Pavilion of Women by Pearl S. Buck EPUB & PDF – eBook Details Online
- Author: Pearl S. Buck
- Genre: Historical Asian Fiction, Classic American Fiction, Historical Chinese Fiction
- Publish Date: 21 August 2012
- Size: 4 MB
- Format: PDF / EPUB
- Status: Avail for Download
- Price: Free
IT WAS HER FORTIETH birthday. Madame Wu sat before the tilted
mirror of her toilet case and looked at her own calm face. In
her mind she was comparing it with the face she had seen in
this same mirror when she was sixteen.
On that day she had
risen from her marriage bed early, for she had always been an
early riser, and putting on her new chamber robe she had come
into this same room and had taken her place before the toilet
table. She had sat in her quiet fashion, easily motionless, and
had gazed at her young face.
“Can it be that I look the same today as yesterday?” she
had asked herself on that first morning after her marriage.
She had examined her face minutely, broad low forehead,
yesterday stripped of its girlhood fringe, long eyes, delicate
nose, the oval of cheeks and chin and the small red mouth, that
morning very red. Then Ying, her new maid, had hurried in.
“Oh, Miss—Oh, Madame,” she had faltered. “I thought
today you would not be so early!” Ying’s cheeks had been
bright with blushes.
Madame’s own cheeks were as pearly pale as usual,
above the red mouth. “I like to get up early,” she had replied in
her usual gentle voice, the voice which in the night the young
man whom she had never seen before had told her was like the
voice of a singing bird.
At this moment, twenty-four years later, as though she
knew what her mistress was remembering, Ying spoke from
behind the heavy redwood chair. Her hands were busy with the
coils of Madame Wu’s shining, straight black hair, but she had
now made these coils for so many years that she could lift her
eyes from the task and look at the beautiful face in the mirror.
“Lady, you have changed not at all in these twenty-four
years,” Ying said.
“Are you thinking of that morning, too?” Madame Wu
replied. She met Ying’s eyes in the mirror with affection. Ying
had grown stout in twenty years of being married to the head
cook, but Madame Wu was as slender as ever.
Ying laughed loudly. “I was more shy than you that
morning, Lady,” she said. “Ai ya, how shy I was then—with
how little cause, eh, Lady? It’s only natural, what goes on
between men and women, but then it seemed some sort of
Madame Wu smiled without reply. She allowed Ying
complete freedom in all she said, but when she did not wish to
carry on the conversation she made her smile fleeting and kept
silence after it. Ying fell silent, too.
dissatisfaction with a coil of the smooth black hair under her
fingers, and pursing her lips, she let one strand down and put it
up again. When it was finished she put two jade pins into the
coil, one on either side, and wetting her hands with an oiled
perfume, she smoothed Madame Wu’s already sleek head.
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