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Aaron's Rod by D. H. Lawrence

And ROB ert Robert is a dilettante


"After

all, one doesn't leave one's husband every day, to go and live with another man. Even if one looks on it as an experiment--."

"It's difficult!" cried Julia. "It's difficult! I feel they all want to FORCE me to decide. It's cruel."

"Oh, men with their beastly logic, their either-this-or-that stunt, they are an awful bore.--But of course, Robert can't love you REALLY, or he'd want to keep you. I can see Lilly discussing such a thing for ME. But then you don't love Robert either," said Tanny.

"I do! Oh, I do, Tanny! I DO love him, I love him dearly. I think he's beautiful. Robert's beautiful. And he NEEDS me. And I need him too. I need his support. Yes, I do love him."

"But you like Scott better," said Tanny.

"Only because he--he's different," sang Julia, in long tones. "You see Scott has his art. His art matters. And ROB-ert--Robert is a dilettante, don't you think--he's dilettante--" She screwed up her eyes at Tanny. Tanny cogitated.

"Of course I don't think that matters," she replied.

"But it does, it matters tremendously, dear Tanny, tremendously."

"Of course," Tanny sheered off. "I can see Scott has great attractions--a great warmth somewhere--"

"Exactly!" cried Julia.

"He UNDERSTANDS!"

"And I believe he's a real artist. You might even work together. You might write his librettos."

"Yes!--Yes!--" Julia spoke with a long, pondering hiss.

"It might be AWFULLY nice," said Tanny rapturously.

"Yes!--It might!--It might--!" pondered Julia. Suddenly she gave herself a shake. Then she laughed hurriedly, as if breaking from her line of thought.

"And wouldn't Robert be an AWFULLY nice lover for Josephine! Oh, wouldn't that be splendid!" she cried, with her high laugh.

Josephine, who had been gazing down into the orchestra, turned now, flushing darkly.

"But I don't want a lover, Julia," she said, hurt.

"Josephine dear! Dear old Josephine! Don't you really! Oh, yes, you do.--I want one so BADLY," cried Julia, with her shaking laugh. "Robert's awfully good to me. But we've been married six years. And it does make a difference, doesn't it, Tanny dear?"

"A great difference," said Tanny.

"Yes, it makes a difference, it makes a difference," mused Julia. "Dear old Rob-ert--I wouldn't hurt him for worlds. I wouldn't. Do you think it would hurt Robert?"

She screwed up her eyes, looking at Tanny.

"Perhaps it would do Robert good to be hurt a little," said Tanny. "He's so well-nourished."

"Yes!--Yes!--I see what you mean, Tanny!--Poor old ROB-ert! Oh, poor old Rob-ert, he's so young!"

"He DOES seem young," said Tanny. "One doesn't forgive it."

"He is young," said Julia. "I'm five years older than he. He's only twenty-seven. Poor Old Robert."

"Robert is young, and inexperienced," said Josephine, suddenly turning with anger. "But I don't know why you talk about him."

"Is he inexperienced, Josephine dear? IS he?" sang Julia. Josephine flushed darkly, and turned away.


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