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Other People's Money

Chapter I.15
It was done: Gilberte Favoral had just irrevocably disposed of herself.
Prosperous or wretched, her destiny henceforth was linked with another. She
had set the wheel in motion; and she could no longer hope to control its direction,
any more than the will can pretend to alter the course of the ivory ball upon the
surface of the roulette-table. At the outset of this great storm of passion which
had suddenly surrounded her, she felt an immense surprise, mingled with
unexplained apprehensions and vague terrors.
Around her, apparently, nothing was changed. Father, mother, brother, friends,
gravitated mechanically in their accustomed orbits. The same daily facts
repeated themselves monotonous and regular as the tick-tack of the clock.
And yet an event had occurred more prodigious for her than the moving of a
mountain.
Often during the weeks that followed, she would repeat to herself, "Is it true, is it
possible even?"
Or else she would run to a mirror to make sure once more that nothing upon her
face or in her eyes betrayed the secret that palpitated within her.
The singularity of the situation was, moreover, well calculated to trouble and
confound her mind.
Mastered by circumstances, she had in utter disregard of all accepted ideas, and
of the commonest propriety, listened to the passionate promises of a stranger,
and pledged her life to him. And, the pact concluded and solemnly sworn, they
had parted without knowing when propitious circumstances might bring them
together again.
 
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