Meet us on:
 
Entire Site
    Try our fun game

    Dueling book covers…may the best design win!

    Random Quote
    "Design can be art. Design can be aesthetics. Design is so simple, that's why it is so complicated."
     

    Subscribe to Our Newsletter

    Follow us on Twitter

    Never miss a good book again! Follow Read Print on Twitter

    Chapter 14

    • Rate it:
    • 2 Favorites on Read Print
    Launch Reading Mode Next Chapter
    Chapter 15
    Previous Chapter
    The shop in the Arcade of the Pont Neuf remained closed for three days.
    When it opened again, it appeared darker and damper. The shop-front
    display, which the dust had turned yellow, seemed to be wearing the
    mourning of the house; the various articles were scattered at sixes
    and sevens in the dirty windows. Behind the linen caps hanging from
    the rusty iron rods, the face of Therese presented a more olive, a more
    sallow pallidness, and the immobility of sinister calm.

    All the gossips in the arcade were moved to pity. The dealer in
    imitation jewelry pointed out the emaciated profile of the young widow
    to each of her customers, as an interesting and lamentable curiosity.

    For three days, Madame Raquin and Therese had remained in bed without
    speaking, and without even seeing one another. The old mercer, propped
    up by pillows in a sitting posture, gazed vaguely before her with the
    eyes of an idiot. The death of her son had been like a blow on the head
    that had felled her senseless to the ground. For hours she remained
    tranquil and inert, absorbed in her despair; then she was at times
    seized with attacks of weeping, shrieking and delirium.

    Therese in the adjoining room, seemed to sleep. She had turned her face
    to the wall, and drawn the sheet over her eyes. There she lay
    stretched out at full length, rigid and mute, without a sob raising the
    bed-clothes. It looked as if she was concealing the thoughts that made
    her rigid in the darkness of the alcove.

    Suzanne, who attended to the two women, went feebly from one to the
    other, gently dragging her feet along the floor, bending her wax-like
    countenance over the two couches, without succeeding in persuading
    Therese, who had sudden fits of impatience, to turn round, or in
    consoling Madame Raquin, whose tears began to flow as soon as a voice
    drew her from her prostration.

    On the third day, Therese, rapidly and with a sort of feverish decision,
    threw the sheet from her, and seated herself up in bed. She thrust back
    her hair from her temples, and for a moment remained with her hands to
    her forehead and her eyes fixed, seeming still to reflect. Then, she
    sprang to the carpet. Her limbs were shivering, and red with fever;
    large livid patches marbled her skin, which had become wrinkled in
    places as if she had lost flesh. She had grown older.

    Suzanne, on entering the room, was struck with surprise to find her
    up. In a placid, drawling tone, she advised her to go to bed again, and
    continue resting. Therese paid no heed to her, but sought her clothes
    and put them on with hurried, trembling gestures. When she was dressed,
    she went and looked at herself in a glass, rubbing her eyes, and passing
    her hands over her countenance, as if to efface something. Then, without
    pronouncing a syllable, she quickly crossed the dining-room and entered
    the apartment occupied by Madame Raquin.

    She caught the old mercer in a moment of doltish calm. When Therese
    appeared, she turned her head following the movements of the young widow
    with her eyes, while the latter came and stood before her, mute and
    oppressed. The two women contemplated one another for some seconds, the
    niece with increasing anxiety, the aunt with painful efforts of memory.
    Madame Raquin, at last remembering, stretched out her trembling arms,
    and, taking Therese by the neck, exclaimed:

    "My poor child, my poor Camille!"

    She wept, and her tears dried on the burning skin of the young widow,
    who concealed her own dry eyes in the folds of the sheet. Therese
    remained bending down, allowing the old mother to exhaust her outburst
    of grief. She had dreaded this first interview ever since the murder;
    and had kept in bed to delay it, to reflect at ease on the terrible part
    she had to play.

    When she perceived Madame Raquin more calm, she busied herself about
    her, advising her to rise, and go down to the shop. The old mercer
    had almost fallen into dotage. The abrupt apparition of her niece had
    brought about a favourable crisis that had just restored her memory, and
    the consciousness of things and beings around her. She thanked Suzanne
    for her attention. Although weakened, she talked, and had ceased
    wandering, but she spoke in a voice so full of sadness that at moments
    she was half choked. She watched the movements of Therese with sudden
    fits of tears; and would then call her to the bedside, and embrace her
    amid more sobs, telling her in a suffocating tone that she, now, had
    nobody but her in the world.

    In the evening, she consented to get up, and make an effort to eat.
    Therese then saw what a terrible shock her aunt had received. The legs
    of the old lady had become so ponderous that she required a stick to
    assist her to drag herself into the dining-room, and there she thought
    the walls were vacillating around her.

    Nevertheless, the following day she wished the shop to be opened. She
    feared she would go mad if she continued to remain alone in her room.
    She went down the wooden staircase with heavy tread, placing her two
    feet on each step, and seated herself behind the counter. From that day
    forth, she remained riveted there in placid affliction.

    Therese, beside her, mused and waited. The shop resumed its gloomy calm.
    Next Chapter
    Chapter 15
    Previous Chapter
    If you're writing a Emile Zola essay and need some advice, post your Emile Zola essay question on our Facebook page where fellow bookworms are always glad to help!

    Top 5 Authors

    Top 5 Books

    Book Status
    Finished
    Want to read
    Abandoned

    Are you sure you want to leave this group?