By Willa Cather
A portrait of a lady who displays the conventions of her age whilst she defies them and whose modifications include the decline and coarsening of the yank frontier.
BONUS: The variation comprises an excerpt from the chosen Letters of Willa Cather.
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Extra info for A Lost Lady
Leaving him thus haranguing the people, more to their amusement than edification, I returned to the house, and having made some alteration in my toilet, hastened away to Wildfell Hall, with the book in my pocket; for it was destined for the shelves of Mrs Graham. ’— Not precisely, old buck; this was my first experiment in that line; and I was very anxious to see the result of it. We had met several times since the—Bay excursion, and I had found she was not averse to my company, provided I confined my conversation to the discussion of abstract matters, or topics of common interest;— the moment I touched upon the sentimental or the complimentary, or made the slightest approach to tenderness in word or look, I was not only punished by an immediate change in her manner at the time, but doomed to find her more cold and distant, if not entirely inaccessible, when next I sought her company.
Mrs Graham seated herself at a distance from me. Eliza was my nearest neighbour. She exerted herself to be agreeable, in her gentle, unobtrusive way, and was, no doubt, as fascinating and charming as ever, if I could only have felt it. , and restore them to the baskets; and Mrs Graham took her camp-tool and drawing materials; and having begged Miss Millward to take charge of her precious son, and strictly enjoined him not to wander from his new guardian’s side, she left us and proceeded along the steep, stony hill, to a loftier, more precipitous eminence at some distance, whence a still finer prospect was to be had, where she preferred taking her sketch, though some of the ladies told her it was a frightful place, and advised her not to attempt it.
When a lady condescends to apologize, there is no keeping one’s anger of course; so we parted good friends for once; and this time, I squeezed her hand with a cordial, not a spiteful pressure. Chapter 6 During the next four months, I did not enter Mrs Graham’s house, nor she mine; but still the ladies continued to talk about her, and still our acquaintance continued, though slowly, to advance. —But Mary liked children, and fond mammas like those who can duly appreciate their treasures. But sometimes I saw her myself,—not only when she came to church, but when she was out on the hills with her son, whether taking a long, purpose-like walk, or—on special fine days—leisurely rambling over the moor or the bleak pasture-lands surrounding the old hall, herself with a book in her hand, her son gambolling about her; and, on any of these occasions, when I caught sight of her in my solitary walks or rides, or while following my agricultural pursuits, I generally contrived to meet or overtake her; for I rather liked to see Mrs Graham, and to talk to her, and I decidedly liked to talk to her little companion, whom, when once the ice of his shyness was fairly broken, I found to be a very amiable, intelligent, and entertaining little fellow; and we soon became excellent friends—how much to the gratification of his mamma, I cannot undertake to say.
A Lost Lady by Willa Cather