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33. Chapter XXXIII (continued)
Stroeve had always been excitable, but now he was beside himself; there was no reasoning with him. I thought it probable enough that Blanche Stroeve would not continue to find life with Strickland tolerable, but one of the falsest of proverbs is that you must lie on the bed that you have made. The experience of life shows that people are constantly doing things which must lead to disaster, and yet by some chance manage to evade the result of their folly. When Blanche quarrelled with Strickland she had only to leave him, and her husband was waiting humbly to forgive and forget. I was not prepared to feel any great sympathy for her.
"You see, you don't love her," said Stroeve.
"After all, there's nothing to prove that she is unhappy. For all we know they may have settled down into a most domestic couple."
Stroeve gave me a look with his woeful eyes.
"Of course it doesn't much matter to you, but to me it's so serious, so intensely serious."
I was sorry if I had seemed impatient or flippant.
"Will you do something for me?" asked Stroeve.
"Will you write to Blanche for me?"
"Why can't you write yourself?"
"I've written over and over again. I didn't expect her to answer. I don't think she reads the letters."
"You make no account of feminine curiosity. Do you think she could resist?"
"She could -- mine."
I looked at him quickly. He lowered his eyes. That answer of his seemed to me strangely humiliating. He was conscious that she regarded him with an indifference so profound that the sight of his handwriting would have not the slightest effect on her.
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