Tramping on Life eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 581 pages of information about Tramping on Life.

“Did you see in the paper about Mrs. Suydam?”

“Yes, it was a terrible thing.”

“—­if we had only written to them!”

“—­that was what I thought!”

“Shall I come to the city now?  My book is finished.  I’m a real author now.”

“The book is finished?  That’s fine, Johnnie ... but don’t come to the city now ... wait my letter.”

* * * * *

When the bulky letter came, the roads rang like iron to my step.  I wouldn’t allow myself to read it in the post office.  I hugged the luxury of the idea of reading it by the fire, slowly.  I kissed the still unopened envelope many times on the way home.

* * * * *

I broke the letter open ... it fell out of my hands as if a paralysis had smitten me....

No, no, I would not believe it ... it could not be true ... in so short a time ... with hands that shook as with palsy I plucked it up from the chilly, draughty floor again....

Another man!”

She had met, was in love with, another man!

Oh, incredible! incredible!  I moaned in agony.  I rocked like an old woman rocking her body in grief.

Now was my time to end it all!

Damn all marriage!  Damn all free love!  God damn to hell all women!

* * * * *

I thought of many ways of committing suicide.  But I only thought of them.

I flung out into the night, meaning to go and tell Mrs. Rond of the incredible doom that had fallen upon me, the unspeakable betrayal.

“Poor Penton!” I cried.  “Poor Penton!”

At last I sympathised fully with him.

* * * * *

Ashamed, in my slowly gathering new man’s pride, I did not go in to see Mrs. Rond.  Instead, I drove past her house with that curious, bent-kneed walk of mine,—­and I walked and walked, not heeding the cold, till the ocean shouldered, phosphorescent, in the enormous night toward me.

* * * * *

Home again, I slept like a drunkard.  It was broad day when I woke.

I had dreamed deliciously all night of Hildreth ... was strangely not unsatisfied—­when I woke again to the hell of the reality her letter had plunged me into.

* * * * *

Mrs. Rond ... of course I finally took her into my confidence, and told her the entire story....

“Not to speak in disparagement of Hildreth, I knew it all along, Johnnie ... knew that this would be the result ... but come, come, you have bigger things in you ...  Penton Baxter will win his divorce sooner or later.  Hildreth has another man, poor little girl!  You have all that God means you to have at present:  Your first book!”

* * * * *


Project Gutenberg
Tramping on Life from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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