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Damaged Goods, The Great Play "Les Avaries" of Eugene Brieux Novelized

he yielded to the shameful temptation the night of that fatal supper party. He paid for the misadventure liberally in remorse. He felt that he had been a wretch, that he had disgraced himself forever, that he had proved himself unworthy of the pure girl he was to marry. So keen was his feeling that it was several days before he could bring himself to see Henriette again; and when he went, it was with a mind filled with a brand-new set of resolutions. It was the last time that he would ever fall into error. He would be a new man from then on. He thanked God that there was no chance of his sin being known, that he might have an opportunity to prove his new determination. So intense were his feelings that he could not help betraying a part of them to Henriette. They sat in the garden one soft summer evening, with Henriette's mother occupied with her crocheting at a decorous distance. George, in reverent and humble mood, began to drop vague hints that he was really unworthy of his bride-to-be. He said that he had not always been as good as he should have been; he said that her purity and sweetness had awakened in him new ideals; so that he felt his old life had been full of blunders. Henriette, of course, had but the vaguest of ideas as to what the blunders of a tender and generous young man like George might be. So she only loved him the more for his humility, and was flattered to have such a fine effect upon him, to awaken in him such moods of exaltation. When he told her that all men were bad, and that no man was worthy of such a beautiful love, she was quite ravished, and wiped away tears from her eyes. It would have been a shame to spoil such a heavenly mood by telling the real truth. Instead, George contented himself with telling of the new resolutions he had formed. After all, they were the things which really mattered; for Henriette was going to live with his future, not with his past. It seemed to George a most wonderful thing, this innocence of a young girl, which enabled her to move through a world of wickedness with unpolluted mind. It was a touching thing; and also, as a prudent young man could not help realizing, a most convenient thing. He realized the importance of preserving it, and thought that if he ever had a daughter, he would protect her as rigidly as Henriette had been protected. He made 17


by Upton Sinclair Damaged Goods, The Great Play "Les Avaries" of Eugene Brieux Novelized 1 Damaged Goods, The Great Play "Les Avaries" of Eu...

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