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She said it over and over under her breath: “free, free, free!” The vacant stare and the look of terror that had followed it went from her eyes. Her pulses beat fast, and the coursing blood warmed and relaxed every inch of her body.
A clear and exalted perception enabled her to dismiss the suggestion as trivial. Her fancy was running riot along those days ahead of her.
There would be no powerful will bending hers in that blind persistence with which men and women believe they have a right to impose a private will upon a fellow-creature. There was a feverish triumph in her eyes, and she carried herself unwittingly like a goddess of Victory.
A kind intention or a cruel intention made the act seem no less a crime as she looked upon it in that brief moment of illumination. She clasped her sister’s waist, and together they descended the stairs. Some one was opening the front door with a latchkey.
Mallard was afflicted with a heart trouble, great care was taken to break to her as gently as possible the news of her husband’s death.
It was her sister Josephine who told her, in broken sentences; veiled hints that revealed in half concealing.