She left about four o'clock in the morning. Her husband had been dozing
since midnight in a little deserted anteroom with three other gentlemen,
whose wives were having a good time.
He threw about her shoulders the wraps which he had brought for her to
go out in, the modest wraps of common life, whose poverty contrasted
sharply with the elegance of the ball dress. She felt this and wished to
escape, that she might not be noticed by the other women who were
wrapping themselves in costly furs.
Loisel held her back.
"Wait here, you will catch cold outside. I will go and find a cab."
But she would not listen to him, and rapidly descended the stairs. When
they were at last in the street, they could find no carriage, and began
to look for one, hailing the cabmen they saw passing at a distance.
They walked down toward the Seine in despair, shivering with the cold.
At last they found on the quay one of those ancient nocturnal cabs that
one sees in Paris only after dark, as if they were ashamed to display
their wretchedness during the day.
They were put down at their door in the Rue des Martyrs, and sadly
mounted the steps to their apartments. It was all over, for her. And as
for him, he reflected that he must be at his office at ten o'clock.
She took off the wraps which covered her shoulders, before the mirror,
so as to take a final look at herself in all her glory. But suddenly she
uttered a cry. She no longer had the necklace about her neck!
下期续 to be continued.
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