Bitterness Of Women: By Mary Austin

Bitterness of Women By Mary Austin ILLUSTRATIONS BY DENMAN FINK

LOUIS CHABOT was sitting under the fig tree in her father’s garden at Tres Pinos when he told Marguerita Dupré that he could not love her. This sort of thing happened so often to Louis that he did it very well and rather enjoyed it, for he was one of those before whom women bloomed instinctively and preened themselves, and that Marguerita loved him very much was known not only to Louis, but to all Tres Pinos.

It was bright mid-afternoon and there was no sound in Dupré’s garden louder than the dropping of ripe figs and the drip of the hydrant under the Castilian roses. A mile out of town Chabot’s flock dozed on their feet with their heads under one another’s bellies, and his herders dozed on the ground with their heads under the plaited tops of the sage. Old Dupré sat out in front of his own front yard, with a handkerchief over his face, and slept very soundly. Chabot finished his claret to the last drop--it was excellent claret, this of Dupré’s--turned the tumbler upside down, sat back in his chair, and explained to Marguerita point by point why he did not love her.

Marguerita leaned her fat arms on the table, wrapped in her blue reboza; it was light blue and she was too dark for it, but it was such a pretty color; she leaned forward, looking steadily and quietly at Louis, because she was afraid if she so much as let her lids droop the tears would come and if she smiled her lips would quiver. Marguerita felt that she had not invited this, neither had she known how to avoid it.

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