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The Breadwinner
by [?]

“Yes; I heard that she tried to have him locked up in a asylum, and that her friend did everything in her power to assist her.”

“And he works himself to death, so that she can enjoy herself.”

“Do you know why she treats him so contemptuously? Because he cannot give her all the luxury she wants. ‘A man who cannot give his wife all she wants,’ she said the other day at dinner, ‘ce n’est pas grand’ chose.’ I believe that she counted on his booming her as an artist. Unfortunately his political views prevent him from being on good terms with the leading papers, and, moreover, he has no friends in artistic circles; his interests lie elsewhere.”

“I see; she wanted to make use of him for her own ends; when he resisted she threw him over; but he serves his purpose as a breadwinner.”

Now, I, alone in silence and in pain, Weep for the ache of well-remembered bliss….

comes her voice from the drawing-room.

“Bang!” the sound came from behind the walnut tree. It was followed by a snapping of branches and a crunching of sand.

The talkers jumped to their feet.

The body of a well-dressed man lay across the road, with his head against the leg of a chair.

The song stopped abruptly. The ladies rushed into the garden. The friend poured a few drops of eau de Cologne which she held in her hand, on the face of the prostrate man.

When she realised that it was no fainting fit, she started back. “Horrible!” she exclaimed, putting her hand up to her face.

The elder of the two men, who was stooping over; the dead body, looked up.

“Be silent, woman!” he exclaimed.

“What a brute!” said the friend.

The dead man’s wife fainted, but was caught in the arms of her friend and tenderly nursed by the rest of the women.

“Send for a doctor!” shouted the elder of the two men. “Run!”

Nobody took any notice; everybody was busy with the unconscious wife.

“To bring such grief on his wife! Oh! what a man! What a man!” sobbed the friend.

“Has no one a thought for the dying man? All this’ fuss because a woman has fainted! Give her some brandy, that will revive her!”

“The wretched man has deserved his fate!” said the friend emphatically.

“He indeed deserved a better fate than to fall into your, hands alive. Shame on you, woman, and all honour to the breadwinner!”

He let the hand of the dead man go and rose to his, feet.

“It’s all over!” he said.