The Avalanche by Gertrude Atherton

The Avalanche

byGertrude Atherton

Kobo ebook | December 14, 2015

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Price Ruyler knew that many secrets had been inhumed by the earthquake and fire of San Francisco and wondered if his wife's had been one of them. After all, she had been born in this city of odd and whispered pasts, and there were moments when his silent mother-in-law suggested a past of her own.

That there was a secret of some sort he had been progressively convinced for quite six months. Moreover, he felt equally sure that this impalpable gray cloud had not drifted even transiently between himself and his wife during the first year and a half of their marriage. They had been uncommonly happy; they were happy yet ... the difference lay not in the quality of Hélène's devotion, enhanced always by an outspoken admiration for himself and his achievements, but in subtle changes of temperament and spirits.

She had been a gay and irresponsible young creature when he married her, so much so that he had found it expedient to put her on an allowance and ask her not to ran up staggering bills in the fashionable shops; which she visited daily, as much for the pleasure of the informal encounter with other lively and irresponsible young luminaries of San Francisco society as for the excitement of buying what she did not want.

He had broached the subject with some trepidation, for they had never had a quarrel; but she had shown no resentment whatever, merely an eager desire to please him. She even went directly down to the Palace Hotel and reproached her august parent for failing to warn her that a dollar was not capable of infinite expansion.

But no wonder she had been extravagant, she told Ruyler plaintively. It had been like a fairy tale, this sudden release from the rigid economies of her girlhood, when she had rarely had a franc in her pocket, and they had lived in a suite of the old family villa on one of the hills of Rouen, Madame Delano paying her brother for their lodging, and dressing herself and Hélène with the aid of a half paralyzed seamstress with a fiery red nose. Ma foi! It was the nightmare of her youth, that nose and that croaking voice. But the woman had fingers, and a taste! And her mother could have concocted a smart evening frock out of an old window curtain.

But the petted little daughter was never asked to go out and buy a spool of thread, much less was she consulted in the household economies. All she noticed was that her clothes were smarter than Cousin Marthe's, who had a real dressmaker, and was subject to fits of jealous sulks. No wonder that when money was poured into her lap out in this wonderful California she had assumed that it was made only to spend.

But she would learn! She would learn! She would ask her mother that very day to initiate her into the fascinating secrets of personal economies, teach her how to portion out her quarterly allowance between her wardrobe, club dues, charities, even her private automobile.

Title:The AvalancheFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:December 14, 2015Publisher:CPLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN:9990051305609

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