Excerpt: ...he had pushed nearer to her on the sofa. "Why, Tweet is Mrs. Byers, now; court let her take back her maiden name. I didn't oppose the divorce; nothing like peace in families, you know. Tweet was all right, and I hain't got anything to say against her. She's a good girl; but we couldn't seem to hit it off, and we agreed to quit, after ...Read MoreExcerpt: ...he had pushed nearer to her on the sofa. "Why, Tweet is Mrs. Byers, now; court let her take back her maiden name. I didn't oppose the divorce; nothing like peace in families, you know. Tweet was all right, and I hain't got anything to say against her. She's a good girl; but we couldn't seem to hit it off, and we agreed to quit, after we'd tried it a couple of years or so, and I've been a free man ever since." It could not be honestly said that Cornelia was profoundly revolted by the facts so lightly, almost gaily, presented. Her innocence of so much that they implied, and her familiarity with divorce as a common incident of life, alike protected her from the shock. But what really struck terror to her heart was something that she realized with the look that the hideous little man now bent upon her: the mutual understanding; the rights once relinquished which might now be urged again; the memory of things past, were all suggested in this look. She thought of Ludlow, with his lofty ideals and his great gifts, and then she looked at this little grinning, leering wretch, and remembered how he had once put his arm round her and kissed her. It seemed impossible--too cruel and unjust to be. She was scarcely more than a child, then, and that foolish affair had been more her mother's folly than her own. It flashed upon her that unless she put away the shame of it, the shame would weaken her and master her. But how to assert herself she did not know till he gave her some pretext. "Well," he sighed, rolling his head against the back of the sofa, and looking up at the chandelier, "sometimes a man has more freedom than he's got any use for. I don't know as I want to be back under Tweet's thumb, but I guess the Scripture was about right where it says it ain't good for a man to be alone. When d'you leave Pymantoning, Nelie?" "It makes no difference when I left." Cornelia got to her feet, trembling. "And I'll thank you not to...Read Less
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