* * * * *
I am back again, dripping, wet through, glowing with shame and
fever. The negress has delivered my letter; I am judged, lost, in the
power of a heartless, affronted woman.
Well, let her kill me. I am unable to do it myself, and yet I have
no wish to go on living.
As I walk around the house, she is standing in the gallery, leaning
over the railing. Her face is full in the light of the sun, and her
green eyes sparkle.
“Still alive?” she asked, without moving. I stood silent, with bowed
“Give me back my poinard,” she continued. “It is of no use to you.
You haven’t even the courage to take your own life.”
“I have lost it,” I replied, trembling, shaken by chills.
She looked me over with a proud, scornful glance.
“I suppose you lost it in the Arno?” She shrugged her shoulders. “No
matter. Well, and why didn’t you leave?”
I mumbled something which neither she nor I myself could understand.
“Oh! you haven’t any money,” she cried. “Here!” With an
indescribably disdainful gesture she tossed me her purse.
I did not pick it up.
Both of us were silent for some time.
“You don’t want to leave then?”
“I can’t.”Share It