retorted, exasperated, as he always was, by her growing inertia, her way of letting their clothes lie about and accumulate in the cramped untidy room, rather than take the trouble of putting them where they belonged. But he was always ashamed of himself when he spoke to her impatiently, and to efface his retort he added, while he dried his hands:Been out any this afternoon, old ladyNoWhy not? A little walk would have done you goodI didn’t feel like walking.” It was their eternal daily dialogue. Why didn’t she ever jordan womens shoes feel like walking? In the early days she used to spring up the hillsides with him like a young deer but now, day after day, she just sat in her chair, and rocked and brooded. He suspected her of thinking not unnaturally that in a city there was no object in going out unless you had money for shopping or the movies. She had never said so she never complained of their lack of money; but she could not understand what else there was to do in a place like New YorkThen you’ve stuck indoors again all day and not spoken to a human being? I hate your being always alone like that,he said, dashing the brush irritably through his hairI wasn’t alone.She paused, and then brought out:Not this afternoon, at least. I had a visitorA visitor? Well, that’s good.He supposed it was one of Mrs. Hubbard’s otherguests,though he knew that Laura Lou did not encourage their neighbourly advances, partly through shyness, partly, he suspected, through some fierce instinct of self~protection, the desire to keep him and their two lives absolutely to herselfCome along down.Who was it?he continued absently, passing his arm through hers. She stood still.It was Mrs. Tarrant.” He stopped short also, in astonishment.Mrs. Tarrant? She came to see youYesWas the parlour empty? Could you see her there?he questioned, evoking in a flash the strange unlikely scene, and the possibility of Mrs. Hubbard’s other ladies watchfully clustered about the unknown visitorI don’t know. I sent word by the girl I was sick and the first thing I knew she came up hereHERE Mrs. Tarrant did?Vance stood gazing about him, as if brutally awakened to the sight of the room, its blistered faded paper with patches of a different design, their scanty possessions untidily tossed about, the slovenly intimacies of bed and washstand and night tableWell, why shouldn’t she? I didn’t ask her toI only meant, I should have thought you’d rather have seen her downstairs.” Laura Lou’s lips narrowed.I’d rather not have seen her at all.When she spoke in that tone, between those level lips, the likeness to her mother, which had already peeped out at him now and again, suddenly took possession of her whole face. cheap air jordans Vance looked at her attentively. It was no doubt because she had grown thinner in the last months, and lost her colour, that the resemblance affirmed itself in this startling way. Vance remembered what his grandmother had said about Mrs. Tracy’s prettiness and her pink silk flounces, when, on her bridal tour, she had visited her western relatives at Advance. He was chilled by the sense of life perpetually slipping by, and leaving its stealthy disfigurement on spirit and flesh.What was the use of anything, with this decrepitude at the core? I didn’t ask her to come up,Laura Lou repeated querulouslyOh, well, no matter.What did she come for?” ‘To ask us to a partyA party She wants to give you a party. She says lots of people are crazy to see you. She said I oughtn’t to keep you so shut up.She asked me to pick an evening.There was a curious ring of gratified pride under the affected indifference of Laura Lou’s voiceWell, did you?Vance asked ironicallyI said she’d better see you. I said I didn’t care about parties, but I’d never kept you from going.She paused, and added rigidly:I told her there was no use coming here to see you because you were always out.” Vance received this in silence. What was there to say? Mrs. Tarrant had come to invite them to a party had delivered her invitation in that room! Did she really think parties were a panacea for such a plight as theirs? Or had she been moved by another impulse which had been checked on her lips by Laura Lou’s manifest hostility? The dreary ironic light of failure lay on everything, as it had on that far-off day at Euphoria when Vance, recovering from his fever, had poured out his bitterness in his first tale. Perhaps life would never again be bearable to him except as material for his art. In itself it seemed persistently ugly and uncontrollable, a horror one could neither escape from nor master as if one should be forever battling in the dark with a grimacing idiotSee here there’ll be nothing left to eat if we don’t go down,he reminded his wifeI don’t want anything. I’m not hungry. Besides, it’s too lateyou’re always too late.” At that he snatched up his hat and coat in sudden anger. The likeness to Mrs. Tracy was not in his wife’s face alone.Oh, all right. Just as you like. I’m hungry, if you’re not. If dinner’s over I’ll go out and get a bite somewhereYou better,she rejoined, in the same lifeless tone; and without looking back at her he flung the door shut and ran downstairs and out of the house. In the first chophouse that he passed he found a table, ordered sausage and potatoes, with a cup of coffee, and devoured them ravenously. He was still young enough for anger and grief to make him hungry.There was no one he knew in the place, and after he had satisfied his hunger he pulled out his letters and glanced over them. As he had expected, they were all on literary business. One important publisher, who wanted his next novel, asked him to call and see if, in the course of a talk, they could not devise some plan of adjustment with Dreck and Saltzer. Though Vance had no hope of this he was encouraged by the urgency of the request. How easy it would have been, he thought, to work his way through his two remaining years of bondage if only Laura Lou had not weighed down every endeavour if only he had been free and alone! But there was no use in going through that weary round again. He had had the chance of freeing himself and had refused it. How could a fellow tell beforehand where each act would lead, and what would be the next to grow out of it? Perhaps they were right, those chaps at Rebecca Stram’s, who said it was all a blind labyrinth, a disconnected muddle. The despair of youth overcame him. He felt a jordans for sale sudden loss of faith in himself, in his powers, in the intrinsic interest of things, in his capacity to drag through these next two years of poverty, drudgery, and mental hunger. He asked the waitress if he could telephone. She said yes, and led him to the back of the room. He looked up a number and rang.Suddenly he heard an answering voice, and repeated the number.Yes,the voice said. He stammered:I want to speak to Mrs. Tarrant,and the same voice, with a note of reproach, came back:Why, Vance, don’t you know me? YesI’m here.Yes, comecome at oncedo.He hung up, and turned back dizzily to the door. She was there, she was so close that he seemed to feel her light touch on his shoulder.And she had been there, so near to him, all these months, and he had never once tried to see her. It seemed incredible, preposterous, the very core and centre of his folly. Why had he gone on starving when the banquet was spread and within his reach?  
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