I turned and went swiftly to the door. As I closed it after me, I thought I heard Dicky cry out hoarsely. But I did not stop.
“But I love you”
With my bag in my hand, I fairly fled down the stairs which led from our third floor apartment to the street. I had no idea where I was going or what I was going to do. Only one idea possessed me—to put as much space as possible between me and the apartment which held my husband and his mother.
Reaching the street, I started to walk along it briskly. But, trembling as I was from the humiliating scene I had just gone through, I saw that I could not walk indefinitely, and that I must get to some place at once where I could be alone and think.
A taxi whose driver evidently had been watching me in the hope of a fare rolled up beside me.
I dived into it gratefully. At least in its shelter I would be alone and safe from observation for a few minutes, long enough for me to decide what to do next.
“Where to, ma’am?”
I searched my memory wildly for a moment. Where to, indeed! But the chauffeur waited.
“Brooklyn Bridge,” I said desperately.
“Very well, ma’am,” and in another minute we were speeding swiftly southward.
As I cowered against the cushions of the taxi, with burning cheeks and crushed spirit, I realized that my marriage with Dicky was not a yoke that I could wear or not as I pleased. It was still on my shoulders, heavy just now, but a burden that I realized I loved and could not live without.
And I had thought to end it all when I dashed out of the apartment!
I knew that I could have done nothing else but walk out after Dicky uttered his humiliating ultimatum. But I also knew Dicky well enough to realize that when he came to himself he would regret what he had done and try to find me. I must make it an easy task for him.
So I decided my destination quickly. I would go to my old boarding place, where my mother and I had lived and where I had first met Dicky. My kindly old landlady, Mrs. Stewart, was one of my best friends. Without telling too broad a falsehood, I could make her believe I had come to spend the night with her. The next day, I hoped, would solve its own problems.
“This is the bridge entrance, ma’am.” The chauffeur’s voice broke my revery. I had made my decision just in time.
How fortunate it was that I had chosen the Brooklyn Bridge destination! I had only to walk up the stairs to the elevated train that took me within three squares of Mrs. Stewart’s home.
“Bless your heart, child, but I am glad to see you!” was Mrs. Stewart’s hearty greeting. Then she glanced at my bag. I hastened to explain.
“Mr. Graham’s mother is with us, so I haven’t any scruples about leaving him alone,” I said lightly. “It’s so far over here I thought I would stay the night with you, so that we could have the good long visit I promised you when I was here last.”