PART III. Winter Memories
1. CHAPTER I (continued)
Marie, when she was alone or when she sat sewing in the evening,
often thought about what it must be like down there where Emil was;
where there were flowers and street bands everywhere, and carriages
rattling up and down, and where there was a little blind boot-black
in front of the cathedral who could play any tune you asked for
by dropping the lids of blacking-boxes on the stone steps. When
everything is done and over for one at twenty-three, it is pleasant
to let the mind wander forth and follow a young adventurer who has
life before him. "And if it had not been for me," she thought,
"Frank might still be free like that, and having a good time making
people admire him. Poor Frank, getting married wasn't very good
for him either. I'm afraid I do set people against him, as he says.
I seem, somehow, to give him away all the time. Perhaps he would
try to be agreeable to people again, if I were not around. It
seems as if I always make him just as bad as he can be."
Later in the winter, Alexandra looked back upon that afternoon as
the last satisfactory visit she had had with Marie. After that
day the younger woman seemed to shrink more and more into herself.
When she was with Alexandra she was not spontaneous and frank
as she used to be. She seemed to be brooding over something, and
holding something back. The weather had a good deal to do with
their seeing less of each other than usual. There had not been
such snowstorms in twenty years, and the path across the fields was
drifted deep from Christmas until March. When the two neighbors
went to see each other, they had to go round by the wagon-road,
which was twice as far. They telephoned each other almost every
night, though in January there was a stretch of three weeks when
the wires were down, and when the postman did not come at all.