"I used to drop in very often for a cup of Catiche's good coffee. This is the first time since I came back."
"She'll bring you a plate, and you will share my dinner. There's always enough for two--even three." Edna had intended to be indifferent and as reserved as he when she met him; she had reached the determination by a laborious train of reasoning, incident to one of her despondent moods. But her resolve melted when she saw him before designing Providence had led him into her path.
"Why have you kept away from me, Robert?" she asked, closing the book that lay open upon the table.
"Why are you so personal, Mrs. Pontellier? Why do you force me to idiotic subterfuges?" he exclaimed with sudden warmth. "I suppose there's no use telling you I've been very busy, or that I've been sick, or that I've been to see you and not found you at home. Please let me off with any one of these excuses."
"You are the embodiment of selfishness," she said. "You save yourself something--I don't know what--but there is some selfish motive, and in sparing yourself you never consider for a moment what I think, or how I feel your neglect and indifference. I suppose this is what you would call unwomanly; but I have got into a habit of expressing myself. It doesn't matter to me, and you may think me unwomanly if you like."
"No; I only think you cruel, as I said the other day. Maybe not intentionally cruel; but you seem to be forcing me into disclosures which can result in nothing; as if you would have me bare a wound for the pleasure of looking at it, without the intention or power of healing it."
"I'm spoiling your dinner, Robert; never mind what I say. You haven't eaten a morsel."
"I only came in for a cup of coffee." His sensitive face was all disfigured with excitement.