1 Mattie lifted her hand with a quick gesture, and he heard his wife's step behind him.
2 His hand was steady, but the attitude was an excuse for not making an immediate reply.
3 When the door of her room had closed on her he remembered that he had not even touched her hand.
4 Mattie's hand was underneath, and Ethan kept his clasped on it a moment longer than was necessary.
5 She stood just as Zeena had stood, a lifted lamp in her hand, against the black background of the kitchen.
6 Cautiously he slid his hand palm-downward along the table till his finger-tips touched the end of the stuff.
7 Ethan's hand dropped from the door-knob, which he had held clenched since he had drawn the door shut on Mattie.
8 When supper was over she rose from her seat and pressed her hand to the flat surface over the region of her heart.
9 The words went on sounding between them as though a torch of warning flew from hand to hand through a black landscape.
10 Her glance fell on his hand, which now completely covered the end of her work and grasped it as if it were a part of herself.
11 Watching Mattie whirl down the floor from hand to hand he wondered how he could ever have thought that his dull talk interested her.
12 He drew the lantern nearer and eagerly scanned the fares; then the paper fell from his hand and he pushed aside his unfinished letter.
13 Against the dark background of the kitchen she stood up tall and angular, one hand drawing a quilted counterpane to her flat breast, while the other held a lamp.
14 Ethan had imagined that his allusion might open the way to the accepted pleasantries, and these perhaps in turn to a harmless caress, if only a mere touch on her hand.
15 Ethan put the candlestick in Mattie's hand and she went out of the kitchen ahead of him, the light that she carried before her making her dark hair look like a drift of mist on the moon.
16 The light, on a level with her chin, drew out of the darkness her puckered throat and the projecting wrist of the hand that clutched the quilt, and deepened fantastically the hollows and prominences of her high-boned face under its ring of crimping-pins.
17 As she passed down the line, her light figure swinging from hand to hand in circles of increasing swiftness, the scarf flew off her head and stood out behind her shoulders, and Frome, at each turn, caught sight of her laughing panting lips, the cloud of dark hair about her forehead, and the dark eyes which seemed the only fixed points in a maze of flying lines.
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