فصل 03

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فصل 03

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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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CHAPTER THREE

Samarkand and New York

Countess Olenska lived in a bohemian part of the city, the kind of place where artists and writers live. At five-thirty the next day, Newland arrived at the house. An Italian maid showed him into the drawing room. She said that the Countess was out but that she’d probably be home soon.

Newland had spent the afternoon with May and her mother, going to visit friends and relatives. He had hardly had a moment to speak to May alone, so he hadn’t told her about Countess Olenska’s request - her command - that he should visit her after five, but he knew that May would approve: she was always asking him to be kind to her cousin. After all, it had been in part to protect the Countess that he and May had announced their engagement sooner than they had planned. If Countess Olenska hadn’t come to New York, he would still have been a free man.

The drawing room was beautiful and unconventional. It smelled of spices. Several modern paintings in old frames hung on the red walls. French novels lay on the table, and beside them stood a vase with two roses in it. In New York, no one ever left books in the drawing room, and no one ever bought less than a dozen roses. He tried to imagine the drawing room in his future home with May. May and her mother would decide exactly how it should look, and it would be completely conventional, nothing like this room.

Hearing a carriage arrive at the door, he went to the window and looked out. There he saw Countess Olenska getting out of Beaufort’s carriage, followed by Beaufort himself. Beaufort kissed her hand and got back into the carriage.

“Ah!” cried Countess Olenska, coming into the drawing room. “How do you like my house?”

“It’s lovely,” said Newland.

“I like it. I’m glad it’s here in New York - in my own country and my own town. And I’m glad I live alone in it.”

“Do you like being alone?” asked Newland.

“Yes, as long as my friends visit me so that I don’t feel lonely.” She sat down near the fire and said, “This is the time of day I like best.”

“I was afraid you’d forgotten the time. Beaufort can be very charming.”

“Mr Beaufort took me to see some houses. My family don’t like this one. I don’t know why. This street is respectable.”

“But it isn’t fashionable,” Newland replied.

“Is that so important?” she asked with a laugh, then she added, “but I want to do what you all do. I want to feel cared for and safe.”

“New York is terribly safe,” he said ironically.

“Yes. I feel that,” she replied. She hadn’t noticed his irony. She offered him a cigarette and lit one herself. “You must help me. You must tell me what I should and shouldn’t do.”

He wanted to say, “Don’t drive around with Beaufort”. But that was New York advice, and he didn’t feel as if he were in New York here. This seemed more like a drawing room in Samarkand. “There are plenty of people to tell you what to do,” he said.

“Yes - my aunts and my grandmother. They’ve all been so kind. But they don’t want to hear anything unpleasant. I tried to talk to them, but my Aunt Augusta told me it’s better not to discuss these things. Doesn’t anyone here want to know the truth, Mr Archer? I feel so lonely living among all these kind people who want me to pretend!” She began to cry.

“Countess Olenska! Ellen! Don’t cry!” he said, touching one of her hands.

“Does no one cry here, either?” she asked, moving her hand to wipe her tears away.

Just then the Italian maid came in and announced the Duke of St Austrey. Newland rose to his feet. “I’d better go,” he said.

Out in the street, he felt that he was in New York once more. He stopped at a florist’s shop to send lilies of the valley to May. He did this every morning, but today he had forgotten. Looking round the shop, he saw a vase full of yellow roses. He asked the florist to send them to Countess Olenska’s address. He didn’t sign the card.


The next day Newland went to see May. “Thank you for my lilies of the valley! They smell so lovely. It’s so good of you to remember to send them every day!”

“They were late yesterday,” said Newland. “I didn’t have time to send them in the morning. I sent your cousin some yellow roses at the same time. I hope that was the right thing to do.”

“How kind of you! She had lunch with us today, but she didn’t mention the roses. She said she’d received flowers from Mr Beaufort and from Mr van der Luyden. She seemed so pleased.”

Newland was annoyed that his own flowers had not been mentioned, even though he had failed to sign the card. Impulsively, he said, “May, let’s get married sooner than we planned. Why wait?”

“Well, it’s usual to wait a little while. Most New York couples are engaged for a year or two.”

“Why can’t we be different?”

“Oh, Newland! I love you so much! You’re so original!”

“Original!” he cried. “On the contrary, we’re all like paper dolls, exactly the same: we do the same things; we say the same things.” He had an irritating sense that May was playing the part of a young woman in love, saying all the things such young women were supposed to say.

“Mother wouldn’t like it if we were different,” said May. She looked a little bored and irritated, but then she smiled and said, “Oh! Did I tell you? I showed my engagement ring to Ellen. She thinks it’s the most beautiful ring she’s ever seen. She says there is nothing like it in Paris! I do love you, Newland, for being so artistic!”

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