Edith Warton's Ethan Frome

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  1. Hale
    a soldier of the American Revolution who was hanged as a spy by the British; his last words were supposed to have been `I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country' (1755-1776)
    During my stay at Starkfield I lodged with a middle-aged widow
    colloquially known as Mrs. Ned Hale.
  2. German ivy
    South African succulent evergreen twining climber with yellow flowers grown primarily as a houseplant for its foliage; sometimes placed in genus Senecio
    He followed her and brought the
    other geraniums, the hyacinth bulbs in a cracked custard bowl and the
    German ivy trained over an old croquet hoop.
  3. matt
    not reflecting light; not glossy
    Say, Matt, that's tough!
  4. sleigh
    a vehicle mounted on runners and pulled by horses or dogs
    The next morning, when I looked out, I saw the hollow-backed bay between
    the Varnum spruces, and Ethan Frome, throwing back his worn bearskin,
    made room for me in the sleigh at his side.
  5. flats
    footwear with no heel
    On my arrival at Starkfield, Denis Eady, the rich Irish grocer, who was
    the proprietor of Starkfield's nearest approach to a livery stable, had
    entered into an agreement to send me over daily to Corbury Flats, where
    I had to pick up my train for the Junction.
  6. idle wheel
    a pulley on a shaft that presses against a guide belt to guide or tighten it
    It looked exanimate enough, with
    its idle wheel looming above the black stream dashed with yellow-white
    spume, and its cluster of sheds sagging under their white load.
  7. sorrel
    prickly annual herb used in tarts and jelly
    As if expecting a protest, she continued plaintively; "If you're too
    busy with the hauling I presume you can let Jotham Powell drive me over
    with the sorrel in time to ketch the train at the Flats."
  8. nonproprietary
    not protected by trademark or patent or copyright
    You may convert to and distribute this work in any binary,
    compressed, marked up, nonproprietary or proprietary form, including any
    word processing or hypertext form.
  9. sled
    a vehicle mounted on runners and pulled by horses or dogs
    The pitch of
    the Corbury road, below lawyer Varnum's spruces, was the favourite
    coasting-ground of Starkfield, and on clear evenings the church corner
    rang till late with the shouts of the coasters; but to-night not a sled
    darkened the whiteness of the long declivity.
  10. Edith Wharton
    United States novelist (1862-1937)
    The Project Gutenberg EBook of Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton

    This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
    almost no restrictions whatsoever.
  11. smash-up
    a serious collision (especially of motor vehicles)
    "He's looked that way ever since he had his smash-up; and that's
    twenty-four years ago come next February," Harmon threw out between
    reminiscent pauses.
  12. ASCII
    (computer science) a code for information exchange between computers made by different companies; a string of 7 binary digits represents each character; used in most microcomputers
    Title: Ethan Frome

    Author: Edith Wharton

    Release Date: October, 2003 [Etext #4517]
    Posting Date: February 4, 2010

    Language: English

    Character set encoding: ASCII

    *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK ETHAN FROME ***




    Produced by Charles Aldarondo





    ETHAN FROME


    By Edith Wharton




    ETHAN FROME



    I had the story, bit by bit, from various people, and, as generally
    happens in such cases, each time it was a different story.
  13. project
    a planned undertaking
    The Project Gutenberg EBook of Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton

    This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
    almost no restrictions whatsoever.
  14. kitchen
    a room equipped for preparing meals
    Frome stamped on the worn oil-cloth to shake the snow from his boots,
    and set down his lantern on a kitchen chair which was the only piece of
    furniture in the hall.
  15. public domain
    property rights that are held by the public at large
    Creating the works from public domain print editions means that no
    one owns a United States copyright in these works, so the Foundation
    (and you!) can copy and distribute it in the United States without
    permission and without paying copyright royalties.
  16. sleigh bell
    a bell attached to a sleigh, or to the harness of a horse that is pulling a sleigh
    A moment later he heard the jingle of departing
    sleigh bells and discerned a figure advancing alone toward the empty
    expanse of snow before the church.
  17. nuzzle
    gently rub or push one's nose or face against something
    About a mile farther, on a road I had never
    travelled, we came to an orchard of starved apple-trees writhing over
    a hillside among outcroppings of slate that nuzzled up through the snow
    like animals pushing out their noses to breathe.
  18. electronic
    concerned with principles governing behavior of electrons
    Special rules,
    set forth in the General Terms of Use part of this license, apply to
    copying and distributing Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works to
    protect the PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm concept and trademark.
  19. spruce
    any coniferous tree of the genus Picea
    It stood at one end of the main street, its
    classic portico and small-paned windows looking down a flagged path
    between Norway spruces to the slim white steeple of the Congregational
    church.
  20. stove
    a kitchen appliance used for cooking food
    The metal reflectors of the
    gas-jets sent crude waves of light against the whitewashed walls, and
    the iron flanks of the stove at the end of the hall looked as though
    they were heaving with volcanic fires.
  21. redistribute
    disperse anew
    General Terms of Use and Redistributing Project Gutenberg-tm
    electronic works

    1.A.
  22. distribute
    give to several people
    He used to drive in
    from his farm every day at about noon, and as that was my own hour for
    fetching my mail I often passed him in the porch or stood beside him
    while we waited on the motions of the distributing hand behind the
    grating.
  23. exanimate
    deprived of life; no longer living
    It looked exanimate enough, with
    its idle wheel looming above the black stream dashed with yellow-white
    spume, and its cluster of sheds sagging under their white load.
  24. pickle
    vegetables preserved in brine or vinegar
    "It ain't done me a speck of good, but I guess I might as well use it
    up," she remarked; adding, as she pushed the empty bottle toward Mattie:
    "If you can get the taste out it'll do for pickles."
  25. stave
    one of the slats of wood forming sides of a barrel or bucket
    The metal reflectors of the
    gas-jets sent crude waves of light against the whitewashed walls, and
    the iron flanks of the stove at the end of the hall looked as though
    they were heaving with volcanic fires.
  26. unappetising
    not appetizing in appearance, aroma, or taste
    Her companion, who was just coming back to the table with the remains
    of a cold mince-pie in a battered pie-dish, set down her unappetising
    burden without appearing to hear the accusation brought against her.
  27. bearskin
    the pelt of a bear (sometimes used as a rug)
    The next morning, when I looked out, I saw the hollow-backed bay between
    the Varnum spruces, and Ethan Frome, throwing back his worn bearskin,
    made room for me in the sleigh at his side.
  28. excruciate
    torment emotionally or mentally
    Then he understood that it must be in pain: pain so
    excruciating that he seemed, mysteriously, to feel it shooting through
    his own body.
  29. snow
    precipitation falling from clouds in the form of ice crystals
    But when winter
    shut down on Starkfield and the village lay under a sheet of snow
    perpetually renewed from the pale skies, I began to see what life
    there--or rather its negation--must have been in Ethan Frome's young
    manhood.
  30. trademark
    a registered symbol identifying a product's manufacturer
    Special rules,
    set forth in the General Terms of Use part of this license, apply to
    copying and distributing Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works to
    protect the PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm concept and trademark.
  31. muffle
    deaden (a sound or noise), especially by wrapping
    The musicians hurried to their instruments, the dancers--some already
    half- muffled for departure--fell into line down each side of the room,
    the older spectators slipped back to their chairs, and the lively young
    man, after diving about here and there in the throng, drew forth a girl
    who had already wound a cherry-coloured "fascinator" about her head,
    and, leading her up to the end of the floor, whirled her down its length
    to the bounding tune of a Virginia reel.
  32. Powell
    United States general who was the first African American to serve as chief of staff; later served as Secretary of State under President George W. Bush (born 1937)
    The hauling was not over till mid-day, and as the lumber was to be
    delivered to Andrew Hale, the Starkfield builder, it was really easier
    for Ethan to send Jotham Powell, the hired man, back to the farm on
    foot, and drive the load down to the village himself.
  33. sweet pickle
    pickle cured in brine and preserved in sugar and vinegar
    Mattie seemed to feel the
    contagion of his embarrassment, and sat with downcast lids, sipping her
    tea, while he feigned an insatiable appetite for dough-nuts and sweet
    pickles
    .
  34. blueberry bush
    any of numerous shrubs of the genus Vaccinium bearing blueberries
    "It was right there I found your locket," he said, pushing his foot into
    a dense tuft of blueberry bushes.
  35. copyright
    the exclusive right to sell a work
    Creating the works from public domain print editions means that no
    one owns a United States copyright in these works, so the Foundation
    (and you!) can copy and distribute it in the United States without
    permission and without paying copyright royalties.
  36. hypertext
    machine-readable text that is not sequential but is organized so that related items of information are connected
    You may convert to and distribute this work in any binary,
    compressed, marked up, nonproprietary or proprietary form, including any
    word processing or hypertext form.
  37. discursively
    in a rambling manner
    Still she did not speak and, prompted by an obscure desire to
    help himself and her through their miserable last hour, he went on
    discursively: "Ain't it funny we haven't been down together but just
    that once last winter?"
  38. hired man
    a hired laborer on a farm or ranch
    The hauling was not over till mid-day, and as the lumber was to be
    delivered to Andrew Hale, the Starkfield builder, it was really easier
    for Ethan to send Jotham Powell, the hired man, back to the farm on
    foot, and drive the load down to the village himself.
  39. aggrieve
    cause to feel sorrow
    He was evidently surprised and slightly aggrieved at his own
    ignorance.
  40. farm
    workplace or land used for growing crops or raising animals
    He used to drive in
    from his farm every day at about noon, and as that was my own hour for
    fetching my mail I often passed him in the porch or stood beside him
    while we waited on the motions of the distributing hand behind the
    grating.
  41. geranium
    any of numerous plants of the family Geraniaceae
    The sun slanted through the south
    window on the girl's moving figure, on the cat dozing in a chair, and on
    the geraniums brought in from the door-way, where Ethan had planted
    them in the summer to "make a garden" for Mattie.
  42. encoding
    the activity of converting data or information into code
    Title: Ethan Frome

    Author: Edith Wharton

    Release Date: October, 2003 [Etext #4517]
    Posting Date: February 4, 2010

    Language: English

    Character set encoding: ASCII

    *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK ETHAN FROME ***




    Produced by Charles Aldarondo





    ETHAN FROME


    By Edith Wharton




    ETHAN FROME



    I had the story, bit by bit, from various people, and, as generally
    happens in such cases, each time it was a different story.
  43. flat
    having a surface without slope
    On my arrival at Starkfield, Denis Eady, the rich Irish grocer, who was
    the proprietor of Starkfield's nearest approach to a livery stable, had
    entered into an agreement to send me over daily to Corbury Flats, where
    I had to pick up my train for the Junction.
  44. bed down
    go to bed
    I understood that he was offering me a night's shelter at the farm, and
    without answering I turned into the gate at his side, and followed him
    to the barn, where I helped him to unharness and bed down the tired
    horse.
  45. computer code
    (computer science) the symbolic arrangement of data or instructions in a computer program or the set of such instructions
    Despite these efforts, Project Gutenberg-tm electronic
    works, and the medium on which they may be stored, may contain
    "Defects," such as, but not limited to, incomplete, inaccurate or
    corrupt data, transcription errors, a copyright or other intellectual
    property infringement, a defective or damaged disk or other medium, a
    computer virus, or computer codes that damage or cannot be read by
    your equipment.

    1.F.2.
  46. word processing
    rapid and efficient processing (storage and printing) of linguistic data for composition and editing
    You may convert to and distribute this work in any binary,
    compressed, marked up, nonproprietary or proprietary form, including any
    word processing or hypertext form.
  47. intellectual property
    intangible property that is the result of creativity
    By reading or using any part of this Project Gutenberg-tm
    electronic work, you indicate that you have read, understand, agree to
    and accept all the terms of this license and intellectual property
    (trademark/copyright) agreement.
  48. hypnotise
    induce hypnosis in
    I chafed at
    first, and then, under the hypnotising effect of routine, gradually
    began to find a grim satisfaction in the life.
  49. encode
    convert information into code
    Title: Ethan Frome

    Author: Edith Wharton

    Release Date: October, 2003 [Etext #4517]
    Posting Date: February 4, 2010

    Language: English

    Character set encoding: ASCII

    *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK ETHAN FROME ***




    Produced by Charles Aldarondo





    ETHAN FROME


    By Edith Wharton




    ETHAN FROME



    I had the story, bit by bit, from various people, and, as generally
    happens in such cases, each time it was a different story.
  50. license
    a legal document giving official permission to do something
    You may copy it, give it away or
    re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
    with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org
  51. confuse
    mistake one thing for another
    But at sunset the clouds
    gathered again, bringing an earlier night, and the snow began to fall
    straight and steadily from a sky without wind, in a soft universal
    diffusion more confusing than the gusts and eddies of the morning.
  52. down
    spatially or metaphorically from a higher to a lower level
    But when winter
    shut down on Starkfield and the village lay under a sheet of snow
    perpetually renewed from the pale skies, I began to see what life
    there--or rather its negation--must have been in Ethan Frome's young
    manhood.
  53. measure out
    determine the measurements of something or somebody, take measurements of
    She
    had measured out some drops from a medicine-bottle on a chair by the bed
    and, after swallowing them, and wrapping her head in a piece of yellow
    flannel, had lain down with her face turned away.
  54. character set
    an ordered list of characters that are used together in writing or printing
    Title: Ethan Frome

    Author: Edith Wharton

    Release Date: October, 2003 [Etext #4517]
    Posting Date: February 4, 2010

    Language: English

    Character set encoding: ASCII

    *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK ETHAN FROME ***




    Produced by Charles Aldarondo





    ETHAN FROME


    By Edith Wharton




    ETHAN FROME



    I had the story, bit by bit, from various people, and, as generally
    happens in such cases, each time it was a different story.
  55. computer virus
    a software program capable of reproducing itself and usually capable of causing great harm to files or other programs on the same computer
    Despite these efforts, Project Gutenberg-tm electronic
    works, and the medium on which they may be stored, may contain
    "Defects," such as, but not limited to, incomplete, inaccurate or
    corrupt data, transcription errors, a copyright or other intellectual
    property infringement, a defective or damaged disk or other medium, a
    computer virus, or computer codes that damage or cannot be read by
    your equipment.

    1.F.2.
  56. guess
    expect, believe, or suppose
    " Guess he's been in
    Starkfield too many winters.
  57. raw wound
    a wound that exposes subcutaneous tissue
    The cry was balm to his raw wound.
  58. back
    the posterior part of a human (or animal) body
    If you
    know the post-office you must have seen Ethan Frome drive up to it, drop
    the reins on his hollow- backed bay and drag himself across the brick
    pavement to the white colonnade: and you must have asked who he was.
  59. dish
    a piece of dishware normally used as a container for holding or serving food
    By this time
    the music had stopped, and the musicians--a fiddler, and the young lady
    who played the harmonium on Sundays--were hastily refreshing themselves
    at one corner of the supper-table which aligned its devastated
    pie- dishes and ice-cream saucers on the platform at the end of the hall.
  60. sideway
    toward one side
    "That's my place," said Frome, with a sideway jerk of his lame elbow;
    and in the distress and oppression of the scene I did not know what to
    answer.
  61. glue
    cement consisting of a sticky substance that is used as an adhesive
    If he glued it together the next morning
    months might elapse before his wife noticed what had happened, and
    meanwhile he might after all be able to match the dish at Shadd's Falls
    or Bettsbridge.
  62. suffuse
    cause to spread or flush or flood through, over, or across
    The answer sent a pang through him but the tone suffused him with joy.
  63. spring-clean
    thoroughly clean the entire house, often done only once a year
    "It takes the
    stepladder to get at the top shelf, and I put Aunt Philura Maple's
    pickle-dish up there o' purpose when we was married, and it's never been
    down since, 'cept for the spring cleaning, and then I always lifted it
    with my own hands, so's 't shouldn't get broke."
  64. chaotically
    in a manner suggestive of chaos
    Instead, it sprang up to
    a gale which now and then, from a tattered sky, flung pale sweeps of
    sunlight over a landscape chaotically tossed.
  65. elm
    any of various trees of the genus Ulmus: important timber or shade trees
    The moon had set, but the night was
    so transparent that the white house-fronts between the elms looked gray
    against the snow, clumps of bushes made black stains on it, and the
    basement windows of the church sent shafts of yellow light far across
    the endless undulations.
  66. supper
    a light evening meal
    I finished
    my business as quickly as possible, and we set out for Starkfield with
    a good chance of getting there for supper.
  67. beleaguer
    annoy persistently
    Twenty years earlier the means of resistance must have been far fewer,
    and the enemy in command of almost all the lines of access between the
    beleaguered villages; and, considering these things, I felt the sinister
    force of Harmon's phrase: "Most of the smart ones get away."
  68. cat
    feline mammal usually having thick soft fur
    That
    Frome farm was always 'bout as bare's a milkpan when the cat's been
    round; and you know what one of them old water-mills is wuth nowadays.
  69. whinny
    the characteristic sounds made by a horse
    Suddenly he heard the old sorrel whinny across the road, and thought:
    "He's wondering why he doesn't get his supper..."
  70. dresser
    furniture with drawers for keeping clothes
    She struggled to her feet, and he rose and followed her helplessly while
    she spread out the pieces of glass on the kitchen dresser.
  71. paragraph
    one of several distinct subdivisions of a text
    If you paid a fee for obtaining a copy of or access to a Project
    Gutenberg-tm electronic work and you do not agree to be bound by the
    terms of this agreement, you may obtain a refund from the person or
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    1.B.
  72. lid
    a movable top or cover (hinged or separate) for closing the opening at the top of a box, chest, jar, pan, etc.
    He even noticed two or
    three gestures which, in his fatuity, he had thought she kept for him:
    a way of throwing her head back when she was amused, as if to taste her
    laugh before she let it out, and a trick of sinking her lids slowly when
    anything charmed or moved her.
  73. Worcester
    a cathedral city in west central England on the River Severn
    Four or five years earlier he had taken a year's course at a
    technological college at Worcester, and dabbled in the laboratory with
    a friendly professor of physics; and the images supplied by that
    experience still cropped up, at unexpected moments, through the totally
    different associations of thought in which he had since been living.
  74. hemlock
    large branching biennial herb native to Eurasia and Africa and adventive in North America having large fernlike leaves and white flowers; usually found in damp habitats; all parts extremely poisonous
    Abreast of the schoolhouse the road forked, and we dipped down a lane
    to the left, between hemlock boughs bent inward to their trunks by the
    weight of the snow.
  75. full term
    the end of gestation or point at which birth is imminent
    There are a few
    things that you can do with most Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works
    even without complying with the full terms of this agreement.
  76. night
    the time after sunset and before sunrise while it is dark outside
    After that, for a week, he
    drove me over every morning to Corbury Flats, and on my return in the
    afternoon met me again and carried me back through the icy night to
    Starkfield.
  77. format
    the general appearance of a publication
    *****
    This and all associated files of various formats will be found in:
    http://www.gutenberg.org/4/5/1/4517/
  78. felt
    a fabric made of compressed matted animal fibers
    Twenty years earlier the means of resistance must have been far fewer,
    and the enemy in command of almost all the lines of access between the
    beleaguered villages; and, considering these things, I felt the sinister
    force of Harmon's phrase: "Most of the smart ones get away."
  79. yellow-white
    of a white tinged with yellow
    It looked exanimate enough, with
    its idle wheel looming above the black stream dashed with yellow-white
    spume, and its cluster of sheds sagging under their white load.
  80. Virginia reel
    an American country dance which starts with the couples facing each other in two lines
    The musicians hurried to their instruments, the dancers--some already
    half-muffled for departure--fell into line down each side of the room,
    the older spectators slipped back to their chairs, and the lively young
    man, after diving about here and there in the throng, drew forth a girl
    who had already wound a cherry-coloured "fascinator" about her head,
    and, leading her up to the end of the floor, whirled her down its length
    to the bounding tune of a Virginia reel.
  81. look
    perceive with attention; direct one's gaze towards
    It was not so much
    his great height that marked him, for the "natives" were easily singled
    out by their lank longitude from the stockier foreign breed: it was the
    careless powerful look he had, in spite of a lameness checking each step
    like the jerk of a chain.
  82. maternally
    in a maternal manner; as a mother
    Beaming maternally on Ethan, she bent over to add: "I on'y just heard
    from Mr. Hale 'bout Zeena's going over to Bettsbridge to see that new
    doctor.
  83. feel
    be conscious of a physical, mental, or emotional state
    Twenty years earlier the means of resistance must have been far fewer,
    and the enemy in command of almost all the lines of access between the
    beleaguered villages; and, considering these things, I felt the sinister
    force of Harmon's phrase: "Most of the smart ones get away."
  84. lamplit
    lighted by a lamp
    Now, in the warm
    lamplit room, with all its ancient implications of conformity and order,
    she seemed infinitely farther away from him and more unapproachable.
  85. get
    come into the possession of something concrete or abstract
    Most of the smart ones get away."
  86. right along
    all the time or over a period of time
    But after the trains begun running nobody ever
    come by here to speak of, and mother never could get it through her head
    what had happened, and it preyed on her right along till she died."
  87. say
    utter aloud
    "Well, matters ain't gone any too well with him," Harmon said.
  88. field mouse
    any nocturnal Old World mouse of the genus Apodemus inhabiting woods and fields and gardens
    It made a small
    frightened cheep like a field mouse, and he wondered languidly if
    it were hurt.
  89. grizzle
    a grey wig
    There was something bleak and unapproachable
    in his face, and he was so stiffened and grizzled that I took him for an
    old man and was surprised to hear that he was not more than fifty-two.
  90. there
    in or at that place
    It was there that, several years ago, I saw him for the first time; and
    the sight pulled me up sharp.
  91. drive
    operate or control a vehicle
    If you
    know the post-office you must have seen Ethan Frome drive up to it, drop
    the reins on his hollow-backed bay and drag himself across the brick
    pavement to the white colonnade: and you must have asked who he was.
  92. access
    the right to enter
    Twenty years earlier the means of resistance must have been far fewer,
    and the enemy in command of almost all the lines of access between the
    beleaguered villages; and, considering these things, I felt the sinister
    force of Harmon's phrase: "Most of the smart ones get away."
  93. copy
    a thing made to be similar or identical to another thing
    You may copy it, give it away or
    re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
    with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org
  94. slam on
    apply carelessly
    Again the outline hastily disunited
    and the Varnum gate slammed on one half while the other hurried on ahead
    of him.
  95. turn
    move around an axis or a center
    These documents my neighbour would also pocket without
    a glance, as if too much used to them to wonder at their number and
    variety, and would then turn away with a silent nod to the post-master.
  96. unhitch
    unfasten or release from or as if from a hitch
    "Hold on a minute while I unhitch the colt," Denis called to her,
    springing toward the shed.
  97. trunk
    the main stem of a tree
    Abreast of the schoolhouse the road forked, and we dipped down a lane
    to the left, between hemlock boughs bent inward to their trunks by the
    weight of the snow.
  98. draw
    cause to move by pulling
    The "smash-up" it was--I gathered from the same informant--which, besides
    drawing the red gash across Ethan Frome's forehead, had so shortened and
    warped his right side that it cost him a visible effort to take the few
    steps from his buggy to the post-office window.
  99. slanted
    having an oblique direction
    They turned in at the gate and passed under the shaded knoll where,
    enclosed in a low fence, the Frome grave-stones slanted at crazy angles
    through the snow.
  100. barn
    an outlying farm building for grain and farm animals
    I saw then that the unusually forlorn and stunted look of the house was
    partly due to the loss of what is known in New England as the "L":
    that long deep-roofed adjunct usually built at right angles to the main
    house, and connecting it, by way of storerooms and tool-house, with the
    wood-shed and cow- barn.
  101. larch
    any of numerous conifers of the genus Larix all having deciduous needlelike leaves
    At length they sighted the group of larches at Ethan's gate, and as they
    drew near it the sense that the walk was over brought back his words.
  102. scintillate
    emit or reflect light in a flickering manner
    The sunrise burned red in a
    pure sky, the shadows on the rim of the wood-lot were darkly blue, and
    beyond the white and scintillating fields patches of far-off forest hung
    like smoke.
  103. ketch
    a sailing vessel with two masts
    You'll ketch your death.
  104. but
    and nothing more
    Even then he was the most striking figure
    in Starkfield, though he was but the ruin of a man.
  105. winter
    the coldest season of the year
    "Guess he's been in
    Starkfield too many winters.
  106. gross profit
    the net sales minus the cost of goods and services sold
    You may charge a reasonable fee for copies of or providing
    access to or distributing Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works provided
    that

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  107. out
    moving or appearing to move away from a place, especially one that is enclosed or hidden
    It was not so much
    his great height that marked him, for the "natives" were easily singled
    out by their lank longitude from the stockier foreign breed: it was the
    careless powerful look he had, in spite of a lameness checking each step
    like the jerk of a chain.
  108. refund
    pay back
    If you paid a fee for obtaining a copy of or access to a Project
    Gutenberg-tm electronic work and you do not agree to be bound by the
    terms of this agreement, you may obtain a refund from the person or
    entity to whom you paid the fee as set forth in paragraph 1.E.8.

    1.B.
  109. abbreviate
    shorten
    She seldom
    abbreviated the girl's name, and when she did so it was always a sign of
    affability.
  110. work
    activity directed toward making or doing something
    I had been sent up by my employers on a job connected with the big
    power-house at Corbury Junction, and a long-drawn carpenters' strike
    had so delayed the work that I found myself anchored at Starkfield--the
    nearest habitable spot--for the best part of the winter.
  111. unroll
    unroll, unfold, or spread out or be unrolled, unfolded, or spread out from a furled state
    Then he learned that
    one other spirit had trembled with the same touch of wonder: that at his
    side, living under his roof and eating his bread, was a creature to whom
    he could say: "That's Orion down yonder; the big fellow to the right is
    Aldebaran, and the bunch of little ones--like bees swarming--they're the
    Pleiades..." or whom he could hold entranced before a ledge of granite
    thrusting up through the fern while he unrolled the huge panorama of the
    ice age, and the long dim stretch...
  112. seedsman
    a dealer in seeds
    The kitchen was empty when he came back to it; but his
    tobacco-pouch and pipe had been laid on the table, and under them was
    a scrap of paper torn from the back of a seedsman's catalogue, on which
    three words were written: "Don't trouble, Ethan."
  113. work table
    a table designed for a particular task
    She took off her spectacles again, leaned toward me across the bead- work
    table
    -cover, and went on with lowered voice: "There was one day, about
    a week after the accident, when they all thought Mattie couldn't live.
  114. narrow-mindedness
    an inclination to criticize opposing opinions or shocking behavior
    Other possibilities had been in him,
    possibilities sacrificed, one by one, to Zeena's narrow-mindedness
    and ignorance.
  115. mottling
    the act of coloring with areas of different shades
    Ahead of them, a long way off, a range of hills
    stained by mottlings of black forest flowed away in round white curves
    against the sky.
  116. girl
    a young woman
    The floor was thronged with
    girls and young men.
  117. turned
    moved around an axis or center
    He never turned his face to mine, or
    answered, except in monosyllables, the questions I put, or such slight
    pleasantries as I ventured.
  118. lumber
    the wood of trees prepared for use as building material
    The hauling was not over till mid-day, and as the lumber was to be
    delivered to Andrew Hale, the Starkfield builder, it was really easier
    for Ethan to send Jotham Powell, the hired man, back to the farm on
    foot, and drive the load down to the village himself.
  119. false teeth
    a removable denture
    A dead cucumber-vine dangled
    from the porch like the crape streamer tied to the door for a death, and
    the thought flashed through Ethan's brain: "If it was there for Zeena--"
    Then he had a distinct sight of his wife lying in their bedroom asleep,
    her mouth slightly open, her false teeth in a tumbler by the bed...
  120. meagrely
    to a meager degree or in a meager manner
    Three coarse china plates and a broken-nosed milk-jug
    had been set on a greasy table scored with knife-cuts, and a couple
    of straw-bottomed chairs and a kitchen dresser of unpainted pine stood
    meagrely against the plaster walls.
  121. silence
    the state of being quiet (as when no one is speaking)
    Nevertheless, I might have
    contented myself with the story pieced together from these hints had
    it not been for the provocation of Mrs. Hale's silence, and--a little
    later--for the accident of personal contact with the man.
  122. know
    be cognizant or aware of a fact or a piece of information
    If you know Starkfield, Massachusetts, you know the post-office.
  123. over
    beyond the top or upper surface or edge
    At the moment Ethan Frome, after climbing to
    his seat, had leaned over to assure himself of the security of a wooden
    box--also with a druggist's label on it--which he had placed in the back
    of the buggy, and I saw his face as it probably looked when he thought
    himself alone.
  124. then
    at that time
    Even then he was the most striking figure
    in Starkfield, though he was but the ruin of a man.
  125. water mill
    a mill powered by a water wheel
    That
    Frome farm was always 'bout as bare's a milkpan when the cat's been
    round; and you know what one of them old water-mills is wuth nowadays.
  126. fix up
    make arrangements for
    Business is pretty
    slack, to begin with, and then I'm fixing up a little house for Ned and
    Ruth when they're married.
  127. lamplight
    light from a lamp
    But since he had seen her lips in the lamplight he felt
    that they were his.
  128. hired
    having services engaged for a fee
    "If you say you can't afford a hired girl when Mattie goes."
  129. unharness
    remove the harness from
    I understood that he was offering me a night's shelter at the farm, and
    without answering I turned into the gate at his side, and followed him
    to the barn, where I helped him to unharness and bed down the tired
    horse.
  130. seem
    give a certain impression or have a certain outward aspect
    One would have supposed that such an atmosphere must
    quicken the emotions as well as the blood; but it seemed to produce
    no change except that of retarding still more the sluggish pulse of
    Starkfield.
  131. pause
    cease an action temporarily
    "He's looked that way ever since he had his smash-up; and that's
    twenty-four years ago come next February," Harmon threw out between
    reminiscent pauses.
  132. come
    move toward, travel toward
    "He's looked that way ever since he had his smash-up; and that's
    twenty-four years ago come next February," Harmon threw out between
    reminiscent pauses.
  133. pie
    dish baked in pastry-lined pan often with a pastry top
    By this time
    the music had stopped, and the musicians--a fiddler, and the young lady
    who played the harmonium on Sundays--were hastily refreshing themselves
    at one corner of the supper-table which aligned its devastated
    pie-dishes and ice-cream saucers on the platform at the end of the hall.
  134. beading
    ornamentation with beads
    She had plunged the breakfast
    dishes into a tin dish-pan and was bending above it with her slim arms
    bared to the elbow, the steam from the hot water beading her forehead
    and tightening her rough hair into little brown rings like the tendrils
    on the traveller's joy.
  135. rename
    assign a new name to
    Produced by Charles Aldarondo

    Updated editions will replace the previous one--the old editions
    will be renamed.
  136. suppleness
    the gracefulness of a person or animal that is flexible and supple
    Denis Eady was
    the son of Michael Eady, the ambitious Irish grocer, whose suppleness
    and effrontery had given Starkfield its first notion of "smart" business
    methods, and whose new brick store testified to the success of the
    attempt.
  137. grope for
    feel searchingly
    To
    prolong the effect he groped for a dazzling phrase, and brought out, in
    a growl of rapture: "Come along."
  138. stepladder
    a folding portable ladder hinged at the top
    "It takes the
    stepladder to get at the top shelf, and I put Aunt Philura Maple's
    pickle-dish up there o' purpose when we was married, and it's never been
    down since, 'cept for the spring cleaning, and then I always lifted it
    with my own hands, so's 't shouldn't get broke."
  139. stand
    be standing; be upright
    He used to drive in
    from his farm every day at about noon, and as that was my own hour for
    fetching my mail I often passed him in the porch or stood beside him
    while we waited on the motions of the distributing hand behind the
    grating.
  140. mill
    a facility for manufacturing
    I had been told that Frome was poor, and that the saw- mill and the arid
    acres of his farm yielded scarcely enough to keep his household through
    the winter; but I had not supposed him to be in such want as Harmon's
    words implied, and I expressed my wonder.
  141. face
    the front of the human head from the forehead to the chin
    There was something bleak and unapproachable
    in his face, and he was so stiffened and grizzled that I took him for an
    old man and was surprised to hear that he was not more than fifty-two.
  142. scarf
    a garment worn around the head or neck or shoulders for warmth or decoration
    He had been straining for a glimpse
    of the dark head under the cherry-coloured scarf and it vexed him that
    another eye should have been quicker than his.
  143. door
    a swinging or sliding barrier that will close the entrance to a room or building or vehicle
    On our right a line of light marked the
    door of the room which had sent its ray across the night; and behind the
    door I heard a woman's voice droning querulously.
  144. answer
    a statement made to reply to a question or criticism
    When this happened he would listen quietly, his blue eyes on the
    speaker's face, and answer in so low a tone that his words never reached
    me; then he would climb stiffly into his buggy, gather up the reins in
    his left hand and drive slowly away in the direction of his farm.
  145. lift
    raise from a lower to a higher position
    Then he lifted his
    lantern, found the latch, and led the way into the house.
  146. complainingly
    with complaints
    The tall woman, who had moved away from us toward the dresser, took no
    notice; but the other, from her cushioned niche, answered complainingly,
    in a high thin voice.
  147. incisively
    in an incisive manner
    Zeena, apparently accepting this as final, lay watching him in silence
    while he pulled his suspenders over his shoulders and jerked his arms
    into his coat; but as he went toward the door she said, suddenly and
    incisively: "I guess you're always late, now you shave every morning."
  148. redistribution
    dispersing again
    Redistribution is
    subject to the trademark license, especially commercial
    redistribution.
  149. sleety
    consisting of or of the nature of frozen or partially frozen rain
    Then, when the loading finally
    began, a sleety rain was coming down once more, and the tree trunks were
    so slippery that it took twice as long as usual to lift them and get
    them in place on the sledge.
  150. ingratiatingly
    in a flattering and ingratiating manner
    The cat rubbed itself
    ingratiatingly against her, and she said "Good Pussy," stooped to stroke
    it and gave it a scrap of meat from her plate.
  151. swerve
    turn sharply; change direction abruptly
    The least swerve,
    and we'd never ha' come up again.
  152. boned
    having bones as specified
    He turned and looked at her where she lay indistinctly outlined under
    the dark calico quilt, her high- boned face taking a grayish tinge from
    the whiteness of the pillow.
  153. uncertainly
    showing lack of certainty
    She was almost the last to leave the hall, and she stood looking
    uncertainly about her as if wondering why he did not show himself.
  154. heard
    detected or perceived via the auditory sense
    On our right a line of light marked the
    door of the room which had sent its ray across the night; and behind the
    door I heard a woman's voice droning querulously.
  155. colloquially
    with the use of colloquial expressions
    During my stay at Starkfield I lodged with a middle-aged widow
    colloquially known as Mrs. Ned Hale.
  156. see
    perceive by sight or have the power to perceive by sight
    If you
    know the post-office you must have seen Ethan Frome drive up to it, drop
    the reins on his hollow-backed bay and drag himself across the brick
    pavement to the white colonnade: and you must have asked who he was.
  157. stammer
    speak haltingly
    "Why, what do
    you mean?" he stammered.
  158. querulous
    habitually complaining
    She
    sat opposite the window, and the pale light reflected from the banks of
    snow made her face look more than usually drawn and bloodless, sharpened
    the three parallel creases between ear and cheek, and drew querulous
    lines from her thin nose to the corners of her mouth.
  159. hear
    perceive (sound) via the auditory sense
    There was something bleak and unapproachable
    in his face, and he was so stiffened and grizzled that I took him for an
    old man and was surprised to hear that he was not more than fifty-two.
  160. slope
    be at an angle
    Frome
    did not even turn his head as we drove by, and still in silence we began
    to mount the next slope.
  161. facial muscle
    any of the skeletal muscles of the face
    Jotham's facial muscles were unmoved by this appeal and, his vocabulary
    being limited, he merely repeated: "I guess I'll go along back."
  162. village
    a settlement smaller than a town
    Yet I had come in the degenerate day of trolley, bicycle and rural
    delivery, when communication was easy between the scattered mountain
    villages, and the bigger towns in the valleys, such as Bettsbridge and
    Shadd's Falls, had libraries, theatres and Y. M. C. A. halls to which
    the youth of the hills could descend for recreation.
  163. lantern
    a light in a transparent protective case
    The small ray of Frome's lantern was soon lost in this smothering
    medium, in which even his sense of direction, and the bay's homing
    instinct, finally ceased to serve us.
  164. electric battery
    a device that produces electricity
    Zeena always
    came back laden with expensive remedies, and her last visit to
    Springfield had been commemorated by her paying twenty dollars for an
    electric battery of which she had never been able to learn the use.
  165. works
    performance of moral or religious acts
    Creating the works from public domain print editions means that no
    one owns a United States copyright in these works, so the Foundation
    (and you!) can copy and distribute it in the United States without
    permission and without paying copyright royalties.
  166. common measure
    the usual (iambic) meter of a ballad
    All the dwellers in Starkfield, as in more notable communities, had had
    troubles enough of their own to make them comparatively indifferent to
    those of their neighbours; and though all conceded that Ethan Frome's
    had been beyond the common measure, no one gave me an explanation of the
    look in his face which, as I persisted in thinking, neither poverty
    nor physical suffering could have put there.
  167. like
    having the same or similar characteristics
    It was not so much
    his great height that marked him, for the "natives" were easily singled
    out by their lank longitude from the stockier foreign breed: it was the
    careless powerful look he had, in spite of a lameness checking each step
    like the jerk of a chain.
  168. alimony
    support paid by one spouse to another after separation
    Her husband had given her the farm and she had managed to sell it, and
    with that and the alimony she had started a lunch-room at Bettsbridge
    and bloomed into activity and importance.
  169. before
    at or in the front
    I questioned Harmon, looking after
    Frome's retreating figure, and thinking how gallantly his lean brown
    head, with its shock of light hair, must have sat on his strong
    shoulders before they were bent out of shape.
  170. roan
    having a brownish coat thickly sprinkled with white or grey
    I got the roan colt too.
  171. single out
    select from a group
    It was not so much
    his great height that marked him, for the "natives" were easily singled
    out
    by their lank longitude from the stockier foreign breed: it was the
    careless powerful look he had, in spite of a lameness checking each step
    like the jerk of a chain.
  172. saw
    hand tool having a toothed blade for cutting
    It was there that, several years ago, I saw him for the first time; and
    the sight pulled me up sharp.
  173. ungrudgingly
    in a generous and ungrudging manner
    Her nearest relations had
    been induced to place their savings in her father's hands, and though,
    after his death, they ungrudgingly acquitted themselves of the Christian
    duty of returning good for evil by giving his daughter all the advice
    at their disposal, they could hardly be expected to supplement it by
    material aid.
  174. said
    being the one previously mentioned or spoken of
    "Well, matters ain't gone any too well with him," Harmon said.
  175. obscurity
    the state of being indistinct due to lack of light
    I went
    after him into a low unlit passage, at the back of which a ladder-like
    staircase rose into obscurity.
  176. chair
    a seat for one person, with a support for the back
    Frome stamped on the worn oil-cloth to shake the snow from his boots,
    and set down his lantern on a kitchen chair which was the only piece of
    furniture in the hall.
  177. cold
    having a low or inadequate temperature
    When I had been there a little longer, and had seen this
    phase of crystal clearness followed by long stretches of sunless cold;
    when the storms of February had pitched their white tents about the
    devoted village and the wild cavalry of March winds had charged down to
    their support; I began to understand why Starkfield emerged from its
    six months' siege like a starved garrison capitulating without quarter.
  178. between
    in the interval
    "He's looked that way ever since he had his smash-up; and that's
    twenty-four years ago come next February," Harmon threw out between
    reminiscent pauses.
  179. consolatory
    affording comfort or solace
    Whether because of its symbolic sense, the image
    it presents of a life linked with the soil, and enclosing in itself the
    chief sources of warmth and nourishment, or whether merely because
    of the consolatory thought that it enables the dwellers in that harsh
    climate to get to their morning's work without facing the weather, it
    is certain that the "L" rather than the house itself seems to be the
    centre, the actual hearth-stone of the New England farm.
  180. comply
    act in accordance with someone's rules, commands, or wishes
    If you
    do not charge anything for copies of this eBook, complying with the
    rules is very easy.
  181. mountain ash
    any of various trees of the genus Sorbus
    Once, in the stillness, the call of a bird in a mountain ash
    was so like her laughter that his heart tightened and then grew large;
    and all these things made him see that something must be done at once.
  182. desolately
    in grief-stricken loneliness
    As she passed Ethan's chair their eyes met and
    clung together desolately.
  183. table
    furniture having a smooth flat top supported by legs
    By this time
    the music had stopped, and the musicians--a fiddler, and the young lady
    who played the harmonium on Sundays--were hastily refreshing themselves
    at one corner of the supper- table which aligned its devastated
    pie-dishes and ice-cream saucers on the platform at the end of the hall.
  184. gooseberry bush
    spiny Eurasian shrub having greenish purple-tinged flowers and ovoid yellow-green or red-purple berries
    They walked around to the back of the house, between the rigid
    gooseberry bushes.
  185. stoop
    bend one's back forward from the waist on down
    Frome turned away again, and taking up his razor stooped to catch the
    reflection of his stretched cheek in the blotched looking-glass above
    the wash-stand.
  186. disunite
    part; cease or break association with
    Again the outline hastily disunited
    and the Varnum gate slammed on one half while the other hurried on ahead
    of him.
  187. sardonically
    in a sarcastic manner
    Harmon chuckled sardonically.
  188. stubbly
    having a short growth of beard
    Andrew Hale was a ruddy man with a big gray moustache and a stubbly
    double-chin unconstrained by a collar; but his scrupulously clean shirt
    was always fastened by a small diamond stud.
  189. not
    negation of a word or group of words
    It was not so much
    his great height that marked him, for the "natives" were easily singled
    out by their lank longitude from the stockier foreign breed: it was the
    careless powerful look he had, in spite of a lameness checking each step
    like the jerk of a chain.
  190. think
    judge or regard; look upon; judge
    I questioned Harmon, looking after
    Frome's retreating figure, and thinking how gallantly his lean brown
    head, with its shock of light hair, must have sat on his strong
    shoulders before they were bent out of shape.
  191. road
    an open way (generally public) for travel or transportation
    It happened
    right below lawyer Varnum's, down at the bend of the Corbury road, just
    round about the time that Ruth got engaged to Ned Hale.
  192. under
    below some quantity or limit
    You may copy it, give it away or
    re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
    with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org
  193. about
    (of quantities) imprecise but fairly close to correct
    He used to drive in
    from his farm every day at about noon, and as that was my own hour for
    fetching my mail I often passed him in the porch or stood beside him
    while we waited on the motions of the distributing hand behind the
    grating.
  194. locket
    a small ornamental case usually worn on a necklace
    They
    had a little girl with fair curls, who wore a gold locket and was
    dressed like a princess.
  195. terms
    status with respect to the relations between people or groups
    You may copy it, give it away or
    re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
    with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org
  196. china
    high quality porcelain originally made only in China
    "Yes, but, you see, she never meant it
    should be used, not even when there was company; and I had to get up on
    the step-ladder to reach it down from the top shelf of the china-closet,
    where she keeps it with all her best things, and of course she'll want
    to know why I did it--"

    The case was so serious that it called forth all of Ethan's latent
    resolution.
  197. taciturnity
    the trait of being uncommunicative
    Every one in Starkfield knew him and gave him a greeting tempered to
    his own grave mien; but his taciturnity was respected and it was only on
    rare occasions that one of the older men of the place detained him for
    a word.
  198. blueberry
    any of numerous shrubs of the genus Vaccinium bearing blueberries
    She set the lamp on the table,
    and he saw that it was carefully laid for supper, with fresh doughnuts,
    stewed blueberries and his favourite pickles in a dish of gay red glass.
  199. thought
    the content of cognition
    At the moment Ethan Frome, after climbing to
    his seat, had leaned over to assure himself of the security of a wooden
    box--also with a druggist's label on it--which he had placed in the back
    of the buggy, and I saw his face as it probably looked when he thought
    himself alone.
  200. through
    having finished or arrived at completion
    I had been told that Frome was poor, and that the saw-mill and the arid
    acres of his farm yielded scarcely enough to keep his household through
    the winter; but I had not supposed him to be in such want as Harmon's
    words implied, and I expressed my wonder.
  201. voice
    the sound made by the vibration of vocal folds
    He said no more, and I had to guess the rest from the inflection of his
    voice and his sharp relapse into silence.
  202. puss
    informal terms referring to a domestic cat
    "Why, Puss!
  203. unshaded
    (of pictures) not having shadow represented
    She continued to stare at him, the flame of the unshaded lamp bringing
    out with microscopic cruelty the fretful lines of her face.
  204. continue
    keep or maintain in unaltered condition
    "The house was bigger in my father's time: I had to take down the 'L,'
    a while back," Frome continued, checking with a twitch of the left rein
    the bay's evident intention of turning in through the broken-down gate.
  205. mark up
    increase the price of
    You may convert to and distribute this work in any binary,
    compressed, marked up, nonproprietary or proprietary form, including any
    word processing or hypertext form.
  206. hand
    the (prehensile) extremity of the superior limb
    He used to drive in
    from his farm every day at about noon, and as that was my own hour for
    fetching my mail I often passed him in the porch or stood beside him
    while we waited on the motions of the distributing hand behind the
    grating.
  207. cutter
    a cutting implement; a tool for cutting
    "But look a here, ain't it
    lucky I got the old man's cutter down there waiting for us?"
  208. copying
    an act of copying
    Special rules,
    set forth in the General Terms of Use part of this license, apply to
    copying and distributing Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works to
    protect the PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm concept and trademark.
  209. hand to hand
    at close quarters
    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.
  210. house
    a dwelling that serves as living quarters for a family
    I had been sent up by my employers on a job connected with the big
    power- house at Corbury Junction, and a long-drawn carpenters' strike
    had so delayed the work that I found myself anchored at Starkfield--the
    nearest habitable spot--for the best part of the winter.
  211. scared
    made afraid
    "Would you be scared to go down the Corbury road with me on a night like
    this?" he asked.
  212. archive
    a depository containing historical records and documents
    The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation ("the Foundation"
    or PGLAF), owns a compilation copyright in the collection of Project
    Gutenberg-tm electronic works.
  213. sky
    the atmosphere and outer space as viewed from the earth
    But when winter
    shut down on Starkfield and the village lay under a sheet of snow
    perpetually renewed from the pale skies, I began to see what life
    there--or rather its negation--must have been in Ethan Frome's young
    manhood.
  214. irrationally
    in an irrational manner
    He did not know why he was so irrationally happy, for nothing was
    changed in his life or hers.
  215. bole
    the main stem of a tree
    The lane passed into a pine-wood with boles reddening
    in the afternoon sun and delicate blue shadows on the snow.
  216. stenography
    the act or art of writing in shorthand
    When she tried to extend the
    field of her activities in the direction of stenography and book-keeping
    her health broke down, and six months on her feet behind the counter of
    a department store did not tend to restore it.
  217. sunup
    the first light of day
    When Ethan could sweat over 'em both from sunup to dark he kinder choked
    a living out of 'em; but his folks ate up most everything, even then,
    and I don't see how he makes out now.
  218. hire
    engage or hire for work
    "If you say you can't afford a hired girl when Mattie goes."
  219. headstone
    a marker for a grave
    "We never got away--how should you?" seemed to be written on every
    headstone; and whenever he went in or out of his gate he thought with a
    shiver: "I shall just go on living here till I join them."
  220. calico
    coarse cloth with a bright print
    He turned and looked at her where she lay indistinctly outlined under
    the dark calico quilt, her high-boned face taking a grayish tinge from
    the whiteness of the pillow.
  221. darkish
    slightly dark
    She wore her usual dress of darkish stuff, and there was no bow at her
    neck; but through her hair she had run a streak of crimson ribbon.
  222. trudge
    walk heavily and firmly, as when weary, or through mud
    It was a slow trudge home through the heavy fields, and when the two
    men entered the kitchen Mattie was lifting the coffee from the stove and
    Zeena was already at the table.
  223. long
    primarily spatial sense
    I had been sent up by my employers on a job connected with the big
    power-house at Corbury Junction, and a long-drawn carpenters' strike
    had so delayed the work that I found myself anchored at Starkfield--the
    nearest habitable spot--for the best part of the winter.
  224. extra time
    playing time beyond regulation, to break a tie
    Fact is, I was going to ask
    you to give me a little extra time on that payment.
  225. self-absorption
    preoccupation with yourself to the exclusion of everything else
    She was no longer the listless
    creature who had lived at his side in a state of sullen self-absorption,
    but a mysterious alien presence, an evil energy secreted from the long
    years of silent brooding.
  226. warmth
    the quality of having a moderate degree of heat
    Whether because of its symbolic sense, the image
    it presents of a life linked with the soil, and enclosing in itself the
    chief sources of warmth and nourishment, or whether merely because
    of the consolatory thought that it enables the dwellers in that harsh
    climate to get to their morning's work without facing the weather, it
    is certain that the "L" rather than the house itself seems to be the
    centre, the actual hearth-stone of the New England farm.
  227. derivative
    a compound obtained from another compound
    You may use this eBook for nearly any purpose
    such as creation of derivative works, reports, performances and
    research.
  228. up the stairs
    on a floor above
    She walked out of the kitchen ahead of them and pausing in the hall
    raised the lamp at arm's-length, as if to light them up the stairs.
  229. springy
    elastic; rebounds readily
    She clung to him without answering, and he laid his lips on her hair,
    which was soft yet springy, like certain mosses on warm slopes, and had
    the faint woody fragrance of fresh sawdust in the sun.
  230. laugh
    produce laughter
    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.
  231. drove
    a group of animals (a herd or flock) moving together
    After that, for a week, he
    drove me over every morning to Corbury Flats, and on my return in the
    afternoon met me again and carried me back through the icy night to
    Starkfield.
  232. again
    anew
    After that, for a week, he
    drove me over every morning to Corbury Flats, and on my return in the
    afternoon met me again and carried me back through the icy night to
    Starkfield.
  233. valise
    a small overnight bag for short trips
    On the floor
    beside her stood his old valise and a bandbox wrapped in newspapers.
  234. going
    the act of departing
    The height of
    the white waves massed against the garden-fence and along the wall of
    the church showed that the storm must have been going on all night,
    and that the drifts were likely to be heavy in the open.
  235. boastfulness
    outspoken conceit
    The strange exaltation of his mood had brought on one of his rare fits
    of boastfulness.
  236. wife
    a married woman; a man's partner in marriage
    Fust his father--then his mother--then his wife."
  237. blackness
    total absence of light
    He would have liked to stand there with her all night in the
    blackness.
  238. moment
    an indefinitely short time
    At the moment Ethan Frome, after climbing to
    his seat, had leaned over to assure himself of the security of a wooden
    box--also with a druggist's label on it--which he had placed in the back
    of the buggy, and I saw his face as it probably looked when he thought
    himself alone.
  239. uncurtained
    not provided with curtains
    At first its weak flame made no impression on
    the shadows; then Zeena's face stood grimly out against the uncurtained
    pane, which had turned from grey to black.
  240. light
    electromagnetic radiation that can produce visual sensation
    I questioned Harmon, looking after
    Frome's retreating figure, and thinking how gallantly his lean brown
    head, with its shock of light hair, must have sat on his strong
    shoulders before they were bent out of shape.
  241. stairs
    a flight of stairs or a flight of steps
    He heard a step on the stairs, and again for an instant
    the thought of tramps tore through him.
  242. yellow light
    the signal to proceed with caution
    The moon had set, but the night was
    so transparent that the white house-fronts between the elms looked gray
    against the snow, clumps of bushes made black stains on it, and the
    basement windows of the church sent shafts of yellow light far across
    the endless undulations.
  243. neutralise
    make ineffective by counterbalancing the effect of
    He was not sorry to assure himself of Jotham's
    neutralising presence at the supper table, for Zeena was always
    "nervous" after a journey.
  244. lay
    put into a certain place or abstract location
    But when winter
    shut down on Starkfield and the village lay under a sheet of snow
    perpetually renewed from the pale skies, I began to see what life
    there--or rather its negation--must have been in Ethan Frome's young
    manhood.
  245. quilt
    bedding made of two layers of cloth filled with stuffing and stitched together
    He turned and looked at her where she lay indistinctly outlined under
    the dark calico quilt, her high-boned face taking a grayish tinge from
    the whiteness of the pillow.
  246. hauling
    the activity of transporting goods by truck
    III


    There was some hauling to be done at the lower end of the wood-lot, and
    Ethan was out early the next day.
  247. junction
    an act of joining or adjoining things
    I had been sent up by my employers on a job connected with the big
    power-house at Corbury Junction, and a long-drawn carpenters' strike
    had so delayed the work that I found myself anchored at Starkfield--the
    nearest habitable spot--for the best part of the winter.
  248. hair
    a covering for the body (or parts of it) consisting of a dense growth of threadlike structures (as on the human head); helps to prevent heat loss
    I questioned Harmon, looking after
    Frome's retreating figure, and thinking how gallantly his lean brown
    head, with its shock of light hair, must have sat on his strong
    shoulders before they were bent out of shape.
  249. big-boned
    having a bone structure that is massive in contrast with the surrounding flesh
    IX


    At the kitchen door Daniel Byrne sat in his sleigh behind a big-boned
    grey who pawed the snow and swung his long head restlessly from side to
    side.
  250. shawl
    cloak consisting of an oblong piece of cloth used to cover the head and shoulders
    Instead of her usual calico wrapper and knitted shawl she wore her
    best dress of brown merino, and above her thin strands of hair, which
    still preserved the tight undulations of the crimping-pins, rose a hard
    perpendicular bonnet, as to which Ethan's clearest notion was that he
    had to pay five dollars for it at the Bettsbridge Emporium.
  251. fumble
    feel about uncertainly or blindly
    He was getting into his clothes in fumbling haste.
  252. insubstantial
    lacking material form
    Zeena herself, from an oppressive
    reality, had faded into an insubstantial shade.
  253. loutish
    ill-mannered and coarse and contemptible in behavior or appearance
    It had been one of the wonders of their intercourse that from
    the first, she, the quicker, finer, more expressive, instead of crushing
    him by the contrast, had given him something of her own ease and
    freedom; but now he felt as heavy and loutish as in his student days,
    when he had tried to "jolly" the Worcester girls at a picnic.
  254. Wharton
    United States novelist (1862-1937)
    The Project Gutenberg EBook of Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton

    This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
    almost no restrictions whatsoever.
  255. flow away
    flow off or away gradually
    Ahead of them, a long way off, a range of hills
    stained by mottlings of black forest flowed away in round white curves
    against the sky.
  256. coat of paint
    a layer of paint covering something else
    The black
    wraith of a deciduous creeper flapped from the porch, and the thin
    wooden walls, under their worn coat of paint, seemed to shiver in the
    wind that had risen with the ceasing of the snow.
  257. self-effacement
    withdrawing into the background
    "I wouldn't ever have it said that I stood in the way of a poor girl
    like Mattie marrying a smart fellow like Denis Eady," Zeena answered in
    a tone of plaintive self-effacement.
  258. silent
    marked by absence of sound
    These documents my neighbour would also pocket without
    a glance, as if too much used to them to wonder at their number and
    variety, and would then turn away with a silent nod to the post-master.
  259. sit
    take a seat
    I questioned Harmon, looking after
    Frome's retreating figure, and thinking how gallantly his lean brown
    head, with its shock of light hair, must have sat on his strong
    shoulders before they were bent out of shape.
  260. elongate
    make long or longer by pulling and stretching
    The cat, unnoticed, had crept up on muffled paws from Zeena's seat to
    the table, and was stealthily elongating its body in the direction
    of the milk-jug, which stood between Ethan and Mattie.
  261. stair
    support consisting of a place to rest the foot while ascending or descending a stairway
    He heard a step on the stairs, and again for an instant
    the thought of tramps tore through him.
  262. walk out of
    leave, usually as an expression of disapproval
    She walked out of the kitchen ahead of them and pausing in the hall
    raised the lamp at arm's-length, as if to light them up the stairs.
  263. grey
    of an achromatic color intermediate between white and black
    They stood together in the gloom of the spruces, an empty world
    glimmering about them wide and grey under the stars.
  264. lip
    either of two fleshy folds of tissue that surround the mouth and play a role in speaking
    Such tastes and acquirements in a man of his condition made the contrast
    more poignant between his outer situation and his inner needs, and I
    hoped that the chance of giving expression to the latter might at least
    unseal his lips.
  265. take
    get into one's hands
    There was something bleak and unapproachable
    in his face, and he was so stiffened and grizzled that I took him for an
    old man and was surprised to hear that he was not more than fifty-two.
  266. room
    an area within a building enclosed by walls and floor and ceiling
    The next morning, when I looked out, I saw the hollow-backed bay between
    the Varnum spruces, and Ethan Frome, throwing back his worn bearskin,
    made room for me in the sleigh at his side.
  267. cheep
    the short weak cry of a young bird
    It made a small
    frightened cheep like a field mouse, and he wondered languidly if
    it were hurt.
  268. after
    happening at a time subsequent to a reference time
    I questioned Harmon, looking after
    Frome's retreating figure, and thinking how gallantly his lean brown
    head, with its shock of light hair, must have sat on his strong
    shoulders before they were bent out of shape.
  269. luxuriate
    enjoy to excess
    He luxuriated in the sense of protection and authority which his
    words conveyed.
  270. step
    the act of changing location by raising the foot and setting it down
    It was not so much
    his great height that marked him, for the "natives" were easily singled
    out by their lank longitude from the stockier foreign breed: it was the
    careless powerful look he had, in spite of a lameness checking each step
    like the jerk of a chain.
  271. droning
    an unchanging intonation
    On our right a line of light marked the
    door of the room which had sent its ray across the night; and behind the
    door I heard a woman's voice droning querulously.
  272. Dipper
    a group of seven bright stars in the constellation Ursa Major
    In a sky of iron the points of the Dipper hung like icicles
    and Orion flashed his cold fires.
  273. twitter
    make high-pitched sounds, as of birds
    The stillness was so profound that he heard a little
    animal twittering somewhere near by under the snow.
  274. Aldebaran
    the brightest star in Taurus
    Then he learned that
    one other spirit had trembled with the same touch of wonder: that at his
    side, living under his roof and eating his bread, was a creature to whom
    he could say: "That's Orion down yonder; the big fellow to the right is
    Aldebaran, and the bunch of little ones--like bees swarming--they're the
    Pleiades..." or whom he could hold entranced before a ledge of granite
    thrusting up through the fern while he unrolled the huge panorama of the
    ice age, and the long dim stretch...
  275. unapproachable
    discouraging intimacies; reserved
    There was something bleak and unapproachable
    in his face, and he was so stiffened and grizzled that I took him for an
    old man and was surprised to hear that he was not more than fifty-two.
  276. call back
    summon to return
    "Ain't you riding, Mattie?" a woman's voice called back from the throng
    about the shed, and Ethan's heart gave a jump.
  277. cheek
    either side of the face below the eyes
    Harmon drew a slab of tobacco from his pocket, cut off a wedge and
    pressed it into the leather pouch of his cheek.
  278. folks
    people in general (often used in the plural)
    "Somebody had to stay and care for the folks.
  279. Buck
    United States author whose novels drew on her experiences as a missionary in China (1892-1973)
    And everybody in Bettsbridge knows
    about Dr. Buck.
  280. why
    the cause or intention underlying an action or situation, especially in the phrase `the whys and wherefores'
    " Why didn't he?"
  281. stiffening
    the act of becoming stiff
    He could not pronounce the
    name without a stiffening of the muscles of his throat.
  282. along
    in line with a length or direction
    Then his mother got queer and dragged along for years as
    weak as a baby; and his wife Zeena, she's always been the greatest hand
    at doctoring in the county.
  283. crimp
    make ridges into by pinching together
    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.
  284. colt
    a young male horse under the age of four
    I got the roan colt too.
  285. push
    move with force, "He pushed the table into a corner"
    I thought
    it probable that my train would be delayed; but I had to be at the
    power-house for an hour or two that afternoon, and I decided, if Frome
    turned up, to push through to the Flats and wait there till my train
    came in.
  286. bed
    a piece of furniture that provides a place to sleep
    I understood that he was offering me a night's shelter at the farm, and
    without answering I turned into the gate at his side, and followed him
    to the barn, where I helped him to unharness and bed down the tired
    horse.
  287. main street
    street that serves as a principal thoroughfare for traffic in a town
    It stood at one end of the main street, its
    classic portico and small-paned windows looking down a flagged path
    between Norway spruces to the slim white steeple of the Congregational
    church.
  288. edged
    having a specified kind of border or edge
    Thence, still hugging
    the shadow, he edged his way cautiously forward to the nearest window,
    holding back his straight spare body and craning his neck till he got a
    glimpse of the room.
  289. lamp
    a piece of furniture holding one or more electric light bulbs
    In the "best parlour," with its black horse-hair and mahogany weakly
    illuminated by a gurgling Carcel lamp, I listened every evening to
    another and more delicately shaded version of the Starkfield chronicle.
  290. way
    how something is done or how it happens
    "He's looked that way ever since he had his smash-up; and that's
    twenty-four years ago come next February," Harmon threw out between
    reminiscent pauses.
  291. coaster
    someone who coasts
    The pitch of
    the Corbury road, below lawyer Varnum's spruces, was the favourite
    coasting-ground of Starkfield, and on clear evenings the church corner
    rang till late with the shouts of the coasters; but to-night not a sled
    darkened the whiteness of the long declivity.
  292. want
    the state of needing something that is absent or unavailable
    I had been told that Frome was poor, and that the saw-mill and the arid
    acres of his farm yielded scarcely enough to keep his household through
    the winter; but I had not supposed him to be in such want as Harmon's
    words implied, and I expressed my wonder.
  293. eye
    the organ of sight
    When this happened he would listen quietly, his blue eyes on the
    speaker's face, and answer in so low a tone that his words never reached
    me; then he would climb stiffly into his buggy, gather up the reins in
    his left hand and drive slowly away in the direction of his farm.
  294. pathological
    relating to the study of diseases
    And within
    a year of their marriage she developed the "sickliness" which had since
    made her notable even in a community rich in pathological instances.
  295. spume
    foam or froth on the sea
    It looked exanimate enough, with
    its idle wheel looming above the black stream dashed with yellow-white
    spume, and its cluster of sheds sagging under their white load.
  296. paralyse
    cause to be paralyzed and immobile
    Ethan, a moment earlier, had felt himself on the brink of eloquence;
    but the mention of Zeena had paralysed him.
  297. agreement
    harmony of people's opinions, actions, or characters
    On my arrival at Starkfield, Denis Eady, the rich Irish grocer, who was
    the proprietor of Starkfield's nearest approach to a livery stable, had
    entered into an agreement to send me over daily to Corbury Flats, where
    I had to pick up my train for the Junction.
  298. wonder
    the feeling aroused by something strange and surprising
    These documents my neighbour would also pocket without
    a glance, as if too much used to them to wonder at their number and
    variety, and would then turn away with a silent nod to the post-master.
  299. behind
    in or to or toward the rear
    He used to drive in
    from his farm every day at about noon, and as that was my own hour for
    fetching my mail I often passed him in the porch or stood beside him
    while we waited on the motions of the distributing hand behind the
    grating.
  300. all
    to a complete degree or to the full or entire extent
    I had this from Harmon Gow, who had driven the stage from Bettsbridge
    to Starkfield in pre-trolley days and knew the chronicle of all the
    families on his line.
  301. reel
    a winder around which flexible materials can be wound
    The musicians hurried to their instruments, the dancers--some already
    half-muffled for departure--fell into line down each side of the room,
    the older spectators slipped back to their chairs, and the lively young
    man, after diving about here and there in the throng, drew forth a girl
    who had already wound a cherry-coloured "fascinator" about her head,
    and, leading her up to the end of the floor, whirled her down its length
    to the bounding tune of a Virginia reel.
  302. alone
    isolated from others
    At the moment Ethan Frome, after climbing to
    his seat, had leaned over to assure himself of the security of a wooden
    box--also with a druggist's label on it--which he had placed in the back
    of the buggy, and I saw his face as it probably looked when he thought
    himself alone.
  303. darkness
    absence of light or illumination
    It
    seemed to be a part of the thickening darkness, to be the winter night
    itself descending on us layer by layer.
  304. lumbago
    backache affecting the lumbar region or lower back
    He woke up with a touch o' lumbago, and I just
    made him put on one of old Dr. Kidder's plasters and set right up into
    the fire."
  305. builder
    someone who contracts for and supervises construction
    The hauling was not over till mid-day, and as the lumber was to be
    delivered to Andrew Hale, the Starkfield builder, it was really easier
    for Ethan to send Jotham Powell, the hired man, back to the farm on
    foot, and drive the load down to the village himself.
  306. whiteness
    the quality or state of the achromatic color of greatest lightness (bearing the least resemblance to black)
    "The railroad's blocked by a freight-train that got stuck in a drift
    below the Flats," he explained, as we jogged off into the stinging
    whiteness.
  307. wet blanket
    someone who spoils the pleasure of others
    It was what Jotham called a sour morning
    for work, and the horses, shivering and stamping under their wet
    blankets
    , seemed to like it as little as the men.
  308. sense of direction
    an awareness of your orientation in space
    The small ray of Frome's lantern was soon lost in this smothering
    medium, in which even his sense of direction, and the bay's homing
    instinct, finally ceased to serve us.
  309. domain
    a particular environment or walk of life
    Creating the works from public domain print editions means that no
    one owns a United States copyright in these works, so the Foundation
    (and you!) can copy and distribute it in the United States without
    permission and without paying copyright royalties.
  310. set
    put into a certain place or abstract location
    Title: Ethan Frome

    Author: Edith Wharton

    Release Date: October, 2003 [Etext #4517]
    Posting Date: February 4, 2010

    Language: English

    Character set encoding: ASCII

    *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK ETHAN FROME ***




    Produced by Charles Aldarondo





    ETHAN FROME


    By Edith Wharton




    ETHAN FROME



    I had the story, bit by bit, from various people, and, as generally
    happens in such cases, each time it was a different story.
  311. tingle
    cause a stinging or tingling sensation
    Ethan felt confusedly that there were many things he ought
    to think about, but through his tingling veins and tired brain only one
    sensation throbbed: the warmth of Mattie's shoulder against his.
  312. hang
    cause to be hanging or suspended
    In a sky of iron the points of the Dipper hung like icicles
    and Orion flashed his cold fires.
  313. lustreless
    lacking brilliance or vitality
    "You must be frozen," she went on, fixing lustreless eyes on him.
  314. fetch
    go or come after and bring or take back
    He used to drive in
    from his farm every day at about noon, and as that was my own hour for
    fetching my mail I often passed him in the porch or stood beside him
    while we waited on the motions of the distributing hand behind the
    grating.
  315. pay cash
    pay (for something) with cash
    "Why, you told me yesterday you'd fixed it up with him to pay cash down.
  316. haying
    the harvesting of hay
    Fust his father got a kick, out
    haying, and went soft in the brain, and gave away money like Bible texts
    afore he died.
  317. arm
    a human limb
    Mattie Silver had lived under his roof for a year, and from early
    morning till they met at supper he had frequent chances of seeing her;
    but no moments in her company were comparable to those when, her arm in
    his, and her light step flying to keep time with his long stride, they
    walked back through the night to the farm.
  318. re-enter
    enter again
    When he re-entered the kitchen the lamp lit up the same scene of shining
    comfort as on the previous evening.
  319. unlit
    not set afire or burning
    I went
    after him into a low unlit passage, at the back of which a ladder-like
    staircase rose into obscurity.
  320. pus
    a fluid product of inflammation
    "Why, Puss!
  321. away
    at a distance in space or time
    You may copy it, give it away or
    re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
    with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org
  322. definable
    capable of being limited or explained
    And there were other
    sensations, less definable but more exquisite, which drew them together
    with a shock of silent joy: the cold red of sunset behind winter
    hills, the flight of cloud-flocks over slopes of golden stubble, or the
    intensely blue shadows of hemlocks on sunlit snow.
  323. sallow
    unhealthy looking
    As he reached the door he met Zeena coming back into the room, her lips
    twitching with anger, a flush of excitement on her sallow face.
  324. going under
    (of a ship) sinking
    After his father's death it had taken time
    to get his head above water, and he did not want Andrew Hale, or any one
    else in Starkfield, to think he was going under again.
  325. lifted
    held up in the air
    Then he lifted his
    lantern, found the latch, and led the way into the house.
  326. seat
    any support where you can sit
    At the moment Ethan Frome, after climbing to
    his seat, had leaned over to assure himself of the security of a wooden
    box--also with a druggist's label on it--which he had placed in the back
    of the buggy, and I saw his face as it probably looked when he thought
    himself alone.
  327. wasting away
    a decrease in size of an organ caused by disease or disuse
    Eliza
    Spears was wasting away with kidney trouble before she went to him, and
    now she's up and around, and singing in the choir."
  328. letting down
    the act of causing something to move to a lower level
    As we turned into the Corbury road the snow began to fall again, cutting
    off our last glimpse of the house; and Frome's silence fell with it,
    letting down between us the old veil of reticence.
  329. starless
    not starry; having no stars or starlike objects
    Deep silence had fallen with the starless dusk, and they leaned on each
    other without speaking; but at every step of their climb Ethan said to
    himself: "It's the last time we'll ever walk together."
  330. right
    free from error; especially conforming to fact or truth
    The "smash-up" it was--I gathered from the same informant--which, besides
    drawing the red gash across Ethan Frome's forehead, had so shortened and
    warped his right side that it cost him a visible effort to take the few
    steps from his buggy to the post-office window.
  331. harmonium
    a free-reed instrument in which air is forced through the reeds by bellows
    By this time
    the music had stopped, and the musicians--a fiddler, and the young lady
    who played the harmonium on Sundays--were hastily refreshing themselves
    at one corner of the supper-table which aligned its devastated
    pie-dishes and ice-cream saucers on the platform at the end of the hall.
  332. scare
    cause fear in
    "Would you be scared to go down the Corbury road with me on a night like
    this?" he asked.
  333. head
    the upper part of the human body or the body in animals
    I questioned Harmon, looking after
    Frome's retreating figure, and thinking how gallantly his lean brown
    head, with its shock of light hair, must have sat on his strong
    shoulders before they were bent out of shape.
  334. get down
    lower (one's body) as by kneeling
    When she got the rheumatism
    so bad she couldn't move around she used to sit up there and watch the
    road by the hour; and one year, when they was six months mending the
    Bettsbridge pike after the floods, and Harmon Gow had to bring his stage
    round this way, she picked up so that she used to get down to the gate
    most days to see him.
  335. formless
    having no physical form
    In this way we struggled on for another mile or two, and
    at last reached a point where Frome, peering into what seemed to me
    formless night, said: "That's my gate down yonder."
  336. take a look
    look at with attention
    "I've got my shooting pains so bad that I'm going over to Bettsbridge
    to spend the night with Aunt Martha Pierce and see that new doctor," she
    answered in a matter-of-fact tone, as if she had said she was going into
    the store-room to take a look at the preserves, or up to the attic to go
    over the blankets.
  337. phrase
    an expression consisting of one or more words
    But
    one phrase stuck in my memory and served as the nucleus about which I
    grouped my subsequent inferences: "Guess he's been in Starkfield too
    many winters."
  338. any
    one or some or every or all without specification
    But if that
    were the case, how could any combination of obstacles have hindered the
    flight of a man like Ethan Frome?
  339. heartburn
    a painful burning sensation in the chest
    "I ain't tried them for quite
    a while, and maybe they'll help the heartburn."
  340. parlour
    a room in a private house or establishment where people can sit and talk and relax
    In the "best parlour," with its black horse-hair and mahogany weakly
    illuminated by a gurgling Carcel lamp, I listened every evening to
    another and more delicately shaded version of the Starkfield chronicle.
  341. hill
    a local and well-defined elevation of the land
    Yet I had come in the degenerate day of trolley, bicycle and rural
    delivery, when communication was easy between the scattered mountain
    villages, and the bigger towns in the valleys, such as Bettsbridge and
    Shadd's Falls, had libraries, theatres and Y. M. C. A. halls to which
    the youth of the hills could descend for recreation.
  342. indentured
    bound by contract
    He felt all the more sorry for the girl because misfortune had, in
    a sense, indentured her to them.
  343. eyes
    opinion or judgment
    When this happened he would listen quietly, his blue eyes on the
    speaker's face, and answer in so low a tone that his words never reached
    me; then he would climb stiffly into his buggy, gather up the reins in
    his left hand and drive slowly away in the direction of his farm.
  344. shelf
    a support that consists of a horizontal surface for holding objects
    "Yes, but, you see, she never meant it
    should be used, not even when there was company; and I had to get up on
    the step-ladder to reach it down from the top shelf of the china-closet,
    where she keeps it with all her best things, and of course she'll want
    to know why I did it--"

    The case was so serious that it called forth all of Ethan's latent
    resolution.
  345. walk
    use one's feet to advance; advance by steps
    I had often walked that way on Sundays, and knew
    that the solitary roof showing through bare branches near the bottom of
    the hill was that of Frome's saw-mill.
  346. mingle
    bring or combine together or with something else
    As he strode along through the snow the sense of such meanings glowed in
    his brain and mingled with the bodily flush produced by his sharp tramp.
  347. tremble
    move quickly and involuntarily up and down or sideways
    Far off above us a square of light trembled through the screen of snow.
  348. sweetness
    the property of tasting as if it contains sugar
    It was during their night walks back to the farm that he felt most
    intensely the sweetness of this communion.
  349. even
    being level or straight or regular and without variation
    Even then he was the most striking figure
    in Starkfield, though he was but the ruin of a man.
  350. term
    a limited period of time during which something lasts
    You may copy it, give it away or
    re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
    with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org
  351. never
    not ever; at no time in the past or future
    When this happened he would listen quietly, his blue eyes on the
    speaker's face, and answer in so low a tone that his words never reached
    me; then he would climb stiffly into his buggy, gather up the reins in
    his left hand and drive slowly away in the direction of his farm.
  352. deadness
    the inanimate property of something that has died
    During the early part of
    my stay I had been struck by the contrast between the vitality of
    the climate and the deadness of the community.
  353. fee
    a fixed charge for a privilege or for professional services
    He pulled on his wet coat again and went back to the barn to
    feed the greys.
  354. other
    not the same one or ones already mentioned or implied
    Harmon thoughtfully passed his tobacco to the other cheek.
  355. wash up
    wash one's face and hands
    Mattie was washing up the dishes, humming one of the dance tunes
    of the night before.
  356. slant
    incline or bend from a vertical position
    They turned in at the gate and passed under the shaded knoll where,
    enclosed in a low fence, the Frome grave-stones slanted at crazy angles
    through the snow.
  357. lash
    a quick blow delivered with a whip or whiplike object
    The dancers were going faster and faster, and the musicians, to keep
    up with them, belaboured their instruments like jockeys lashing their
    mounts on the home-stretch; yet it seemed to the young man at the window
    that the reel would never end.
  358. Pierce
    14th President of the United States (1804-1869)
    "I've got my shooting pains so bad that I'm going over to Bettsbridge
    to spend the night with Aunt Martha Pierce and see that new doctor," she
    answered in a matter-of-fact tone, as if she had said she was going into
    the store-room to take a look at the preserves, or up to the attic to go
    over the blankets.
  359. shed
    cause or allow to flow or run out or over
    It looked exanimate enough, with
    its idle wheel looming above the black stream dashed with yellow-white
    spume, and its cluster of sheds sagging under their white load.
  360. surprise
    come upon or take unawares
    There was something bleak and unapproachable
    in his face, and he was so stiffened and grizzled that I took him for an
    old man and was surprised to hear that he was not more than fifty-two.
  361. huddle
    a disorganized and densely packed crowd
    Beyond the orchard
    lay a field or two, their boundaries lost under drifts; and above the
    fields, huddled against the white immensities of land and sky, one of
    those lonely New England farm-houses that make the landscape lonelier.
  362. tighten
    make tight or tighter
    She had plunged the breakfast
    dishes into a tin dish-pan and was bending above it with her slim arms
    bared to the elbow, the steam from the hot water beading her forehead
    and tightening her rough hair into little brown rings like the tendrils
    on the traveller's joy.
  363. royalty
    royal persons collectively
    Creating the works from public domain print editions means that no
    one owns a United States copyright in these works, so the Foundation
    (and you!) can copy and distribute it in the United States without
    permission and without paying copyright royalties.
  364. pane
    sheet glass cut in shapes for windows or doors
    The afternoon was drawing to an end, and here and there a lighted pane
    spangled the cold gray dusk and made the snow look whiter.
  365. straining
    an intense or violent exertion
    He had been straining for a glimpse
    of the dark head under the cherry-coloured scarf and it vexed him that
    another eye should have been quicker than his.
  366. always
    at all times; all the time and on every occasion
    "Oh, as to
    that: I guess it's always Ethan done the caring."
  367. uncomprehending
    lacking understanding
    So marked was the change in her manner, such depths of sad initiation
    did it imply, that, with some doubts as to my delicacy, I put the case
    anew to my village oracle, Harmon Gow; but got for my pains only an
    uncomprehending grunt.
  368. clearness
    the quality of clear water
    When I had been there a little longer, and had seen this
    phase of crystal clearness followed by long stretches of sunless cold;
    when the storms of February had pitched their white tents about the
    devoted village and the wild cavalry of March winds had charged down to
    their support; I began to understand why Starkfield emerged from its
    six months' siege like a starved garrison capitulating without quarter.
  369. thickening
    the act of thickening
    He was not the kind of man to be
    turned from his business by any commotion of the elements; and at
    the appointed hour his sleigh glided up through the snow like a
    stage-apparition behind thickening veils of gauze.
  370. side
    a place within a region identified relative to a center or reference location
    The "smash-up" it was--I gathered from the same informant--which, besides
    drawing the red gash across Ethan Frome's forehead, had so shortened and
    warped his right side that it cost him a visible effort to take the few
    steps from his buggy to the post-office window.
  371. muffled
    being or made softer or less loud or clear
    The musicians hurried to their instruments, the dancers--some already
    half- muffled for departure--fell into line down each side of the room,
    the older spectators slipped back to their chairs, and the lively young
    man, after diving about here and there in the throng, drew forth a girl
    who had already wound a cherry-coloured "fascinator" about her head,
    and, leading her up to the end of the floor, whirled her down its length
    to the bounding tune of a Virginia reel.
  372. basement
    the lowermost portion of a structure below ground level
    The moon had set, but the night was
    so transparent that the white house-fronts between the elms looked gray
    against the snow, clumps of bushes made black stains on it, and the
    basement windows of the church sent shafts of yellow light far across
    the endless undulations.
  373. stillness
    (poetic) tranquil silence
    It was in the early morning stillness, when his muscles were swinging
    to their familiar task and his lungs expanding with long draughts of
    mountain air, that Ethan did his clearest thinking.
  374. come round
    change one's position or opinion
    There was a last load of lumber to be hauled to the village, and Jotham
    Powell--who did not work regularly for Ethan in winter--had " come round"
    to help with the job.
  375. straighten
    make straight or straighter
    "He wanted I should speak to you about a girl he's heard
    about, that might come--"

    Ethan laid down the razor and straightened himself with a laugh.
  376. bend
    form a curve
    I questioned Harmon, looking after
    Frome's retreating figure, and thinking how gallantly his lean brown
    head, with its shock of light hair, must have sat on his strong
    shoulders before they were bent out of shape.
  377. sagging
    hanging down (as from exhaustion or weakness)
    I noticed that, though he came so punctually, he seldom
    received anything but a copy of the Bettsbridge Eagle, which he put
    without a glance into his sagging pocket.
  378. stooped
    having the back and shoulders rounded; not erect
    Frome turned away again, and taking up his razor stooped to catch the
    reflection of his stretched cheek in the blotched looking-glass above
    the wash-stand.
  379. make
    perform or carry out
    There
    was no hint of disapproval in her reserve; I merely felt in her an
    insurmountable reluctance to speak of him or his affairs, a low "Yes, I
    knew them both... it was awful..." seeming to be the utmost concession
    that her distress could make to my curiosity.
  380. urge on
    spur on or encourage especially by cheers and shouts
    Once or twice, hearing
    sleigh-bells, Ethan turned his head, fancying that Zeena and Jotham
    might overtake him; but the old sorrel was not in sight, and he set his
    face against the rain and urged on his ponderous pair.
  381. scrap
    a small fragment of something broken off from the whole
    Having satisfied himself that there was no risk of
    immediate discovery he went back to the kitchen with a lighter step, and
    found Mattie disconsolately removing the last scraps of pickle from the
    floor.
  382. trouble
    a source of difficulty
    She's
    had troubles enough of her own."
  383. doughnut
    a toroidal shape
    She set the lamp on the table,
    and he saw that it was carefully laid for supper, with fresh doughnuts,
    stewed blueberries and his favourite pickles in a dish of gay red glass.
  384. constraint
    the state of being physically limited
    After a moment Mattie seemed to be affected by the same sense
    of constraint.
  385. spring
    move forward by leaps and bounds
    Instead, it sprang up to
    a gale which now and then, from a tattered sky, flung pale sweeps of
    sunlight over a landscape chaotically tossed.
  386. fall
    descend freely under the influence of gravity
    Yet I had come in the degenerate day of trolley, bicycle and rural
    delivery, when communication was easy between the scattered mountain
    villages, and the bigger towns in the valleys, such as Bettsbridge and
    Shadd's Falls, had libraries, theatres and Y. M. C. A. halls to which
    the youth of the hills could descend for recreation.
  387. picnic
    any informal meal eaten outside or on an excursion
    It had been one of the wonders of their intercourse that from
    the first, she, the quicker, finer, more expressive, instead of crushing
    him by the contrast, had given him something of her own ease and
    freedom; but now he felt as heavy and loutish as in his student days,
    when he had tried to "jolly" the Worcester girls at a picnic.
  388. evening
    the latter part of the day
    In the "best parlour," with its black horse-hair and mahogany weakly
    illuminated by a gurgling Carcel lamp, I listened every evening to
    another and more delicately shaded version of the Starkfield chronicle.
  389. window
    a framework of wood or metal that contains a glass windowpane and is built into a wall or roof to admit light or air
    The "smash-up" it was--I gathered from the same informant--which, besides
    drawing the red gash across Ethan Frome's forehead, had so shortened and
    warped his right side that it cost him a visible effort to take the few
    steps from his buggy to the post-office window.
  390. unloading
    the labor of taking a load of something off of or out of a vehicle or ship or container etc.
    Ethan set about unloading the logs and when he had finished his job he
    pushed open the glazed door of the shed which the builder used as his
    office.
  391. undulation
    wavelike motion
    The moon had set, but the night was
    so transparent that the white house-fronts between the elms looked gray
    against the snow, clumps of bushes made black stains on it, and the
    basement windows of the church sent shafts of yellow light far across
    the endless undulations.
  392. tidy up
    put (things or places) in order
    He would have liked to
    linger on, watching her tidy up and then settle down to her sewing; but
    he wanted still more to get the hauling done and be back at the farm
    before night.
  393. drop back
    to lag or linger behind
    I put the volume into my pocket and we dropped back into our usual
    silence; but as we began to crawl up the long hill from Corbury Flats to
    the Starkfield ridge I became aware in the dusk that he had turned his
    face to mine.
  394. slatternly
    characteristic of or befitting a slut or slattern
    A slatternly calico wrapper hung from her shoulders
    and the wisps of her thin grey hair were drawn away from a high forehead
    and fastened at the back by a broken comb.
  395. keep
    continue a certain state, condition, or activity
    It was clear that the Varnum fortunes were at the ebb, but the
    two women did what they could to preserve a decent dignity; and Mrs.
    Hale, in particular, had a certain wan refinement not out of keeping
    with her pale old-fashioned house.
  396. effacement
    withdrawing into the background
    "I wouldn't ever have it said that I stood in the way of a poor girl
    like Mattie marrying a smart fellow like Denis Eady," Zeena answered in
    a tone of plaintive self- effacement.
  397. silver
    a soft white precious univalent metallic element having the highest electrical and thermal conductivity of any metal; occurs in argentite and in free form; used in coins and jewelry and tableware and photography
    Frome was in the habit of walking into Starkfield to fetch home his
    wife's cousin, Mattie Silver, on the rare evenings when some chance of
    amusement drew her to the village.
  398. done
    having finished or arrived at completion
    "Oh, as to
    that: I guess it's always Ethan done the caring."
  399. leave
    go away from a place
    At intervals, however, the
    post-master would hand him an envelope addressed to Mrs. Zenobia--or Mrs.
    Zeena-Frome, and usually bearing conspicuously in the upper left-hand
    corner the address of some manufacturer of patent medicine and the name
    of his specific.
  400. answering
    replying
    I understood that he was offering me a night's shelter at the farm, and
    without answering I turned into the gate at his side, and followed him
    to the barn, where I helped him to unharness and bed down the tired
    horse.
  401. toss back
    throw back with a quick, light motion
    "I told you I ain't the kind to be afraid" she tossed back, almost
    indifferently; and suddenly she began to walk on with a rapid step.
  402. begin
    set in motion, cause to start
    But when winter
    shut down on Starkfield and the village lay under a sheet of snow
    perpetually renewed from the pale skies, I began to see what life
    there--or rather its negation--must have been in Ethan Frome's young
    manhood.
  403. slip
    move obliquely or sideways, usually in an uncontrolled manner
    The musicians hurried to their instruments, the dancers--some already
    half-muffled for departure--fell into line down each side of the room,
    the older spectators slipped back to their chairs, and the lively young
    man, after diving about here and there in the throng, drew forth a girl
    who had already wound a cherry-coloured "fascinator" about her head,
    and, leading her up to the end of the floor, whirled her down its length
    to the bounding tune of a Virginia reel.
  404. smart
    characterized by quickness and ease in learning
    Most of the smart ones get away."
  405. continued
    without stop or interruption
    "The house was bigger in my father's time: I had to take down the 'L,'
    a while back," Frome continued, checking with a twitch of the left rein
    the bay's evident intention of turning in through the broken-down gate.
  406. reach
    move forward or upward in order to touch
    When this happened he would listen quietly, his blue eyes on the
    speaker's face, and answer in so low a tone that his words never reached
    me; then he would climb stiffly into his buggy, gather up the reins in
    his left hand and drive slowly away in the direction of his farm.
  407. engrave
    carve, cut, or etch into a material or surface
    Here he had nailed up shelves for his books, built
    himself a box-sofa out of boards and a mattress, laid out his papers on
    a kitchen-table, hung on the rough plaster wall an engraving of Abraham
    Lincoln and a calendar with "Thoughts from the Poets," and tried, with
    these meagre properties, to produce some likeness to the study of a
    "minister" who had been kind to him and lent him books when he was at
    Worcester.
  408. slowly
    without speed
    When this happened he would listen quietly, his blue eyes on the
    speaker's face, and answer in so low a tone that his words never reached
    me; then he would climb stiffly into his buggy, gather up the reins in
    his left hand and drive slowly away in the direction of his farm.
  409. lie
    be prostrate; be in a horizontal position
    But when winter
    shut down on Starkfield and the village lay under a sheet of snow
    perpetually renewed from the pale skies, I began to see what life
    there--or rather its negation--must have been in Ethan Frome's young
    manhood.
  410. tone
    the distinctive property of a complex sound
    When this happened he would listen quietly, his blue eyes on the
    speaker's face, and answer in so low a tone that his words never reached
    me; then he would climb stiffly into his buggy, gather up the reins in
    his left hand and drive slowly away in the direction of his farm.
  411. stretch
    extend one's limbs or muscles, or the entire body
    When I had been there a little longer, and had seen this
    phase of crystal clearness followed by long stretches of sunless cold;
    when the storms of February had pitched their white tents about the
    devoted village and the wild cavalry of March winds had charged down to
    their support; I began to understand why Starkfield emerged from its
    six months' siege like a starved garrison capitulating without quarter.
  412. set forth
    leave
    Special rules,
    set forth in the General Terms of Use part of this license, apply to
    copying and distributing Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works to
    protect the PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm concept and trademark.
  413. foreshorten
    shorten lines in a drawing so as to create an illusion of depth
    She changed her position, leaning forward to bend her
    head above her work, so that he saw only the foreshortened tip of her
    nose and the streak of red in her hair; then she slipped to her feet,
    saying "I can't see to sew," and went back to her chair by the lamp.
  414. ice age
    any period of time during which glaciers covered a large part of the earth's surface
    Then he learned that
    one other spirit had trembled with the same touch of wonder: that at his
    side, living under his roof and eating his bread, was a creature to whom
    he could say: "That's Orion down yonder; the big fellow to the right is
    Aldebaran, and the bunch of little ones--like bees swarming--they're the
    Pleiades..." or whom he could hold entranced before a ledge of granite
    thrusting up through the fern while he unrolled the huge panorama of the
    ice age, and the long dim stretch...
  415. doctor
    a person who holds Ph.D. degree from an academic institution
    Then his mother got queer and dragged along for years as
    weak as a baby; and his wife Zeena, she's always been the greatest hand
    at doctoring in the county.
  416. spring up
    come into existence; take on form or shape
    Instead, it sprang up to
    a gale which now and then, from a tattered sky, flung pale sweeps of
    sunlight over a landscape chaotically tossed.
  417. and then
    subsequently or soon afterward
    " And then the smash-up?"
  418. inexorable
    not to be placated or appeased or moved by entreaty
    His wife's attitude was
    unchanged, her face inexorable, and he was seized with the despairing
    sense of his helplessness.
  419. querulously
    in a peevish manner
    On our right a line of light marked the
    door of the room which had sent its ray across the night; and behind the
    door I heard a woman's voice droning querulously.
  420. disunited
    having been divided; having the unity destroyed
    Again the outline hastily disunited
    and the Varnum gate slammed on one half while the other hurried on ahead
    of him.
  421. binary
    of or pertaining to a number system have 2 as its base
    You may convert to and distribute this work in any binary,
    compressed, marked up, nonproprietary or proprietary form, including any
    word processing or hypertext form.
  422. time
    the continuum of experience in which events pass to the past
    Title: Ethan Frome

    Author: Edith Wharton

    Release Date: October, 2003 [Etext #4517]
    Posting Date: February 4, 2010

    Language: English

    Character set encoding: ASCII

    *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK ETHAN FROME ***




    Produced by Charles Aldarondo





    ETHAN FROME


    By Edith Wharton




    ETHAN FROME



    I had the story, bit by bit, from various people, and, as generally
    happens in such cases, each time it was a different story.
  423. suddenly
    happening unexpectedly
    Once I
    happened to speak of an engineering job I had been on the previous year
    in Florida, and of the contrast between the winter landscape about us
    and that in which I had found myself the year before; and to my surprise
    Frome said suddenly: "Yes: I was down there once, and for a good while
    afterward I could call up the sight of it in winter.
  424. looking
    appearing to be as specified
    I questioned Harmon, looking after
    Frome's retreating figure, and thinking how gallantly his lean brown
    head, with its shock of light hair, must have sat on his strong
    shoulders before they were bent out of shape.
  425. outcropping
    the part of a rock formation that appears above the surface of the surrounding land
    About a mile farther, on a road I had never
    travelled, we came to an orchard of starved apple-trees writhing over
    a hillside among outcroppings of slate that nuzzled up through the snow
    like animals pushing out their noses to breathe.
  426. dish up
    provide (usually but not necessarily food)
    "It takes the
    stepladder to get at the top shelf, and I put Aunt Philura Maple's
    pickle- dish up there o' purpose when we was married, and it's never been
    down since, 'cept for the spring cleaning, and then I always lifted it
    with my own hands, so's 't shouldn't get broke."
  427. sudden
    happening without warning or in a short space of time
    "Is that what they say?" she mocked back at him; then, with a sudden
    drop of her sweet treble: "You mean that Zeena--ain't suited with me any
    more?" she faltered.
  428. straighten out
    make free from confusion or ambiguity; make clear
    When they married it was agreed that, as soon as he could straighten out
    the difficulties resulting from Mrs. Frome's long illness, they would
    sell the farm and saw-mill and try their luck in a large town.
  429. seethe
    foam as if boiling
    Seen thus, from the pure and frosty darkness in which he stood, it
    seemed to be seething in a mist of heat.
  430. landscape
    an expanse of scenery that can be seen in a single view
    Day by day, after the
    December snows were over, a blazing blue sky poured down torrents
    of light and air on the white landscape, which gave them back in an
    intenser glitter.
  431. one
    smallest whole number or a numeral representing this number
    Every one in Starkfield knew him and gave him a greeting tempered to
    his own grave mien; but his taciturnity was respected and it was only on
    rare occasions that one of the older men of the place detained him for
    a word.
  432. stride
    walk with long steps
    "There are one or two rather new things in the book: there have been
    some big strides lately in that particular line of research."
  433. go back
    return in thought or speech to something
    "Gentleman friend gone back on you?
  434. till
    work land as by ploughing to make it ready for cultivation
    I thought
    no more about it till I got into the sleigh again that evening, and saw
    the book in Frome's hand.
  435. scrape up
    gather (money or other resources) together over time
    "Well, she'll have to say it to the
    cat, any way!" he rejoined with a laugh, kneeling down at Mattie's side
    to scrape up the swimming pickles.
  436. load
    weight to be borne or conveyed
    It looked exanimate enough, with
    its idle wheel looming above the black stream dashed with yellow-white
    spume, and its cluster of sheds sagging under their white load.
  437. mean
    denote or connote
    Though Harmon Gow developed the tale as far as his mental and moral
    reach permitted there were perceptible gaps between his facts, and I had
    the sense that the deeper meaning of the story was in the gaps.
  438. warm to
    become excited about
    By nature grave and inarticulate, he admired recklessness and gaiety in
    others and was warmed to the marrow by friendly human intercourse.
  439. sense
    the faculty through which the external world is apprehended
    Though Harmon Gow developed the tale as far as his mental and moral
    reach permitted there were perceptible gaps between his facts, and I had
    the sense that the deeper meaning of the story was in the gaps.
  440. engage
    consume all of one's attention or time
    It happened
    right below lawyer Varnum's, down at the bend of the Corbury road, just
    round about the time that Ruth got engaged to Ned Hale.
  441. rise
    move upward
    The black
    wraith of a deciduous creeper flapped from the porch, and the thin
    wooden walls, under their worn coat of paint, seemed to shiver in the
    wind that had risen with the ceasing of the snow.
  442. sideways
    toward one side
    The name threw a chill between them, and they stood a moment looking
    sideways at each other before Mattie said with a shy laugh.
  443. Ruth
    the great-grandmother of king David whose story is told in the Book of Ruth in the Old Testament
    " Ruth Varnum was always as nervous as a rat; and, come to think of it,
    she was the first one to see 'em after they was picked up.
  444. pouch
    a small or medium size container for holding or carrying things
    Harmon drew a slab of tobacco from his pocket, cut off a wedge and
    pressed it into the leather pouch of his cheek.
  445. unfounded
    without a basis in reason or fact
    The sweetness of the picture, and the relief of knowing that his fears
    of "trouble" with Zeena were unfounded, sent up his spirits with a rush,
    and he, who was usually so silent, whistled and sang aloud as he
    drove through the snowy fields.
  446. give
    transfer possession of something concrete or abstract
    You may copy it, give it away or
    re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
    with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org
  447. gaily
    in a joyous or happy manner
    Frome heard the girl's voice, gaily incredulous: "What on earth's your
    father's cutter doin' down there?"
  448. hang on
    fix to; attach
    Not for the world would he have made
    a sign to her, though it seemed to him that his life hung on her next
    gesture.
  449. adjure
    command solemnly
    Tell me!" he adjured her.
  450. buggy
    a small lightweight carriage
    The "smash-up" it was--I gathered from the same informant--which, besides
    drawing the red gash across Ethan Frome's forehead, had so shortened and
    warped his right side that it cost him a visible effort to take the few
    steps from his buggy to the post-office window.
  451. put
    cause to be in a certain state
    I noticed that, though he came so punctually, he seldom
    received anything but a copy of the Bettsbridge Eagle, which he put
    without a glance into his sagging pocket.
  452. spectral
    resembling or characteristic of a phantom
    The
    cat had jumped from Zeena's chair to dart at a mouse in the wainscot,
    and as a result of the sudden movement the empty chair had set up a
    spectral rocking.
  453. dark
    devoid of or deficient in light or brightness
    When Ethan could sweat over 'em both from sunup to dark he kinder choked
    a living out of 'em; but his folks ate up most everything, even then,
    and I don't see how he makes out now.
  454. deciduous
    shedding foliage at the end of the growing season
    The black
    wraith of a deciduous creeper flapped from the porch, and the thin
    wooden walls, under their worn coat of paint, seemed to shiver in the
    wind that had risen with the ceasing of the snow.
  455. blotched
    marked with irregularly shaped spots or blots
    Frome turned away again, and taking up his razor stooped to catch the
    reflection of his stretched cheek in the blotched looking-glass above
    the wash-stand.
  456. though
    (postpositive) however
    Even then he was the most striking figure
    in Starkfield, though he was but the ruin of a man.
  457. conviviality
    a jovial nature
    They hailed Ethan with ironic
    compliment and offers of conviviality; but no one knew where to find
    the glue.
  458. touch
    make physical contact with, come in contact with
    Ethan'll likely touch a hundred."
  459. stuff
    the tangible substance that goes into a physical object
    She wore her usual dress of darkish stuff, and there was no bow at her
    neck; but through her hair she had run a streak of crimson ribbon.
  460. low-down
    of the most contemptible kind
    I ain't as low-down as
    that."
  461. now
    at the present moment
    He looks as if he was dead and
    in hell now!"
  462. dusk
    the time of day immediately following sunset
    I put the volume into my pocket and we dropped back into our usual
    silence; but as we began to crawl up the long hill from Corbury Flats to
    the Starkfield ridge I became aware in the dusk that he had turned his
    face to mine.
  463. come along
    come into being or existence, or appear on the scene
    " Come along!
  464. unconstrained
    free from limitation
    Andrew Hale was a ruddy man with a big gray moustache and a stubbly
    double-chin unconstrained by a collar; but his scrupulously clean shirt
    was always fastened by a small diamond stud.
  465. work in
    add by mixing or blending on or attaching
    His hard day's
    work in the keen air made him feel at once lazy and light of mood, and
    he had a confused sense of being in another world, where all was warmth
    and harmony and time could bring no change.
  466. go to
    be present at (meetings, church services, university), etc.
    He even crept down on Saturday nights to scrub the kitchen floor after
    the women had gone to bed; and Zeena, one day, had surprised him at the
    churn and had turned away silently, with one of her queer looks.
  467. foot
    the pedal extremity of vertebrates other than human beings
    Frome scrambled up the slippery steps of the porch, digging
    a way through the snow with his heavily booted foot.
  468. rein
    one of a pair of long straps used to control a horse
    If you
    know the post-office you must have seen Ethan Frome drive up to it, drop
    the reins on his hollow-backed bay and drag himself across the brick
    pavement to the white colonnade: and you must have asked who he was.
  469. gate
    a movable barrier in a fence or wall
    "The house was bigger in my father's time: I had to take down the 'L,'
    a while back," Frome continued, checking with a twitch of the left rein
    the bay's evident intention of turning in through the broken-down gate.
  470. wake
    stop sleeping
    Staggering along in Frome's wake I floundered toward it, and in the
    darkness almost fell into one of the deep drifts against the front of
    the house.
  471. drone
    make a monotonous low dull sound
    On our right a line of light marked the
    door of the room which had sent its ray across the night; and behind the
    door I heard a woman's voice droning querulously.
  472. off
    from a particular thing or place or position
    Harmon drew a slab of tobacco from his pocket, cut off a wedge and
    pressed it into the leather pouch of his cheek.
  473. deepen
    make deeper
    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.
  474. sleet
    partially melted snow (or a mixture of rain and snow)
    But a wet snow, melting to sleet, had fallen in
    the night and turned the roads to glass.
  475. drive up
    approach while driving
    If you
    know the post-office you must have seen Ethan Frome drive up to it, drop
    the reins on his hollow-backed bay and drag himself across the brick
    pavement to the white colonnade: and you must have asked who he was.
  476. together
    in contact with each other or in proximity
    Nevertheless, I might have
    contented myself with the story pieced together from these hints had
    it not been for the provocation of Mrs. Hale's silence, and--a little
    later--for the accident of personal contact with the man.
  477. belabour
    beat soundly
    The dancers were going faster and faster, and the musicians, to keep
    up with them, belaboured their instruments like jockeys lashing their
    mounts on the home-stretch; yet it seemed to the young man at the window
    that the reel would never end.
  478. closet
    a small room (or recess) or cabinet used for storage space
    "Yes, but, you see, she never meant it
    should be used, not even when there was company; and I had to get up on
    the step-ladder to reach it down from the top shelf of the china- closet,
    where she keeps it with all her best things, and of course she'll want
    to know why I did it--"

    The case was so serious that it called forth all of Ethan's latent
    resolution.
  479. shine at
    be good at
    "No."

    She shone at him across the table.
  480. teapot
    pot for brewing tea; usually has a spout and handle
    When he came
    back Mattie had set the teapot on the table and the cat was rubbing
    itself persuasively against her ankles.
  481. horse
    solid-hoofed herbivorous quadruped domesticated since prehistoric times
    In the "best parlour," with its black horse-hair and mahogany weakly
    illuminated by a gurgling Carcel lamp, I listened every evening to
    another and more delicately shaded version of the Starkfield chronicle.
  482. drag
    pull, as against a resistance
    If you
    know the post-office you must have seen Ethan Frome drive up to it, drop
    the reins on his hollow-backed bay and drag himself across the brick
    pavement to the white colonnade: and you must have asked who he was.
  483. suppose
    expect or believe
    One would have supposed that such an atmosphere must
    quicken the emotions as well as the blood; but it seemed to produce
    no change except that of retarding still more the sluggish pulse of
    Starkfield.
  484. bandbox
    a light cylindrical box for holding light articles of attire
    On the floor
    beside her stood his old valise and a bandbox wrapped in newspapers.
  485. sledge
    a vehicle mounted on runners and pulled by horses or dogs
    Ethan therefore proposed to his
    assistant that they should load the sledge at the wood-lot, as they had
    done on the previous morning, and put off the "teaming" to Starkfield
    till later in the day.
  486. peristyle
    a colonnade surrounding a building or enclosing a court
    Opposite the Varnum gate,
    where the road fell away toward the Corbury valley, the church reared
    its slim white steeple and narrow peristyle.
  487. vanilla
    any of numerous climbing plants having fleshy leaves
    However, if you provide access to or
    distribute copies of a Project Gutenberg-tm work in a format other than
    "Plain Vanilla ASCII" or other format used in the official version
    posted on the official Project Gutenberg-tm web site ( www.gutenberg.org),
    you must, at no additional cost, fee or expense to the user, provide a
    copy, a means of exporting a copy, or a means of obtaining a copy upon
    request, of the work in its original "Plain Vanilla ASCII" or other
    form.
  488. catch
    take hold of so as to seize or stop the motion of
    The leader of the reel,
    who looked as if he had Irish blood in his veins, danced well, and his
    partner caught his fire.
  489. Springfield
    capital of the state of Illinois
    Twice or thrice before she had suddenly
    packed Ethan's valise and started off to Bettsbridge, or even
    Springfield, to seek the advice of some new doctor, and her husband had
    grown to dread these expeditions because of their cost.
  490. thaw
    become or cause to become soft or liquid
    Her wonder and his laughter ran together like spring rills in a thaw.
  491. glance
    take a brief look at
    I noticed that, though he came so punctually, he seldom
    received anything but a copy of the Bettsbridge Eagle, which he put
    without a glance into his sagging pocket.
  492. flush
    rinse, clean, or empty with a liquid
    As he strode along through the snow the sense of such meanings glowed in
    his brain and mingled with the bodily flush produced by his sharp tramp.
  493. more
    greater in size or amount or extent or degree
    There was something bleak and unapproachable
    in his face, and he was so stiffened and grizzled that I took him for an
    old man and was surprised to hear that he was not more than fifty-two.
  494. scintillating
    having brief brilliant points or flashes of light
    The sunrise burned red in a
    pure sky, the shadows on the rim of the wood-lot were darkly blue, and
    beyond the white and scintillating fields patches of far-off forest hung
    like smoke.
  495. asthmatic
    relating to breathing with a whistling sound
    Then the room grew
    perfectly black, and not a sound was audible but Zeena's asthmatic
    breathing.
  496. stretched
    (of muscles) relieved of stiffness by stretching
    Frome turned away again, and taking up his razor stooped to catch the
    reflection of his stretched cheek in the blotched looking-glass above
    the wash-stand.
  497. devastate
    cause extensive destruction or ruin utterly
    By this time
    the music had stopped, and the musicians--a fiddler, and the young lady
    who played the harmonium on Sundays--were hastily refreshing themselves
    at one corner of the supper-table which aligned its devastated
    pie-dishes and ice-cream saucers on the platform at the end of the hall.
  498. clapboard
    a long thin board with one edge thicker than the other
    And all the first winter, how she had shivered with cold when
    the northerly gales shook the thin clapboards and the snow beat like
    hail against the loose-hung windows!
  499. tremor
    an involuntary vibration, as if from illness or fear
    He saw a scarcely perceptible tremor cross her
    face, and without knowing what he did he stooped his head and kissed
    the bit of stuff in his hold.
  500. wood
    the hard fibrous lignified substance under the bark of trees
    I saw then that the unusually forlorn and stunted look of the house was
    partly due to the loss of what is known in New England as the "L":
    that long deep-roofed adjunct usually built at right angles to the main
    house, and connecting it, by way of storerooms and tool-house, with the
    wood-shed and cow-barn.
  501. maidenhood
    the childhood of a girl
    His son seemed likely to follow in his steps, and was meanwhile
    applying the same arts to the conquest of the Starkfield maidenhood.
  502. move
    change location
    When she got the rheumatism
    so bad she couldn't move around she used to sit up there and watch the
    road by the hour; and one year, when they was six months mending the
    Bettsbridge pike after the floods, and Harmon Gow had to bring his stage
    round this way, she picked up so that she used to get down to the gate
    most days to see him.
  503. leave alone
    leave unchanged or undisturbed or refrain from taking
    His wife died of the
    disclosure, and Mattie, at twenty, was left alone to make her way on the
    fifty dollars obtained from the sale of her piano.
  504. made
    produced by a manufacturing process
    The next morning, when I looked out, I saw the hollow-backed bay between
    the Varnum spruces, and Ethan Frome, throwing back his worn bearskin,
    made room for me in the sleigh at his side.
  505. merino
    white sheep originating in Spain and producing a heavy fleece of exceptional quality
    Instead of her usual calico wrapper and knitted shawl she wore her
    best dress of brown merino, and above her thin strands of hair, which
    still preserved the tight undulations of the crimping-pins, rose a hard
    perpendicular bonnet, as to which Ethan's clearest notion was that he
    had to pay five dollars for it at the Bettsbridge Emporium.
  506. illuminate
    make lighter or brighter
    In the "best parlour," with its black horse-hair and mahogany weakly
    illuminated by a gurgling Carcel lamp, I listened every evening to
    another and more delicately shaded version of the Starkfield chronicle.
  507. unperturbed
    free from emotional agitation or nervous tension
    "I'd like to go over things with you first," Zeena continued in an
    unperturbed voice.
  508. in a low voice
    in an undertone
    "I suppose it was Ruth and Ned," she said in a low voice, as
    though he had suddenly touched on something grave.
  509. dancer
    a person who participates in a social gathering arranged for dancing (as a ball)
    The musicians hurried to their instruments, the dancers--some already
    half-muffled for departure--fell into line down each side of the room,
    the older spectators slipped back to their chairs, and the lively young
    man, after diving about here and there in the throng, drew forth a girl
    who had already wound a cherry-coloured "fascinator" about her head,
    and, leading her up to the end of the floor, whirled her down its length
    to the bounding tune of a Virginia reel.
  510. up to
    busy or occupied with
    If you
    know the post-office you must have seen Ethan Frome drive up to it, drop
    the reins on his hollow-backed bay and drag himself across the brick
    pavement to the white colonnade: and you must have asked who he was.
  511. prominently
    in a prominent way
    The following sentence, with active links to, or other immediate
    access to, the full Project Gutenberg-tm License must appear prominently
    whenever any copy of a Project Gutenberg-tm work (any work on which the
    phrase "Project Gutenberg" appears, or with which the phrase "Project
    Gutenberg" is associated) is accessed, displayed, performed, viewed,
    copied or distributed:

    This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
    almost no restrictions whatsoever.
  512. blankly
    without expression
    He gazed blankly about the kitchen, which looked cold and squalid in the
    rainy winter twilight.
  513. obediently
    in an obedient manner
    Mattie rose obediently,
    and seated herself in it.
  514. specified
    clearly and explicitly stated
    Almost everybody in
    the neighbourhood had "troubles," frankly localized and specified;
    but only the chosen had "complications."
  515. thing
    a separate and self-contained entity
    Twenty years earlier the means of resistance must have been far fewer,
    and the enemy in command of almost all the lines of access between the
    beleaguered villages; and, considering these things, I felt the sinister
    force of Harmon's phrase: "Most of the smart ones get away."
  516. speak
    use language
    There
    was no hint of disapproval in her reserve; I merely felt in her an
    insurmountable reluctance to speak of him or his affairs, a low "Yes, I
    knew them both... it was awful..." seeming to be the utmost concession
    that her distress could make to my curiosity.
  517. look at
    look at carefully; study mentally
    He turned and looked at her where she lay indistinctly outlined under
    the dark calico quilt, her high-boned face taking a grayish tinge from
    the whiteness of the pillow.
  518. farther
    more distant in especially space or time
    About a mile farther, on a road I had never
    travelled, we came to an orchard of starved apple-trees writhing over
    a hillside among outcroppings of slate that nuzzled up through the snow
    like animals pushing out their noses to breathe.
  519. think of
    devise or invent
    "Ruth Varnum was always as nervous as a rat; and, come to think of it,
    she was the first one to see 'em after they was picked up.
  520. fatuity
    a ludicrous folly
    He even noticed two or
    three gestures which, in his fatuity, he had thought she kept for him:
    a way of throwing her head back when she was amused, as if to taste her
    laugh before she let it out, and a trick of sinking her lids slowly when
    anything charmed or moved her.
  521. sob
    weep convulsively
    It's the way your father
    begun, and I was warned of it when I took you, and I tried to keep my
    things where you couldn't get at 'em--and now you've took from me the one
    I cared for most of all--" She broke off in a short spasm of sobs that
    passed and left her more than ever like a shape of stone.
  522. open
    affording free passage or access
    The height of
    the white waves massed against the garden-fence and along the wall of
    the church showed that the storm must have been going on all night,
    and that the drifts were likely to be heavy in the open.
  523. razor
    edge tool used in shaving
    Frome turned away again, and taking up his razor stooped to catch the
    reflection of his stretched cheek in the blotched looking-glass above
    the wash-stand.
  524. Mrs
    a form of address for a married woman
    At intervals, however, the
    post-master would hand him an envelope addressed to Mrs. Zenobia--or Mrs.
    Zeena-Frome, and usually bearing conspicuously in the upper left-hand
    corner the address of some manufacturer of patent medicine and the name
    of his specific.
  525. care for
    be fond of; be attached to
    "Somebody had to stay and care for the folks.
  526. submerge
    put under water
    He looked up and down the little pebbly beach till his eye lit on a
    fallen tree-trunk half submerged in snow.
  527. load down
    load with a pack
    The hauling was not over till mid-day, and as the lumber was to be
    delivered to Andrew Hale, the Starkfield builder, it was really easier
    for Ethan to send Jotham Powell, the hired man, back to the farm on
    foot, and drive the load down to the village himself.
  528. jerk
    a sudden abrupt pull
    It was not so much
    his great height that marked him, for the "natives" were easily singled
    out by their lank longitude from the stockier foreign breed: it was the
    careless powerful look he had, in spite of a lameness checking each step
    like the jerk of a chain.
  529. scraps
    food that is discarded (as from a kitchen)
    Having satisfied himself that there was no risk of
    immediate discovery he went back to the kitchen with a lighter step, and
    found Mattie disconsolately removing the last scraps of pickle from the
    floor.
  530. drift
    be in motion due to some air or water current
    The height of
    the white waves massed against the garden-fence and along the wall of
    the church showed that the storm must have been going on all night,
    and that the drifts were likely to be heavy in the open.
  531. floor
    the inside lower horizontal surface
    The floor was thronged with
    girls and young men.
  532. wait
    stay in one place and anticipate or expect something
    He used to drive in
    from his farm every day at about noon, and as that was my own hour for
    fetching my mail I often passed him in the porch or stood beside him
    while we waited on the motions of the distributing hand behind the
    grating.
  533. folk
    people in general (often used in the plural)
    "Somebody had to stay and care for the folks.
  534. gas jet
    burner such that combustible gas issues from a nozzle to form a steady flame
    The metal reflectors of the
    gas-jets sent crude waves of light against the whitewashed walls, and
    the iron flanks of the stove at the end of the hall looked as though
    they were heaving with volcanic fires.
  535. jingle
    a metallic sound
    A moment later he heard the jingle of departing
    sleigh bells and discerned a figure advancing alone toward the empty
    expanse of snow before the church.
  536. just
    and nothing more
    It was not that Mrs. Ned Hale felt, or affected, any social superiority
    to the people about her; it was only that the accident of a finer
    sensibility and a little more education had put just enough distance
    between herself and her neighbours to enable her to judge them with
    detachment.
  537. uninhabitable
    not fit for habitation
    He still took refuge there in summer, but when Mattie came to
    live at the farm he had to give her his stove, and consequently the room
    was uninhabitable for several months of the year.
  538. ill-fitting
    not the right size or shape
    One cold winter morning, as he dressed in the dark,
    his candle flickering in the draught of the ill-fitting window, he had
    heard her speak from the bed behind him.
  539. livery stable
    stable where horses and vehicles are kept for hire
    On my arrival at Starkfield, Denis Eady, the rich Irish grocer, who was
    the proprietor of Starkfield's nearest approach to a livery stable, had
    entered into an agreement to send me over daily to Corbury Flats, where
    I had to pick up my train for the Junction.
  540. start
    take the first step or steps in carrying out an action
    Title: Ethan Frome

    Author: Edith Wharton

    Release Date: October, 2003 [Etext #4517]
    Posting Date: February 4, 2010

    Language: English

    Character set encoding: ASCII

    *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK ETHAN FROME ***




    Produced by Charles Aldarondo





    ETHAN FROME


    By Edith Wharton




    ETHAN FROME



    I had the story, bit by bit, from various people, and, as generally
    happens in such cases, each time it was a different story.
  541. reverberate
    ring or echo with sound
    The crash of a loaded branch
    falling far off in the woods reverberated like a musket-shot, and once a
    fox barked, and Mattie shrank closer to Ethan, and quickened her steps.
  542. do it
    have sexual intercourse with
    So marked was the change in her manner, such depths of sad initiation
    did it imply, that, with some doubts as to my delicacy, I put the case
    anew to my village oracle, Harmon Gow; but got for my pains only an
    uncomprehending grunt.
  543. day
    time for Earth to make a complete rotation on its axis
    I had this from Harmon Gow, who had driven the stage from Bettsbridge
    to Starkfield in pre-trolley days and knew the chronicle of all the
    families on his line.
  544. letting
    property that is leased or rented out or let
    As we turned into the Corbury road the snow began to fall again, cutting
    off our last glimpse of the house; and Frome's silence fell with it,
    letting down between us the old veil of reticence.
  545. still
    not in physical motion
    One would have supposed that such an atmosphere must
    quicken the emotions as well as the blood; but it seemed to produce
    no change except that of retarding still more the sluggish pulse of
    Starkfield.
  546. Andrew
    disciple of Jesus
    The hauling was not over till mid-day, and as the lumber was to be
    delivered to Andrew Hale, the Starkfield builder, it was really easier
    for Ethan to send Jotham Powell, the hired man, back to the farm on
    foot, and drive the load down to the village himself.
  547. morning
    the time period between dawn and noon
    The next morning, when I looked out, I saw the hollow-backed bay between
    the Varnum spruces, and Ethan Frome, throwing back his worn bearskin,
    made room for me in the sleigh at his side.
  548. shade
    relative darkness caused by light rays being intercepted by an opaque body
    In the "best parlour," with its black horse-hair and mahogany weakly
    illuminated by a gurgling Carcel lamp, I listened every evening to
    another and more delicately shaded version of the Starkfield chronicle.
  549. homing
    orienting or directing homeward or to a destination
    The small ray of Frome's lantern was soon lost in this smothering
    medium, in which even his sense of direction, and the bay's homing
    instinct, finally ceased to serve us.
  550. in a flash
    without any delay
    He used to think that fifty years sounded like a long time to live
    together, but now it seemed to him that they might pass in a flash.
  551. untenanted
    not leased to or occupied by a tenant
    VIII


    When Ethan was called back to the farm by his father's illness his
    mother gave him, for his own use, a small room behind the untenanted
    "best parlour."
  552. while
    a period of indeterminate length marked by some action
    He used to drive in
    from his farm every day at about noon, and as that was my own hour for
    fetching my mail I often passed him in the porch or stood beside him
    while we waited on the motions of the distributing hand behind the
    grating.
  553. make out
    detect with the senses
    When Ethan could sweat over 'em both from sunup to dark he kinder choked
    a living out of 'em; but his folks ate up most everything, even then,
    and I don't see how he makes out now.
  554. languidly
    in a lethargic manner
    She
    looked up at him languidly, as though her lids were weighted with sleep
    and it cost her an effort to raise them.
  555. false pretence
    (law) an offense involving intent to defraud and false representation and obtaining property as a result of that misrepresentation
    He was planning to take advantage of the Hales' sympathy to obtain
    money from them on false pretences.
  556. drop
    let fall to the ground
    If you
    know the post-office you must have seen Ethan Frome drive up to it, drop
    the reins on his hollow-backed bay and drag himself across the brick
    pavement to the white colonnade: and you must have asked who he was.
  557. associate
    bring or come into action
    *****
    This and all associated files of various formats will be found in:
    http://www.gutenberg.org/4/5/1/4517/
  558. word
    a unit of language that native speakers can identify
    Every one in Starkfield knew him and gave him a greeting tempered to
    his own grave mien; but his taciturnity was respected and it was only on
    rare occasions that one of the older men of the place detained him for
    a word.
  559. blanketed
    covered with (or as if with) a blanket
    As the young man walked
    toward it the upper windows drew a black arcade along the side wall of
    the building, but from the lower openings, on the side where the ground
    sloped steeply down to the Corbury road, the light shot its long bars,
    illuminating many fresh furrows in the track leading to the basement
    door, and showing, under an adjoining shed, a line of sleighs with
    heavily blanketed horses.
  560. foundation
    the basis on which something is grounded
    Creating the works from public domain print editions means that no
    one owns a United States copyright in these works, so the Foundation
    (and you!) can copy and distribute it in the United States without
    permission and without paying copyright royalties.
  561. threshold
    the starting point for a new state or experience
    It is powerful cold down here," Ethan assented; and with
    lowered head he went up in his wife's wake, and followed her across the
    threshold of their room.
  562. abreast
    alongside each other, facing in the same direction
    Abreast of the schoolhouse the road forked, and we dipped down a lane
    to the left, between hemlock boughs bent inward to their trunks by the
    weight of the snow.
  563. bloodless
    free from violence or injury
    She
    sat opposite the window, and the pale light reflected from the banks of
    snow made her face look more than usually drawn and bloodless, sharpened
    the three parallel creases between ear and cheek, and drew querulous
    lines from her thin nose to the corners of her mouth.
  564. irresolutely
    lacking determination or decisiveness
    The girl seemed to waver, and Frome saw her twirl the end of her scarf
    irresolutely about her fingers.
  565. on the table
    able to be negotiated or arranged by compromise
    She set the lamp on the table,
    and he saw that it was carefully laid for supper, with fresh doughnuts,
    stewed blueberries and his favourite pickles in a dish of gay red glass.
  566. cloudy
    full of or covered with clouds
    His
    father's death, and the misfortunes following it, had put a premature
    end to Ethan's studies; but though they had not gone far enough to be
    of much practical use they had fed his fancy and made him aware of huge
    cloudy meanings behind the daily face of things.
  567. moon
    the natural satellite of the Earth
    The moon had set, but the night was
    so transparent that the white house-fronts between the elms looked gray
    against the snow, clumps of bushes made black stains on it, and the
    basement windows of the church sent shafts of yellow light far across
    the endless undulations.
  568. walk around
    walk around something
    They walked around to the back of the house, between the rigid
    gooseberry bushes.
  569. getting
    the act of acquiring something
    She was not unwilling to exercise this faculty, and I had
    great hopes of getting from her the missing facts of Ethan Frome's
    story, or rather such a key to his character as should co-ordinate the
    facts I knew.
  570. fell
    cause to go down by or as if by delivering a blow
    But about the middle of the
    winter Eady's horses fell ill of a local epidemic.
  571. trolley
    a wheeled vehicle that runs on rails and is propelled by electricity
    I had this from Harmon Gow, who had driven the stage from Bettsbridge
    to Starkfield in pre- trolley days and knew the chronicle of all the
    families on his line.
  572. even out
    make even or more even
    When his wife first proposed that they should give Mattie an occasional
    evening out he had inwardly demurred at having to do the extra two miles
    to the village and back after his hard day on the farm; but not long
    afterward he had reached the point of wishing that Starkfield might give
    all its nights to revelry.
  573. train
    educate for a future role or function
    On my arrival at Starkfield, Denis Eady, the rich Irish grocer, who was
    the proprietor of Starkfield's nearest approach to a livery stable, had
    entered into an agreement to send me over daily to Corbury Flats, where
    I had to pick up my train for the Junction.
  574. Pleiades
    7 daughters of Atlas and half-sisters of the Hyades
    Then he learned that
    one other spirit had trembled with the same touch of wonder: that at his
    side, living under his roof and eating his bread, was a creature to whom
    he could say: "That's Orion down yonder; the big fellow to the right is
    Aldebaran, and the bunch of little ones--like bees swarming--they're the
    Pleiades..." or whom he could hold entranced before a ledge of granite
    thrusting up through the fern while he unrolled the huge panorama of the
    ice age, and the long dim stretch...
  575. quaver
    give off unsteady sounds
    "No, of course I'm not," she quavered.
  576. below
    in or to a place that is lower
    It happened
    right below lawyer Varnum's, down at the bend of the Corbury road, just
    round about the time that Ruth got engaged to Ned Hale.
  577. coming
    of the relatively near future
    But it was not only that the coming to his house of
    a bit of hopeful young life was like the lighting of a fire on a cold
    hearth.
  578. permission
    approval to do something
    Creating the works from public domain print editions means that no
    one owns a United States copyright in these works, so the Foundation
    (and you!) can copy and distribute it in the United States without
    permission and without paying copyright royalties.
  579. go up
    move upward
    It is powerful cold down here," Ethan assented; and with
    lowered head he went up in his wife's wake, and followed her across the
    threshold of their room.
  580. seize
    take hold of; grab
    On
    the brink of departure she was always seized with a flux of words.
  581. pale
    a wooden strip forming part of a fence
    But when winter
    shut down on Starkfield and the village lay under a sheet of snow
    perpetually renewed from the pale skies, I began to see what life
    there--or rather its negation--must have been in Ethan Frome's young
    manhood.
  582. lit
    provided with artificial light
    II


    As the dancers poured out of the hall Frome, drawing back behind the
    projecting storm-door, watched the segregation of the grotesquely
    muffled groups, in which a moving lantern ray now and then lit up a
    face flushed with food and dancing.
  583. suffocate
    deprive of oxygen and prevent from breathing
    Ethan was suffocated with the sense of well-being.
  584. raise
    move upwards
    She walked out of the kitchen ahead of them and pausing in the hall
    raised the lamp at arm's-length, as if to light them up the stairs.
  585. avowal
    a statement asserting the truth of something
    And the sweetness of Mattie's avowal, the wild wonder of knowing at
    last that all that had happened to him had happened to her too, made the
    other vision more abhorrent, the other life more intolerable to return
    to...
  586. clap on
    apply carelessly
    At
    Worcester, though he had the name of keeping to himself and not being
    much of a hand at a good time, he had secretly gloried in being clapped
    on
    the back and hailed as "Old Ethe" or "Old Stiff"; and the cessation
    of such familiarities had increased the chill of his return to
    Starkfield.
  587. summertime
    the warmest season of the year
    In the summertime, on pleasant days, they move Mattie into
    the parlour, or out in the door-yard, and that makes it easier... but
    winters there's the fires to be thought of; and there ain't a dime to
    spare up at the Fromes.'"
  588. localized
    confined or restricted to a particular location
    Almost everybody in
    the neighbourhood had "troubles," frankly localized and specified;
    but only the chosen had "complications."
  589. lot
    anything (straws or pebbles etc.) taken or chosen at random
    "There was a whole lot of them coasting before the moon set," she said.
  590. startle
    surprise greatly
    He had supposed her to be asleep, and the sound of her voice had
    startled him, though she was given to abrupt explosions of speech after
    long intervals of secretive silence.
  591. stoop to
    make concessions to
    Frome turned away again, and taking up his razor stooped to catch the
    reflection of his stretched cheek in the blotched looking-glass above
    the wash-stand.
  592. intoxicate
    make drunk (with alcoholic drinks)
    It was intoxicating to find such magic in his clumsy words, and he
    longed to try new ways of using it.
  593. round
    having a circular shape
    It happened
    right below lawyer Varnum's, down at the bend of the Corbury road, just
    round about the time that Ruth got engaged to Ned Hale.
  594. such
    of so extreme a degree or extent
    Title: Ethan Frome

    Author: Edith Wharton

    Release Date: October, 2003 [Etext #4517]
    Posting Date: February 4, 2010

    Language: English

    Character set encoding: ASCII

    *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK ETHAN FROME ***




    Produced by Charles Aldarondo





    ETHAN FROME


    By Edith Wharton




    ETHAN FROME



    I had the story, bit by bit, from various people, and, as generally
    happens in such cases, each time it was a different story.
  595. summer
    the warmest season of the year
    They walked on as if they were floating on a summer stream.
  596. break
    destroy the integrity of
    At our next meeting he made
    no allusion to the book, and our intercourse seemed fated to remain as
    negative and one-sided as if there had been no break in his reserve.
  597. across
    to the opposite side
    If you
    know the post-office you must have seen Ethan Frome drive up to it, drop
    the reins on his hollow-backed bay and drag himself across the brick
    pavement to the white colonnade: and you must have asked who he was.
  598. pebbly
    abounding in small stones
    He looked up and down the little pebbly beach till his eye lit on a
    fallen tree-trunk half submerged in snow.
  599. anaesthetic
    a drug that causes temporary loss of bodily sensations
    The return to reality was as painful as the return to
    consciousness after taking an anaesthetic.
  600. holder
    a holding device
    If an individual Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work is derived
    from the public domain (does not contain a notice indicating that it is
    posted with permission of the copyright holder), the work can be copied
    and distributed to anyone in the United States without paying any fees
    or charges.
  601. things
    any movable possession (especially articles of clothing)
    Twenty years earlier the means of resistance must have been far fewer,
    and the enemy in command of almost all the lines of access between the
    beleaguered villages; and, considering these things, I felt the sinister
    force of Harmon's phrase: "Most of the smart ones get away."
  602. all right
    being satisfactory or in satisfactory condition
    "That's all right," he rejoined.
  603. disfavour
    the state of being out of favor
    Of late there had been other signs of her disfavour, as intangible but
    more disquieting.
  604. rummage
    search haphazardly
    He rummaged in the drawer for a
    sheet of paper, found one, and began to write.
  605. marry
    become someone's spouse
    Ethan had
    an idea that if she were to marry a man she was fond of the dormant
    instinct would wake, and her pies and biscuits become the pride of the
    county; but domesticity in the abstract did not interest her.
  606. tell
    narrate or give a detailed account of
    I had been told that Frome was poor, and that the saw-mill and the arid
    acres of his farm yielded scarcely enough to keep his household through
    the winter; but I had not supposed him to be in such want as Harmon's
    words implied, and I expressed my wonder.
  607. rose
    any of many shrubs of the genus Rosa that bear roses
    I went
    after him into a low unlit passage, at the back of which a ladder-like
    staircase rose into obscurity.
  608. go on
    move forward, also in the metaphorical sense
    The height of
    the white waves massed against the garden-fence and along the wall of
    the church showed that the storm must have been going on all night,
    and that the drifts were likely to be heavy in the open.
  609. come to
    cause to experience suddenly
    "Ruth Varnum was always as nervous as a rat; and, come to think of it,
    she was the first one to see 'em after they was picked up.
  610. turning
    a movement in a new direction
    "The house was bigger in my father's time: I had to take down the 'L,'
    a while back," Frome continued, checking with a twitch of the left rein
    the bay's evident intention of turning in through the broken-down gate.
  611. wrapper
    cloak that is folded or wrapped around a person
    Instead of her usual calico wrapper and knitted shawl she wore her
    best dress of brown merino, and above her thin strands of hair, which
    still preserved the tight undulations of the crimping-pins, rose a hard
    perpendicular bonnet, as to which Ethan's clearest notion was that he
    had to pay five dollars for it at the Bettsbridge Emporium.
  612. perceptible
    capable of being grasped by the mind or senses
    Though Harmon Gow developed the tale as far as his mental and moral
    reach permitted there were perceptible gaps between his facts, and I had
    the sense that the deeper meaning of the story was in the gaps.
  613. thin
    of relatively small extent from one surface to the opposite
    The black
    wraith of a deciduous creeper flapped from the porch, and the thin
    wooden walls, under their worn coat of paint, seemed to shiver in the
    wind that had risen with the ceasing of the snow.
  614. display
    something intended to communicate a particular impression
    This display of opulence
    was misleading, for though he did a fairly good business it was known
    that his easygoing habits and the demands of his large family frequently
    kept him what Starkfield called "behind."
  615. unhook
    take off a hook
    When this was done he unhooked the lantern from the sleigh,
    stepped out again into the night, and called to me over his shoulder:
    "This way."
  616. merge
    mix together different elements
    Then a man's figure approached, coming so close to her that under their
    formless wrappings they seemed merged in one dim outline.
  617. imprudence
    a lack of caution in practical affairs
    As soon as the words were spoken he regretted them, not only because
    they were untrue--there being no prospect of his receiving cash payment
    from Hale--but also because he knew from experience the imprudence of
    letting Zeena think he was in funds on the eve of one of her therapeutic
    excursions.
  618. pleasantry
    an agreeable or amusing remark
    He never turned his face to mine, or
    answered, except in monosyllables, the questions I put, or such slight
    pleasantries as I ventured.
  619. chill
    coldness due to a cold environment
    To-night the
    pressure of accumulated misgivings sent the scale drooping toward
    despair, and her indifference was the more chilling after the flush of
    joy into which she had plunged him by dismissing Denis Eady.
  620. lean
    incline or bend from a vertical position
    I questioned Harmon, looking after
    Frome's retreating figure, and thinking how gallantly his lean brown
    head, with its shock of light hair, must have sat on his strong
    shoulders before they were bent out of shape.
  621. protuberance
    something that bulges out or projects from its surroundings
    Under his cheek he felt a hard object with strange
    protuberances.
  622. black
    being of the achromatic color of maximum darkness
    In the "best parlour," with its black horse-hair and mahogany weakly
    illuminated by a gurgling Carcel lamp, I listened every evening to
    another and more delicately shaded version of the Starkfield chronicle.
  623. agree
    consent or assent to a condition
    When they married it was agreed that, as soon as he could straighten out
    the difficulties resulting from Mrs. Frome's long illness, they would
    sell the farm and saw-mill and try their luck in a large town.
  624. fling
    throw with force or recklessness
    Instead, it sprang up to
    a gale which now and then, from a tattered sky, flung pale sweeps of
    sunlight over a landscape chaotically tossed.
  625. the Hill
    a hill in Washington, D.C., where the Capitol Building sits and Congress meets
    I had often walked that way on Sundays, and knew
    that the solitary roof showing through bare branches near the bottom of
    the hill was that of Frome's saw-mill.
  626. words
    language that is spoken or written
    When this happened he would listen quietly, his blue eyes on the
    speaker's face, and answer in so low a tone that his words never reached
    me; then he would climb stiffly into his buggy, gather up the reins in
    his left hand and drive slowly away in the direction of his farm.
  627. cease
    put an end to a state or an activity
    The snow had ceased, and a flash of watery sunlight exposed the
    house on the slope above us in all its plaintive ugliness.
  628. awkwardness
    trouble in carrying or managing caused by bulk or shape
    He therefore made his demand with the awkwardness of a proud
    man who will not admit to himself that he is stooping; and he was not
    much surprised at Hale's refusal.
  629. go about
    begin to deal with
    The mere fact of obeying her orders, of feeling free to go about
    his business again and talk with other men, restored his shaken balance
    and magnified his sense of what he owed her.
  630. dabble
    bob under so as to feed off the bottom of a body of water
    Four or five years earlier he had taken a year's course at a
    technological college at Worcester, and dabbled in the laboratory with
    a friendly professor of physics; and the images supplied by that
    experience still cropped up, at unexpected moments, through the totally
    different associations of thought in which he had since been living.
  631. inarticulate
    without or deprived of the use of speech or words
    By nature grave and inarticulate, he admired recklessness and gaiety in
    others and was warmed to the marrow by friendly human intercourse.
  632. wet
    wetness caused by water
    He went out into the
    passage to hang up his coat and pull off his wet boots.
  633. dazzle
    cause to lose clear vision, especially from intense light
    To
    prolong the effect he groped for a dazzling phrase, and brought out, in
    a growl of rapture: "Come along."
  634. jug
    a large bottle with a narrow mouth
    The cat, unnoticed, had crept up on muffled paws from Zeena's seat to
    the table, and was stealthily elongating its body in the direction
    of the milk- jug, which stood between Ethan and Mattie.
  635. try
    make an effort or attempt
    It had been one of the wonders of their intercourse that from
    the first, she, the quicker, finer, more expressive, instead of crushing
    him by the contrast, had given him something of her own ease and
    freedom; but now he felt as heavy and loutish as in his student days,
    when he had tried to "jolly" the Worcester girls at a picnic.
  636. porch
    a structure attached to the exterior of a building often forming a covered entrance
    He used to drive in
    from his farm every day at about noon, and as that was my own hour for
    fetching my mail I often passed him in the porch or stood beside him
    while we waited on the motions of the distributing hand behind the
    grating.
  637. stooping
    having the back and shoulders rounded; not erect
    He therefore made his demand with the awkwardness of a proud
    man who will not admit to himself that he is stooping; and he was not
    much surprised at Hale's refusal.
  638. come back
    go back to something earlier
    As he stood in the darkness outside the church these memories came back
    with the poignancy of vanished things.
  639. indenture
    formal agreement as to terms of a debt
    He felt all the more sorry for the girl because misfortune had, in
    a sense, indentured her to them.
  640. wainscot
    wooden panels that can be used to line the walls of a room
    The
    cat had jumped from Zeena's chair to dart at a mouse in the wainscot,
    and as a result of the sudden movement the empty chair had set up a
    spectral rocking.
  641. co-ordinate
    a number that identifies a position relative to an axis
    She was not unwilling to exercise this faculty, and I had
    great hopes of getting from her the missing facts of Ethan Frome's
    story, or rather such a key to his character as should co-ordinate the
    facts I knew.
  642. slippery
    causing or tending to cause things to slip or slide
    Frome scrambled up the slippery steps of the porch, digging
    a way through the snow with his heavily booted foot.
  643. sew
    create (clothes) with cloth
    He would have liked to
    linger on, watching her tidy up and then settle down to her sewing; but
    he wanted still more to get the hauling done and be back at the farm
    before night.
  644. go over
    examine so as to determine accuracy, quality, or condition
    "I've got the mill accounts to go over."
  645. use
    put into service
    The Project Gutenberg EBook of Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton

    This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
    almost no restrictions whatsoever.
  646. patent medicine
    medicine that is protected by a patent and available without a doctor's prescription
    At intervals, however, the
    post-master would hand him an envelope addressed to Mrs. Zenobia--or Mrs.
    Zeena-Frome, and usually bearing conspicuously in the upper left-hand
    corner the address of some manufacturer of patent medicine and the name
    of his specific.
  647. stiffen
    make stiff or stiffer
    There was something bleak and unapproachable
    in his face, and he was so stiffened and grizzled that I took him for an
    old man and was surprised to hear that he was not more than fifty-two.
  648. clear
    readily apparent to the mind
    It was clear that the Varnum fortunes were at the ebb, but the
    two women did what they could to preserve a decent dignity; and Mrs.
    Hale, in particular, had a certain wan refinement not out of keeping
    with her pale old-fashioned house.
  649. store
    a mercantile establishment for the sale of goods or services
    Her mind was a store-house of innocuous anecdote and any
    question about her acquaintances brought forth a volume of detail; but
    on the subject of Ethan Frome I found her unexpectedly reticent.
  650. quick
    moving rapidly and lightly
    Young Ethan Frome walked at a quick pace along the deserted street, past
    the bank and Michael Eady's new brick store and Lawyer Varnum's house
    with the two black Norway spruces at the gate.
  651. laid
    set down according to a plan
    "He wanted I should speak to you about a girl he's heard
    about, that might come--"

    Ethan laid down the razor and straightened himself with a laugh.
  652. sociability
    the relative tendency or disposition to be sociable or associate with one's fellows
    There was in him a slumbering spark of
    sociability which the long Starkfield winters had not yet extinguished.
  653. out of
    motivated by
    I questioned Harmon, looking after
    Frome's retreating figure, and thinking how gallantly his lean brown
    head, with its shock of light hair, must have sat on his strong
    shoulders before they were bent out of shape.
  654. set down
    put or settle into a position
    He roused the lagging bay with another twitch; then, as if the
    mere sight of the house had let me too deeply into his confidence for
    any farther pretence of reserve, he went on slowly: "I've always set
    down
    the worst of mother's trouble to that.
  655. sunless
    filled or abounding with clouds
    When I had been there a little longer, and had seen this
    phase of crystal clearness followed by long stretches of sunless cold;
    when the storms of February had pitched their white tents about the
    devoted village and the wild cavalry of March winds had charged down to
    their support; I began to understand why Starkfield emerged from its
    six months' siege like a starved garrison capitulating without quarter.
  656. knitted
    made by intertwining threads in a series of connected loops rather than by weaving
    Instead of her usual calico wrapper and knitted shawl she wore her
    best dress of brown merino, and above her thin strands of hair, which
    still preserved the tight undulations of the crimping-pins, rose a hard
    perpendicular bonnet, as to which Ethan's clearest notion was that he
    had to pay five dollars for it at the Bettsbridge Emporium.
  657. sound
    mechanical vibrations transmitted by an elastic medium
    He had supposed her to be asleep, and the sound of her voice had
    startled him, though she was given to abrupt explosions of speech after
    long intervals of secretive silence.
  658. vanished
    having passed out of existence
    As he stood in the darkness outside the church these memories came back
    with the poignancy of vanished things.
  659. once
    on one occasion
    Only once or twice was the distance between us bridged for a moment;
    and the glimpses thus gained confirmed my desire to know more.
  660. married
    joined in matrimony
    "Well, when she gets married, I mean," his wife's drawl came from behind
    him.
  661. throat
    the passage to the stomach and lungs
    He could not pronounce the
    name without a stiffening of the muscles of his throat.
  662. unseal
    break the seal of
    Such tastes and acquirements in a man of his condition made the contrast
    more poignant between his outer situation and his inner needs, and I
    hoped that the chance of giving expression to the latter might at least
    unseal his lips.
  663. plaster
    a mixture of lime or gypsum with sand and water
    Here he had nailed up shelves for his books, built
    himself a box-sofa out of boards and a mattress, laid out his papers on
    a kitchen-table, hung on the rough plaster wall an engraving of Abraham
    Lincoln and a calendar with "Thoughts from the Poets," and tried, with
    these meagre properties, to produce some likeness to the study of a
    "minister" who had been kind to him and lent him books when he was at
    Worcester.
  664. exultantly
    in an exultant manner
    "Don't be scared, Matt!" he cried exultantly, as they spun safely past
    it and flew down the second slope; and when they reached the level
    ground beyond, and the speed of the sled began to slacken, he heard her
    give a little laugh of glee.
  665. wanted
    desired or wished for or sought
    "He wanted I should speak to you about a girl he's heard
    about, that might come--"

    Ethan laid down the razor and straightened himself with a laugh.
  666. afternoon
    the part of the day between noon and evening
    After that, for a week, he
    drove me over every morning to Corbury Flats, and on my return in the
    afternoon met me again and carried me back through the icy night to
    Starkfield.
  667. evoke
    call forth, as an emotion, feeling, or response
    But hitherto the emotion had remained in him as a silent
    ache, veiling with sadness the beauty that evoked it.
  668. repeating
    the act of doing or performing again
    So strange was the precision with which the incidents of
    the previous evening were repeating themselves that he half expected,
    when he heard the key turn, to see his wife before him on the threshold;
    but the door opened, and Mattie faced him.
  669. irretrievable
    impossible to recover or recoup or overcome
    It was the first scene of open anger between the couple in their sad
    seven years together, and Ethan felt as if he had lost an irretrievable
    advantage in descending to the level of recrimination.
  670. field
    extensive tract of level open land
    Beyond the orchard
    lay a field or two, their boundaries lost under drifts; and above the
    fields, huddled against the white immensities of land and sky, one of
    those lonely New England farm-houses that make the landscape lonelier.
  671. reflected
    (especially of incident sound or light) bent or sent back
    But for this--as Frome sardonically reflected--it would hardly have
    occurred to Zeena to take any thought for the girl's amusement.
  672. struggle
    strenuous effort
    In this way we struggled on for another mile or two, and
    at last reached a point where Frome, peering into what seemed to me
    formless night, said: "That's my gate down yonder."
  673. slim
    being of delicate or slender build
    It stood at one end of the main street, its
    classic portico and small-paned windows looking down a flagged path
    between Norway spruces to the slim white steeple of the Congregational
    church.
  674. informant
    a person who supplies information
    The "smash-up" it was--I gathered from the same informant--which, besides
    drawing the red gash across Ethan Frome's forehead, had so shortened and
    warped his right side that it cost him a visible effort to take the few
    steps from his buggy to the post-office window.
  675. pass
    go across or through
    He used to drive in
    from his farm every day at about noon, and as that was my own hour for
    fetching my mail I often passed him in the porch or stood beside him
    while we waited on the motions of the distributing hand behind the
    grating.
  676. frozen
    turned into ice
    He seemed a part of the mute melancholy
    landscape, an incarnation of its frozen woe, with all that was warm
    and sentient in him fast bound below the surface; but there was nothing
    unfriendly in his silence.
  677. used to
    in the habit
    He used to drive in
    from his farm every day at about noon, and as that was my own hour for
    fetching my mail I often passed him in the porch or stood beside him
    while we waited on the motions of the distributing hand behind the
    grating.
  678. help
    give assistance; be of service
    Sickness and trouble: that's what Ethan's
    had his plate full up with, ever since the very first helping."
  679. unsteady
    not firmly or solidly positioned
    He was aware that he was "talking big," like Denis Eady; but his
    reaction of joy had unsteadied him, and the inflection with which she
    had said of the engaged couple "They're so happy!" made the words sound
    as if she had been thinking of herself and him.
  680. go down
    move downward and lower, but not necessarily all the way
    The young man, skirting the side of the building, went down the slope
    toward the basement door.
  681. twitch
    make an uncontrolled, short, jerky motion
    "The house was bigger in my father's time: I had to take down the 'L,'
    a while back," Frome continued, checking with a twitch of the left rein
    the bay's evident intention of turning in through the broken-down gate.
  682. vision
    the ability to see
    It was that night that I found the clue to Ethan Frome, and began to put
    together this vision of his story.
  683. ray
    a group of nearly parallel lines of electromagnetic radiation
    The small ray of Frome's lantern was soon lost in this smothering
    medium, in which even his sense of direction, and the bay's homing
    instinct, finally ceased to serve us.
  684. tightening
    the act of making something tighter
    She had plunged the breakfast
    dishes into a tin dish-pan and was bending above it with her slim arms
    bared to the elbow, the steam from the hot water beading her forehead
    and tightening her rough hair into little brown rings like the tendrils
    on the traveller's joy.
  685. usual
    occurring or encountered or experienced or observed frequently or in accordance with regular practice or procedure
    I put the volume into my pocket and we dropped back into our usual
    silence; but as we began to crawl up the long hill from Corbury Flats to
    the Starkfield ridge I became aware in the dusk that he had turned his
    face to mine.
  686. edge
    a line determining the limits of an area
    Thence, still hugging
    the shadow, he edged his way cautiously forward to the nearest window,
    holding back his straight spare body and craning his neck till he got a
    glimpse of the room.
  687. homelike
    having a feeling of home; cozy and comfortable
    The kitchen was a poor place, not "spruce" and shining as his
    mother had kept it in his boyhood; but it was surprising what a homelike
    look the mere fact of Zeena's absence gave it.
  688. place
    a point located with respect to surface features of a region
    Every one in Starkfield knew him and gave him a greeting tempered to
    his own grave mien; but his taciturnity was respected and it was only on
    rare occasions that one of the older men of the place detained him for
    a word.
  689. corner
    the point where three areas or surfaces meet or intersect
    At intervals, however, the
    post-master would hand him an envelope addressed to Mrs. Zenobia--or Mrs.
    Zeena-Frome, and usually bearing conspicuously in the upper left-hand
    corner the address of some manufacturer of patent medicine and the name
    of his specific.
  690. two
    the cardinal number that is the sum of one and one
    There was something bleak and unapproachable
    in his face, and he was so stiffened and grizzled that I took him for an
    old man and was surprised to hear that he was not more than fifty- two.
  691. vaguely
    in an unclear way
    He stood up also, looking vaguely about the room.
  692. stretch along
    occupy a large, elongated area
    For a while she sat motionless, as if reflecting, her arms stretched
    along
    the arms of her chair, her eyes fixed on vacancy.
  693. whisper
    speaking softly without vibration of the vocal cords
    He had to stoop his head to catch her stifled whisper: "Where'd I go, if
    I did?"
  694. climb
    go up or advance
    When this happened he would listen quietly, his blue eyes on the
    speaker's face, and answer in so low a tone that his words never reached
    me; then he would climb stiffly into his buggy, gather up the reins in
    his left hand and drive slowly away in the direction of his farm.
  695. rejoin
    join again
    "That's all right," he rejoined.
  696. pine away
    lose vigor, health, or flesh, as through grief
    "Aunt Martha's ain't got a
    faded leaf on 'em; but they pine away when they ain't cared for," she
    said reflectively.
  697. here
    in or at this place; where the speaker or writer is
    "But look here--where are you taking me, then?"
  698. matter-of-fact
    concerned with practical matters
    "I've got my shooting pains so bad that I'm going over to Bettsbridge
    to spend the night with Aunt Martha Pierce and see that new doctor," she
    answered in a matter-of-fact tone, as if she had said she was going into
    the store-room to take a look at the preserves, or up to the attic to go
    over the blankets.
  699. evocation
    stimulation that calls up a particular class of behaviors
    "You wanted to make the supper-table pretty; and you waited till my back
    was turned, and took the thing I set most store by of anything I've got,
    and wouldn't never use it, not even when the minister come to dinner,
    or Aunt Martha Pierce come over from Bettsbridge--" Zeena paused with a
    gasp, as if terrified by her own evocation of the sacrilege.
  700. projecting
    extending out above or beyond a surface or boundary
    II


    As the dancers poured out of the hall Frome, drawing back behind the
    projecting storm-door, watched the segregation of the grotesquely
    muffled groups, in which a moving lantern ray now and then lit up a
    face flushed with food and dancing.
  701. fix
    restore by replacing a part or putting together what is torn or broken
    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.
  702. haze
    atmospheric dust or smoke that causes reduced visibility
    To
    Ethan, still in the rosy haze of his hour with Mattie, the sight came
    with the intense precision of the last dream before waking.
  703. inflection
    the patterns of stress and intonation in a language
    He said no more, and I had to guess the rest from the inflection of his
    voice and his sharp relapse into silence.
  704. grand piano
    a piano with the strings on a horizontal harp-shaped frame
    The builder refused genially, as he did everything else: he treated the
    matter as something in the nature of a practical joke, and wanted to
    know if Ethan meditated buying a grand piano or adding a "cupolo" to his
    house; offering, in the latter case, to give his services free of cost.
  705. linger
    remain present although waning or gradually dying
    She lingered, pressing closer to his side.
  706. sharpen
    make sharp or sharper
    She
    sat opposite the window, and the pale light reflected from the banks of
    snow made her face look more than usually drawn and bloodless, sharpened
    the three parallel creases between ear and cheek, and drew querulous
    lines from her thin nose to the corners of her mouth.
  707. unpainted
    not having a coat of paint or badly in need of a fresh coat
    Three coarse china plates and a broken-nosed milk-jug
    had been set on a greasy table scored with knife-cuts, and a couple
    of straw-bottomed chairs and a kitchen dresser of unpainted pine stood
    meagrely against the plaster walls.
  708. find
    discover or determine the existence, presence, or fact of
    I had been sent up by my employers on a job connected with the big
    power-house at Corbury Junction, and a long-drawn carpenters' strike
    had so delayed the work that I found myself anchored at Starkfield--the
    nearest habitable spot--for the best part of the winter.
  709. whine
    a complaint uttered in a plaintive way
    "The doctor don't want I should be left without anybody to do for me,"
    she said in her flat whine.
  710. posted
    publicly announced
    If an individual Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work is derived
    from the public domain (does not contain a notice indicating that it is
    posted with permission of the copyright holder), the work can be copied
    and distributed to anyone in the United States without paying any fees
    or charges.
  711. carry
    physically move while supporting, by vehicle, hands, or body
    After that, for a week, he
    drove me over every morning to Corbury Flats, and on my return in the
    afternoon met me again and carried me back through the icy night to
    Starkfield.
  712. above
    in or to a place that is higher
    It looked exanimate enough, with
    its idle wheel looming above the black stream dashed with yellow-white
    spume, and its cluster of sheds sagging under their white load.
  713. too
    to a degree exceeding normal or proper limits
    These documents my neighbour would also pocket without
    a glance, as if too much used to them to wonder at their number and
    variety, and would then turn away with a silent nod to the post-master.
  714. bewilder
    cause to be confused emotionally
    "You're--you're not coming down?" he said in a bewildered voice.
  715. exaggerate
    enlarge beyond bounds or the truth
    VI


    The next morning at breakfast Jotham Powell was between them, and Ethan
    tried to hide his joy under an air of exaggerated indifference, lounging
    back in his chair to throw scraps to the cat, growling at the weather,
    and not so much as offering to help Mattie when she rose to clear away
    the dishes.
  716. empty
    holding or containing nothing
    A moment later he heard the jingle of departing
    sleigh bells and discerned a figure advancing alone toward the empty
    expanse of snow before the church.
  717. quilted
    made of two layers of fabric with padding in between
    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.
  718. get going
    begin or set in motion
    But sometimes the two
    of them get going at each other, and then Ethan's face'd break your
    heart...
  719. gray
    of an achromatic color intermediate between white and black
    The moon had set, but the night was
    so transparent that the white house-fronts between the elms looked gray
    against the snow, clumps of bushes made black stains on it, and the
    basement windows of the church sent shafts of yellow light far across
    the endless undulations.
  720. ache
    a dull persistent (usually moderately intense) pain
    But hitherto the emotion had remained in him as a silent
    ache, veiling with sadness the beauty that evoked it.
  721. falter
    move hesitatingly, as if about to give way
    "Is that what they say?" she mocked back at him; then, with a sudden
    drop of her sweet treble: "You mean that Zeena--ain't suited with me any
    more?" she faltered.
  722. disclaimer
    a voluntary repudiation of legal claim to something
    LIMITED WARRANTY, DISCLAIMER OF DAMAGES - Except for the "Right
    of Replacement or Refund" described in paragraph 1.F.3
  723. wedding present
    a present given to someone getting married
    It was a wedding present--don't
    you remember?
  724. complication
    the act or process of complicating
    "I've got
    complications," she said.
  725. end
    either extremity of something that has length
    It stood at one end of the main street, its
    classic portico and small-paned windows looking down a flagged path
    between Norway spruces to the slim white steeple of the Congregational
    church.
  726. vague
    lacking clarity or distinctness
    That thrust had frightened him more than any vague insinuations about
    Denis Eady.
  727. plunge
    dash violently or with great speed or impetuosity
    To-night the
    pressure of accumulated misgivings sent the scale drooping toward
    despair, and her indifference was the more chilling after the flush of
    joy into which she had plunged him by dismissing Denis Eady.
  728. specify
    be particular about
    Almost everybody in
    the neighbourhood had "troubles," frankly localized and specified;
    but only the chosen had "complications."
  729. sheet of paper
    paper used for writing or printing
    He rummaged in the drawer for a
    sheet of paper, found one, and began to write.
  730. bear down on
    exert a force with a heavy weight
    The big tree loomed bigger and closer, and as they bore down on it
    he thought: "It's waiting for us: it seems to know."
  731. evoked
    called forth from a latent or potential state by stimulation
    But hitherto the emotion had remained in him as a silent
    ache, veiling with sadness the beauty that evoked it.
  732. tick
    a metallic tapping sound
    The bitter cold
    and the heavy going had nearly knocked the wind out of me, and I could
    feel the horse's side ticking like a clock under my hand.
  733. accident
    an unfortunate mishap
    It was not that Mrs. Ned Hale felt, or affected, any social superiority
    to the people about her; it was only that the accident of a finer
    sensibility and a little more education had put just enough distance
    between herself and her neighbours to enable her to judge them with
    detachment.
  734. accumulate
    get or gather together
    I simply felt that he lived in a depth of
    moral isolation too remote for casual access, and I had the sense that
    his loneliness was not merely the result of his personal plight, tragic
    as I guessed that to be, but had in it, as Harmon Gow had hinted, the
    profound accumulated cold of many Starkfield winters.
  735. left
    being or located on or directed toward the side of the body to the west when facing north
    At intervals, however, the
    post-master would hand him an envelope addressed to Mrs. Zenobia--or Mrs.
    Zeena-Frome, and usually bearing conspicuously in the upper left-hand
    corner the address of some manufacturer of patent medicine and the name
    of his specific.
  736. suspender
    elastic straps that hold trousers up
    Zeena, apparently accepting this as final, lay watching him in silence
    while he pulled his suspenders over his shoulders and jerked his arms
    into his coat; but as he went toward the door she said, suddenly and
    incisively: "I guess you're always late, now you shave every morning."
  737. bring out
    make visible
    To
    prolong the effect he groped for a dazzling phrase, and brought out, in
    a growl of rapture: "Come along."
  738. ahead
    at or in the front
    She walked out of the kitchen ahead of them and pausing in the hall
    raised the lamp at arm's-length, as if to light them up the stairs.
  739. warm
    having or producing a comfortable and agreeable degree of heat or imparting or maintaining heat
    He seemed a part of the mute melancholy
    landscape, an incarnation of its frozen woe, with all that was warm
    and sentient in him fast bound below the surface; but there was nothing
    unfriendly in his silence.
  740. pay
    give money, usually in exchange for goods or services
    Mattie Silver came from Stamford, and when she entered
    the Fromes' household to act as her cousin Zeena's aid it was thought
    best, as she came without pay, not to let her feel too sharp a contrast
    between the life she had left and the isolation of a Starkfield farm.
  741. only
    without any others being included or involved
    Every one in Starkfield knew him and gave him a greeting tempered to
    his own grave mien; but his taciturnity was respected and it was only on
    rare occasions that one of the older men of the place detained him for
    a word.
  742. storm
    a violent weather condition with winds 64-72 knots (11 on the Beaufort scale) and precipitation and thunder and lightning
    When I had been there a little longer, and had seen this
    phase of crystal clearness followed by long stretches of sunless cold;
    when the storms of February had pitched their white tents about the
    devoted village and the wild cavalry of March winds had charged down to
    their support; I began to understand why Starkfield emerged from its
    six months' siege like a starved garrison capitulating without quarter.
  743. foist
    to force onto another
    He no
    longer believed what Zeena had told him of the supposed seriousness of
    her state: he saw in her expedition to Bettsbridge only a plot hatched
    between herself and her Pierce relations to foist on him the cost of a
    servant; and for the moment wrath predominated.
  744. gaiety
    a joyful feeling
    To him, who was never gay but in her
    presence, her gaiety seemed plain proof of indifference.
  745. candlestick
    a holder with sockets for candles
    When these nightly duties were performed there was nothing left to do
    but to bring in the tin candlestick from the passage, light the candle
    and blow out the lamp.
  746. fidgety
    nervous and unable to relax
    When it was in place they stood
    side by side on the door-step, watching Daniel Byrne plunge off behind
    his fidgety horse.
  747. bring
    take something or somebody with oneself somewhere
    Her mind was a store-house of innocuous anecdote and any
    question about her acquaintances brought forth a volume of detail; but
    on the subject of Ethan Frome I found her unexpectedly reticent.
  748. cushion
    protect from impact
    As her young brown head detached itself
    against the patch-work cushion that habitually framed his wife's gaunt
    countenance, Ethan had a momentary shock.
  749. ordinate
    the value of a coordinate on the vertical axis
    She was not unwilling to exercise this faculty, and I had
    great hopes of getting from her the missing facts of Ethan Frome's
    story, or rather such a key to his character as should co- ordinate the
    facts I knew.
  750. each
    (used of count nouns) every one considered individually
    Title: Ethan Frome

    Author: Edith Wharton

    Release Date: October, 2003 [Etext #4517]
    Posting Date: February 4, 2010

    Language: English

    Character set encoding: ASCII

    *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK ETHAN FROME ***




    Produced by Charles Aldarondo





    ETHAN FROME


    By Edith Wharton




    ETHAN FROME



    I had the story, bit by bit, from various people, and, as generally
    happens in such cases, each time it was a different story.
  751. kiss
    touch with the lips or press the lips (against someone's mouth or other body part) as an expression of love, greeting, etc.
    Why had
    he not kissed her when he held her there?
  752. dabbled
    covered with bright patches (often used in combination)
    Four or five years earlier he had taken a year's course at a
    technological college at Worcester, and dabbled in the laboratory with
    a friendly professor of physics; and the images supplied by that
    experience still cropped up, at unexpected moments, through the totally
    different associations of thought in which he had since been living.
  753. untrodden
    lacking pathways
    To keep out of range of the revealing rays
    from within he made a circuit through the untrodden snow and gradually
    approached the farther angle of the basement wall.
  754. enclose
    surround completely
    Whether because of its symbolic sense, the image
    it presents of a life linked with the soil, and enclosing in itself the
    chief sources of warmth and nourishment, or whether merely because
    of the consolatory thought that it enables the dwellers in that harsh
    climate to get to their morning's work without facing the weather, it
    is certain that the "L" rather than the house itself seems to be the
    centre, the actual hearth-stone of the New England farm.
  755. hitch up
    pull up
    When the end came
    it was she who had to tell him to hitch up and go for the undertaker,
    and she thought it "funny" that he had not settled beforehand who was
    to have his mother's clothes and the sewing-machine.
  756. shiver
    shake, as from cold
    The black
    wraith of a deciduous creeper flapped from the porch, and the thin
    wooden walls, under their worn coat of paint, seemed to shiver in the
    wind that had risen with the ceasing of the snow.
  757. turn away
    turn away or aside
    These documents my neighbour would also pocket without
    a glance, as if too much used to them to wonder at their number and
    variety, and would then turn away with a silent nod to the post-master.
  758. presume
    take to be the case or to be true
    As if expecting a protest, she continued plaintively; "If you're too
    busy with the hauling I presume you can let Jotham Powell drive me over
    with the sorrel in time to ketch the train at the Flats."
  759. pictured
    represented graphically by sketch or design or lines
    And he pictured what it
    would be like that evening, when he and Mattie were there after supper.
  760. confusing
    causing confusion or disorientation
    But at sunset the clouds
    gathered again, bringing an earlier night, and the snow began to fall
    straight and steadily from a sky without wind, in a soft universal
    diffusion more confusing than the gusts and eddies of the morning.
  761. volubility
    the quality of being facile in speech and writing
    After the mortal silence
    of his long imprisonment Zeena's volubility was music in his ears.
  762. bay
    an indentation of a shoreline smaller than a gulf
    If you
    know the post-office you must have seen Ethan Frome drive up to it, drop
    the reins on his hollow-backed bay and drag himself across the brick
    pavement to the white colonnade: and you must have asked who he was.
  763. sight
    the ability to see; the visual faculty
    It was there that, several years ago, I saw him for the first time; and
    the sight pulled me up sharp.
  764. veiling
    a net of transparent fabric with a loose open weave
    But hitherto the emotion had remained in him as a silent
    ache, veiling with sadness the beauty that evoked it.
  765. reassure
    cause to feel confident
    Completely reassured, she shone on him through tear-hung lashes, and his
    soul swelled with pride as he saw how his tone subdued her.
  766. aligned
    in a straight line
    By this time
    the music had stopped, and the musicians--a fiddler, and the young lady
    who played the harmonium on Sundays--were hastily refreshing themselves
    at one corner of the supper-table which aligned its devastated
    pie-dishes and ice-cream saucers on the platform at the end of the hall.
  767. sorry
    feeling or expressing regret
    "I don't know as he would; but
    I know he wouldn't be sorry to earn a dollar."
  768. repercussion
    a remote or indirect consequence of some action
    It was the first time they had ever spoken
    so openly of her attitude toward Mattie, and the repetition of the name
    seemed to carry it to the farther corners of the room and send it back
    to them in long repercussions of sound.
  769. church
    a place for public (especially Christian) worship
    It stood at one end of the main street, its
    classic portico and small-paned windows looking down a flagged path
    between Norway spruces to the slim white steeple of the Congregational
    church.
  770. strain
    exert much effort or energy
    The hush of midnight lay
    on the village, and all its waking life was gathered behind the church
    windows, from which strains of dance-music flowed with the broad bands
    of yellow light.
  771. send
    cause to go somewhere
    I had been sent up by my employers on a job connected with the big
    power-house at Corbury Junction, and a long-drawn carpenters' strike
    had so delayed the work that I found myself anchored at Starkfield--the
    nearest habitable spot--for the best part of the winter.
  772. shadow
    a dark shape created by an object blocking a source of light
    Thence, still hugging
    the shadow, he edged his way cautiously forward to the nearest window,
    holding back his straight spare body and craning his neck till he got a
    glimpse of the room.
  773. touch on
    refer to or discuss briefly
    "I suppose it was Ruth and Ned," she said in a low voice, as
    though he had suddenly touched on something grave.
  774. melt
    reduce or cause to be reduced from a solid to a liquid state
    The
    iron heavens seemed to melt and rain down sweetness.
  775. starve
    die of food deprivation
    When I had been there a little longer, and had seen this
    phase of crystal clearness followed by long stretches of sunless cold;
    when the storms of February had pitched their white tents about the
    devoted village and the wild cavalry of March winds had charged down to
    their support; I began to understand why Starkfield emerged from its
    six months' siege like a starved garrison capitulating without quarter.
  776. shyness
    a feeling of fear of embarrassment
    A wave of shyness pulled him back into the dark angle of the
    wall, and he stood there in silence instead of making his presence known
    to her.
  777. found
    food and lodging provided in addition to money
    I had been sent up by my employers on a job connected with the big
    power-house at Corbury Junction, and a long-drawn carpenters' strike
    had so delayed the work that I found myself anchored at Starkfield--the
    nearest habitable spot--for the best part of the winter.
  778. poignancy
    a quality that arouses emotions, especially pity or sorrow
    As he stood in the darkness outside the church these memories came back
    with the poignancy of vanished things.
  779. gone
    no longer retained
    "Well, matters ain't gone any too well with him," Harmon said.
  780. bent
    stooped (used of the back and knees)
    I questioned Harmon, looking after
    Frome's retreating figure, and thinking how gallantly his lean brown
    head, with its shock of light hair, must have sat on his strong
    shoulders before they were bent out of shape.
  781. chin
    the protruding part of the lower jaw
    "Oh, she'd never leave us as long as you needed her," he returned,
    scraping hard at his chin.
  782. lying in wait
    waiting in concealment; in ambush
    Then the
    big elm shot up ahead, lying in wait for them at the bend of the road,
    and he said between his teeth: "We can fetch it; I know we can fetch
    it--"

    As they flew toward the tree Mattie pressed her arms tighter, and her
    blood seemed to be in his veins.
  783. outline
    the line that appears to bound an object
    He turned and looked at her where she lay indistinctly outlined under
    the dark calico quilt, her high-boned face taking a grayish tinge from
    the whiteness of the pillow.
  784. sentient
    endowed with feeling and unstructured consciousness
    He seemed a part of the mute melancholy
    landscape, an incarnation of its frozen woe, with all that was warm
    and sentient in him fast bound below the surface; but there was nothing
    unfriendly in his silence.
  785. tax return
    document giving the tax collector information about the taxpayer's tax liability
    Royalty payments
    must be paid within 60 days following each date on which you
    prepare (or are legally required to prepare) your periodic tax
    returns
    .
  786. warranty
    written assurance that a product or service will be provided
    LIMITED WARRANTY, DISCLAIMER OF DAMAGES - Except for the "Right
    of Replacement or Refund" described in paragraph 1.F.3
  787. hello
    an expression of greeting
    " Hello, Ethe!" he said.
  788. cranky
    easily irritated or annoyed
    And Zeena, she was always cranky.
  789. knoll
    a small natural hill
    They turned in at the gate and passed under the shaded knoll where,
    enclosed in a low fence, the Frome grave-stones slanted at crazy angles
    through the snow.
  790. get stuck
    be unable to move further
    "The railroad's blocked by a freight-train that got stuck in a drift
    below the Flats," he explained, as we jogged off into the stinging
    whiteness.
  791. spangle
    adornment consisting of a small piece of shiny material
    The afternoon was drawing to an end, and here and there a lighted pane
    spangled the cold gray dusk and made the snow look whiter.
  792. shoulder
    a ball-and-socket joint between the head of the humerus and a cavity of the scapula
    I questioned Harmon, looking after
    Frome's retreating figure, and thinking how gallantly his lean brown
    head, with its shock of light hair, must have sat on his strong
    shoulders before they were bent out of shape.
  793. ask
    make a request or demand for something to somebody
    If you
    know the post-office you must have seen Ethan Frome drive up to it, drop
    the reins on his hollow-backed bay and drag himself across the brick
    pavement to the white colonnade: and you must have asked who he was.
  794. abrupt
    exceedingly sudden and unexpected
    He had supposed her to be asleep, and the sound of her voice had
    startled him, though she was given to abrupt explosions of speech after
    long intervals of secretive silence.
  795. shaded
    protected from heat and light with shade or shadow
    In the "best parlour," with its black horse-hair and mahogany weakly
    illuminated by a gurgling Carcel lamp, I listened every evening to
    another and more delicately shaded version of the Starkfield chronicle.
  796. drawn
    showing the wearing effects of overwork or care or suffering
    I had been sent up by my employers on a job connected with the big
    power-house at Corbury Junction, and a long- drawn carpenters' strike
    had so delayed the work that I found myself anchored at Starkfield--the
    nearest habitable spot--for the best part of the winter.
  797. fall away
    diminish in size or intensity
    Opposite the Varnum gate,
    where the road fell away toward the Corbury valley, the church reared
    its slim white steeple and narrow peristyle.
  798. tried
    tested and proved to be reliable
    It had been one of the wonders of their intercourse that from
    the first, she, the quicker, finer, more expressive, instead of crushing
    him by the contrast, had given him something of her own ease and
    freedom; but now he felt as heavy and loutish as in his student days,
    when he had tried to "jolly" the Worcester girls at a picnic.
  799. figure
    the form or shape of a person's body
    Even then he was the most striking figure
    in Starkfield, though he was but the ruin of a man.
  800. tenuous
    very thin in gauge or diameter
    The effect produced on Frome was rather of
    a complete absence of atmosphere, as though nothing less tenuous than
    ether intervened between the white earth under his feet and the metallic
    dome overhead.
  801. arms
    weapons considered collectively
    Zeena, apparently accepting this as final, lay watching him in silence
    while he pulled his suspenders over his shoulders and jerked his arms
    into his coat; but as he went toward the door she said, suddenly and
    incisively: "I guess you're always late, now you shave every morning."
  802. mite
    small arachnid infesting animals or plants or stored foods
    "I felt a little mite better, and Dr. Buck says I ought to eat all I can
    to keep my strength up, even if I ain't got any appetite," she said in
    her flat whine, reaching across Mattie for the teapot.
  803. clump
    a grouping of a number of similar things
    The moon had set, but the night was
    so transparent that the white house-fronts between the elms looked gray
    against the snow, clumps of bushes made black stains on it, and the
    basement windows of the church sent shafts of yellow light far across
    the endless undulations.
  804. driven
    compelled forcibly by an outside agency
    I had this from Harmon Gow, who had driven the stage from Bettsbridge
    to Starkfield in pre-trolley days and knew the chronicle of all the
    families on his line.
  805. elbow
    hinge joint between the forearm and upper arm and the corresponding joint in the forelimb of a quadruped
    "That's my place," said Frome, with a sideway jerk of his lame elbow;
    and in the distress and oppression of the scene I did not know what to
    answer.
  806. indistinct
    not clearly defined or easy to perceive or understand
    As he passed
    into their gloom he saw an indistinct outline just ahead of him.
  807. transplanting
    the act of removing something from one location and introducing it in another location
    But purchasers were slow in coming, and while he waited for them Ethan
    learned the impossibility of transplanting her.
  808. shred
    a small piece of cloth or paper
    Every yard of the road was alive with
    Mattie's presence, and there was hardly a branch against the sky or a
    tangle of brambles on the bank in which some bright shred of memory was
    not caught.
  809. candle
    stick of wax with a wick in the middle
    One cold winter morning, as he dressed in the dark,
    his candle flickering in the draught of the ill-fitting window, he had
    heard her speak from the bed behind him.
  810. haul
    draw slowly or heavily
    III


    There was some hauling to be done at the lower end of the wood-lot, and
    Ethan was out early the next day.
  811. on it
    on that
    At the moment Ethan Frome, after climbing to
    his seat, had leaned over to assure himself of the security of a wooden
    box--also with a druggist's label on it--which he had placed in the back
    of the buggy, and I saw his face as it probably looked when he thought
    himself alone.
  812. remember
    recall knowledge; have a recollection
    He remembered what a
    colourless slip of a thing she had looked the day he had met her at the
    station.
  813. lateness
    quality of coming late or later in time
    It turned on the state of
    the roads and on the possible lateness of the Bettsbridge train.
  814. sag
    droop, sink, or settle from or as if from pressure or loss of tautness
    I noticed that, though he came so punctually, he seldom
    received anything but a copy of the Bettsbridge Eagle, which he put
    without a glance into his sagging pocket.
  815. full
    containing as much or as many as is possible or normal
    Sickness and trouble: that's what Ethan's
    had his plate full up with, ever since the very first helping."
  816. grayish
    of an achromatic color of any lightness intermediate between the extremes of white and black
    He turned and looked at her where she lay indistinctly outlined under
    the dark calico quilt, her high-boned face taking a grayish tinge from
    the whiteness of the pillow.
  817. forehead
    the part of the face above the eyes
    The "smash-up" it was--I gathered from the same informant--which, besides
    drawing the red gash across Ethan Frome's forehead, had so shortened and
    warped his right side that it cost him a visible effort to take the few
    steps from his buggy to the post-office window.
  818. hale
    exhibiting or restored to vigorous good health
    If the Hales were sorry for him they would surely
    respond to his appeal...
  819. earlier
    more early than; most early
    Twenty years earlier the means of resistance must have been far fewer,
    and the enemy in command of almost all the lines of access between the
    beleaguered villages; and, considering these things, I felt the sinister
    force of Harmon's phrase: "Most of the smart ones get away."
  820. confused
    unable to think with clarity or act intelligently
    His hard day's
    work in the keen air made him feel at once lazy and light of mood, and
    he had a confused sense of being in another world, where all was warmth
    and harmony and time could bring no change.
  821. stoicism
    an indifference to pleasure or pain
    To Ethan there was something vaguely ominous in this stolid rejection of
    free food and warmth, and he wondered what had happened on the drive to
    nerve Jotham to such stoicism.
  822. clear out
    empty completely
    They went back to the kitchen, and he fetched the coal and kindlings
    and cleared out the stove for her, while she brought in the milk and
    the cold remains of the meat-pie.
  823. user
    someone who employs or takes advantage of something
    However, if you provide access to or
    distribute copies of a Project Gutenberg-tm work in a format other than
    "Plain Vanilla ASCII" or other format used in the official version
    posted on the official Project Gutenberg-tm web site ( www.gutenberg.org),
    you must, at no additional cost, fee or expense to the user, provide a
    copy, a means of exporting a copy, or a means of obtaining a copy upon
    request, of the work in its original "Plain Vanilla ASCII" or other
    form.
  824. eased
    (of pain or sorrow) made easier to bear
    Now her departure for Bettsbridge had once more eased his mind, and all
    his thoughts were on the prospect of his evening with Mattie.
  825. ebullition
    an unrestrained expression of emotion
    Hale, after all, knew enough of Ethan's situation
    to make it possible for the latter to renew his appeal without too much
    loss of pride; and, moreover, how much did pride count in the ebullition
    of passions in his breast?
  826. get up
    rise to one's feet
    He did his best to
    supplement her unskilled efforts, getting up earlier than usual to light
    the kitchen fire, carrying in the wood overnight, and neglecting the
    mill for the farm that he might help her about the house during the day.
  827. first
    preceding all others in time or space or degree
    It was there that, several years ago, I saw him for the first time; and
    the sight pulled me up sharp.
  828. coat
    an outer garment that covers the body from shoulder down
    The black
    wraith of a deciduous creeper flapped from the porch, and the thin
    wooden walls, under their worn coat of paint, seemed to shiver in the
    wind that had risen with the ceasing of the snow.
  829. icy
    covered with or containing or consisting of ice
    After that, for a week, he
    drove me over every morning to Corbury Flats, and on my return in the
    afternoon met me again and carried me back through the icy night to
    Starkfield.
  830. throw
    propel through the air
    "He's looked that way ever since he had his smash-up; and that's
    twenty-four years ago come next February," Harmon threw out between
    reminiscent pauses.
  831. lozenge
    a small aromatic or medicated candy
    Here, after
    considerable search, and sympathetic questions as to what he wanted
    it for, and whether ordinary flour paste wouldn't do as well if she
    couldn't find it, the widow Homan finally hunted down her solitary
    bottle of glue to its hiding-place in a medley of cough- lozenges and
    corset-laces.
  832. hollow
    not solid; having a space or gap or cavity
    If you
    know the post-office you must have seen Ethan Frome drive up to it, drop
    the reins on his hollow-backed bay and drag himself across the brick
    pavement to the white colonnade: and you must have asked who he was.
  833. replacement
    the act of furnishing an equivalent person or thing in the place of another
    - You provide, in accordance with paragraph 1.F.3, a full refund of any
    money paid for a work or a replacement copy, if a defect in the
    electronic work is discovered and reported to you within 90 days
    of receipt of the work.
  834. listen
    hear with intention
    When this happened he would listen quietly, his blue eyes on the
    speaker's face, and answer in so low a tone that his words never reached
    me; then he would climb stiffly into his buggy, gather up the reins in
    his left hand and drive slowly away in the direction of his farm.
  835. storeroom
    a room in which things are stored
    I saw then that the unusually forlorn and stunted look of the house was
    partly due to the loss of what is known in New England as the "L":
    that long deep-roofed adjunct usually built at right angles to the main
    house, and connecting it, by way of storerooms and tool-house, with the
    wood-shed and cow-barn.
  836. used
    previously owned by another
    He used to drive in
    from his farm every day at about noon, and as that was my own hour for
    fetching my mail I often passed him in the porch or stood beside him
    while we waited on the motions of the distributing hand behind the
    grating.
  837. helplessness
    the state of needing help from something
    His wife's attitude was
    unchanged, her face inexorable, and he was seized with the despairing
    sense of his helplessness.
  838. reluctance
    a certain degree of unwillingness
    There
    was no hint of disapproval in her reserve; I merely felt in her an
    insurmountable reluctance to speak of him or his affairs, a low "Yes, I
    knew them both... it was awful..." seeming to be the utmost concession
    that her distress could make to my curiosity.
  839. loneliness
    sadness resulting from being forsaken or abandoned
    I simply felt that he lived in a depth of
    moral isolation too remote for casual access, and I had the sense that
    his loneliness was not merely the result of his personal plight, tragic
    as I guessed that to be, but had in it, as Harmon Gow had hinted, the
    profound accumulated cold of many Starkfield winters.
  840. grope
    feel about uncertainly or blindly
    To
    prolong the effect he groped for a dazzling phrase, and brought out, in
    a growl of rapture: "Come along."
  841. reveller
    a celebrant who shares in a noisy party
    Then, toward
    sunset, coming down from the mountain where he had been felling timber,
    he had been caught by some strayed revellers and drawn into the group by
    the lake, where Mattie, encircled by facetious youths, and bright as
    a blackberry under her spreading hat, was brewing coffee over a gipsy
    fire.
  842. repine
    express discontent
    Most people were either indifferent to his troubles, or disposed
    to think it natural that a young fellow of his age should have carried
    without repining the burden of three crippled lives.
  843. turn back
    go back to a previous state
    As the shrill words shot out Ethan heard a tap on the door, which he had
    drawn shut when he turned back from the threshold.
  844. pressed
    compacted by ironing
    Harmon drew a slab of tobacco from his pocket, cut off a wedge and
    pressed it into the leather pouch of his cheek.
  845. walk out
    leave suddenly, often as an expression of disapproval
    She walked out of the kitchen ahead of them and pausing in the hall
    raised the lamp at arm's-length, as if to light them up the stairs.
  846. indelicate
    slightly indecent, offensive, or improper
    Ethan was aware that, in regard to the important question of surgical
    intervention, the female opinion of the neighbourhood was divided, some
    glorying in the prestige conferred by operations while others shunned
    them as indelicate.
  847. nursing
    the work of caring for the sick or injured or infirm
    Zeena, who had at her fingers' ends the
    pathological chart of the whole region, had cited many cases of the kind
    while she was nursing his mother; and he himself knew of certain lonely
    farm-houses in the neighbourhood where stricken creatures pined, and
    of others where sudden tragedy had come of their presence.
  848. sewing
    joining or attaching by stitches
    He would have liked to
    linger on, watching her tidy up and then settle down to her sewing; but
    he wanted still more to get the hauling done and be back at the farm
    before night.
  849. go out
    move out of or depart from
    At the moment, however, his one desire was to avoid the long
    drive with her behind the ancient sorrel who never went out of a walk.
  850. big
    above average in size or number or quantity
    I had been sent up by my employers on a job connected with the big
    power-house at Corbury Junction, and a long-drawn carpenters' strike
    had so delayed the work that I found myself anchored at Starkfield--the
    nearest habitable spot--for the best part of the winter.
  851. weigh on
    be oppressive or disheartening to
    Only one
    thing weighed on him, and that was his having told Zeena that he was to
    receive cash for the lumber.
  852. greyish
    of an achromatic color of any lightness intermediate between the extremes of white and black
    The clock ticked above the dresser, a piece
    of charred wood fell now and then in the stove, and the faint sharp
    scent of the geraniums mingled with the odour of Ethan's smoke, which
    began to throw a blue haze about the lamp and to hang its greyish
    cobwebs in the shadowy corners of the room.
  853. pocket
    a small pouch inside a garment for carrying small articles
    I noticed that, though he came so punctually, he seldom
    received anything but a copy of the Bettsbridge Eagle, which he put
    without a glance into his sagging pocket.
  854. disconsolately
    in grief-stricken loneliness
    Having satisfied himself that there was no risk of
    immediate discovery he went back to the kitchen with a lighter step, and
    found Mattie disconsolately removing the last scraps of pickle from the
    floor.
  855. to the limit
    in full
    Farm and mill were mortgaged to the limit of their value, and even
    if she found a purchaser--in itself an unlikely chance--it was doubtful if
    she could clear a thousand dollars on the sale.
  856. transcription
    something written, copied from one medium to another
    Despite these efforts, Project Gutenberg-tm electronic
    works, and the medium on which they may be stored, may contain
    "Defects," such as, but not limited to, incomplete, inaccurate or
    corrupt data, transcription errors, a copyright or other intellectual
    property infringement, a defective or damaged disk or other medium, a
    computer virus, or computer codes that damage or cannot be read by
    your equipment.

    1.F.2.
  857. mist
    a thin fog with condensation near the ground
    Two or three times some ghostly
    landmark sprang up to warn us that we were astray, and then was sucked
    back into the mist; and when we finally regained our road the old horse
    began to show signs of exhaustion.
  858. bedded
    having a bed or beds as specified
    But the old horse was there alone, mumbling his crib with
    toothless jaws, and Ethan whistled cheerfully while he bedded down the
    grays and shook an extra measure of oats into their mangers.
  859. plaintive
    expressing sorrow
    The snow had ceased, and a flash of watery sunlight exposed the
    house on the slope above us in all its plaintive ugliness.
  860. wrapping
    the covering in which something is wrapped
    Then a man's figure approached, coming so close to her that under their
    formless wrappings they seemed merged in one dim outline.
  861. swing out
    make a big sweeping gesture or movement
    The other he tried to slip through hers; but she eluded him
    nimbly, and Frome's heart, which had swung out over a black void,
    trembled back to safety.
  862. seamed
    having or joined by a seam or seams
    Ethan Frome drove in silence, the reins
    loosely held in his left hand, his brown seamed profile, under the
    helmet-like peak of the cap, relieved against the banks of snow like the
    bronze image of a hero.
  863. appearing
    formal attendance of a party in an action
    It was strange that the
    girl did not seem aware of it: that she could lift her rapt face to her
    dancer's, and drop her hands into his, without appearing to feel the
    offence of his look and touch.
  864. oblige
    force somebody to do something
    "I'm obliged to you, but I'll try if I can get it down at Mrs. Homan's,"
    Ethan answered, burning to be gone.
  865. cry
    shed tears because of sadness, rage, or pain
    He had taken to the girl from
    the first day, when he had driven over to the Flats to meet her, and
    she had smiled and waved to him from the train, crying out, "You must be
    Ethan!" as she jumped down with her bundles, while he reflected, looking
    over her slight person: "She don't look much on housework, but she ain't
    a fretter, anyhow."
  866. rain down
    precipitate as rain
    The
    iron heavens seemed to melt and rain down sweetness.
  867. sheepish
    showing a sense of shame
    In the black shade of the Varnum spruces he caught up with her and she
    turned with a quick "Oh!"

    "Think I'd forgotten you, Matt?" he asked with sheepish glee.
  868. Orion
    (Greek mythology) a giant Boeotian hunter who pursued the Pleiades and was eventually slain by Artemis; was then placed in the sky as a constellation
    In a sky of iron the points of the Dipper hung like icicles
    and Orion flashed his cold fires.
  869. pronounce
    speak or utter in a certain way
    He could not pronounce the
    name without a stiffening of the muscles of his throat.
  870. sharpened
    made sharp or sharper
    She
    sat opposite the window, and the pale light reflected from the banks of
    snow made her face look more than usually drawn and bloodless, sharpened
    the three parallel creases between ear and cheek, and drew querulous
    lines from her thin nose to the corners of her mouth.
  871. must
    a necessary or essential thing
    If you
    know the post-office you must have seen Ethan Frome drive up to it, drop
    the reins on his hollow-backed bay and drag himself across the brick
    pavement to the white colonnade: and you must have asked who he was.
  872. look down on
    regard with contempt
    She chose to look down
    on
    Starkfield, but she could not have lived in a place which looked
    down on her.
  873. kissing
    affectionate play
    Even a few minutes earlier, when
    they had stood alone outside the house, he would not have dared to think
    of kissing her.
  874. fixing
    the act of putting something in working order again
    Business is pretty
    slack, to begin with, and then I'm fixing up a little house for Ned and
    Ruth when they're married.
  875. counterpane
    decorative cover for a bed
    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.
  876. low
    less than normal in degree or intensity or amount
    When this happened he would listen quietly, his blue eyes on the
    speaker's face, and answer in so low a tone that his words never reached
    me; then he would climb stiffly into his buggy, gather up the reins in
    his left hand and drive slowly away in the direction of his farm.
  877. steeple
    a tall tower that forms the superstructure of a building
    It stood at one end of the main street, its
    classic portico and small-paned windows looking down a flagged path
    between Norway spruces to the slim white steeple of the Congregational
    church.
  878. gesture
    motion of hands or body to emphasize a thought or feeling
    He even noticed two or
    three gestures which, in his fatuity, he had thought she kept for him:
    a way of throwing her head back when she was amused, as if to taste her
    laugh before she let it out, and a trick of sinking her lids slowly when
    anything charmed or moved her.
  879. sit by
    be inactive or indifferent while something is happening
    The only drawback to his
    complete well-being was the fact that he could not see Mattie from where
    he sat; but he was too indolent to move and after a moment he said:
    "Come over here and sit by the stove."
  880. easygoing
    relaxed and informal in attitude or standards
    This display of opulence
    was misleading, for though he did a fairly good business it was known
    that his easygoing habits and the demands of his large family frequently
    kept him what Starkfield called "behind."
  881. sawmill
    a large sawing machine
    They walked on in silence through the blackness of the hemlock-shaded
    lane, where Ethan's sawmill gloomed through the night, and out again
    into the comparative clearness of the fields.
  882. drag down
    exert a force with a heavy weight
    Zeena came into the room with her dragging down-at-the-heel step, and
    quietly took her accustomed seat between them.
  883. domesticity
    the quality of being domestic or domesticated
    Ethan had
    an idea that if she were to marry a man she was fond of the dormant
    instinct would wake, and her pies and biscuits become the pride of the
    county; but domesticity in the abstract did not interest her.
  884. pond
    a small lake
    Mattie sat silent, giving no sign
    of surprise; but after a moment she said: "Are you going round by Shadow
    Pond?"
  885. of late
    in the recent past
    His wife had never shown any jealousy of Mattie, but of late she had
    grumbled increasingly over the house-work and found oblique ways of
    attracting attention to the girl's inefficiency.
  886. persuasively
    in a persuasive manner
    When he came
    back Mattie had set the teapot on the table and the cat was rubbing
    itself persuasively against her ankles.
  887. flounder
    walk with great difficulty
    Staggering along in Frome's wake I floundered toward it, and in the
    darkness almost fell into one of the deep drifts against the front of
    the house.
  888. flash
    emit a brief burst of light
    The snow had ceased, and a flash of watery sunlight exposed the
    house on the slope above us in all its plaintive ugliness.
  889. spaced
    spaced apart
    Ethan drove on in silence till they reached a part of the wood where the
    pines were more widely spaced, then he drew up and helped Mattie to get
    out of the sleigh.
  890. vanish
    become invisible or unnoticeable
    As he stood in the darkness outside the church these memories came back
    with the poignancy of vanished things.
  891. whistle
    the sound made by something moving rapidly
    The sweetness of the picture, and the relief of knowing that his fears
    of "trouble" with Zeena were unfounded, sent up his spirits with a rush,
    and he, who was usually so silent, whistled and sang aloud as he
    drove through the snowy fields.
  892. feigned
    not genuine
    Mattie seemed to feel the
    contagion of his embarrassment, and sat with downcast lids, sipping her
    tea, while he feigned an insatiable appetite for dough-nuts and sweet
    pickles.
  893. brown
    of a color similar to that of wood or earth
    I questioned Harmon, looking after
    Frome's retreating figure, and thinking how gallantly his lean brown
    head, with its shock of light hair, must have sat on his strong
    shoulders before they were bent out of shape.
  894. well
    in a good or satisfactory manner or to a high standard
    One would have supposed that such an atmosphere must
    quicken the emotions as well as the blood; but it seemed to produce
    no change except that of retarding still more the sluggish pulse of
    Starkfield.
  895. stay
    continue in a place, position, or situation
    "Somebody had to stay and care for the folks.
  896. motionless
    completely still
    Their arms had slipped apart and they stood motionless, each seeking to
    distinguish the other's face.
  897. capitulate
    surrender under agreed conditions
    When I had been there a little longer, and had seen this
    phase of crystal clearness followed by long stretches of sunless cold;
    when the storms of February had pitched their white tents about the
    devoted village and the wild cavalry of March winds had charged down to
    their support; I began to understand why Starkfield emerged from its
    six months' siege like a starved garrison capitulating without quarter.
  898. dollar
    the basic monetary unit in many countries
    "I don't know as he would; but
    I know he wouldn't be sorry to earn a dollar."
  899. pine
    a coniferous tree
    Zeena, who had at her fingers' ends the
    pathological chart of the whole region, had cited many cases of the kind
    while she was nursing his mother; and he himself knew of certain lonely
    farm-houses in the neighbourhood where stricken creatures pined, and
    of others where sudden tragedy had come of their presence.
  900. chest of drawers
    furniture with drawers for keeping clothes
    He had never been in her room except once, in the early summer, when
    he had gone there to plaster up a leak in the eaves, but he remembered
    exactly how everything had looked: the red-and-white quilt on her narrow
    bed, the pretty pin-cushion on the chest of drawers, and over it the
    enlarged photograph of her mother, in an oxydized frame, with a bunch of
    dyed grasses at the back.
  901. enough
    sufficient for the purpose
    "More'n enough to kill most men.
  902. red
    the chromatic color resembling the hue of blood
    The "smash-up" it was--I gathered from the same informant--which, besides
    drawing the red gash across Ethan Frome's forehead, had so shortened and
    warped his right side that it cost him a visible effort to take the few
    steps from his buggy to the post-office window.
  903. conjoined
    consisting of two or more associated entities
    At
    his approach it melted for an instant into two separate shapes and then
    conjoined again, and he heard a kiss, and a half-laughing "Oh!" provoked
    by the discovery of his presence.
  904. good
    having desirable or positive qualities
    " Good God!" I exclaimed.
  905. ever
    at all times; all the time and on every occasion
    "He's looked that way ever since he had his smash-up; and that's
    twenty-four years ago come next February," Harmon threw out between
    reminiscent pauses.
  906. last
    coming after all others in time or space or degree or being the only one remaining
    As we turned into the Corbury road the snow began to fall again, cutting
    off our last glimpse of the house; and Frome's silence fell with it,
    letting down between us the old veil of reticence.
  907. blow out
    put out, as of fires, flames, or lights
    Ethan undressed
    hurriedly and blew out the light so that he should not see her when he
    took his place at her side.
  908. in circles
    without making progress
    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.
  909. reflector
    device that reflects radiation
    The metal reflectors of the
    gas-jets sent crude waves of light against the whitewashed walls, and
    the iron flanks of the stove at the end of the hall looked as though
    they were heaving with volcanic fires.
  910. dangle
    hang freely
    A dead cucumber-vine dangled
    from the porch like the crape streamer tied to the door for a death, and
    the thought flashed through Ethan's brain: "If it was there for Zeena--"
    Then he had a distinct sight of his wife lying in their bedroom asleep,
    her mouth slightly open, her false teeth in a tumbler by the bed...
  911. live
    have life, be alive
    Mrs. Hale's father had been the
    village lawyer of the previous generation, and "lawyer Varnum's house,"
    where my landlady still lived with her mother, was the most considerable
    mansion in the village.
  912. good-bye
    a farewell remark
    " Good-bye!
  913. intervene
    be placed or located between other things
    The effect produced on Frome was rather of
    a complete absence of atmosphere, as though nothing less tenuous than
    ether intervened between the white earth under his feet and the metallic
    dome overhead.
  914. falls
    a steep descent of the water of a river
    Yet I had come in the degenerate day of trolley, bicycle and rural
    delivery, when communication was easy between the scattered mountain
    villages, and the bigger towns in the valleys, such as Bettsbridge and
    Shadd's Falls, had libraries, theatres and Y. M. C. A. halls to which
    the youth of the hills could descend for recreation.
  915. indoors
    within a building
    For the first time they would be alone together indoors, and they would
    sit there, one on each side of the stove, like a married couple, he in
    his stocking feet and smoking his pipe, she laughing and talking in that
    funny way she had, which was always as new to him as if he had never
    heard her before.
  916. smash
    hit violently
    "He's looked that way ever since he had his smash-up; and that's
    twenty-four years ago come next February," Harmon threw out between
    reminiscent pauses.
  917. disquieted
    afflicted with or marked by anxious uneasiness or trouble or grief
    Once or twice in the
    past he had been faintly disquieted by Zenobia's way of letting things
    happen without seeming to remark them, and then, weeks afterward, in
    a casual phrase, revealing that she had all along taken her notes and
    drawn her inferences.
  918. wraith
    a mental representation of some haunting experience
    The black
    wraith of a deciduous creeper flapped from the porch, and the thin
    wooden walls, under their worn coat of paint, seemed to shiver in the
    wind that had risen with the ceasing of the snow.
  919. might
    physical strength
    Nevertheless, I might have
    contented myself with the story pieced together from these hints had
    it not been for the provocation of Mrs. Hale's silence, and--a little
    later--for the accident of personal contact with the man.
  920. come down
    move downward and lower, but not necessarily all the way
    "She's up in her room," he said to himself, "fixing
    herself up for supper"; and he remembered Zeena's sarcastic stare when
    Mattie, on the evening of her arrival, had come down to supper with
    smoothed hair and a ribbon at her neck.
  921. start up
    get going or set in motion
    His former dread started up full-armed at the suggestion.
  922. grimly
    in a grim implacable manner
    As he walked away the builder's last phrase lingered in
    his ears, and he reflected grimly that his seven years with Zeena seemed
    to Starkfield "not so long."
  923. discontinue
    put an end to a state or an activity
    You must require such a user to return or
    destroy all copies of the works possessed in a physical medium
    and discontinue all use of and all access to other copies of
    Project Gutenberg-tm works.
  924. drop down
    fall or descend to a lower place or level
    "I'll have
    to hurry up to do it," Ethan mused, as the sleigh dropped down ahead
    of him over the dip of the school-house hill.
  925. return
    go or come back to place, condition, or activity where one has been before
    After that, for a week, he
    drove me over every morning to Corbury Flats, and on my return in the
    afternoon met me again and carried me back through the icy night to
    Starkfield.
  926. joy
    the emotion of great happiness
    And there were other
    sensations, less definable but more exquisite, which drew them together
    with a shock of silent joy: the cold red of sunset behind winter
    hills, the flight of cloud-flocks over slopes of golden stubble, or the
    intensely blue shadows of hemlocks on sunlit snow.
  927. post
    piece of timber or metal fixed firmly in an upright position
    Title: Ethan Frome

    Author: Edith Wharton

    Release Date: October, 2003 [Etext #4517]
    Posting Date: February 4, 2010

    Language: English

    Character set encoding: ASCII

    *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK ETHAN FROME ***




    Produced by Charles Aldarondo





    ETHAN FROME


    By Edith Wharton




    ETHAN FROME



    I had the story, bit by bit, from various people, and, as generally
    happens in such cases, each time it was a different story.
  928. bit by bit
    a little bit at a time
    Title: Ethan Frome

    Author: Edith Wharton

    Release Date: October, 2003 [Etext #4517]
    Posting Date: February 4, 2010

    Language: English

    Character set encoding: ASCII

    *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK ETHAN FROME ***




    Produced by Charles Aldarondo





    ETHAN FROME


    By Edith Wharton




    ETHAN FROME



    I had the story, bit by bit, from various people, and, as generally
    happens in such cases, each time it was a different story.
  929. get at
    reach or gain access to
    Let me get
    at
    it quick," he cried, waving the bottle in one hand while he put her
    lightly aside; but she did not seem to hear him.
  930. twice
    two times
    Only once or twice was the distance between us bridged for a moment;
    and the glimpses thus gained confirmed my desire to know more.
  931. postpone
    hold back to a later time
    His dread was so strong that, man-like, he sought to postpone certainty.
  932. steady
    securely in position; not shaky
    His hand was steady, but the attitude was an
    excuse for not making an immediate reply.
  933. mother
    a woman who has given birth to a child
    Fust his father--then his mother--then his wife."
  934. felicitous
    exhibiting an agreeably appropriate manner or style
    But she remained seated,
    and he could think of nothing more felicitous than: "I presume you're
    tired after the long ride."
  935. locate
    determine the place of by searching or examining
    If an
    individual work is in the public domain in the United States and you are
    located in the United States, we do not claim a right to prevent you from
    copying, distributing, performing, displaying or creating derivative
    works based on the work as long as all references to Project Gutenberg
    are removed.
  936. grotesquely
    in a grotesque manner
    II


    As the dancers poured out of the hall Frome, drawing back behind the
    projecting storm-door, watched the segregation of the grotesquely
    muffled groups, in which a moving lantern ray now and then lit up a
    face flushed with food and dancing.
  937. mumble
    talk indistinctly; usually in a low voice
    But the old horse was there alone, mumbling his crib with
    toothless jaws, and Ethan whistled cheerfully while he bedded down the
    grays and shook an extra measure of oats into their mangers.
  938. disquiet
    a feeling of mild anxiety about possible developments
    Of late there had been other signs of her disfavour, as intangible but
    more disquieting.
  939. kneeling
    supporting yourself on your knees
    Again he listened, fancying he heard a distant sound in the house; then
    he felt in his pocket for a match, and kneeling down, passed its light
    slowly over the rough edges of snow about the doorstep.
  940. forth
    forward in time, order, or degree
    Her mind was a store-house of innocuous anecdote and any
    question about her acquaintances brought forth a volume of detail; but
    on the subject of Ethan Frome I found her unexpectedly reticent.
  941. rim
    the shape of a raised edge of a more or less circular object
    The sunrise burned red in a
    pure sky, the shadows on the rim of the wood-lot were darkly blue, and
    beyond the white and scintillating fields patches of far-off forest hung
    like smoke.
  942. inexperienced
    lacking practical experience or training
    In the afternoon the storm held off, and the clearness in the west
    seemed to my inexperienced eye the pledge of a fair evening.
  943. ear
    the sense organ for hearing and equilibrium
    She had an eye to see and an ear to hear: he could show her
    things and tell her things, and taste the bliss of feeling that all he
    imparted left long reverberations and echoes he could wake at will.
  944. broken-down
    not in working order
    "The house was bigger in my father's time: I had to take down the 'L,'
    a while back," Frome continued, checking with a twitch of the left rein
    the bay's evident intention of turning in through the broken-down gate.
  945. toothless
    lacking teeth
    But the old horse was there alone, mumbling his crib with
    toothless jaws, and Ethan whistled cheerfully while he bedded down the
    grays and shook an extra measure of oats into their mangers.
  946. fragment
    a piece broken off or cut off of something else
    Mattie, in an instant, had sprung from her chair and was down on her
    knees by the fragments.
  947. aside
    on or to one side
    She drew aside without speaking, and Mattie and Ethan passed into the
    kitchen, which had the deadly chill of a vault after the dry cold of the
    night.
  948. comfortless
    without comfort
    Now these and all other tokens of her presence
    had vanished and the room looked as bare and comfortless as when Zeena
    had shown her into it on the day of her arrival.
  949. spoken
    uttered through the medium of speech or characterized by speech; sometimes used in combination
    But I've never even spoken to
    him.
  950. merged
    formed or united into a whole
    Then a man's figure approached, coming so close to her that under their
    formless wrappings they seemed merged in one dim outline.
  951. spectacles
    eyeglasses
    He
    hurried forward to meet it, but as it drew nearer he saw that it was
    driven by the carpenter's youngest boy and that the figure at his side,
    looking like a large upright cocoon in spectacles, was that of Mrs.
    Hale.
  952. hands
    guardianship over
    The guests were preparing to leave, and the tide had already set toward
    the passage where coats and wraps were hung, when a young man with a
    sprightly foot and a shock of black hair shot into the middle of
    the floor and clapped his hands.
  953. rested
    not tired; refreshed as by sleeping or relaxing
    As his lips rested on it he felt it glide
    slowly from beneath them, and saw that Mattie had risen and was silently
    rolling up her work.
  954. provide
    give something useful or necessary to
    If you are redistributing or providing access to a work
    with the phrase "Project Gutenberg" associated with or appearing on the
    work, you must comply either with the requirements of paragraphs 1.E.1
    through 1.E.7 or obtain permission for the use of the work and the
    Project Gutenberg-tm trademark as set forth in paragraphs 1.E.8 or
    1.E.9.

    1.E.3.
  955. mien
    a person's appearance, manner, or demeanor
    Every one in Starkfield knew him and gave him a greeting tempered to
    his own grave mien; but his taciturnity was respected and it was only on
    rare occasions that one of the older men of the place detained him for
    a word.
  956. pang
    a sudden sharp feeling
    The answer sent a pang through him but the tone suffused him with joy.
  957. clutch
    take hold of; grab
    Half-way up the slope Mattie stumbled against some unseen
    obstruction and clutched his sleeve to steady herself.
  958. meagre
    deficient in amount or quality or extent
    Here he had nailed up shelves for his books, built
    himself a box-sofa out of boards and a mattress, laid out his papers on
    a kitchen-table, hung on the rough plaster wall an engraving of Abraham
    Lincoln and a calendar with "Thoughts from the Poets," and tried, with
    these meagre properties, to produce some likeness to the study of a
    "minister" who had been kind to him and lent him books when he was at
    Worcester.
  959. previous
    just preceding something else in time or order
    Mrs. Hale's father had been the
    village lawyer of the previous generation, and "lawyer Varnum's house,"
    where my landlady still lived with her mother, was the most considerable
    mansion in the village.
  960. yes
    an affirmative
    There
    was no hint of disapproval in her reserve; I merely felt in her an
    insurmountable reluctance to speak of him or his affairs, a low " Yes, I
    knew them both... it was awful..." seeming to be the utmost concession
    that her distress could make to my curiosity.
  961. dropping
    coming down freely under the influence of gravity
    She raised distressed eyes to his, her work dropping on the table
    between them.
  962. instinctively
    as a matter of instinct
    She drew aside, instinctively obeying his tone.
  963. flushed
    having the pinkish glow of health
    II


    As the dancers poured out of the hall Frome, drawing back behind the
    projecting storm-door, watched the segregation of the grotesquely
    muffled groups, in which a moving lantern ray now and then lit up a
    face flushed with food and dancing.
  964. draw out
    make more sociable
    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.
  965. hold
    have in one's hands or grip
    Ethan Frome drove in silence, the reins
    loosely held in his left hand, his brown seamed profile, under the
    helmet-like peak of the cap, relieved against the banks of snow like the
    bronze image of a hero.
  966. turn to
    direct one's interest or attention towards; go into
    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.
  967. straight
    having no deviations
    " Straight to the Junction, by the shortest way," he answered, pointing
    up School House Hill with his whip.
  968. happen
    come to pass
    Title: Ethan Frome

    Author: Edith Wharton

    Release Date: October, 2003 [Etext #4517]
    Posting Date: February 4, 2010

    Language: English

    Character set encoding: ASCII

    *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK ETHAN FROME ***




    Produced by Charles Aldarondo





    ETHAN FROME


    By Edith Wharton




    ETHAN FROME



    I had the story, bit by bit, from various people, and, as generally
    happens in such cases, each time it was a different story.
  969. performing
    the performance of a part or role in a drama
    If an
    individual work is in the public domain in the United States and you are
    located in the United States, we do not claim a right to prevent you from
    copying, distributing, performing, displaying or creating derivative
    works based on the work as long as all references to Project Gutenberg
    are removed.
  970. steeply
    in a steep manner
    As the young man walked
    toward it the upper windows drew a black arcade along the side wall of
    the building, but from the lower openings, on the side where the ground
    sloped steeply down to the Corbury road, the light shot its long bars,
    illuminating many fresh furrows in the track leading to the basement
    door, and showing, under an adjoining shed, a line of sleighs with
    heavily blanketed horses.
  971. broken
    physically and forcibly separated into pieces or cracked or split
    "The house was bigger in my father's time: I had to take down the 'L,'
    a while back," Frome continued, checking with a twitch of the left rein
    the bay's evident intention of turning in through the broken-down gate.
  972. trunks
    trousers that end at or above the knee
    Abreast of the schoolhouse the road forked, and we dipped down a lane
    to the left, between hemlock boughs bent inward to their trunks by the
    weight of the snow.
  973. dragging
    marked by a painfully slow and effortful manner
    When
    he raised himself again he saw that she was dragging toward the stove
    the old soap-box lined with carpet in which the cat made its bed.
  974. settle on
    become fixed (on)
    She nodded and laughed "Yes, one," and he felt a blackness settling on
    his brows.
  975. gurgle
    make sounds similar to bubbling water
    In the "best parlour," with its black horse-hair and mahogany weakly
    illuminated by a gurgling Carcel lamp, I listened every evening to
    another and more delicately shaded version of the Starkfield chronicle.
  976. indistinctly
    in a dim indistinct manner
    He turned and looked at her where she lay indistinctly outlined under
    the dark calico quilt, her high-boned face taking a grayish tinge from
    the whiteness of the pillow.
  977. heavy
    of comparatively great physical weight or density
    The height of
    the white waves massed against the garden-fence and along the wall of
    the church showed that the storm must have been going on all night,
    and that the drifts were likely to be heavy in the open.
  978. reverberation
    a remote or indirect consequence of some action
    She had an eye to see and an ear to hear: he could show her
    things and tell her things, and taste the bliss of feeling that all he
    imparted left long reverberations and echoes he could wake at will.
  979. indifferently
    with indifference; in an indifferent manner
    "I told you I ain't the kind to be afraid" she tossed back, almost
    indifferently; and suddenly she began to walk on with a rapid step.
  980. may
    thorny shrub of a small tree having white to scarlet flowers
    You may copy it, give it away or
    re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
    with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org
  981. scramble
    to move hurriedly
    Frome scrambled up the slippery steps of the porch, digging
    a way through the snow with his heavily booted foot.
  982. cash
    money in the form of bills or coins
    He knew that Zeena must be wondering why he did not offer to drive her
    to the Flats and let Jotham Powell take the lumber to Starkfield, and
    at first he could not think of a pretext for not doing so; then he said:
    "I'd take you over myself, only I've got to collect the cash for the
    lumber."
  983. mouse
    small rodent having a pointed snout and small ears
    The
    cat had jumped from Zeena's chair to dart at a mouse in the wainscot,
    and as a result of the sudden movement the empty chair had set up a
    spectral rocking.
  984. freeze
    change from a liquid to a solid when cold
    He seemed a part of the mute melancholy
    landscape, an incarnation of its frozen woe, with all that was warm
    and sentient in him fast bound below the surface; but there was nothing
    unfriendly in his silence.
  985. contrast
    the opposition or dissimilarity of things that are compared
    During the early part of
    my stay I had been struck by the contrast between the vitality of
    the climate and the deadness of the community.
  986. smoothed
    made smooth by ironing
    "She's up in her room," he said to himself, "fixing
    herself up for supper"; and he remembered Zeena's sarcastic stare when
    Mattie, on the evening of her arrival, had come down to supper with
    smoothed hair and a ribbon at her neck.
  987. clock
    a timepiece that shows the time of day
    The bitter cold
    and the heavy going had nearly knocked the wind out of me, and I could
    feel the horse's side ticking like a clock under my hand.
  988. croquet
    a game in which players hit a ball through a series of hoops
    He followed her and brought the
    other geraniums, the hyacinth bulbs in a cracked custard bowl and the
    German ivy trained over an old croquet hoop.
  989. pinched
    as if squeezed uncomfortably tight
    She looked so small and pinched, in her poor dress, with the red scarf
    wound about her, and the cold light turning her paleness sallow, that
    Ethan stood before her without speaking.
  990. jog
    give a slight push to
    "The railroad's blocked by a freight-train that got stuck in a drift
    below the Flats," he explained, as we jogged off into the stinging
    whiteness.
  991. touched
    having come into contact
    Leaning forward, he touched the farther end of
    the strip of brown stuff that she was hemming.
  992. closer
    (comparative of `near' or `close') within a shorter distance
    She lingered, pressing closer to his side.
  993. twinkle
    gleam or glow intermittently
    As he drew near the farm he saw,
    through the thin screen of larches at the gate, a light twinkling in
    the house above him.
  994. smothering
    causing difficulty in breathing especially through lack of fresh air and presence of heat
    The small ray of Frome's lantern was soon lost in this smothering
    medium, in which even his sense of direction, and the bay's homing
    instinct, finally ceased to serve us.
  995. transcribe
    write out, as from speech or notes
    Project Gutenberg volunteers and employees expend considerable
    effort to identify, do copyright research on, transcribe and proofread
    public domain works in creating the Project Gutenberg-tm
    collection.
  996. opened
    not sealed or having been unsealed
    Then he opened the door.
  997. forward
    at or to or toward the front
    Thence, still hugging
    the shadow, he edged his way cautiously forward to the nearest window,
    holding back his straight spare body and craning his neck till he got a
    glimpse of the room.
  998. well-being
    a contented state of being happy and healthy and prosperous
    Ethan was suffocated with the sense of well-being.
  999. call out
    utter aloud; often with surprise, horror, or joy
    It did not come, and after vainly straining his ears he
    called out in a voice that shook with joy: "Hello, Matt!"
  1000. fancy
    not plain; decorative or ornamented
    His
    father's death, and the misfortunes following it, had put a premature
    end to Ethan's studies; but though they had not gone far enough to be
    of much practical use they had fed his fancy and made him aware of huge
    cloudy meanings behind the daily face of things.
  1001. reflect
    throw or bend back from a surface
    But for this--as Frome sardonically reflected--it would hardly have
    occurred to Zeena to take any thought for the girl's amusement.
  1002. crisply
    in a well delineated manner
    They passed between the aromatic trunks, the snow
    breaking crisply under their feet, till they came to a small sheet
    of water with steep wooded sides.
  1003. fancied
    formed or conceived by the imagination
    He slipped an arm through hers, as Eady had done, and fancied it was
    faintly pressed against her side, but neither of them moved.
  1004. hurry
    move very fast
    The musicians hurried to their instruments, the dancers--some already
    half-muffled for departure--fell into line down each side of the room,
    the older spectators slipped back to their chairs, and the lively young
    man, after diving about here and there in the throng, drew forth a girl
    who had already wound a cherry-coloured "fascinator" about her head,
    and, leading her up to the end of the floor, whirled her down its length
    to the bounding tune of a Virginia reel.
  1005. big tree
    extremely lofty evergreen of southern end of western foothills of Sierra Nevada in California; largest living organism
    The big tree loomed bigger and closer, and as they bore down on it
    he thought: "It's waiting for us: it seems to know."
  1006. reassured
    having confidence restored; freed from anxiety
    Completely reassured, she shone on him through tear-hung lashes, and his
    soul swelled with pride as he saw how his tone subdued her.
  1007. prolongation
    the act of prolonging something
    The wave of
    warmth that went through him was like the prolongation of his vision.
  1008. knob
    a circular rounded projection or protuberance
    Ethan's hand dropped from the door- knob, which he had held clenched
    since he had drawn the door shut on Mattie.
  1009. move around
    pass to the other side of
    When she got the rheumatism
    so bad she couldn't move around she used to sit up there and watch the
    road by the hour; and one year, when they was six months mending the
    Bettsbridge pike after the floods, and Harmon Gow had to bring his stage
    round this way, she picked up so that she used to get down to the gate
    most days to see him.
  1010. same
    same in identity
    The "smash-up" it was--I gathered from the same informant--which, besides
    drawing the red gash across Ethan Frome's forehead, had so shortened and
    warped his right side that it cost him a visible effort to take the few
    steps from his buggy to the post-office window.
  1011. dip
    immerse briefly into a liquid so as to wet, coat, or saturate
    Abreast of the schoolhouse the road forked, and we dipped down a lane
    to the left, between hemlock boughs bent inward to their trunks by the
    weight of the snow.
  1012. throng
    a large gathering of people
    The floor was thronged with
    girls and young men.
  1013. anyhow
    in any way whatsoever
    He had taken to the girl from
    the first day, when he had driven over to the Flats to meet her, and
    she had smiled and waved to him from the train, crying out, "You must be
    Ethan!" as she jumped down with her bundles, while he reflected, looking
    over her slight person: "She don't look much on housework, but she ain't
    a fretter, anyhow."
  1014. Norway
    a constitutional monarchy in northern Europe on the western side of the Scandinavian Peninsula; achieved independence from Sweden in 1905
    It stood at one end of the main street, its
    classic portico and small-paned windows looking down a flagged path
    between Norway spruces to the slim white steeple of the Congregational
    church.
  1015. purchaser
    a person who buys
    But purchasers were slow in coming, and while he waited for them Ethan
    learned the impossibility of transplanting her.
  1016. darkly
    without light
    The sunrise burned red in a
    pure sky, the shadows on the rim of the wood-lot were darkly blue, and
    beyond the white and scintillating fields patches of far-off forest hung
    like smoke.
  1017. advance
    move forward
    From where he stood he
    could not see the persons coming out of the hall till they had advanced
    a few steps beyond the wooden sides of the storm-door; but through its
    cracks he heard a clear voice answer: "Mercy no!
  1018. here and there
    in or to various places; first this place and then that
    The musicians hurried to their instruments, the dancers--some already
    half-muffled for departure--fell into line down each side of the room,
    the older spectators slipped back to their chairs, and the lively young
    man, after diving about here and there in the throng, drew forth a girl
    who had already wound a cherry-coloured "fascinator" about her head,
    and, leading her up to the end of the floor, whirled her down its length
    to the bounding tune of a Virginia reel.
  1019. bragging
    an instance of boastful talk
    I kinder
    knew I'd want to take a ride to-night," Eady, in his triumph, tried to
    put a sentimental note into his bragging voice.
  1020. abbreviated
    cut short in duration
    She seldom
    abbreviated the girl's name, and when she did so it was always a sign of
    affability.
  1021. waver
    pause or hold back in uncertainty or unwillingness
    The girl seemed to waver, and Frome saw her twirl the end of her scarf
    irresolutely about her fingers.
  1022. aware
    having or showing knowledge or understanding or realization
    I put the volume into my pocket and we dropped back into our usual
    silence; but as we began to crawl up the long hill from Corbury Flats to
    the Starkfield ridge I became aware in the dusk that he had turned his
    face to mine.
  1023. innocuous
    not injurious to physical or mental health
    Her mind was a store-house of innocuous anecdote and any
    question about her acquaintances brought forth a volume of detail; but
    on the subject of Ethan Frome I found her unexpectedly reticent.
  1024. cherry
    any of numerous trees and shrubs producing a small fleshy round fruit with a single hard stone; many also produce a valuable hardwood
    The musicians hurried to their instruments, the dancers--some already
    half-muffled for departure--fell into line down each side of the room,
    the older spectators slipped back to their chairs, and the lively young
    man, after diving about here and there in the throng, drew forth a girl
    who had already wound a cherry-coloured "fascinator" about her head,
    and, leading her up to the end of the floor, whirled her down its length
    to the bounding tune of a Virginia reel.
  1025. burden
    weight to be borne or conveyed
    The pure air, and the
    long summer hours in the open, gave back life and elasticity to Mattie,
    and Zeena, with more leisure to devote to her complex ailments, grew
    less watchful of the girl's omissions; so that Ethan, struggling on
    under the burden of his barren farm and failing saw-mill, could at least
    imagine that peace reigned in his house.
  1026. donate
    give to a charity or good cause
    The fee is
    owed to the owner of the Project Gutenberg-tm trademark, but he
    has agreed to donate royalties under this paragraph to the
    Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation.
  1027. abhorrent
    offensive to the mind
    And the sweetness of Mattie's avowal, the wild wonder of knowing at
    last that all that had happened to him had happened to her too, made the
    other vision more abhorrent, the other life more intolerable to return
    to...
  1028. sharp
    having a point or thin edge suitable for cutting or piercing
    It was there that, several years ago, I saw him for the first time; and
    the sight pulled me up sharp.
  1029. descend
    move downward and lower, but not necessarily all the way
    Yet I had come in the degenerate day of trolley, bicycle and rural
    delivery, when communication was easy between the scattered mountain
    villages, and the bigger towns in the valleys, such as Bettsbridge and
    Shadd's Falls, had libraries, theatres and Y. M. C. A. halls to which
    the youth of the hills could descend for recreation.
  1030. foot up
    add a column of numbers
    Hale sat with his feet up on the stove, his back propped against
    a battered desk strewn with papers: the place, like the man, was warm,
    genial and untidy.
  1031. moved
    being excited or provoked to the expression of an emotion
    He stood there a moment, breathing quickly, and looking up and
    down the street, in which not another figure moved.
  1032. cost
    be priced at
    The Project Gutenberg EBook of Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton

    This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
    almost no restrictions whatsoever.
  1033. dance
    taking a series of rhythmical steps in time to music
    The hush of midnight lay
    on the village, and all its waking life was gathered behind the church
    windows, from which strains of dance-music flowed with the broad bands
    of yellow light.
  1034. casual
    without or seeming to be without plan or method; offhand
    I simply felt that he lived in a depth of
    moral isolation too remote for casual access, and I had the sense that
    his loneliness was not merely the result of his personal plight, tragic
    as I guessed that to be, but had in it, as Harmon Gow had hinted, the
    profound accumulated cold of many Starkfield winters.
  1035. lane
    a narrow way or road
    Abreast of the schoolhouse the road forked, and we dipped down a lane
    to the left, between hemlock boughs bent inward to their trunks by the
    weight of the snow.
  1036. follow
    travel behind, go after, or come after
    When I had been there a little longer, and had seen this
    phase of crystal clearness followed by long stretches of sunless cold;
    when the storms of February had pitched their white tents about the
    devoted village and the wild cavalry of March winds had charged down to
    their support; I began to understand why Starkfield emerged from its
    six months' siege like a starved garrison capitulating without quarter.
  1037. lounge
    sit or recline comfortably
    VI


    The next morning at breakfast Jotham Powell was between them, and Ethan
    tried to hide his joy under an air of exaggerated indifference, lounging
    back in his chair to throw scraps to the cat, growling at the weather,
    and not so much as offering to help Mattie when she rose to clear away
    the dishes.
  1038. prepare
    make ready or suitable or equip in advance
    The guests were preparing to leave, and the tide had already set toward
    the passage where coats and wraps were hung, when a young man with a
    sprightly foot and a shock of black hair shot into the middle of
    the floor and clapped his hands.
  1039. wrap
    cloak that is folded or wrapped around a person
    The guests were preparing to leave, and the tide had already set toward
    the passage where coats and wraps were hung, when a young man with a
    sprightly foot and a shock of black hair shot into the middle of
    the floor and clapped his hands.
  1040. on the way
    on a route to some place
    The distance each way was barely three miles, but the old
    bay's pace was slow, and even with firm snow under the runners we were
    nearly an hour on the way.
  1041. draw near
    move towards
    At length they sighted the group of larches at Ethan's gate, and as they
    drew near it the sense that the walk was over brought back his words.
  1042. produce
    bring forth or yield
    Title: Ethan Frome

    Author: Edith Wharton

    Release Date: October, 2003 [Etext #4517]
    Posting Date: February 4, 2010

    Language: English

    Character set encoding: ASCII

    *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK ETHAN FROME ***




    Produced by Charles Aldarondo





    ETHAN FROME


    By Edith Wharton




    ETHAN FROME



    I had the story, bit by bit, from various people, and, as generally
    happens in such cases, each time it was a different story.
  1043. air
    a mixture of gases required for breathing
    Day by day, after the
    December snows were over, a blazing blue sky poured down torrents
    of light and air on the white landscape, which gave them back in an
    intenser glitter.
  1044. tuneful
    having a musical sound; especially a pleasing tune
    His was not
    a tuneful throat--but harsh melodies burst from it as he locked the barn
    and sprang up the hill to the house.
  1045. broke
    lacking funds
    When she tried to extend the
    field of her activities in the direction of stenography and book-keeping
    her health broke down, and six months on her feet behind the counter of
    a department store did not tend to restore it.
  1046. Michael
    (Old Testament) the guardian archangel of the Jews
    Young Ethan Frome walked at a quick pace along the deserted street, past
    the bank and Michael Eady's new brick store and Lawyer Varnum's house
    with the two black Norway spruces at the gate.
  1047. morrow
    the next day
    "We'll come to- morrow if there's a moon."
  1048. drive off
    force to go away
    IV


    As soon as his wife had driven off Ethan took his coat and cap from the
    peg.
  1049. implore
    call upon in supplication
    "Don't, Matt, don't--oh, don't!" he implored
    her.
  1050. coast
    the shore of a sea or ocean
    The pitch of
    the Corbury road, below lawyer Varnum's spruces, was the favourite
    coasting-ground of Starkfield, and on clear evenings the church corner
    rang till late with the shouts of the coasters; but to-night not a sled
    darkened the whiteness of the long declivity.
  1051. icicle
    ice resembling a pendent spear formed by dripping water
    In a sky of iron the points of the Dipper hung like icicles
    and Orion flashed his cold fires.
  1052. dinner
    the main meal of the day served in the evening or at midday
    This plan had the advantage of enabling him to
    send Jotham to the Flats after dinner to meet Zenobia, while he himself
    took the lumber down to the village.
  1053. now and then
    now and then or here and there
    Instead, it sprang up to
    a gale which now and then, from a tattered sky, flung pale sweeps of
    sunlight over a landscape chaotically tossed.
  1054. grocer
    a retail merchant who sells foodstuffs
    On my arrival at Starkfield, Denis Eady, the rich Irish grocer, who was
    the proprietor of Starkfield's nearest approach to a livery stable, had
    entered into an agreement to send me over daily to Corbury Flats, where
    I had to pick up my train for the Junction.
  1055. runner
    someone who travels on foot by running
    The distance each way was barely three miles, but the old
    bay's pace was slow, and even with firm snow under the runners we were
    nearly an hour on the way.
  1056. clear away
    remove from sight
    The pains are clear away down to my ankles now, or I'd 'a' walked in to
    Starkfield on my own feet, sooner'n put you out, and asked Michael Eady
    to let me ride over on his wagon to the Flats, when he sends to meet the
    train that brings his groceries.
  1057. young
    any immature animal
    But when winter
    shut down on Starkfield and the village lay under a sheet of snow
    perpetually renewed from the pale skies, I began to see what life
    there--or rather its negation--must have been in Ethan Frome's young
    manhood.
  1058. rest on
    be based on; of theories and claims, for example
    As his lips rested on it he felt it glide
    slowly from beneath them, and saw that Mattie had risen and was silently
    rolling up her work.
  1059. pour out
    pour out
    II


    As the dancers poured out of the hall Frome, drawing back behind the
    projecting storm-door, watched the segregation of the grotesquely
    muffled groups, in which a moving lantern ray now and then lit up a
    face flushed with food and dancing.
  1060. convivial
    occupied with or fond of the pleasures of good company
    Left alone, after
    his father's accident, to carry the burden of farm and mill, he had had
    no time for convivial loiterings in the village; and when his mother
    fell ill the loneliness of the house grew more oppressive than that
    of the fields.
  1061. old
    having lived for a long time or attained a specific age
    There was something bleak and unapproachable
    in his face, and he was so stiffened and grizzled that I took him for an
    old man and was surprised to hear that he was not more than fifty-two.
  1062. surprised
    taken unawares and feeling wonder or astonishment
    There was something bleak and unapproachable
    in his face, and he was so stiffened and grizzled that I took him for an
    old man and was surprised to hear that he was not more than fifty-two.
  1063. can
    airtight sealed metal container for food or drink, etc.
    I guess I can take you down all right!"
    he said disdainfully.
  1064. handle
    touch, lift, or hold
    He reached the kitchen-porch and
    turned the door- handle; but the door did not yield to his touch.
  1065. subdue
    put down by force or intimidation
    Completely reassured, she shone on him through tear-hung lashes, and his
    soul swelled with pride as he saw how his tone subdued her.
  1066. calculate
    make a mathematical computation
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    access to or distributing Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works provided
    that

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  1067. latent
    potentially existing but not presently evident or realized
    The sight made him unhappy, and his unhappiness roused his latent fears.
  1068. wistful
    showing pensive sadness
    Perhaps this
    connection of ideas, which had often occurred to me in my rambles about
    Starkfield, caused me to hear a wistful note in Frome's words, and to
    see in the diminished dwelling the image of his own shrunken body.
  1069. speechless
    temporarily incapable of speaking
    Ethan sat speechless, not pretending to eat, but Mattie nibbled
    valiantly at her food and asked Zeena one or two questions about her
    visit to Bettsbridge.
  1070. nose
    the organ of smell and entrance to the respiratory tract
    About a mile farther, on a road I had never
    travelled, we came to an orchard of starved apple-trees writhing over
    a hillside among outcroppings of slate that nuzzled up through the snow
    like animals pushing out their noses to breathe.
  1071. fantastically
    exceedingly; extremely
    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.
  1072. backed
    having a back or backing, usually of a specified type
    If you
    know the post-office you must have seen Ethan Frome drive up to it, drop
    the reins on his hollow- backed bay and drag himself across the brick
    pavement to the white colonnade: and you must have asked who he was.
  1073. fire
    the process of combustion of inflammable materials
    In a sky of iron the points of the Dipper hung like icicles
    and Orion flashed his cold fires.
  1074. benumbed
    lacking sensation
    The name had benumbed
    him again, and once more he felt as if Zeena were in the room between
    them.
  1075. hall
    an interior passage or corridor onto which rooms open
    Yet I had come in the degenerate day of trolley, bicycle and rural
    delivery, when communication was easy between the scattered mountain
    villages, and the bigger towns in the valleys, such as Bettsbridge and
    Shadd's Falls, had libraries, theatres and Y. M. C. A. halls to which
    the youth of the hills could descend for recreation.
  1076. lineament
    the characteristic parts of a person's face
    But suddenly his
    wife's face, with twisted monstrous lineaments, thrust itself between
    him and his goal, and he made an instinctive movement to brush it aside.
  1077. bottle
    a vessel used for storing drinks or other liquids
    She
    had measured out some drops from a medicine- bottle on a chair by the bed
    and, after swallowing them, and wrapping her head in a piece of yellow
    flannel, had lain down with her face turned away.
  1078. immobility
    the quality of not moving
    Under her shapeless dress her body kept its
    limp immobility, and her dark eyes had the bright witch-like stare that
    disease of the spine sometimes gives.
  1079. lonely
    lacking companions or companionship
    Beyond the orchard
    lay a field or two, their boundaries lost under drifts; and above the
    fields, huddled against the white immensities of land and sky, one of
    those lonely New England farm-houses that make the landscape lonelier.
  1080. maybe
    by chance
    She answered seriously: "I thought maybe you couldn't come back for me."
  1081. attic
    a floor consisting of open space at the top of a house
    "I've got my shooting pains so bad that I'm going over to Bettsbridge
    to spend the night with Aunt Martha Pierce and see that new doctor," she
    answered in a matter-of-fact tone, as if she had said she was going into
    the store-room to take a look at the preserves, or up to the attic to go
    over the blankets.
  1082. year
    the period of time that it takes for a planet (as, e.g., Earth or Mars) to make a complete revolution around the sun
    It was there that, several years ago, I saw him for the first time; and
    the sight pulled me up sharp.
  1083. stave in
    break in the staves (of)
    Zeena continued in the same even tone: "I wanted you should stay and fix
    up that stove in Mattie's room afore the girl gets here.
  1084. mortgaged
    burdened with legal or financial obligations
    Farm and mill were mortgaged to the limit of their value, and even
    if she found a purchaser--in itself an unlikely chance--it was doubtful if
    she could clear a thousand dollars on the sale.
  1085. sun
    the star that is the source of light and heat for the planets in the solar system
    It was
    part of the sun's red and of the pure glitter on the snow.
  1086. precede
    be earlier in time
    The entertainment of which he spoke was one of the few that they had
    taken part in together: a "church picnic" which, on a long afternoon of
    the preceding summer, had filled the retired place with merry-making.
  1087. earshot
    the range within which a voice can be heard
    By this time they had passed beyond Frome's earshot and he could only
    follow the shadowy pantomime of their silhouettes as they continued
    to move along the crest of the slope above him.
  1088. landing
    the act of coming to land after a voyage
    The doors of the two bedrooms faced each other across the
    narrow upper landing, and to-night it was peculiarly repugnant to him
    that Mattie should see him follow Zeena.
  1089. emit
    give off, send forth, or discharge
    "Do what?" she emitted between flattened lips.
  1090. branch
    a division of a stem arising from the main stem of a plant
    I had often walked that way on Sundays, and knew
    that the solitary roof showing through bare branches near the bottom of
    the hill was that of Frome's saw-mill.
  1091. notice
    the act of paying attention
    I noticed that, though he came so punctually, he seldom
    received anything but a copy of the Bettsbridge Eagle, which he put
    without a glance into his sagging pocket.
  1092. indifference
    the trait of remaining calm and seeming not to care
    To him, who was never gay but in her
    presence, her gaiety seemed plain proof of indifference.
  1093. jump
    move forward by leaps and bounds
    He had taken to the girl from
    the first day, when he had driven over to the Flats to meet her, and
    she had smiled and waved to him from the train, crying out, "You must be
    Ethan!" as she jumped down with her bundles, while he reflected, looking
    over her slight person: "She don't look much on housework, but she ain't
    a fretter, anyhow."
  1094. pick up
    take and lift upward
    "Ruth Varnum was always as nervous as a rat; and, come to think of it,
    she was the first one to see 'em after they was picked up.
  1095. therapeutic
    tending to cure or restore to health
    As soon as the words were spoken he regretted them, not only because
    they were untrue--there being no prospect of his receiving cash payment
    from Hale--but also because he knew from experience the imprudence of
    letting Zeena think he was in funds on the eve of one of her therapeutic
    excursions.
  1096. soured
    having turned bad
    But
    she's suffered too much--that's what I always say when folks tell me how
    she's soured.
  1097. up on
    being up to particular standard or level especially in being up to date in knowledge
    He had scrambled
    up on the logs, and was sitting astride of them, close over his shaggy
    grays, when, coming between him and their streaming necks, he had a
    vision of the warning look that Mattie had given him the night before.
  1098. bigger
    large or big relative to something else
    Yet I had come in the degenerate day of trolley, bicycle and rural
    delivery, when communication was easy between the scattered mountain
    villages, and the bigger towns in the valleys, such as Bettsbridge and
    Shadd's Falls, had libraries, theatres and Y. M. C. A. halls to which
    the youth of the hills could descend for recreation.
  1099. jogging
    running at a jog trot as a form of cardiopulmonary exercise
    "Now then, go
    'long," he said, with a shake of the reins that sent the sorrel placidly
    jogging down the hill.
  1100. left hand
    the hand that is on the left side of the body
    When this happened he would listen quietly, his blue eyes on the
    speaker's face, and answer in so low a tone that his words never reached
    me; then he would climb stiffly into his buggy, gather up the reins in
    his left hand and drive slowly away in the direction of his farm.
  1101. point up
    emphasize, especially by identification
    "Straight to the Junction, by the shortest way," he answered, pointing
    up
    School House Hill with his whip.
  1102. image
    a visual representation produced on a surface
    Ethan Frome drove in silence, the reins
    loosely held in his left hand, his brown seamed profile, under the
    helmet-like peak of the cap, relieved against the banks of snow like the
    bronze image of a hero.
  1103. intercourse
    the act of sexual procreation between a man and a woman
    At our next meeting he made
    no allusion to the book, and our intercourse seemed fated to remain as
    negative and one-sided as if there had been no break in his reserve.
  1104. get back
    recover something or somebody that appeared to be lost
    He came in after he
    got back, and asked for a drop of coffee before he went down home."
  1105. descending
    coming down or downward
    It
    seemed to be a part of the thickening darkness, to be the winter night
    itself descending on us layer by layer.
  1106. out-of-doors
    where the air is unconfined
    But that had
    been out-of-doors, under the open irresponsible night.
  1107. mumbling
    indistinct enunciation
    But the old horse was there alone, mumbling his crib with
    toothless jaws, and Ethan whistled cheerfully while he bedded down the
    grays and shook an extra measure of oats into their mangers.
  1108. sunset
    the time in the evening at which the sun begins to fall below the horizon
    But at sunset the clouds
    gathered again, bringing an earlier night, and the snow began to fall
    straight and steadily from a sky without wind, in a soft universal
    diffusion more confusing than the gusts and eddies of the morning.
  1109. strained
    lacking natural ease
    They strained their eyes at each other through the icy darkness.
  1110. pull
    apply force so as to cause motion towards the source of the motion
    It was there that, several years ago, I saw him for the first time; and
    the sight pulled me up sharp.
  1111. light up
    ignite
    II


    As the dancers poured out of the hall Frome, drawing back behind the
    projecting storm-door, watched the segregation of the grotesquely
    muffled groups, in which a moving lantern ray now and then lit up a
    face flushed with food and dancing.
  1112. hang back
    to lag or linger behind
    He hung back, and she came out alone and paused within a few yards of
    him.
  1113. ground-floor
    on the floor closest to level with the ground
    I therefore confined myself to saying, in a
    matter-of-fact tone, that I had been received with great kindness, and
    that Frome had made a bed for me in a room on the ground-floor which
    seemed in happier days to have been fitted up as a kind of writing-room
    or study.
  1114. bright
    emitting or reflecting light readily or in large amounts
    The girl was more than the bright serviceable creature he had
    thought her.
  1115. sedentary
    requiring sitting or little activity
    In spite of her sedentary habits such abrupt decisions were not without
    precedent in Zeena's history.
  1116. white
    being of the achromatic color of maximum lightness
    If you
    know the post-office you must have seen Ethan Frome drive up to it, drop
    the reins on his hollow-backed bay and drag himself across the brick
    pavement to the white colonnade: and you must have asked who he was.
  1117. enter
    to come or go into
    On my arrival at Starkfield, Denis Eady, the rich Irish grocer, who was
    the proprietor of Starkfield's nearest approach to a livery stable, had
    entered into an agreement to send me over daily to Corbury Flats, where
    I had to pick up my train for the Junction.
  1118. doze
    a light fitful sleep
    The sun slanted through the south
    window on the girl's moving figure, on the cat dozing in a chair, and on
    the geraniums brought in from the door-way, where Ethan had planted
    them in the summer to "make a garden" for Mattie.
  1119. crease
    an angular or rounded shape made by folding
    She
    sat opposite the window, and the pale light reflected from the banks of
    snow made her face look more than usually drawn and bloodless, sharpened
    the three parallel creases between ear and cheek, and drew querulous
    lines from her thin nose to the corners of her mouth.
  1120. go along
    pass by
    But the hired man, though seldom loth to
    accept a meal not included in his wages, opened his stiff jaws to answer
    slowly: "I'm obliged to you, but I guess I'll go along back."
  1121. shook
    a disassembled barrel
    "You might 'a' shook
    off that snow outside," she said to her husband.
  1122. writhe
    move in a twisting or contorted motion
    About a mile farther, on a road I had never
    travelled, we came to an orchard of starved apple-trees writhing over
    a hillside among outcroppings of slate that nuzzled up through the snow
    like animals pushing out their noses to breathe.
  1123. piece of furniture
    furnishings that make a room or other area ready for occupancy
    Frome stamped on the worn oil-cloth to shake the snow from his boots,
    and set down his lantern on a kitchen chair which was the only piece of
    furniture
    in the hall.
  1124. crop up
    appear suddenly or unexpectedly
    Four or five years earlier he had taken a year's course at a
    technological college at Worcester, and dabbled in the laboratory with
    a friendly professor of physics; and the images supplied by that
    experience still cropped up, at unexpected moments, through the totally
    different associations of thought in which he had since been living.
  1125. dwindle
    become smaller or lose substance
    The cutter was going in the direction of the Frome farm, and Ethan's
    heart contracted as he listened to the dwindling bells.
  1126. on earth
    used with question words to convey surprise
    Why on earth should he put himself out for me?"
  1127. push aside
    push out of the way
    He drew the lantern nearer and eagerly scanned the fares; then the paper
    fell from his hand and he pushed aside his unfinished letter.
  1128. nibble
    bite off very small pieces
    Ethan sat speechless, not pretending to eat, but Mattie nibbled
    valiantly at her food and asked Zeena one or two questions about her
    visit to Bettsbridge.
  1129. tendril
    slender structure by which some plants attach to an object
    She had plunged the breakfast
    dishes into a tin dish-pan and was bending above it with her slim arms
    bared to the elbow, the steam from the hot water beading her forehead
    and tightening her rough hair into little brown rings like the tendrils
    on the traveller's joy.
  1130. look like
    bear a physical resemblance to
    The face she
    lifted to her dancers was the same which, when she saw him, always
    looked like a window that has caught the sunset.
  1131. housework
    the work of cleaning and running a house
    He had taken to the girl from
    the first day, when he had driven over to the Flats to meet her, and
    she had smiled and waved to him from the train, crying out, "You must be
    Ethan!" as she jumped down with her bundles, while he reflected, looking
    over her slight person: "She don't look much on housework, but she ain't
    a fretter, anyhow."
  1132. nobody
    a person of no influence
    But after the trains begun running nobody ever
    come by here to speak of, and mother never could get it through her head
    what had happened, and it preyed on her right along till she died."
  1133. man
    an adult person who is male (as opposed to a woman)
    Even then he was the most striking figure
    in Starkfield, though he was but the ruin of a man.
  1134. come up
    move upward
    "I guess I won't come up yet awhile," he said, turning as if to go back
    to the kitchen.
  1135. unnoticed
    not noticed
    The cat, unnoticed, had crept up on muffled paws from Zeena's seat to
    the table, and was stealthily elongating its body in the direction
    of the milk-jug, which stood between Ethan and Mattie.
  1136. unload
    leave or discharge
    Ethan set about unloading the logs and when he had finished his job he
    pushed open the glazed door of the shed which the builder used as his
    office.
  1137. landmark
    the position of a prominent or well-known object
    Two or three times some ghostly
    landmark sprang up to warn us that we were astray, and then was sucked
    back into the mist; and when we finally regained our road the old horse
    began to show signs of exhaustion.
  1138. align
    place in a line or arrange so as to be parallel or straight
    By this time
    the music had stopped, and the musicians--a fiddler, and the young lady
    who played the harmonium on Sundays--were hastily refreshing themselves
    at one corner of the supper-table which aligned its devastated
    pie-dishes and ice-cream saucers on the platform at the end of the hall.
  1139. knowing
    alert and fully informed
    "Matt--" he began, not knowing what he meant to say.
  1140. affability
    a disposition to be friendly and approachable
    She seldom
    abbreviated the girl's name, and when she did so it was always a sign of
    affability.
  1141. melted
    changed from a solid to a liquid state
    At
    his approach it melted for an instant into two separate shapes and then
    conjoined again, and he heard a kiss, and a half-laughing "Oh!" provoked
    by the discovery of his presence.
  1142. conjoin
    make contact or come together
    At
    his approach it melted for an instant into two separate shapes and then
    conjoined again, and he heard a kiss, and a half-laughing "Oh!" provoked
    by the discovery of his presence.
  1143. mount
    go up, advance, or increase
    Frome
    did not even turn his head as we drove by, and still in silence we began
    to mount the next slope.
  1144. sparkle
    emit or produce sparks
    I nearly tripped over you," she cried, the laughter
    sparkling through her lashes.
  1145. for the first time
    the initial time
    It was there that, several years ago, I saw him for the first time; and
    the sight pulled me up sharp.
  1146. step on
    place or press the foot on
    He heard a step on the stairs, and again for an instant
    the thought of tramps tore through him.
  1147. excruciating
    extremely painful
    Then he understood that it must be in pain: pain so
    excruciating that he seemed, mysteriously, to feel it shooting through
    his own body.
  1148. repeat
    say or state again
    "Nobody to do for you?" he repeated.
  1149. draught
    a serving of drink (usually alcoholic) drawn from a keg
    One cold winter morning, as he dressed in the dark,
    his candle flickering in the draught of the ill-fitting window, he had
    heard her speak from the bed behind him.
  1150. whispered
    spoken in soft hushed tones without vibrations of the vocal cords
    "I guess we'll never let you go, Matt," he whispered, as though even the
    dead, lovers once, must conspire with him to keep her; and brushing by
    the graves, he thought: "We'll always go on living here together, and
    some day she'll lie there beside me."
  1151. practical joke
    a prank or trick played on a person
    The builder refused genially, as he did everything else: he treated the
    matter as something in the nature of a practical joke, and wanted to
    know if Ethan meditated buying a grand piano or adding a "cupolo" to his
    house; offering, in the latter case, to give his services free of cost.
  1152. glee
    great merriment
    In the black shade of the Varnum spruces he caught up with her and she
    turned with a quick "Oh!"

    "Think I'd forgotten you, Matt?" he asked with sheepish glee.
  1153. fleecy
    (of fabrics) having soft nap produced by brushing
    The cold was less sharp than earlier in the day and a
    thick fleecy sky threatened snow for the morrow.
  1154. fascinate
    attract; cause to be enamored
    He drew up to the table again and she sewed on in silence, with dropped
    lashes, while he sat in fascinated contemplation of the way in which her
    hands went up and down above the strip of stuff, just as he had seen
    a pair of birds make short perpendicular flights over a nest they were
    building.
  1155. get married
    take in marriage
    "Well, when she gets married, I mean," his wife's drawl came from behind
    him.
  1156. dart
    a sudden quick movement
    She let Denis Eady lead out the horse, climb
    into the cutter and fling back the bearskin to make room for her at his
    side; then, with a swift motion of flight, she turned about and darted
    up the slope toward the front of the church.
  1157. perpendicular
    intersecting at or forming right angles
    Instead of her usual calico wrapper and knitted shawl she wore her
    best dress of brown merino, and above her thin strands of hair, which
    still preserved the tight undulations of the crimping-pins, rose a hard
    perpendicular bonnet, as to which Ethan's clearest notion was that he
    had to pay five dollars for it at the Bettsbridge Emporium.
  1158. passively
    in a passive manner
    He threw the
    bearskin over the sorrel, who stood passively by the roadside, hanging
    a meditative head.
  1159. falsify
    make false by mutilation or addition
    Nevertheless he sat still a moment, straining his eyes down the long
    hill, for it was the most confusing hour of the evening, the hour when
    the last clearness from the upper sky is merged with the rising night in
    a blur that disguises landmarks and falsifies distances.
  1160. infringement
    an act that disregards an agreement or a right
    Despite these efforts, Project Gutenberg-tm electronic
    works, and the medium on which they may be stored, may contain
    "Defects," such as, but not limited to, incomplete, inaccurate or
    corrupt data, transcription errors, a copyright or other intellectual
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    computer virus, or computer codes that damage or cannot be read by
    your equipment.

    1.F.2.
  1161. Sirius
    the brightest star in the sky; in Canis Major
    The sky was still thick, but looking straight up he saw a single star,
    and tried vaguely to reckon whether it were Sirius, or--or--The effort
    tired him too much, and he closed his heavy lids and thought that he
    would sleep...
  1162. needlework
    work that is done with a needle
    It was a cushion which Zeena had made for him when they
    were engaged--the only piece of needlework he had ever seen her do.
  1163. breathing
    the bodily process of inhalation and exhalation
    He stood there a moment, breathing quickly, and looking up and
    down the street, in which not another figure moved.
  1164. encircle
    surround or form a ring around
    Then, toward
    sunset, coming down from the mountain where he had been felling timber,
    he had been caught by some strayed revellers and drawn into the group by
    the lake, where Mattie, encircled by facetious youths, and bright as
    a blackberry under her spreading hat, was brewing coffee over a gipsy
    fire.
  1165. intestinal
    of or relating to or inside the intestines
    Zeena answered in her every-day tone and, warming
    to the theme, regaled them with several vivid descriptions of intestinal
    disturbances among her friends and relatives.
  1166. gather up
    gather or collect
    When this happened he would listen quietly, his blue eyes on the
    speaker's face, and answer in so low a tone that his words never reached
    me; then he would climb stiffly into his buggy, gather up the reins in
    his left hand and drive slowly away in the direction of his farm.
  1167. crane
    a long-necked wading bird
    Thence, still hugging
    the shadow, he edged his way cautiously forward to the nearest window,
    holding back his straight spare body and craning his neck till he got a
    glimpse of the room.
  1168. thimble
    a small metal cap to protect the finger while sewing
    She fastened it with a pin, and then, finding
    her thimble and scissors, put them with the roll of stuff into the
    box covered with fancy paper which he had once brought to her from
    Bettsbridge.
  1169. go back on
    fail to fulfill a promise or obligation
    "Gentleman friend gone back on you?
  1170. throb
    pulsate or pound with abnormal force
    Ethan felt confusedly that there were many things he ought
    to think about, but through his tingling veins and tired brain only one
    sensation throbbed: the warmth of Mattie's shoulder against his.
  1171. back up
    move backwards from a certain position
    While he was there Jotham Powell drove up with the sleigh, and when the
    horses had been attended to Ethan said to him: "You might as well come
    back up for a bite."
  1172. shake
    move or cause to move back and forth
    Frome stamped on the worn oil-cloth to shake the snow from his boots,
    and set down his lantern on a kitchen chair which was the only piece of
    furniture in the hall.
  1173. crape
    a soft thin light fabric with a crinkled surface
    A dead cucumber-vine dangled
    from the porch like the crape streamer tied to the door for a death, and
    the thought flashed through Ethan's brain: "If it was there for Zeena--"
    Then he had a distinct sight of his wife lying in their bedroom asleep,
    her mouth slightly open, her false teeth in a tumbler by the bed...
  1174. exporting
    the commercial activity of selling and shipping goods to a foreign country
    However, if you provide access to or
    distribute copies of a Project Gutenberg-tm work in a format other than
    "Plain Vanilla ASCII" or other format used in the official version
    posted on the official Project Gutenberg-tm web site ( www.gutenberg.org),
    you must, at no additional cost, fee or expense to the user, provide a
    copy, a means of exporting a copy, or a means of obtaining a copy upon
    request, of the work in its original "Plain Vanilla ASCII" or other
    form.
  1175. bridesmaid
    an unmarried woman who attends the bride at a wedding
    She and I were great friends,
    and she was to have been my bridesmaid in the spring...
  1176. leafless
    having no leaves
    Sometimes their way led them under the shade of an
    overhanging bank or through the thin obscurity of a clump of leafless
    trees.
  1177. alertness
    a state of readiness to respond
    Zeena had an air of unusual alertness and activity.
  1178. bye
    a farewell remark
    "Good- bye!
  1179. shoot
    fire a shot
    As the young man walked
    toward it the upper windows drew a black arcade along the side wall of
    the building, but from the lower openings, on the side where the ground
    sloped steeply down to the Corbury road, the light shot its long bars,
    illuminating many fresh furrows in the track leading to the basement
    door, and showing, under an adjoining shed, a line of sleighs with
    heavily blanketed horses.
  1180. scrambled
    thrown together in a disorderly fashion
    Frome scrambled up the slippery steps of the porch, digging
    a way through the snow with his heavily booted foot.
  1181. mend
    restore by putting together what is torn or broken
    When she got the rheumatism
    so bad she couldn't move around she used to sit up there and watch the
    road by the hour; and one year, when they was six months mending the
    Bettsbridge pike after the floods, and Harmon Gow had to bring his stage
    round this way, she picked up so that she used to get down to the gate
    most days to see him.
  1182. burned
    destroyed or badly damaged by fire
    The sunrise burned red in a
    pure sky, the shadows on the rim of the wood-lot were darkly blue, and
    beyond the white and scintillating fields patches of far-off forest hung
    like smoke.
  1183. speck
    a very small spot
    "It ain't done me a speck of good, but I guess I might as well use it
    up," she remarked; adding, as she pushed the empty bottle toward Mattie:
    "If you can get the taste out it'll do for pickles."
  1184. beat back
    cause to move back by force or influence
    He saw her quick lids beating back
    the tears, and longed to take her in his arms and soothe her.
  1185. mildly
    to a moderate degree
    "Oh, I guess
    we'll make out," she said mildly.
  1186. unwind
    reverse the twisting of
    Mattie came forward, unwinding her wraps, the colour of the cherry scarf
    in her fresh lips and cheeks.
  1187. impulse
    an impelling force or strength
    But something in his past history, or in his present
    way of living, had apparently driven him too deeply into himself for any
    casual impulse to draw him back to his kind.
  1188. supplement
    an additional component that improves capability
    He did his best to
    supplement her unskilled efforts, getting up earlier than usual to light
    the kitchen fire, carrying in the wood overnight, and neglecting the
    mill for the farm that he might help her about the house during the day.
  1189. pure
    free of extraneous elements of any kind
    The night was perfectly still, and the air so dry and pure that it gave
    little sensation of cold.
  1190. line
    a length without breadth or thickness
    I had this from Harmon Gow, who had driven the stage from Bettsbridge
    to Starkfield in pre-trolley days and knew the chronicle of all the
    families on his line.
  1191. close
    at or within a short distance in space or time
    She was there, then, close to him, only a thin board between.
  1192. handcuff
    shackle that consists of a metal loop that can be locked around the wrist; usually used in pairs
    The inexorable facts closed in on him like prison-warders
    handcuffing a convict.
  1193. twinge
    a sudden sharp feeling
    Again Ethan felt a sudden twinge of jealousy.
  1194. genially
    in an affable manner
    The builder refused genially, as he did everything else: he treated the
    matter as something in the nature of a practical joke, and wanted to
    know if Ethan meditated buying a grand piano or adding a "cupolo" to his
    house; offering, in the latter case, to give his services free of cost.
  1195. drawer
    a boxlike container in a piece of furniture
    He rummaged in the drawer for a
    sheet of paper, found one, and began to write.
  1196. cautiously
    as if with kid gloves; with caution or prudence or tact
    Thence, still hugging
    the shadow, he edged his way cautiously forward to the nearest window,
    holding back his straight spare body and craning his neck till he got a
    glimpse of the room.
  1197. thicken
    make thick or thicker
    He was not the kind of man to be
    turned from his business by any commotion of the elements; and at
    the appointed hour his sleigh glided up through the snow like a
    stage-apparition behind thickening veils of gauze.
  1198. sickly
    somewhat ill or prone to illness
    Zeena had always been
    what Starkfield called " sickly," and Frome had to admit that, if she
    were as ailing as she believed, she needed the help of a stronger arm
    than the one which lay so lightly in his during the night walks to the
    farm.
  1199. heart
    the hollow muscular organ located behind the sternum
    Frome's heart was beating fast.
  1200. hour
    a period of time equal to 1/24th of a day
    He used to drive in
    from his farm every day at about noon, and as that was my own hour for
    fetching my mail I often passed him in the porch or stood beside him
    while we waited on the motions of the distributing hand behind the
    grating.
  1201. drive in
    cause a run or runner to be scored
    He used to drive in
    from his farm every day at about noon, and as that was my own hour for
    fetching my mail I often passed him in the porch or stood beside him
    while we waited on the motions of the distributing hand behind the
    grating.
  1202. fifty-two
    being two more than fifty
    There was something bleak and unapproachable
    in his face, and he was so stiffened and grizzled that I took him for an
    old man and was surprised to hear that he was not more than fifty-two.
  1203. sitting
    the act of assuming or maintaining a seated position
    He had scrambled
    up on the logs, and was sitting astride of them, close over his shaggy
    grays, when, coming between him and their streaming necks, he had a
    vision of the warning look that Mattie had given him the night before.
  1204. dweller
    a person who inhabits a particular place
    All the dwellers in Starkfield, as in more notable communities, had had
    troubles enough of their own to make them comparatively indifferent to
    those of their neighbours; and though all conceded that Ethan Frome's
    had been beyond the common measure, no one gave me an explanation of the
    look in his face which, as I persisted in thinking, neither poverty
    nor physical suffering could have put there.
  1205. stand in
    be a substitute
    As he stood in the darkness outside the church these memories came back
    with the poignancy of vanished things.
  1206. hang up
    cause to be hanging or suspended
    He went out into the
    passage to hang up his coat and pull off his wet boots.
  1207. lameness
    disability of walking due to crippling of the legs or feet
    It was not so much
    his great height that marked him, for the "natives" were easily singled
    out by their lank longitude from the stockier foreign breed: it was the
    careless powerful look he had, in spite of a lameness checking each step
    like the jerk of a chain.
  1208. online
    connected to a computer network or accessible by computer
    You may copy it, give it away or
    re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
    with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org
  1209. rise up
    come to the surface
    All the long misery of his
    baffled past, of his youth of failure, hardship and vain effort, rose
    up
    in his soul in bitterness and seemed to take shape before him in the
    woman who at every turn had barred his way.
  1210. curfew
    an order that after a certain time activities are prohibited
    She could trim a hat, make
    molasses candy, recite " Curfew shall not ring to-night," and play "The
    Lost Chord" and a pot-pourri from "Carmen."
  1211. shut
    move so that an opening or passage is obstructed; make shut
    But when winter
    shut down on Starkfield and the village lay under a sheet of snow
    perpetually renewed from the pale skies, I began to see what life
    there--or rather its negation--must have been in Ethan Frome's young
    manhood.
  1212. hold off
    wait before acting
    In the afternoon the storm held off, and the clearness in the west
    seemed to my inexperienced eye the pledge of a fair evening.
  1213. hunt down
    pursue for food or sport (as of wild animals)
    Here, after
    considerable search, and sympathetic questions as to what he wanted
    it for, and whether ordinary flour paste wouldn't do as well if she
    couldn't find it, the widow Homan finally hunted down her solitary
    bottle of glue to its hiding-place in a medley of cough-lozenges and
    corset-laces.
  1214. tree trunk
    the main stem of a tree
    Then, when the loading finally
    began, a sleety rain was coming down once more, and the tree trunks were
    so slippery that it took twice as long as usual to lift them and get
    them in place on the sledge.
  1215. glimpse
    a brief or incomplete view
    Only once or twice was the distance between us bridged for a moment;
    and the glimpses thus gained confirmed my desire to know more.
  1216. cocoon
    silky envelope spun by the larvae of many insects
    He
    hurried forward to meet it, but as it drew nearer he saw that it was
    driven by the carpenter's youngest boy and that the figure at his side,
    looking like a large upright cocoon in spectacles, was that of Mrs.
    Hale.
  1217. angle
    the space between two lines or planes that intersect
    I saw then that the unusually forlorn and stunted look of the house was
    partly due to the loss of what is known in New England as the "L":
    that long deep-roofed adjunct usually built at right angles to the main
    house, and connecting it, by way of storerooms and tool-house, with the
    wood-shed and cow-barn.
  1218. web site
    a computer connected to the internet that maintains a series of web pages on the World Wide Web
    However, if you provide access to or
    distribute copies of a Project Gutenberg-tm work in a format other than
    "Plain Vanilla ASCII" or other format used in the official version
    posted on the official Project Gutenberg-tm web site ( www.gutenberg.org),
    you must, at no additional cost, fee or expense to the user, provide a
    copy, a means of exporting a copy, or a means of obtaining a copy upon
    request, of the work in its original "Plain Vanilla ASCII" or other
    form.
  1219. unreasoning
    not based on reason or evidence
    After the funeral,
    when he saw her preparing to go away, he was seized with an unreasoning
    dread of being left alone on the farm; and before he knew what he was
    doing he had asked her to stay there with him.
  1220. strip
    take off or remove
    Leaning forward, he touched the farther end of
    the strip of brown stuff that she was hemming.
  1221. paleness
    unnatural lack of color in the skin
    She looked so small and pinched, in her poor dress, with the red scarf
    wound about her, and the cold light turning her paleness sallow, that
    Ethan stood before her without speaking.
  1222. delayed
    not as far along as normal in development
    I had been sent up by my employers on a job connected with the big
    power-house at Corbury Junction, and a long-drawn carpenters' strike
    had so delayed the work that I found myself anchored at Starkfield--the
    nearest habitable spot--for the best part of the winter.
  1223. update
    modernize or bring up to date
    Produced by Charles Aldarondo

    Updated editions will replace the previous one--the old editions
    will be renamed.
  1224. fixed
    unmoving
    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.
  1225. unfinished
    not brought to the desired final state
    His
    unfinished studies had given form to this sensibility and even in his
    unhappiest moments field and sky spoke to him with a deep and powerful
    persuasion.
  1226. secretive
    inclined to secrecy or reticence about divulging information
    He had supposed her to be asleep, and the sound of her voice had
    startled him, though she was given to abrupt explosions of speech after
    long intervals of secretive silence.
  1227. kidney
    either of two bean-shaped excretory organs that filter wastes (especially urea) from the blood and excrete them and water in urine
    Eliza
    Spears was wasting away with kidney trouble before she went to him, and
    now she's up and around, and singing in the choir."
  1228. illness
    impairment of normal physiological function affecting part or all of an organism
    The illness spread
    to the other Starkfield stables and for a day or two I was put to it to
    find a means of transport.
  1229. crackle
    make a crackling sound
    The night was so still that they heard the
    frozen snow crackle under their feet.
  1230. huddled
    crowded or massed together
    Beyond the orchard
    lay a field or two, their boundaries lost under drifts; and above the
    fields, huddled against the white immensities of land and sky, one of
    those lonely New England farm-houses that make the landscape lonelier.
  1231. allusion
    passing reference or indirect mention
    At our next meeting he made
    no allusion to the book, and our intercourse seemed fated to remain as
    negative and one-sided as if there had been no break in his reserve.
  1232. burn
    destroy by fire
    The sunrise burned red in a
    pure sky, the shadows on the rim of the wood-lot were darkly blue, and
    beyond the white and scintillating fields patches of far-off forest hung
    like smoke.
  1233. mean time
    time based on the motion of the mean sun
    You've had an awful mean time, Ethan
    Frome."
  1234. scant
    less than the correct or legal or full amount
    He fancied that she nodded her comprehension; and with that scant solace
    he had to trudge off through the rain.
  1235. booted
    wearing boots
    Frome scrambled up the slippery steps of the porch, digging
    a way through the snow with his heavily booted foot.
  1236. vein
    a blood vessel that carries blood toward the heart
    The leader of the reel,
    who looked as if he had Irish blood in his veins, danced well, and his
    partner caught his fire.
  1237. come over
    communicate the intended meaning or impression
    It was only when she drew toward her last illness, and his cousin
    Zenobia Pierce came over from the next valley to help him nurse her,
    that human speech was heard again in the house.
  1238. less
    a quantifier meaning not as great in amount or degree
    I wondered less at his words than at the queer note of resentment in
    his voice.
  1239. aflame
    lighted up by or as by fire or flame
    Jotham Powell had started for the barn, and Ethan strode down after him
    aflame with anger.
  1240. confusedly
    in a confused manner
    Ethan felt confusedly that there were many things he ought
    to think about, but through his tingling veins and tired brain only one
    sensation throbbed: the warmth of Mattie's shoulder against his.
  1241. monosyllable
    a word or utterance of one syllable
    He never turned his face to mine, or
    answered, except in monosyllables, the questions I put, or such slight
    pleasantries as I ventured.
  1242. stiff
    incapable of or resistant to bending
    At
    Worcester, though he had the name of keeping to himself and not being
    much of a hand at a good time, he had secretly gloried in being clapped
    on the back and hailed as "Old Ethe" or "Old Stiff"; and the cessation
    of such familiarities had increased the chill of his return to
    Starkfield.
  1243. long ago
    of the distant or comparatively distant past
    "Oh, she's in bed long ago."
  1244. conditional
    imposing or depending on or containing an assumption
    I don't know why I put it in the conditional, however, for I
    never doubted that Frome would appear.
  1245. brain
    the center of the nervous system
    Fust his father got a kick, out
    haying, and went soft in the brain, and gave away money like Bible texts
    afore he died.
  1246. spoke
    support consisting of a radial member of a wheel joining the hub to the rim
    "Come in," he said; and as he spoke the droning voice grew still...
  1247. perform
    get done
    When these nightly duties were performed there was nothing left to do
    but to bring in the tin candlestick from the passage, light the candle
    and blow out the lamp.
  1248. plate
    dish on which food is served or from which food is eaten
    Sickness and trouble: that's what Ethan's
    had his plate full up with, ever since the very first helping."
  1249. call
    utter a sudden loud cry
    Once I
    happened to speak of an engineering job I had been on the previous year
    in Florida, and of the contrast between the winter landscape about us
    and that in which I had found myself the year before; and to my surprise
    Frome said suddenly: "Yes: I was down there once, and for a good while
    afterward I could call up the sight of it in winter.
  1250. lagging
    used to wrap around pipes or boilers or laid in attics to prevent loss of heat
    He roused the lagging bay with another twitch; then, as if the
    mere sight of the house had let me too deeply into his confidence for
    any farther pretence of reserve, he went on slowly: "I've always set
    down the worst of mother's trouble to that.
  1251. neck
    the part of an organism (human or animal) that connects the head to the rest of the body
    Thence, still hugging
    the shadow, he edged his way cautiously forward to the nearest window,
    holding back his straight spare body and craning his neck till he got a
    glimpse of the room.
  1252. faint
    lacking clarity, brightness, or loudness
    He was still kneeling when his eyes, on a level with the lower panel of
    the door, caught a faint ray beneath it.
  1253. ringed
    wearing a wedding ring; lawfully married
    The sorrel, turning the same big ringed eye
    on him, nuzzled the palm of his hand in the same way; and one by one all
    the days between rose up and stood before him...
  1254. shrunken
    lean and wrinkled by shrinkage as from age or illness
    Perhaps this
    connection of ideas, which had often occurred to me in my rambles about
    Starkfield, caused me to hear a wistful note in Frome's words, and to
    see in the diminished dwelling the image of his own shrunken body.
  1255. pains
    an effortful attempt to attain a goal
    So marked was the change in her manner, such depths of sad initiation
    did it imply, that, with some doubts as to my delicacy, I put the case
    anew to my village oracle, Harmon Gow; but got for my pains only an
    uncomprehending grunt.
  1256. sofa
    an upholstered seat for more than one person
    Here he had nailed up shelves for his books, built
    himself a box- sofa out of boards and a mattress, laid out his papers on
    a kitchen-table, hung on the rough plaster wall an engraving of Abraham
    Lincoln and a calendar with "Thoughts from the Poets," and tried, with
    these meagre properties, to produce some likeness to the study of a
    "minister" who had been kind to him and lent him books when he was at
    Worcester.
  1257. clearing
    a treeless tract of land in the middle of a wooded area
    Then
    the girl had returned to her task of clearing up the kitchen for the
    night and he had taken his lantern and gone on his usual round outside
    the house.
  1258. obliterate
    remove completely from recognition or memory
    It was almost as if the other
    face, the face of the superseded woman, had obliterated that of the
    intruder.
  1259. twinkling
    shining intermittently with a sparkling light
    As he drew near the farm he saw,
    through the thin screen of larches at the gate, a light twinkling in
    the house above him.
  1260. dimness
    the state of being poorly illuminated
    He strained his eyes through the dimness, and they seemed less keen,
    less capable than usual.
  1261. cushioned
    softened by the addition of cushions or padding
    The tall woman, who had moved away from us toward the dresser, took no
    notice; but the other, from her cushioned niche, answered complainingly,
    in a high thin voice.
  1262. sit in
    attend as a visitor
    He drew up to the table again and she sewed on in silence, with dropped
    lashes, while he sat in fascinated contemplation of the way in which her
    hands went up and down above the strip of stuff, just as he had seen
    a pair of birds make short perpendicular flights over a nest they were
    building.
  1263. disdainfully
    without respect
    I guess I can take you down all right!"
    he said disdainfully.
  1264. instinct
    inborn pattern of behavior often responsive to stimuli
    The small ray of Frome's lantern was soon lost in this smothering
    medium, in which even his sense of direction, and the bay's homing
    instinct, finally ceased to serve us.
  1265. shrivelled
    (used especially of vegetation) having lost all moisture
    Her hair was as grey as her companion's, her face as bloodless and
    shrivelled, but amber-tinted, with swarthy shadows sharpening the nose
    and hollowing the temples.
  1266. pussy
    informal terms referring to a domestic cat
    The cat rubbed itself
    ingratiatingly against her, and she said "Good Pussy," stooped to stroke
    it and gave it a scrap of meat from her plate.
  1267. oppressive
    weighing heavily on the senses or spirit
    Zeena herself, from an oppressive
    reality, had faded into an insubstantial shade.
  1268. asleep
    in a state of sleep
    He had supposed her to be asleep, and the sound of her voice had
    startled him, though she was given to abrupt explosions of speech after
    long intervals of secretive silence.
  1269. own
    belonging to or on behalf of a specified person
    He used to drive in
    from his farm every day at about noon, and as that was my own hour for
    fetching my mail I often passed him in the porch or stood beside him
    while we waited on the motions of the distributing hand behind the
    grating.
  1270. give away
    make a gift of
    Fust his father got a kick, out
    haying, and went soft in the brain, and gave away money like Bible texts
    afore he died.
  1271. conspire
    act in agreement and in secret towards a deceitful purpose
    "I guess we'll never let you go, Matt," he whispered, as though even the
    dead, lovers once, must conspire with him to keep her; and brushing by
    the graves, he thought: "We'll always go on living here together, and
    some day she'll lie there beside me."
  1272. sheet
    any broad thin expanse or surface
    But when winter
    shut down on Starkfield and the village lay under a sheet of snow
    perpetually renewed from the pale skies, I began to see what life
    there--or rather its negation--must have been in Ethan Frome's young
    manhood.
  1273. desire to know
    curiosity that motivates investigation and study
    Only once or twice was the distance between us bridged for a moment;
    and the glimpses thus gained confirmed my desire to know more.
  1274. colourless
    weak in color; not colorful
    He remembered what a
    colourless slip of a thing she had looked the day he had met her at the
    station.
  1275. emporium
    a large retail store offering a variety of merchandise
    Instead of her usual calico wrapper and knitted shawl she wore her
    best dress of brown merino, and above her thin strands of hair, which
    still preserved the tight undulations of the crimping-pins, rose a hard
    perpendicular bonnet, as to which Ethan's clearest notion was that he
    had to pay five dollars for it at the Bettsbridge Emporium.
  1276. awful
    exceptionally bad or displeasing
    There
    was no hint of disapproval in her reserve; I merely felt in her an
    insurmountable reluctance to speak of him or his affairs, a low "Yes, I
    knew them both... it was awful..." seeming to be the utmost concession
    that her distress could make to my curiosity.
  1277. snip
    sever or remove by pinching or snipping
    She drank
    two cups of coffee and fed the cat with the scraps left in the pie-dish;
    then she rose from her seat and, walking over to the window, snipped two
    or three yellow leaves from the geraniums.
  1278. quicker
    more quickly
    He had been straining for a glimpse
    of the dark head under the cherry-coloured scarf and it vexed him that
    another eye should have been quicker than his.
  1279. bell
    a hollow metal device that makes a ringing sound when struck
    A moment later he heard the jingle of departing
    sleigh bells and discerned a figure advancing alone toward the empty
    expanse of snow before the church.
  1280. passage
    the act of moving from one state or place to the next
    I went
    after him into a low unlit passage, at the back of which a ladder-like
    staircase rose into obscurity.
  1281. recrimination
    mutual accusations
    It was the first scene of open anger between the couple in their sad
    seven years together, and Ethan felt as if he had lost an irretrievable
    advantage in descending to the level of recrimination.
  1282. untrained
    not disciplined or conditioned or made adept by training
    In the only place where she was known she was surrounded
    by indifference or animosity; and what chance had she, inexperienced
    and untrained, among the million bread-seekers of the cities?
  1283. wondering
    showing curiosity
    She was almost the last to leave the hall, and she stood looking
    uncertainly about her as if wondering why he did not show himself.
  1284. entranced
    filled with wonder and delight
    Then he learned that
    one other spirit had trembled with the same touch of wonder: that at his
    side, living under his roof and eating his bread, was a creature to whom
    he could say: "That's Orion down yonder; the big fellow to the right is
    Aldebaran, and the bunch of little ones--like bees swarming--they're the
    Pleiades..." or whom he could hold entranced before a ledge of granite
    thrusting up through the fern while he unrolled the huge panorama of the
    ice age, and the long dim stretch...
  1285. corset
    a woman's close-fitting foundation garment
    Here, after
    considerable search, and sympathetic questions as to what he wanted
    it for, and whether ordinary flour paste wouldn't do as well if she
    couldn't find it, the widow Homan finally hunted down her solitary
    bottle of glue to its hiding-place in a medley of cough-lozenges and
    corset-laces.
  1286. out to
    fixed in your purpose
    Well,
    I hope you made out to let him have it."
  1287. gooseberry
    spiny Eurasian shrub having greenish purple-tinged flowers and ovoid yellow-green or red-purple berries
    They walked around to the back of the house, between the rigid
    gooseberry bushes.
  1288. shock
    an unpleasant or disappointing surprise
    I questioned Harmon, looking after
    Frome's retreating figure, and thinking how gallantly his lean brown
    head, with its shock of light hair, must have sat on his strong
    shoulders before they were bent out of shape.
  1289. hand and foot
    in all ways possible
    "I'm tied hand and foot, Matt.
  1290. mood
    a characteristic state of feeling
    These alterations of mood were the despair and joy of Ethan Frome.
  1291. fact
    a piece of information about events that have occurred
    Though Harmon Gow developed the tale as far as his mental and moral
    reach permitted there were perceptible gaps between his facts, and I had
    the sense that the deeper meaning of the story was in the gaps.
  1292. stopped
    (of a nose) blocked
    By this time
    the music had stopped, and the musicians--a fiddler, and the young lady
    who played the harmonium on Sundays--were hastily refreshing themselves
    at one corner of the supper-table which aligned its devastated
    pie-dishes and ice-cream saucers on the platform at the end of the hall.
  1293. delicately
    in a delicate manner
    In the "best parlour," with its black horse-hair and mahogany weakly
    illuminated by a gurgling Carcel lamp, I listened every evening to
    another and more delicately shaded version of the Starkfield chronicle.
  1294. United States
    North American republic containing 50 states - 48 conterminous states in North America plus Alaska in northwest North America and the Hawaiian Islands in the Pacific Ocean; achieved independence in 1776
    Creating the works from public domain print editions means that no
    one owns a United States copyright in these works, so the Foundation
    (and you!) can copy and distribute it in the United States without
    permission and without paying copyright royalties.
  1295. sent
    caused or enabled to go or be conveyed or transmitted
    I had been sent up by my employers on a job connected with the big
    power-house at Corbury Junction, and a long-drawn carpenters' strike
    had so delayed the work that I found myself anchored at Starkfield--the
    nearest habitable spot--for the best part of the winter.
  1296. cut across
    cut using a diagonal line
    His wife's retort was like a
    knife- cut across the sinews and he felt suddenly weak and powerless.
  1297. length
    the linear extent in space from one end to the other
    The musicians hurried to their instruments, the dancers--some already
    half-muffled for departure--fell into line down each side of the room,
    the older spectators slipped back to their chairs, and the lively young
    man, after diving about here and there in the throng, drew forth a girl
    who had already wound a cherry-coloured "fascinator" about her head,
    and, leading her up to the end of the floor, whirled her down its length
    to the bounding tune of a Virginia reel.
  1298. radiate
    send out rays or waves
    When warmth began to radiate from the
    stove, and the first ray of sunlight lay on the kitchen floor, Ethan's
    dark thoughts melted in the mellower air.
  1299. unreality
    the state of being insubstantial or imaginary
    Then the sense
    of unreality overcame him once more, and he could not bring himself to
    believe that Mattie stood there for the last time before him.
  1300. get to
    arrive at the point of
    I was getting to know him too well to express either wonder or gratitude
    at his keeping his appointment; but I exclaimed in surprise as I saw him
    turn his horse in a direction opposite to that of the Corbury road.
  1301. thrust
    push forcefully
    Then he learned that
    one other spirit had trembled with the same touch of wonder: that at his
    side, living under his roof and eating his bread, was a creature to whom
    he could say: "That's Orion down yonder; the big fellow to the right is
    Aldebaran, and the bunch of little ones--like bees swarming--they're the
    Pleiades..." or whom he could hold entranced before a ledge of granite
    thrusting up through the fern while he unrolled the huge panorama of the
    ice age, and the long dim stretch...
  1302. clenched
    closed or squeezed together tightly
    Ethan's hand dropped from the door-knob, which he had held clenched
    since he had drawn the door shut on Mattie.
  1303. dreadfully
    of a dreadful kind
    Did I? I was dreadfully put out when you wouldn't go to
    the picnic with me; and then, when I saw you coming down the road, I
    thought maybe you'd gone home that way o' purpose; and that made me
    glad."
  1304. pin
    a small slender (often pointed) piece of wood or metal used to support or fasten or attach things
    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.
  1305. blotch
    an irregularly shaped spot
    Frome turned away again, and taking up his razor stooped to catch the
    reflection of his stretched cheek in the blotched looking-glass above
    the wash-stand.
  1306. departure
    the act of leaving
    The musicians hurried to their instruments, the dancers--some already
    half-muffled for departure--fell into line down each side of the room,
    the older spectators slipped back to their chairs, and the lively young
    man, after diving about here and there in the throng, drew forth a girl
    who had already wound a cherry-coloured "fascinator" about her head,
    and, leading her up to the end of the floor, whirled her down its length
    to the bounding tune of a Virginia reel.
  1307. follow out
    pursue to a conclusion or bring to a successful issue
    There's a
    whole lot more I can do for you, and Mattie--"

    Zeena, while he spoke, seemed to be following out some elaborate mental
    calculation.
  1308. tear
    separate or cause to separate abruptly
    Another wild thought tore through him.
  1309. transfixed
    having your attention fixated as though by a spell
    Ethan stood transfixed.
  1310. fly
    travel through the air; be airborne
    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.
  1311. married couple
    two people who are married to each other
    For the first time they would be alone together indoors, and they would
    sit there, one on each side of the stove, like a married couple, he in
    his stocking feet and smoking his pipe, she laughing and talking in that
    funny way she had, which was always as new to him as if he had never
    heard her before.
  1312. bending
    movement that causes the formation of a curve
    She had plunged the breakfast
    dishes into a tin dish-pan and was bending above it with her slim arms
    bared to the elbow, the steam from the hot water beading her forehead
    and tightening her rough hair into little brown rings like the tendrils
    on the traveller's joy.
  1313. proprietary
    protected by trademark or patent or copyright
    You may convert to and distribute this work in any binary,
    compressed, marked up, nonproprietary or proprietary form, including any
    word processing or hypertext form.
  1314. seldom
    not often
    I noticed that, though he came so punctually, he seldom
    received anything but a copy of the Bettsbridge Eagle, which he put
    without a glance into his sagging pocket.
  1315. isolate
    place or set apart
    Zeena's native village was slightly larger and nearer to the railway
    than Starkfield, and she had let her husband see from the first that
    life on an isolated farm was not what she had expected when she married.
  1316. perfunctory
    hasty and without attention to detail; not thorough
    The barn was empty when the horses turned into it and, after giving them
    the most perfunctory ministrations they had ever received from him, he
    strode up to the house and pushed open the kitchen door.
  1317. next
    immediately following in time or order
    "He's looked that way ever since he had his smash-up; and that's
    twenty-four years ago come next February," Harmon threw out between
    reminiscent pauses.
  1318. marked
    easily noticeable
    It was not so much
    his great height that marked him, for the "natives" were easily singled
    out by their lank longitude from the stockier foreign breed: it was the
    careless powerful look he had, in spite of a lameness checking each step
    like the jerk of a chain.
  1319. push out
    push to thrust outward
    About a mile farther, on a road I had never
    travelled, we came to an orchard of starved apple-trees writhing over
    a hillside among outcroppings of slate that nuzzled up through the snow
    like animals pushing out their noses to breathe.
  1320. declivity
    a downward slope or bend
    The pitch of
    the Corbury road, below lawyer Varnum's spruces, was the favourite
    coasting-ground of Starkfield, and on clear evenings the church corner
    rang till late with the shouts of the coasters; but to-night not a sled
    darkened the whiteness of the long declivity.
  1321. uncover
    make visible
    She uncovered the pie and pushed it over to him.
  1322. tired
    depleted of strength or energy
    I understood that he was offering me a night's shelter at the farm, and
    without answering I turned into the gate at his side, and followed him
    to the barn, where I helped him to unharness and bed down the tired
    horse.
  1323. press
    exert pressure or force to or upon
    Harmon drew a slab of tobacco from his pocket, cut off a wedge and
    pressed it into the leather pouch of his cheek.
  1324. opulence
    wealth as evidenced by sumptuous living
    This display of opulence
    was misleading, for though he did a fairly good business it was known
    that his easygoing habits and the demands of his large family frequently
    kept him what Starkfield called "behind."
  1325. carpenter
    a woodworker who makes or repairs wooden objects
    I had been sent up by my employers on a job connected with the big
    power-house at Corbury Junction, and a long-drawn carpenters' strike
    had so delayed the work that I found myself anchored at Starkfield--the
    nearest habitable spot--for the best part of the winter.
  1326. watching
    the act of observing; taking a patient look
    Watching Mattie whirl down the
    floor from hand to hand he wondered how he could ever have thought
    that his dull talk interested her.
  1327. set about
    begin to deal with
    Ethan set about unloading the logs and when he had finished his job he
    pushed open the glazed door of the shed which the builder used as his
    office.
  1328. pain
    a somatic sensation of acute discomfort
    So marked was the change in her manner, such depths of sad initiation
    did it imply, that, with some doubts as to my delicacy, I put the case
    anew to my village oracle, Harmon Gow; but got for my pains only an
    uncomprehending grunt.
  1329. coffee
    a beverage consisting of an infusion of ground coffee beans
    It was a slow trudge home through the heavy fields, and when the two
    men entered the kitchen Mattie was lifting the coffee from the stove and
    Zeena was already at the table.
  1330. impartially
    in an impartial manner
    As if trying to make him see reason she replied impartially: "The girl
    will be over from Bettsbridge to-morrow, and I presume she's got to have
    somewheres to sleep."
  1331. netted
    having open interstices or resembling a web
    She seemed to melt against him in her terror, and he caught her in his
    arms, held her fast there, felt her lashes beat his cheek like netted
    butterflies.
  1332. stable
    resistant to change of position or condition
    On my arrival at Starkfield, Denis Eady, the rich Irish grocer, who was
    the proprietor of Starkfield's nearest approach to a livery stable, had
    entered into an agreement to send me over daily to Corbury Flats, where
    I had to pick up my train for the Junction.
  1333. mechanically
    in a manner like a machine
    He helped himself mechanically and began to eat; then disgust took him
    by the throat and he laid down his fork.
  1334. looking at
    the act of directing the eyes toward something and perceiving it visually
    He became suddenly conscious that he was looking at Mattie while Zeena
    talked to him, and with an effort he turned his eyes to his wife.
  1335. refusal
    the act of showing unwillingness
    "If I'd supposed you'd 'a' made any objection to Jotham Powell's driving
    me over--" she began again, as though his silence had implied refusal.
  1336. deserted
    forsaken by owner or inhabitants
    Young Ethan Frome walked at a quick pace along the deserted street, past
    the bank and Michael Eady's new brick store and Lawyer Varnum's house
    with the two black Norway spruces at the gate.
  1337. kept
    not violated or disregarded
    He even noticed two or
    three gestures which, in his fatuity, he had thought she kept for him:
    a way of throwing her head back when she was amused, as if to taste her
    laugh before she let it out, and a trick of sinking her lids slowly when
    anything charmed or moved her.
  1338. spectacle
    something or someone seen, especially a notable sight
    There was no answer, and she continued in a trembling voice: "I went to
    get those powders I'd put away in father's old spectacle-case, top of
    the china-closet, where I keep the things I set store by, so's folks
    shan't meddle with them--" Her voice broke, and two small tears hung
    on her lashless lids and ran slowly down her cheeks.
  1339. cast about
    search anxiously
    At last, after casting about for an effective opening, he took
    a long gulp of tea, cleared his throat, and said: "Looks as if there'd
    be more snow."
  1340. intangible
    incapable of being perceived by the senses, especially touch
    Of late there had been other signs of her disfavour, as intangible but
    more disquieting.
  1341. wave
    (physics) a movement up and down or back and forth
    The height of
    the white waves massed against the garden-fence and along the wall of
    the church showed that the storm must have been going on all night,
    and that the drifts were likely to be heavy in the open.
  1342. tree
    a tall perennial woody plant having a main trunk and branches forming a distinct elevated crown; includes both gymnosperms and angiosperms
    About a mile farther, on a road I had never
    travelled, we came to an orchard of starved apple- trees writhing over
    a hillside among outcroppings of slate that nuzzled up through the snow
    like animals pushing out their noses to breathe.
  1343. plaintively
    in a manner expressing sorrow
    As if expecting a protest, she continued plaintively; "If you're too
    busy with the hauling I presume you can let Jotham Powell drive me over
    with the sorrel in time to ketch the train at the Flats."
  1344. smoothness
    a texture without roughness; smooth to the touch
    The sled started with a bound, and they flew on through the dusk,
    gathering smoothness and speed as they went, with the hollow night
    opening out below them and the air singing by like an organ.
  1345. fifty
    the cardinal number that is the product of ten and five
    There was something bleak and unapproachable
    in his face, and he was so stiffened and grizzled that I took him for an
    old man and was surprised to hear that he was not more than fifty-two.
  1346. drooping
    hanging down (as from exhaustion or weakness)
    To-night the
    pressure of accumulated misgivings sent the scale drooping toward
    despair, and her indifference was the more chilling after the flush of
    joy into which she had plunged him by dismissing Denis Eady.
  1347. dread
    fearful expectation or anticipation
    There was really, even now, no tangible evidence to the contrary; but
    since the previous night a vague dread had hung on his sky-line.
  1348. quickly
    with little or no delay
    I finished
    my business as quickly as possible, and we set out for Starkfield with
    a good chance of getting there for supper.
  1349. turn in
    to surrender someone or something to another
    "The house was bigger in my father's time: I had to take down the 'L,'
    a while back," Frome continued, checking with a twitch of the left rein
    the bay's evident intention of turning in through the broken-down gate.
  1350. charge
    assign a duty, responsibility or obligation to
    When I had been there a little longer, and had seen this
    phase of crystal clearness followed by long stretches of sunless cold;
    when the storms of February had pitched their white tents about the
    devoted village and the wild cavalry of March winds had charged down to
    their support; I began to understand why Starkfield emerged from its
    six months' siege like a starved garrison capitulating without quarter.
  1351. queer
    beyond or deviating from the usual or expected
    Then his mother got queer and dragged along for years as
    weak as a baby; and his wife Zeena, she's always been the greatest hand
    at doctoring in the county.
  1352. presence
    current existence
    To him, who was never gay but in her
    presence, her gaiety seemed plain proof of indifference.
  1353. skirting
    being all around the edges; enclosing
    The young man, skirting the side of the building, went down the slope
    toward the basement door.
  1354. hard
    resisting weight or pressure
    The last stretch had been the hardest part of the way.
  1355. effrontery
    audacious behavior that you have no right to
    Denis Eady was
    the son of Michael Eady, the ambitious Irish grocer, whose suppleness
    and effrontery had given Starkfield its first notion of "smart" business
    methods, and whose new brick store testified to the success of the
    attempt.
  1356. extra
    more than is needed, desired, or required
    When his wife first proposed that they should give Mattie an occasional
    evening out he had inwardly demurred at having to do the extra two miles
    to the village and back after his hard day on the farm; but not long
    afterward he had reached the point of wishing that Starkfield might give
    all its nights to revelry.
  1357. break down
    stop operating or functioning
    "The house was bigger in my father's time: I had to take down the 'L,'
    a while back," Frome continued, checking with a twitch of the left rein
    the bay's evident intention of turning in through the broken-down gate.
  1358. piece
    a separate part of a whole
    Nevertheless, I might have
    contented myself with the story pieced together from these hints had
    it not been for the provocation of Mrs. Hale's silence, and--a little
    later--for the accident of personal contact with the man.
  1359. consecrate
    give entirely to a specific person, activity, or cause
    It was the consecrated formula, and he expected it to be followed, as
    usual, by her rising and going down to supper.
  1360. nurse
    one skilled in caring for young children or the sick
    It was only when she drew toward her last illness, and his cousin
    Zenobia Pierce came over from the next valley to help him nurse her,
    that human speech was heard again in the house.
  1361. gather
    assemble or get together
    The "smash-up" it was--I gathered from the same informant--which, besides
    drawing the red gash across Ethan Frome's forehead, had so shortened and
    warped his right side that it cost him a visible effort to take the few
    steps from his buggy to the post-office window.
  1362. catch fire
    start to burn or burst into flames
    Slowly the rim of the rainy vapours caught fire and
    burnt away, and a pure moon swung into the blue.
  1363. infrequent
    not occurring regularly or at short intervals
    During the winter months
    there was no stage between Starkfield and Bettsbridge, and the trains
    which stopped at Corbury Flats were slow and infrequent.
  1364. time of year
    one of the natural periods into which the year is divided by the equinoxes and solstices or atmospheric conditions
    "You never can tell,
    this time of year, it drifts so bad on the Flats."
  1365. revealing
    showing or making known
    To keep out of range of the revealing rays
    from within he made a circuit through the untrodden snow and gradually
    approached the farther angle of the basement wall.
  1366. some
    quantifier
    At intervals, however, the
    post-master would hand him an envelope addressed to Mrs. Zenobia--or Mrs.
    Zeena-Frome, and usually bearing conspicuously in the upper left-hand
    corner the address of some manufacturer of patent medicine and the name
    of his specific.
  1367. tore
    commonly the lowest molding at the base of a column
    Another wild thought tore through him.
  1368. stick in
    insert casually
    But
    one phrase stuck in my memory and served as the nucleus about which I
    grouped my subsequent inferences: "Guess he's been in Starkfield too
    many winters."
  1369. provoke
    provide the needed stimulus for
    The fact that he had no right to show his feelings, and thus
    provoke the expression of hers, made him attach a fantastic importance
    to every change in her look and tone.
  1370. sobbing
    convulsive gasp made while weeping
    She had not heard
    Ethan's call because she was sobbing and she did not hear his step till
    he stood close behind her and laid his hands on her shoulders.
  1371. stricken
    grievously affected especially by disease
    Zeena, who had at her fingers' ends the
    pathological chart of the whole region, had cited many cases of the kind
    while she was nursing his mother; and he himself knew of certain lonely
    farm-houses in the neighbourhood where stricken creatures pined, and
    of others where sudden tragedy had come of their presence.
  1372. woman
    an adult female person (as opposed to a man)
    It was clear that the Varnum fortunes were at the ebb, but the
    two women did what they could to preserve a decent dignity; and Mrs.
    Hale, in particular, had a certain wan refinement not out of keeping
    with her pale old-fashioned house.
  1373. inertia
    the tendency of something to stay in rest or motion
    He hesitated, and I had the impression that he felt himself about to
    yield to a stealing tide of inertia; then, "Thank you--I'll take it," he
    answered shortly.
  1374. rigidity
    the physical property of being stiff and resisting bending
    The room was almost dark, but in the obscurity he saw her
    sitting by the window, bolt upright, and knew by the rigidity of the
    outline projected against the pane that she had not taken off her
    travelling dress.
  1375. supersede
    take the place or move into the position of
    It was almost as if the other
    face, the face of the superseded woman, had obliterated that of the
    intruder.
  1376. revelry
    unrestrained merrymaking
    When his wife first proposed that they should give Mattie an occasional
    evening out he had inwardly demurred at having to do the extra two miles
    to the village and back after his hard day on the farm; but not long
    afterward he had reached the point of wishing that Starkfield might give
    all its nights to revelry.
  1377. instinctive
    unthinking
    Ethan felt that if he had pleaded an urgent need Hale might have made
    shift to pay him; but pride, and an instinctive prudence, kept him from
    resorting to this argument.
  1378. exhilaration
    the feeling of lively and cheerful joy
    Now and then he turned his eyes from the
    girl's face to that of her partner, which, in the exhilaration of the
    dance, had taken on a look of almost impudent ownership.
  1379. feign
    make believe with the intent to deceive
    Mattie seemed to feel the
    contagion of his embarrassment, and sat with downcast lids, sipping her
    tea, while he feigned an insatiable appetite for dough-nuts and sweet
    pickles.
  1380. glass
    a brittle transparent solid with irregular atomic structure
    Frome turned away again, and taking up his razor stooped to catch the
    reflection of his stretched cheek in the blotched looking- glass above
    the wash-stand.
  1381. at length
    in a lengthy or prolix manner
    At length they sighted the group of larches at Ethan's gate, and as they
    drew near it the sense that the walk was over brought back his words.
  1382. distribution
    the act of spreading or apportioning
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  1383. for the moment
    temporarily
    But
    for the moment his sense of relief was so great as to preclude all other
    feelings.
  1384. soft
    yielding readily to pressure or weight
    Fust his father got a kick, out
    haying, and went soft in the brain, and gave away money like Bible texts
    afore he died.
  1385. twilight
    the time of day immediately following sunset
    He gazed blankly about the kitchen, which looked cold and squalid in the
    rainy winter twilight.
  1386. glow
    emit a steady even light without flames
    As he strode along through the snow the sense of such meanings glowed in
    his brain and mingled with the bodily flush produced by his sharp tramp.
  1387. take shape
    develop into a distinctive entity
    All the long misery of his
    baffled past, of his youth of failure, hardship and vain effort, rose
    up in his soul in bitterness and seemed to take shape before him in the
    woman who at every turn had barred his way.
  1388. disquieting
    causing mental discomfort
    Of late there had been other signs of her disfavour, as intangible but
    more disquieting.
  1389. quest for
    go in search of or hunt for
    Despair
    seized him at the thought of her setting out alone to renew the weary
    quest for work.
  1390. flux
    a state of constant change
    On
    the brink of departure she was always seized with a flux of words.
  1391. front
    the side that is forward or prominent
    Staggering along in Frome's wake I floundered toward it, and in the
    darkness almost fell into one of the deep drifts against the front of
    the house.
  1392. benumb
    make numb or insensitive
    The name had benumbed
    him again, and once more he felt as if Zeena were in the room between
    them.
  1393. sawdust
    fine particles of wood made by sawing wood
    She clung to him without answering, and he laid his lips on her hair,
    which was soft yet springy, like certain mosses on warm slopes, and had
    the faint woody fragrance of fresh sawdust in the sun.
  1394. shooting
    the act of firing a projectile
    "I've got my shooting pains so bad that I'm going over to Bettsbridge
    to spend the night with Aunt Martha Pierce and see that new doctor," she
    answered in a matter-of-fact tone, as if she had said she was going into
    the store-room to take a look at the preserves, or up to the attic to go
    over the blankets.
  1395. rainy
    (of weather) wet by periods of rain
    He gazed blankly about the kitchen, which looked cold and squalid in the
    rainy winter twilight.
  1396. habitable
    fit to be lived in
    I had been sent up by my employers on a job connected with the big
    power-house at Corbury Junction, and a long-drawn carpenters' strike
    had so delayed the work that I found myself anchored at Starkfield--the
    nearest habitable spot--for the best part of the winter.
  1397. dipped
    having abnormal sagging of the spine (especially in horses)
    Abreast of the schoolhouse the road forked, and we dipped down a lane
    to the left, between hemlock boughs bent inward to their trunks by the
    weight of the snow.
  1398. nearest
    within the shortest distance
    I had been sent up by my employers on a job connected with the big
    power-house at Corbury Junction, and a long-drawn carpenters' strike
    had so delayed the work that I found myself anchored at Starkfield--the
    nearest habitable spot--for the best part of the winter.
  1399. facetious
    cleverly amusing in tone
    Then, toward
    sunset, coming down from the mountain where he had been felling timber,
    he had been caught by some strayed revellers and drawn into the group by
    the lake, where Mattie, encircled by facetious youths, and bright as
    a blackberry under her spreading hat, was brewing coffee over a gipsy
    fire.
  1400. accelerate
    move faster
    Ethan's long strides grew more rapid
    with the accelerated beat of his thoughts, and as he reached the foot of
    School House Hill he caught sight of Hale's sleigh in the distance.
  1401. predominate
    be larger in number, quantity, power, status or importance
    He no
    longer believed what Zeena had told him of the supposed seriousness of
    her state: he saw in her expedition to Bettsbridge only a plot hatched
    between herself and her Pierce relations to foist on him the cost of a
    servant; and for the moment wrath predominated.
  1402. fetching
    very attractive; capturing interest
    He used to drive in
    from his farm every day at about noon, and as that was my own hour for
    fetching my mail I often passed him in the porch or stood beside him
    while we waited on the motions of the distributing hand behind the
    grating.
  1403. insurmountable
    not capable of being overcome
    There
    was no hint of disapproval in her reserve; I merely felt in her an
    insurmountable reluctance to speak of him or his affairs, a low "Yes, I
    knew them both... it was awful..." seeming to be the utmost concession
    that her distress could make to my curiosity.
  1404. steadied
    made steady or constant
    Her cry steadied him, though it deepened his wrath and pity.
  1405. colonnade
    structure consisting of a row of evenly spaced columns
    If you
    know the post-office you must have seen Ethan Frome drive up to it, drop
    the reins on his hollow-backed bay and drag himself across the brick
    pavement to the white colonnade: and you must have asked who he was.
  1406. nimbly
    in a nimble or agile manner
    The other he tried to slip through hers; but she eluded him
    nimbly, and Frome's heart, which had swung out over a black void,
    trembled back to safety.
  1407. jerking
    an abrupt spasmodic movement
    Ethan's heart was jerking to and fro between two extremities of feeling,
    but for the moment compassion prevailed.
  1408. bad
    having undesirable or negative qualities
    "It was a pretty bad smash-up?"
  1409. lank
    long and thin and often limp
    It was not so much
    his great height that marked him, for the "natives" were easily singled
    out by their lank longitude from the stockier foreign breed: it was the
    careless powerful look he had, in spite of a lameness checking each step
    like the jerk of a chain.
  1410. resentment
    a feeling of deep and bitter anger and ill-will
    I wondered less at his words than at the queer note of resentment in
    his voice.
  1411. isolation
    setting something apart from others
    I simply felt that he lived in a depth of
    moral isolation too remote for casual access, and I had the sense that
    his loneliness was not merely the result of his personal plight, tragic
    as I guessed that to be, but had in it, as Harmon Gow had hinted, the
    profound accumulated cold of many Starkfield winters.
  1412. sunlight
    the rays of the sun
    The snow had ceased, and a flash of watery sunlight exposed the
    house on the slope above us in all its plaintive ugliness.
  1413. fasten
    attach to
    Andrew Hale was a ruddy man with a big gray moustache and a stubbly
    double-chin unconstrained by a collar; but his scrupulously clean shirt
    was always fastened by a small diamond stud.
  1414. hat
    headdress that protects the head from bad weather
    She could trim a hat, make
    molasses candy, recite "Curfew shall not ring to-night," and play "The
    Lost Chord" and a pot-pourri from "Carmen."
  1415. fork
    a pronged tool used for serving and eating food
    Abreast of the schoolhouse the road forked, and we dipped down a lane
    to the left, between hemlock boughs bent inward to their trunks by the
    weight of the snow.
  1416. detecting
    a police investigation to determine the perpetrator
    There he lit a candle-end,
    opened the china-closet, and, reaching his long arm up to the highest
    shelf, laid the pieces together with such accuracy of touch that a close
    inspection convinced him of the impossibility of detecting from below
    that the dish was broken.
  1417. drumming
    the act of playing drums
    Ethan felt the blood drumming in his temples.
  1418. streamer
    a long flag; often tapering
    A dead cucumber-vine dangled
    from the porch like the crape streamer tied to the door for a death, and
    the thought flashed through Ethan's brain: "If it was there for Zeena--"
    Then he had a distinct sight of his wife lying in their bedroom asleep,
    her mouth slightly open, her false teeth in a tumbler by the bed...
  1419. effort
    use of physical or mental energy; hard work
    The "smash-up" it was--I gathered from the same informant--which, besides
    drawing the red gash across Ethan Frome's forehead, had so shortened and
    warped his right side that it cost him a visible effort to take the few
    steps from his buggy to the post-office window.
  1420. lay down
    institute, enact, or establish
    "He wanted I should speak to you about a girl he's heard
    about, that might come--"

    Ethan laid down the razor and straightened himself with a laugh.
  1421. life
    the organic phenomenon that distinguishes living organisms
    But when winter
    shut down on Starkfield and the village lay under a sheet of snow
    perpetually renewed from the pale skies, I began to see what life
    there--or rather its negation--must have been in Ethan Frome's young
    manhood.
  1422. tobacco
    aromatic annual or perennial herbs and shrubs
    Harmon drew a slab of tobacco from his pocket, cut off a wedge and
    pressed it into the leather pouch of his cheek.
  1423. part
    one of the portions into which something is regarded as divided and which together constitute a whole
    I had been sent up by my employers on a job connected with the big
    power-house at Corbury Junction, and a long-drawn carpenters' strike
    had so delayed the work that I found myself anchored at Starkfield--the
    nearest habitable spot--for the best part of the winter.
  1424. moving
    in motion
    II


    As the dancers poured out of the hall Frome, drawing back behind the
    projecting storm-door, watched the segregation of the grotesquely
    muffled groups, in which a moving lantern ray now and then lit up a
    face flushed with food and dancing.
  1425. include
    have as a part, be made up out of
    You may copy it, give it away or
    re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
    with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org
  1426. literary
    relating to or characteristic of creative writing
    The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation ("the Foundation"
    or PGLAF), owns a compilation copyright in the collection of Project
    Gutenberg-tm electronic works.
  1427. buy at
    do one's shopping at
    With the exception of the dark-eyed woman's chair, which looked like a
    soiled relic of luxury bought at a country auction, the furniture was of
    the roughest kind.
  1428. devious
    deviating from a straight course
    By a devious track between the fields they wound back to the Starkfield
    road.
  1429. bottomed
    having a bottom of a specified character
    Three coarse china plates and a broken-nosed milk-jug
    had been set on a greasy table scored with knife-cuts, and a couple
    of straw- bottomed chairs and a kitchen dresser of unpainted pine stood
    meagrely against the plaster walls.
  1430. lowered
    below the surround or below the normal position
    It is powerful cold down here," Ethan assented; and with
    lowered head he went up in his wife's wake, and followed her across the
    threshold of their room.
  1431. ashamed
    feeling guilt or embarrassment or remorse
    Ethan was
    ashamed of the storm of jealousy in his breast.
  1432. bring in
    earn on some commercial or business transaction
    The sun slanted through the south
    window on the girl's moving figure, on the cat dozing in a chair, and on
    the geraniums brought in from the door-way, where Ethan had planted
    them in the summer to "make a garden" for Mattie.
  1433. money
    the most common medium of exchange
    Fust his father got a kick, out
    haying, and went soft in the brain, and gave away money like Bible texts
    afore he died.
  1434. mince
    cut into small pieces
    Her companion, who was just coming back to the table with the remains
    of a cold mince-pie in a battered pie-dish, set down her unappetising
    burden without appearing to hear the accusation brought against her.
  1435. wind
    air moving from high pressure to low pressure
    When I had been there a little longer, and had seen this
    phase of crystal clearness followed by long stretches of sunless cold;
    when the storms of February had pitched their white tents about the
    devoted village and the wild cavalry of March winds had charged down to
    their support; I began to understand why Starkfield emerged from its
    six months' siege like a starved garrison capitulating without quarter.
  1436. fretful
    nervous and unable to relax
    She continued to stare at him, the flame of the unshaded lamp bringing
    out with microscopic cruelty the fretful lines of her face.
  1437. push up
    push upward
    When he returned to the kitchen Mattie had pushed up his chair to the
    stove and seated herself near the lamp with a bit of sewing.
  1438. grave
    a place for the burial of a corpse
    Every one in Starkfield knew him and gave him a greeting tempered to
    his own grave mien; but his taciturnity was respected and it was only on
    rare occasions that one of the older men of the place detained him for
    a word.
  1439. reconsider
    consider again
    Suddenly it occurred to him that Andrew Hale, who was a kind-hearted
    man, might be induced to reconsider his refusal and advance a small sum
    on the lumber if he were told that Zeena's ill-health made it necessary
    to hire a servant.
  1440. be on
    appear in a show, on T.V. or radio
    Once I
    happened to speak of an engineering job I had been on the previous year
    in Florida, and of the contrast between the winter landscape about us
    and that in which I had found myself the year before; and to my surprise
    Frome said suddenly: "Yes: I was down there once, and for a good while
    afterward I could call up the sight of it in winter.
  1441. tip
    the extreme end of something, especially something pointed
    She changed her position, leaning forward to bend her
    head above her work, so that he saw only the foreshortened tip of her
    nose and the streak of red in her hair; then she slipped to her feet,
    saying "I can't see to sew," and went back to her chair by the lamp.
  1442. seated
    (of persons) having the torso erect and legs bent with the body supported on the buttocks
    When he returned to the kitchen Mattie had pushed up his chair to the
    stove and seated herself near the lamp with a bit of sewing.
  1443. weighted
    made heavy or weighted down with weariness
    She
    looked up at him languidly, as though her lids were weighted with sleep
    and it cost her an effort to raise them.
  1444. inefficiency
    unskillfulness resulting from a lack of efficiency
    His wife had never shown any jealousy of Mattie, but of late she had
    grumbled increasingly over the house-work and found oblique ways of
    attracting attention to the girl's inefficiency.
  1445. wan
    deficient in color suggesting physical or emotional distress
    It was clear that the Varnum fortunes were at the ebb, but the
    two women did what they could to preserve a decent dignity; and Mrs.
    Hale, in particular, had a certain wan refinement not out of keeping
    with her pale old-fashioned house.
  1446. every
    (used of count nouns) each and all of the members of a group considered singly and without exception
    He used to drive in
    from his farm every day at about noon, and as that was my own hour for
    fetching my mail I often passed him in the porch or stood beside him
    while we waited on the motions of the distributing hand behind the
    grating.
  1447. Congregational
    of or pertaining to or characteristic of a Congregational church
    It stood at one end of the main street, its
    classic portico and small-paned windows looking down a flagged path
    between Norway spruces to the slim white steeple of the Congregational
    church.
  1448. instead
    in place of, or as an alternative to
    Instead, it sprang up to
    a gale which now and then, from a tattered sky, flung pale sweeps of
    sunlight over a landscape chaotically tossed.
  1449. vapours
    a state of depression
    Slowly the rim of the rainy vapours caught fire and
    burnt away, and a pure moon swung into the blue.
  1450. brink
    the edge of a steep place
    On
    the brink of departure she was always seized with a flux of words.
  1451. steering
    the act of guiding or showing the way
    "Oh, Ned ain't much at steering.
  1452. coon
    North American raccoon
    He bundled himself into his old coon-skin coat and lay down on the
    box-sofa to think.
  1453. shape
    a perceptual structure
    I questioned Harmon, looking after
    Frome's retreating figure, and thinking how gallantly his lean brown
    head, with its shock of light hair, must have sat on his strong
    shoulders before they were bent out of shape.
  1454. pretty
    pleasing by delicacy or grace; not imposing
    "It was a pretty bad smash-up?"
  1455. urge
    force or impel in an indicated direction
    He had driven his load half-way to the village when Jotham Powell
    overtook him, urging the reluctant sorrel toward the Flats.
  1456. keeping
    the act of retaining something
    It was clear that the Varnum fortunes were at the ebb, but the
    two women did what they could to preserve a decent dignity; and Mrs.
    Hale, in particular, had a certain wan refinement not out of keeping
    with her pale old-fashioned house.
  1457. receive
    get something; come into possession of
    I noticed that, though he came so punctually, he seldom
    received anything but a copy of the Bettsbridge Eagle, which he put
    without a glance into his sagging pocket.
  1458. stare
    look at with fixed eyes
    I stared at the suggestion.
  1459. pushing
    the act of applying force in order to move something away
    About a mile farther, on a road I had never
    travelled, we came to an orchard of starved apple-trees writhing over
    a hillside among outcroppings of slate that nuzzled up through the snow
    like animals pushing out their noses to breathe.
  1460. reproachful
    expressing reproof especially as a corrective
    It was neither whining nor reproachful, but drily
    resolute.
  1461. rein in
    control and direct with or as if by reins
    When this happened he would listen quietly, his blue eyes on the
    speaker's face, and answer in so low a tone that his words never reached
    me; then he would climb stiffly into his buggy, gather up the reins in
    his left hand and drive slowly away in the direction of his farm.
  1462. punctually
    at the proper time
    I noticed that, though he came so punctually, he seldom
    received anything but a copy of the Bettsbridge Eagle, which he put
    without a glance into his sagging pocket.
  1463. reticent
    reluctant to draw attention to yourself
    Her mind was a store-house of innocuous anecdote and any
    question about her acquaintances brought forth a volume of detail; but
    on the subject of Ethan Frome I found her unexpectedly reticent.
  1464. glued
    affixed or as if affixed with glue or paste
    If he glued it together the next morning
    months might elapse before his wife noticed what had happened, and
    meanwhile he might after all be able to match the dish at Shadd's Falls
    or Bettsbridge.
  1465. despair
    a state in which all hope is lost or absent
    These alterations of mood were the despair and joy of Ethan Frome.
  1466. bare
    lacking its natural or customary covering
    That
    Frome farm was always 'bout as bare's a milkpan when the cat's been
    round; and you know what one of them old water-mills is wuth nowadays.
  1467. warped
    used especially of timbers or boards
    The "smash-up" it was--I gathered from the same informant--which, besides
    drawing the red gash across Ethan Frome's forehead, had so shortened and
    warped his right side that it cost him a visible effort to take the few
    steps from his buggy to the post-office window.
  1468. impossibility
    incapability of existing or occurring
    But purchasers were slow in coming, and while he waited for them Ethan
    learned the impossibility of transplanting her.
  1469. preserve
    keep in safety and protect from harm, loss, or destruction
    It was clear that the Varnum fortunes were at the ebb, but the
    two women did what they could to preserve a decent dignity; and Mrs.
    Hale, in particular, had a certain wan refinement not out of keeping
    with her pale old-fashioned house.
  1470. links
    a golf course that is built on sandy ground near a shore
    The following sentence, with active links to, or other immediate
    access to, the full Project Gutenberg-tm License must appear prominently
    whenever any copy of a Project Gutenberg-tm work (any work on which the
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    almost no restrictions whatsoever.
  1471. chance
    an unknown and unpredictable phenomenon
    Such tastes and acquirements in a man of his condition made the contrast
    more poignant between his outer situation and his inner needs, and I
    hoped that the chance of giving expression to the latter might at least
    unseal his lips.
  1472. meditative
    deeply or seriously thoughtful
    He threw the
    bearskin over the sorrel, who stood passively by the roadside, hanging
    a meditative head.
  1473. rub
    move over something with pressure
    He longed to stoop his cheek and rub it against
    her scarf.
  1474. inference
    drawing a conclusion on the basis of circumstantial evidence
    But
    one phrase stuck in my memory and served as the nucleus about which I
    grouped my subsequent inferences: "Guess he's been in Starkfield too
    many winters."
  1475. stop
    have an end, in a temporal, spatial, or quantitative sense
    By this time
    the music had stopped, and the musicians--a fiddler, and the young lady
    who played the harmonium on Sundays--were hastily refreshing themselves
    at one corner of the supper-table which aligned its devastated
    pie-dishes and ice-cream saucers on the platform at the end of the hall.
  1476. sleeve
    the part of a garment that is attached at the armhole and that provides a cloth covering for the arm
    Half-way up the slope Mattie stumbled against some unseen
    obstruction and clutched his sleeve to steady herself.
  1477. feint
    any distracting or deceptive maneuver
    The note of authority in his voice seemed to subdue her, and when he
    had jumped from the sleigh she let him help her out, saying only, with a
    vague feint of reluctance: "But there isn't a sled round anywheres."
  1478. druggist
    a health professional trained in the art of preparing and dispensing drugs
    At the moment Ethan Frome, after climbing to
    his seat, had leaned over to assure himself of the security of a wooden
    box--also with a druggist's label on it--which he had placed in the back
    of the buggy, and I saw his face as it probably looked when he thought
    himself alone.
  1479. short
    having little length or lacking in length
    "Straight to the Junction, by the shortest way," he answered, pointing
    up School House Hill with his whip.
  1480. tramp
    travel on foot, especially on a walking expedition
    As he strode along through the snow the sense of such meanings glowed in
    his brain and mingled with the bodily flush produced by his sharp tramp.
  1481. tentatively
    in a hesitant manner
    Mrs. Hale glanced at me tentatively, as though
    trying to see how much footing my conjectures gave her; and I guessed
    that if she had kept silence till now it was because she had been
    waiting, through all the years, for some one who should see what she
    alone had seen.
  1482. watch
    look attentively
    When she got the rheumatism
    so bad she couldn't move around she used to sit up there and watch the
    road by the hour; and one year, when they was six months mending the
    Bettsbridge pike after the floods, and Harmon Gow had to bring his stage
    round this way, she picked up so that she used to get down to the gate
    most days to see him.
  1483. taken
    understood in a certain way; made sense of
    Four or five years earlier he had taken a year's course at a
    technological college at Worcester, and dabbled in the laboratory with
    a friendly professor of physics; and the images supplied by that
    experience still cropped up, at unexpected moments, through the totally
    different associations of thought in which he had since been living.
  1484. speaking
    capable of or involving speech or speaking
    She slipped out of his hold without speaking, and he stooped down and
    felt for the key.
  1485. adjunct
    something added to another thing but not essential to it
    I saw then that the unusually forlorn and stunted look of the house was
    partly due to the loss of what is known in New England as the "L":
    that long deep-roofed adjunct usually built at right angles to the main
    house, and connecting it, by way of storerooms and tool-house, with the
    wood-shed and cow-barn.
  1486. fallen
    having dropped by the force of gravity
    "It might have fallen off into the snow," Mattie continued, after a
    pause during which they had stood intently listening.
  1487. defect
    a failing or deficiency
    Mattie had no natural turn for housekeeping, and her training had
    done nothing to remedy the defect.
  1488. accumulated
    periodically gathered over time
    I simply felt that he lived in a depth of
    moral isolation too remote for casual access, and I had the sense that
    his loneliness was not merely the result of his personal plight, tragic
    as I guessed that to be, but had in it, as Harmon Gow had hinted, the
    profound accumulated cold of many Starkfield winters.
  1489. inflame
    arouse or excite feelings and passions
    Mattie Silver was the daughter of
    a cousin of Zenobia Frome's, who had inflamed his clan with mingled
    sentiments of envy and admiration by descending from the hills to
    Connecticut, where he had married a Stamford girl and succeeded to
    her father's thriving "drug" business.
  1490. log
    a segment of the trunk of a tree when stripped of branches
    He had scrambled
    up on the logs, and was sitting astride of them, close over his shaggy
    grays, when, coming between him and their streaming necks, he had a
    vision of the warning look that Mattie had given him the night before.
  1491. slip on
    put on with ease or speed
    On the way over
    to the wood-lot one of the greys slipped on a glare of ice and cut his
    knee; and when they got him up again Jotham had to go back to the barn
    for a strip of rag to bind the cut.
  1492. diffusion
    the act of dispersing something
    But at sunset the clouds
    gathered again, bringing an earlier night, and the snow began to fall
    straight and steadily from a sky without wind, in a soft universal
    diffusion more confusing than the gusts and eddies of the morning.
  1493. case
    an occurrence of something
    Title: Ethan Frome

    Author: Edith Wharton

    Release Date: October, 2003 [Etext #4517]
    Posting Date: February 4, 2010

    Language: English

    Character set encoding: ASCII

    *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK ETHAN FROME ***




    Produced by Charles Aldarondo





    ETHAN FROME


    By Edith Wharton




    ETHAN FROME



    I had the story, bit by bit, from various people, and, as generally
    happens in such cases, each time it was a different story.
  1494. ministration
    assistance in time of difficulty
    The barn was empty when the horses turned into it and, after giving them
    the most perfunctory ministrations they had ever received from him, he
    strode up to the house and pushed open the kitchen door.
  1495. draw together
    bring together in a common cause or emotion
    The clumps of trees in the snow seemed to
    draw together in ruffled lumps, like birds with their heads under their
    wings; and the sky, as it paled, rose higher, leaving the earth more
    alone.
  1496. unskilled
    not having or showing or requiring special skill or proficiency
    He did his best to
    supplement her unskilled efforts, getting up earlier than usual to light
    the kitchen fire, carrying in the wood overnight, and neglecting the
    mill for the farm that he might help her about the house during the day.
  1497. preclude
    make impossible, especially beforehand
    But
    for the moment his sense of relief was so great as to preclude all other
    feelings.
  1498. coming back
    the occurrence of a change in direction back in the opposite direction
    As he reached the door he met Zeena coming back into the room, her lips
    twitching with anger, a flush of excitement on her sallow face.
  1499. elapse
    pass by
    If he glued it together the next morning
    months might elapse before his wife noticed what had happened, and
    meanwhile he might after all be able to match the dish at Shadd's Falls
    or Bettsbridge.
  1500. using
    an act that exploits or victimizes someone
    It was intoxicating to find such magic in his clumsy words, and he
    longed to try new ways of using it.
  1501. aimlessly
    without a specific goal or focus
    He opened the door of the stove and poked aimlessly at the embers.
  1502. musician
    someone who plays a musical instrument (as a profession)
    By this time
    the music had stopped, and the musicians--a fiddler, and the young lady
    who played the harmonium on Sundays--were hastily refreshing themselves
    at one corner of the supper-table which aligned its devastated
    pie-dishes and ice-cream saucers on the platform at the end of the hall.
  1503. good night
    a conventional expression of farewell
    " Good night, Matt," he said as she put her foot on the first step of the
    stairs.
  1504. extinguished
    of a conditioned response
    There was in him a slumbering spark of
    sociability which the long Starkfield winters had not yet extinguished.
  1505. clench
    squeeze together tightly
    Ethan's hand dropped from the door-knob, which he had held clenched
    since he had drawn the door shut on Mattie.
  1506. download
    transfer a file or program to a smaller computer
    If you are outside the United States, check
    the laws of your country in addition to the terms of this agreement
    before downloading, copying, displaying, performing, distributing or
    creating derivative works based on this work or any other Project
    Gutenberg-tm work.
  1507. cut
    separate with or as if with an instrument
    Harmon drew a slab of tobacco from his pocket, cut off a wedge and
    pressed it into the leather pouch of his cheek.
  1508. sunlit
    lighted by sunlight
    And there were other
    sensations, less definable but more exquisite, which drew them together
    with a shock of silent joy: the cold red of sunset behind winter
    hills, the flight of cloud-flocks over slopes of golden stubble, or the
    intensely blue shadows of hemlocks on sunlit snow.
  1509. unusual
    not common or ordinary
    This
    tribute to the unusual transformed and glorified her.
  1510. remove
    take something away as by lifting, pushing, or taking off
    Having satisfied himself that there was no risk of
    immediate discovery he went back to the kitchen with a lighter step, and
    found Mattie disconsolately removing the last scraps of pickle from the
    floor.
  1511. paper
    a material made of cellulose pulp derived mainly from wood or rags or certain grasses
    Hale sat with his feet up on the stove, his back propped against
    a battered desk strewn with papers: the place, like the man, was warm,
    genial and untidy.
  1512. fall for
    fall in love with; become infatuated with
    I'll go to Shadd's Falls
    for
    it if I have to!"
  1513. link
    connect, fasten, or put together two or more pieces
    Whether because of its symbolic sense, the image
    it presents of a life linked with the soil, and enclosing in itself the
    chief sources of warmth and nourishment, or whether merely because
    of the consolatory thought that it enables the dwellers in that harsh
    climate to get to their morning's work without facing the weather, it
    is certain that the "L" rather than the house itself seems to be the
    centre, the actual hearth-stone of the New England farm.
  1514. immediate
    directly before or after as in a chain of cause and effect
    His hand was steady, but the attitude was an
    excuse for not making an immediate reply.
  1515. mildness
    good weather with comfortable temperatures
    "That girl that's coming told me she was used to a house where they had
    a furnace," Zeena persisted with the same monotonous mildness.
  1516. memory
    the cognitive process whereby past experience is remembered
    But
    one phrase stuck in my memory and served as the nucleus about which I
    grouped my subsequent inferences: "Guess he's been in Starkfield too
    many winters."
  1517. pan
    shallow container made of metal
    She had plunged the breakfast
    dishes into a tin dish- pan and was bending above it with her slim arms
    bared to the elbow, the steam from the hot water beading her forehead
    and tightening her rough hair into little brown rings like the tendrils
    on the traveller's joy.
  1518. veil
    a garment that covers the head and face
    He was not the kind of man to be
    turned from his business by any commotion of the elements; and at
    the appointed hour his sleigh glided up through the snow like a
    stage-apparition behind thickening veils of gauze.
  1519. bite
    to grip, cut off, or tear with or as if with the teeth or jaws
    Title: Ethan Frome

    Author: Edith Wharton

    Release Date: October, 2003 [Etext #4517]
    Posting Date: February 4, 2010

    Language: English

    Character set encoding: ASCII

    *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK ETHAN FROME ***




    Produced by Charles Aldarondo





    ETHAN FROME


    By Edith Wharton




    ETHAN FROME



    I had the story, bit by bit, from various people, and, as generally
    happens in such cases, each time it was a different story.
  1520. peg
    a wooden pin pushed or driven into a surface
    Ethan paused also, affecting to fumble for the peg on which he hung his
    coat and cap.
  1521. pride
    a feeling of self-respect and personal worth
    Ethan had
    an idea that if she were to marry a man she was fond of the dormant
    instinct would wake, and her pies and biscuits become the pride of the
    county; but domesticity in the abstract did not interest her.
  1522. health
    the general condition of body and mind
    When she tried to extend the
    field of her activities in the direction of stenography and book-keeping
    her health broke down, and six months on her feet behind the counter of
    a department store did not tend to restore it.
  1523. self-defence
    the act of defending yourself
    All the healthy instincts
    of self-defence rose up in him against such waste...
  1524. microscopic
    so small as to be invisible without a magnifying device
    She continued to stare at him, the flame of the unshaded lamp bringing
    out with microscopic cruelty the fretful lines of her face.
  1525. transfix
    to render motionless, as with a fixed stare
    Ethan stood transfixed.
  1526. crazy
    affected with madness or insanity
    They turned in at the gate and passed under the shaded knoll where,
    enclosed in a low fence, the Frome grave-stones slanted at crazy angles
    through the snow.
  1527. valiantly
    with valor
    Ethan sat speechless, not pretending to eat, but Mattie nibbled
    valiantly at her food and asked Zeena one or two questions about her
    visit to Bettsbridge.
  1528. sloped
    having an oblique or slanted direction
    As the young man walked
    toward it the upper windows drew a black arcade along the side wall of
    the building, but from the lower openings, on the side where the ground
    sloped steeply down to the Corbury road, the light shot its long bars,
    illuminating many fresh furrows in the track leading to the basement
    door, and showing, under an adjoining shed, a line of sleighs with
    heavily blanketed horses.
  1529. baffle
    be a mystery or bewildering to
    All the long misery of his
    baffled past, of his youth of failure, hardship and vain effort, rose
    up in his soul in bitterness and seemed to take shape before him in the
    woman who at every turn had barred his way.
  1530. palm
    the inner surface of the hand
    Without replying he gathered the pieces of glass into his broad palm
    and walked out of the kitchen to the passage.
  1531. payment
    the act of paying money
    As soon as the words were spoken he regretted them, not only because
    they were untrue--there being no prospect of his receiving cash payment
    from Hale--but also because he knew from experience the imprudence of
    letting Zeena think he was in funds on the eve of one of her therapeutic
    excursions.
  1532. rising
    sloping upward
    It was the consecrated formula, and he expected it to be followed, as
    usual, by her rising and going down to supper.
  1533. a little
    to a small degree; somewhat
    When I had been there a little longer, and had seen this
    phase of crystal clearness followed by long stretches of sunless cold;
    when the storms of February had pitched their white tents about the
    devoted village and the wild cavalry of March winds had charged down to
    their support; I began to understand why Starkfield emerged from its
    six months' siege like a starved garrison capitulating without quarter.
  1534. chafed
    painful from having the skin abraded
    I chafed at
    first, and then, under the hypnotising effect of routine, gradually
    began to find a grim satisfaction in the life.
  1535. starved
    suffering from lack of food
    When I had been there a little longer, and had seen this
    phase of crystal clearness followed by long stretches of sunless cold;
    when the storms of February had pitched their white tents about the
    devoted village and the wild cavalry of March winds had charged down to
    their support; I began to understand why Starkfield emerged from its
    six months' siege like a starved garrison capitulating without quarter.
  1536. tire
    lose interest or become bored with something or somebody
    I understood that he was offering me a night's shelter at the farm, and
    without answering I turned into the gate at his side, and followed him
    to the barn, where I helped him to unharness and bed down the tired
    horse.
  1537. finished
    ended or brought to an end
    I finished
    my business as quickly as possible, and we set out for Starkfield with
    a good chance of getting there for supper.
  1538. instil
    enter drop by drop
    She seemed to possess by instinct all the household wisdom
    that his long apprenticeship had not instilled in him.
  1539. thrust out
    push to thrust outward
    Mattie sat
    perfectly still, but as they reached the bend at the foot of the hill,
    where the big elm thrust out a deadly elbow, he fancied that she shrank
    a little closer.
  1540. look up
    seek information from
    He stood there a moment, breathing quickly, and looking up and
    down the street, in which not another figure moved.
  1541. battered
    damaged by blows or hard usage
    Hale sat with his feet up on the stove, his back propped against
    a battered desk strewn with papers: the place, like the man, was warm,
    genial and untidy.
  1542. dwindling
    a becoming gradually less
    The cutter was going in the direction of the Frome farm, and Ethan's
    heart contracted as he listened to the dwindling bells.
  1543. colour in
    add color to
    He saw the rise of the colour in Mattie's averted cheek, and the quick
    lifting of Zeena's head.
  1544. rill
    a small stream
    Her wonder and his laughter ran together like spring rills in a thaw.
  1545. eat
    take in solid food
    "When a
    man's been setting round like a hulk for twenty years or more, seeing
    things that want doing, it eats inter him, and he loses his grit.
  1546. blackberry
    bramble with sweet edible black or dark purple berries that usually do not separate from the receptacle
    Then, toward
    sunset, coming down from the mountain where he had been felling timber,
    he had been caught by some strayed revellers and drawn into the group by
    the lake, where Mattie, encircled by facetious youths, and bright as
    a blackberry under her spreading hat, was brewing coffee over a gipsy
    fire.
  1547. untidy
    not neat and tidy
    Hale sat with his feet up on the stove, his back propped against
    a battered desk strewn with papers: the place, like the man, was warm,
    genial and untidy.
  1548. glimmer
    a flash of light
    They stood together in the gloom of the spruces, an empty world
    glimmering about them wide and grey under the stars.
  1549. afterward
    happening at a time subsequent to a reference time
    Once I
    happened to speak of an engineering job I had been on the previous year
    in Florida, and of the contrast between the winter landscape about us
    and that in which I had found myself the year before; and to my surprise
    Frome said suddenly: "Yes: I was down there once, and for a good while
    afterward I could call up the sight of it in winter.
  1550. silhouette
    a filled-in drawing of the outline of an object
    By this time they had passed beyond Frome's earshot and he could only
    follow the shadowy pantomime of their silhouettes as they continued
    to move along the crest of the slope above him.
  1551. warder
    a person who works in a prison and is in charge of prisoners
    The inexorable facts closed in on him like prison- warders
    handcuffing a convict.
  1552. live out
    live out one's life; live to the end
    When Ethan could sweat over 'em both from sunup to dark he kinder choked
    a living out of 'em; but his folks ate up most everything, even then,
    and I don't see how he makes out now.
  1553. pick
    look for and gather
    "Ruth Varnum was always as nervous as a rat; and, come to think of it,
    she was the first one to see 'em after they was picked up.
  1554. ticking
    a metallic tapping sound
    The bitter cold
    and the heavy going had nearly knocked the wind out of me, and I could
    feel the horse's side ticking like a clock under my hand.
  1555. growl
    to utter or emit low dull rumbling sounds
    To
    prolong the effect he groped for a dazzling phrase, and brought out, in
    a growl of rapture: "Come along."
  1556. apologetically
    in an apologetic manner
    The fire must be 'most out," Frome said, glancing
    about him apologetically as he followed me in.
  1557. settle
    become resolved, fixed, established, or quiet
    He would have liked to
    linger on, watching her tidy up and then settle down to her sewing; but
    he wanted still more to get the hauling done and be back at the farm
    before night.
  1558. stupidly
    in a stupid manner
    It was a fact that since Mattie Silver's coming he had taken
    to shaving every day; but his wife always seemed to be asleep when he
    left her side in the winter darkness, and he had stupidly assumed that
    she would not notice any change in his appearance.
  1559. wall
    an architectural partition with a height and length greater than its thickness; used to divide or enclose an area or to support another structure
    The height of
    the white waves massed against the garden-fence and along the wall of
    the church showed that the storm must have been going on all night,
    and that the drifts were likely to be heavy in the open.
  1560. longer
    for more time
    When I had been there a little longer, and had seen this
    phase of crystal clearness followed by long stretches of sunless cold;
    when the storms of February had pitched their white tents about the
    devoted village and the wild cavalry of March winds had charged down to
    their support; I began to understand why Starkfield emerged from its
    six months' siege like a starved garrison capitulating without quarter.
  1561. crossed
    placed crosswise
    As he did so his
    glance crossed Mattie's and he fancied that a fugitive warning gleamed
    through her lashes.
  1562. likely
    having a good chance of being the case or of coming about
    Ethan'll likely touch a hundred."
  1563. periodic
    happening or recurring at regular intervals
    Royalty payments
    must be paid within 60 days following each date on which you
    prepare (or are legally required to prepare) your periodic tax
    returns.
  1564. shamed
    showing a sense of guilt
    Her efficiency shamed and
    dazzled him.
  1565. opaque
    not transmitting or reflecting light or radiant energy
    She had pale opaque eyes
    which revealed nothing and reflected nothing, and her narrow lips were
    of the same sallow colour as her face.
  1566. stubble
    short hairs growing on a man's face when he has not shaved
    And there were other
    sensations, less definable but more exquisite, which drew them together
    with a shock of silent joy: the cold red of sunset behind winter
    hills, the flight of cloud-flocks over slopes of golden stubble, or the
    intensely blue shadows of hemlocks on sunlit snow.
  1567. one-sided
    favoring one person or side over another
    At our next meeting he made
    no allusion to the book, and our intercourse seemed fated to remain as
    negative and one-sided as if there had been no break in his reserve.
  1568. aromatic
    having a strong pleasant odor
    They passed between the aromatic trunks, the snow
    breaking crisply under their feet, till they came to a small sheet
    of water with steep wooded sides.
  1569. compilation
    the act of putting together
    The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation ("the Foundation"
    or PGLAF), owns a compilation copyright in the collection of Project
    Gutenberg-tm electronic works.
  1570. narrow
    not wide
    Opposite the Varnum gate,
    where the road fell away toward the Corbury valley, the church reared
    its slim white steeple and narrow peristyle.
  1571. venture
    an undertaking with an uncertain outcome
    He never turned his face to mine, or
    answered, except in monosyllables, the questions I put, or such slight
    pleasantries as I ventured.
  1572. ray of light
    a column of light (as from a beacon)
    He was a prisoner for
    life, and now his one ray of light was to be extinguished.
  1573. aunt
    the sister of your father or mother; the wife of your uncle
    "I've got my shooting pains so bad that I'm going over to Bettsbridge
    to spend the night with Aunt Martha Pierce and see that new doctor," she
    answered in a matter-of-fact tone, as if she had said she was going into
    the store-room to take a look at the preserves, or up to the attic to go
    over the blankets.
  1574. stray
    wander from a direct course or at random
    Then, toward
    sunset, coming down from the mountain where he had been felling timber,
    he had been caught by some strayed revellers and drawn into the group by
    the lake, where Mattie, encircled by facetious youths, and bright as
    a blackberry under her spreading hat, was brewing coffee over a gipsy
    fire.
  1575. for free
    without payment
    - You comply with all other terms of this agreement for free
    distribution of Project Gutenberg-tm works.

    1.E.9.
  1576. left-hand
    intended for the left hand
    At intervals, however, the
    post-master would hand him an envelope addressed to Mrs. Zenobia--or Mrs.
    Zeena-Frome, and usually bearing conspicuously in the upper left-hand
    corner the address of some manufacturer of patent medicine and the name
    of his specific.
  1577. immeasurably
    to an immeasurable degree; beyond measurement
    As they took wing for this it seemed to him that they were
    flying indeed, flying far up into the cloudy night, with Starkfield
    immeasurably below them, falling away like a speck in space...
  1578. registered
    listed or recorded officially
    Project
    Gutenberg is a registered trademark, and may not be used if you
    charge for the eBooks, unless you receive specific permission.
  1579. turned on
    feeling great sexual desire
    She turned on him with a sudden flash of
    indignation.
  1580. reaching
    the act of physically reaching or thrusting out
    Unhappily Orin Silver, a man of
    far- reaching aims, had died too soon to prove that the end justifies the
    means.
  1581. rapture
    a state of being carried away by overwhelming emotion
    To
    prolong the effect he groped for a dazzling phrase, and brought out, in
    a growl of rapture: "Come along."
  1582. acquirement
    an ability that has been acquired by training
    Such tastes and acquirements in a man of his condition made the contrast
    more poignant between his outer situation and his inner needs, and I
    hoped that the chance of giving expression to the latter might at least
    unseal his lips.
  1583. talk
    use language
    The young folks
    was all friends, and I guess she just can't bear to talk about it.
  1584. quiet
    characterized by an absence of agitation or activity
    For years that quiet
    company had mocked his restlessness, his desire for change and freedom.
  1585. file
    record in a public office or in a court of law
    End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton

    *** END OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK ETHAN FROME ***

    ***** This file should be named 4517.txt or 4517.zip
  1586. manger
    a container from which cattle or horses feed
    But the old horse was there alone, mumbling his crib with
    toothless jaws, and Ethan whistled cheerfully while he bedded down the
    grays and shook an extra measure of oats into their mangers.
  1587. expressive
    characterized by communicating beliefs or opinions
    It had been one of the wonders of their intercourse that from
    the first, she, the quicker, finer, more expressive, instead of crushing
    him by the contrast, had given him something of her own ease and
    freedom; but now he felt as heavy and loutish as in his student days,
    when he had tried to "jolly" the Worcester girls at a picnic.
  1588. dress
    put on clothes
    One cold winter morning, as he dressed in the dark,
    his candle flickering in the draught of the ill-fitting window, he had
    heard her speak from the bed behind him.
  1589. pipe
    a hollow cylindrical shape
    For the first time they would be alone together indoors, and they would
    sit there, one on each side of the stove, like a married couple, he in
    his stocking feet and smoking his pipe, she laughing and talking in that
    funny way she had, which was always as new to him as if he had never
    heard her before.
  1590. create
    bring into existence
    Creating the works from public domain print editions means that no
    one owns a United States copyright in these works, so the Foundation
    (and you!) can copy and distribute it in the United States without
    permission and without paying copyright royalties.
  1591. inaccurate
    not exact
    Despite these efforts, Project Gutenberg-tm electronic
    works, and the medium on which they may be stored, may contain
    "Defects," such as, but not limited to, incomplete, inaccurate or
    corrupt data, transcription errors, a copyright or other intellectual
    property infringement, a defective or damaged disk or other medium, a
    computer virus, or computer codes that damage or cannot be read by
    your equipment.

    1.F.2.
  1592. month
    one of the twelve divisions of the calendar year
    When I had been there a little longer, and had seen this
    phase of crystal clearness followed by long stretches of sunless cold;
    when the storms of February had pitched their white tents about the
    devoted village and the wild cavalry of March winds had charged down to
    their support; I began to understand why Starkfield emerged from its
    six months' siege like a starved garrison capitulating without quarter.
  1593. posting
    a sign posted in a public place as an advertisement
    Title: Ethan Frome

    Author: Edith Wharton

    Release Date: October, 2003 [Etext #4517]
    Posting Date: February 4, 2010

    Language: English

    Character set encoding: ASCII

    *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK ETHAN FROME ***




    Produced by Charles Aldarondo





    ETHAN FROME


    By Edith Wharton




    ETHAN FROME



    I had the story, bit by bit, from various people, and, as generally
    happens in such cases, each time it was a different story.
  1594. retreat
    the act of withdrawing or going backward
    I questioned Harmon, looking after
    Frome's retreating figure, and thinking how gallantly his lean brown
    head, with its shock of light hair, must have sat on his strong
    shoulders before they were bent out of shape.
  1595. recognise
    perceive to be the same
    He was an old friend of
    Ethan's family, and his house one of the few to which Zeena occasionally
    went, drawn there by the fact that Mrs. Hale, in her youth, had done
    more "doctoring" than any other woman in Starkfield, and was still a
    recognised authority on symptoms and treatment.
  1596. drawing
    a representation of forms or objects on a surface by means of lines
    The "smash-up" it was--I gathered from the same informant--which, besides
    drawing the red gash across Ethan Frome's forehead, had so shortened and
    warped his right side that it cost him a visible effort to take the few
    steps from his buggy to the post-office window.
  1597. drily
    in a dry laconic manner
    It was neither whining nor reproachful, but drily
    resolute.
  1598. live with
    tolerate or accommodate oneself to
    Mrs. Hale's father had been the
    village lawyer of the previous generation, and "lawyer Varnum's house,"
    where my landlady still lived with her mother, was the most considerable
    mansion in the village.
  1599. mournful
    expressing sorrow
    He did not even
    know whether any one else in the world felt as he did, or whether he
    was the sole victim of this mournful privilege.
  1600. compunction
    a feeling of deep regret, usually for some misdeed
    Her
    look smote him with compunction, and he cried out, as if he saw her
    drowning in a dream: "You can't go, Matt!
  1601. smother
    deprive of oxygen and prevent from breathing
    The small ray of Frome's lantern was soon lost in this smothering
    medium, in which even his sense of direction, and the bay's homing
    instinct, finally ceased to serve us.
  1602. befitting
    appropriate to
    Ethan tried to say something befitting the occasion, but there was only
    one thought in his mind: the fact that, for the first time since
    Mattie had come to live with them, Zeena was to be away for a night.
  1603. linked
    connected, as railway cars or trailer trucks
    Whether because of its symbolic sense, the image
    it presents of a life linked with the soil, and enclosing in itself the
    chief sources of warmth and nourishment, or whether merely because
    of the consolatory thought that it enables the dwellers in that harsh
    climate to get to their morning's work without facing the weather, it
    is certain that the "L" rather than the house itself seems to be the
    centre, the actual hearth-stone of the New England farm.
  1604. pucker
    gather something into small wrinkles or folds
    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.
  1605. fly on
    continue flying
    The sled started with a bound, and they flew on through the dusk,
    gathering smoothness and speed as they went, with the hollow night
    opening out below them and the air singing by like an organ.
  1606. whitewashed
    coated with whitewash
    The metal reflectors of the
    gas-jets sent crude waves of light against the whitewashed walls, and
    the iron flanks of the stove at the end of the hall looked as though
    they were heaving with volcanic fires.
  1607. relaxing
    affording physical or mental rest
    A mournful
    peace hung on the fields, as though they felt the relaxing grasp of the
    cold and stretched themselves in their long winter sleep.
  1608. sensibility
    mental responsiveness and awareness
    It was not that Mrs. Ned Hale felt, or affected, any social superiority
    to the people about her; it was only that the accident of a finer
    sensibility and a little more education had put just enough distance
    between herself and her neighbours to enable her to judge them with
    detachment.
  1609. hugging
    affectionate play
    Thence, still hugging
    the shadow, he edged his way cautiously forward to the nearest window,
    holding back his straight spare body and craning his neck till he got a
    glimpse of the room.
  1610. feeling
    a physical sensation that you experience
    She had an eye to see and an ear to hear: he could show her
    things and tell her things, and taste the bliss of feeling that all he
    imparted left long reverberations and echoes he could wake at will.
  1611. free
    able to act at will
    The mere fact of obeying her orders, of feeling free to go about
    his business again and talk with other men, restored his shaken balance
    and magnified his sense of what he owed her.
  1612. go to bed
    prepare for sleep
    He even crept down on Saturday nights to scrub the kitchen floor after
    the women had gone to bed; and Zeena, one day, had surprised him at the
    churn and had turned away silently, with one of her queer looks.
  1613. scene
    the place where some action occurs
    "That's my place," said Frome, with a sideway jerk of his lame elbow;
    and in the distress and oppression of the scene I did not know what to
    answer.
  1614. taste
    the faculty of distinguishing sweet, sour, bitter, and salty properties in the mouth
    Such tastes and acquirements in a man of his condition made the contrast
    more poignant between his outer situation and his inner needs, and I
    hoped that the chance of giving expression to the latter might at least
    unseal his lips.
  1615. northerly
    situated in or oriented toward the north
    And all the first winter, how she had shivered with cold when
    the northerly gales shook the thin clapboards and the snow beat like
    hail against the loose-hung windows!
  1616. profile
    an outline of something, especially a face from the side
    Ethan Frome drove in silence, the reins
    loosely held in his left hand, his brown seamed profile, under the
    helmet-like peak of the cap, relieved against the banks of snow like the
    bronze image of a hero.
  1617. appeal
    earnest or urgent request
    He had always been more
    sensitive than the people about him to the appeal of natural beauty.
  1618. comparable to
    worthy of comparison; as good as
    Mattie Silver had lived under his roof for a year, and from early
    morning till they met at supper he had frequent chances of seeing her;
    but no moments in her company were comparable to those when, her arm in
    his, and her light step flying to keep time with his long stride, they
    walked back through the night to the farm.
  1619. carry through
    put in effect
    "We're kinder side-tracked here now," he added, "but there was
    considerable passing before the railroad was carried through to the
    Flats."
  1620. transparent
    transmitting light; able to be seen through with clarity
    The moon had set, but the night was
    so transparent that the white house-fronts between the elms looked gray
    against the snow, clumps of bushes made black stains on it, and the
    basement windows of the church sent shafts of yellow light far across
    the endless undulations.
  1621. be quiet
    refuse to talk or stop talking; fall silent
    To this retreat he descended as soon as the house was quiet, and Zeena's
    steady breathing from the bed had assured him that there was to be
    no sequel to the scene in the kitchen.
  1622. husband
    a male partner in a marriage
    "You might 'a' shook
    off that snow outside," she said to her husband.
  1623. silently
    without speaking
    He even crept down on Saturday nights to scrub the kitchen floor after
    the women had gone to bed; and Zeena, one day, had surprised him at the
    churn and had turned away silently, with one of her queer looks.
  1624. facial
    of or concerning the front of the head
    Jotham's facial muscles were unmoved by this appeal and, his vocabulary
    being limited, he merely repeated: "I guess I'll go along back."
  1625. fastened
    firmly closed or secured
    Andrew Hale was a ruddy man with a big gray moustache and a stubbly
    double-chin unconstrained by a collar; but his scrupulously clean shirt
    was always fastened by a small diamond stud.
  1626. tingling
    a somatic sensation as from many tiny prickles
    Ethan felt confusedly that there were many things he ought
    to think about, but through his tingling veins and tired brain only one
    sensation throbbed: the warmth of Mattie's shoulder against his.
  1627. all told
    with everything included or counted
    "Yes; and my folks all told me at the time you couldn't do no less than
    marry me after--"

    "Zeena!"
  1628. given
    acknowledged as a supposition
    Denis Eady was
    the son of Michael Eady, the ambitious Irish grocer, whose suppleness
    and effrontery had given Starkfield its first notion of "smart" business
    methods, and whose new brick store testified to the success of the
    attempt.
  1629. shadowy
    filled with shade
    By this time they had passed beyond Frome's earshot and he could only
    follow the shadowy pantomime of their silhouettes as they continued
    to move along the crest of the slope above him.
  1630. lustrous
    reflecting light
    Then, striking upward, it
    threw a lustrous fleck on her lips, edged her eyes with velvet shade,
    and laid a milky whiteness above the black curve of her brows.
  1631. in writing
    written or drawn or engraved
    - You provide a full refund of any money paid by a user who notifies
    you in writing (or by e-mail) within 30 days of receipt that s/he
    does not agree to the terms of the full Project Gutenberg-tm
    License.
  1632. little
    limited or below average in number or quantity or magnitude
    When I had been there a little longer, and had seen this
    phase of crystal clearness followed by long stretches of sunless cold;
    when the storms of February had pitched their white tents about the
    devoted village and the wild cavalry of March winds had charged down to
    their support; I began to understand why Starkfield emerged from its
    six months' siege like a starved garrison capitulating without quarter.
  1633. get away
    run away from confinement
    Most of the smart ones get away."
  1634. book
    an object consisting of a number of pages bound together
    I thought
    no more about it till I got into the sleigh again that evening, and saw
    the book in Frome's hand.
  1635. bind
    secure with or as if with ropes
    He seemed a part of the mute melancholy
    landscape, an incarnation of its frozen woe, with all that was warm
    and sentient in him fast bound below the surface; but there was nothing
    unfriendly in his silence.
  1636. hesitatingly
    with hesitation; in a hesitant manner
    Frome stood hesitatingly before her as she advanced; then he looked at
    me and said: "This is my wife, Mis' Frome."
  1637. shaft
    a long rod or pole, especially the body of a weapon
    The moon had set, but the night was
    so transparent that the white house-fronts between the elms looked gray
    against the snow, clumps of bushes made black stains on it, and the
    basement windows of the church sent shafts of yellow light far across
    the endless undulations.
  1638. get about
    move around; move from place to place
    "It got about the next day," she went
    on, "that Zeena Frome had sent Mattie off in a hurry because she had a
    hired girl coming, and the folks here could never rightly tell what she
    and Ethan were doing that night coasting, when they'd ought to have been
    on their way to the Flats to ketch the train...
  1639. beneath
    in or to a place that is lower
    He was still kneeling when his eyes, on a level with the lower panel of
    the door, caught a faint ray beneath it.
  1640. sleep
    a natural and periodic state of rest
    "No. I just felt so mean I couldn't sleep."
  1641. shine
    emit light; be bright, as of the sun or a light
    The kitchen was a poor place, not "spruce" and shining as his
    mother had kept it in his boyhood; but it was surprising what a homelike
    look the mere fact of Zeena's absence gave it.
  1642. small
    limited or below average in number or quantity or magnitude
    It stood at one end of the main street, its
    classic portico and small-paned windows looking down a flagged path
    between Norway spruces to the slim white steeple of the Congregational
    church.
  1643. elasticity
    the tendency of a body to return to its original shape
    The pure air, and the
    long summer hours in the open, gave back life and elasticity to Mattie,
    and Zeena, with more leisure to devote to her complex ailments, grew
    less watchful of the girl's omissions; so that Ethan, struggling on
    under the burden of his barren farm and failing saw-mill, could at least
    imagine that peace reigned in his house.
  1644. rain
    water falling in drops from vapor in the atmosphere
    The
    iron heavens seemed to melt and rain down sweetness.
  1645. job
    a specific piece of work required to be done as a duty
    I had been sent up by my employers on a job connected with the big
    power-house at Corbury Junction, and a long-drawn carpenters' strike
    had so delayed the work that I found myself anchored at Starkfield--the
    nearest habitable spot--for the best part of the winter.
  1646. medium
    the surrounding environment
    The small ray of Frome's lantern was soon lost in this smothering
    medium, in which even his sense of direction, and the bay's homing
    instinct, finally ceased to serve us.
  1647. thrice
    three times
    Twice or thrice before she had suddenly
    packed Ethan's valise and started off to Bettsbridge, or even
    Springfield, to seek the advice of some new doctor, and her husband had
    grown to dread these expeditions because of their cost.
  1648. years
    a prolonged period of time
    It was there that, several years ago, I saw him for the first time; and
    the sight pulled me up sharp.
  1649. dispose
    give, sell, or transfer to another
    She was quick to learn, but forgetful
    and dreamy, and not disposed to take the matter seriously.
  1650. wear
    put clothing on one's body
    The next morning, when I looked out, I saw the hollow-backed bay between
    the Varnum spruces, and Ethan Frome, throwing back his worn bearskin,
    made room for me in the sleigh at his side.
  1651. indifferent
    marked by a lack of interest
    All the dwellers in Starkfield, as in more notable communities, had had
    troubles enough of their own to make them comparatively indifferent to
    those of their neighbours; and though all conceded that Ethan Frome's
    had been beyond the common measure, no one gave me an explanation of the
    look in his face which, as I persisted in thinking, neither poverty
    nor physical suffering could have put there.
  1652. blue
    of the color intermediate between green and violet
    When this happened he would listen quietly, his blue eyes on the
    speaker's face, and answer in so low a tone that his words never reached
    me; then he would climb stiffly into his buggy, gather up the reins in
    his left hand and drive slowly away in the direction of his farm.
  1653. much
    great in quantity or degree or extent
    It was not so much
    his great height that marked him, for the "natives" were easily singled
    out by their lank longitude from the stockier foreign breed: it was the
    careless powerful look he had, in spite of a lameness checking each step
    like the jerk of a chain.
  1654. close to
    (of quantities) imprecise but fairly close to correct
    She was there, then, close to him, only a thin board between.
  1655. precision
    the quality of being reproducible in amount or performance
    To
    Ethan, still in the rosy haze of his hour with Mattie, the sight came
    with the intense precision of the last dream before waking.
  1656. immensity
    unusual largeness in size or extent or number
    Beyond the orchard
    lay a field or two, their boundaries lost under drifts; and above the
    fields, huddled against the white immensities of land and sky, one of
    those lonely New England farm-houses that make the landscape lonelier.
  1657. lie in wait
    wait in hiding to attack
    Then the
    big elm shot up ahead, lying in wait for them at the bend of the road,
    and he said between his teeth: "We can fetch it; I know we can fetch
    it--"

    As they flew toward the tree Mattie pressed her arms tighter, and her
    blood seemed to be in his veins.
  1658. mock
    treat with contempt
    "Is that what they say?" she mocked back at him; then, with a sudden
    drop of her sweet treble: "You mean that Zeena--ain't suited with me any
    more?" she faltered.
  1659. grow
    increase in size by natural process
    "Come in," he said; and as he spoke the droning voice grew still...
  1660. New England
    a region of northeastern United States comprising Maine and New Hampshire and Vermont and Massachusetts and Rhode Island and Connecticut
    Beyond the orchard
    lay a field or two, their boundaries lost under drifts; and above the
    fields, huddled against the white immensities of land and sky, one of
    those lonely New England farm-houses that make the landscape lonelier.
  1661. push through
    break out
    I thought
    it probable that my train would be delayed; but I had to be at the
    power-house for an hour or two that afternoon, and I decided, if Frome
    turned up, to push through to the Flats and wait there till my train
    came in.
  1662. bound
    confined by bonds
    He seemed a part of the mute melancholy
    landscape, an incarnation of its frozen woe, with all that was warm
    and sentient in him fast bound below the surface; but there was nothing
    unfriendly in his silence.
  1663. vainly
    to no avail
    "I know I ain't anything like as smart as I ought to be," she went on,
    while he vainly struggled for expression.
  1664. glad
    showing or causing joy and pleasure; especially made happy
    Then Harmon Gow suggested that Ethan Frome's
    bay was still on his legs and that his owner might be glad to drive me
    over.
  1665. finish
    come or bring to an end
    I finished
    my business as quickly as possible, and we set out for Starkfield with
    a good chance of getting there for supper.
  1666. precedent
    an example that is used to justify similar occurrences
    In spite of her sedentary habits such abrupt decisions were not without
    precedent in Zeena's history.
  1667. almost
    slightly short of or not quite accomplished; all but
    The Project Gutenberg EBook of Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton

    This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
    almost no restrictions whatsoever.
  1668. saying
    a word or phrase that particular people use in particular situations
    He had now no doubt that Zeena had spoken the truth in saying,
    the night before, that she had sat up because she felt "too mean" to
    sleep: her abrupt resolve to seek medical advice showed that, as usual,
    she was wholly absorbed in her health.
  1669. inlaid
    adorned by inlays
    As he lay there, the window-pane that faced him, growing gradually
    lighter, inlaid upon the darkness a square of moon-suffused sky.
  1670. forget
    dismiss from the mind; stop remembering
    In the black shade of the Varnum spruces he caught up with her and she
    turned with a quick "Oh!"

    "Think I'd forgotten you, Matt?" he asked with sheepish glee.
  1671. nearness
    the spatial property resulting from a relatively small distance
    It was the
    first time that Mattie had ever written to him, and the possession of
    the paper gave him a strange new sense of her nearness; yet it deepened
    his anguish by reminding him that henceforth they would have no other
    way of communicating with each other.
  1672. engineering
    applying scientific knowledge to practical problems
    Once I
    happened to speak of an engineering job I had been on the previous year
    in Florida, and of the contrast between the winter landscape about us
    and that in which I had found myself the year before; and to my surprise
    Frome said suddenly: "Yes: I was down there once, and for a good while
    afterward I could call up the sight of it in winter.
  1673. soon
    in the near future
    The small ray of Frome's lantern was soon lost in this smothering
    medium, in which even his sense of direction, and the bay's homing
    instinct, finally ceased to serve us.
  1674. pleading
    begging
    He had meant to humble himself, to argue that Mattie's keep didn't cost
    much, after all, that he could make out to buy a stove and fix up a
    place in the attic for the hired girl--but Zeena's words revealed the
    peril of such pleadings.
  1675. placidly
    in a quiet and tranquil manner
    "Now then, go
    'long," he said, with a shake of the reins that sent the sorrel placidly
    jogging down the hill.
  1676. father
    a male parent
    Fust his father--then his mother--then his wife."
  1677. look after
    keep under careful scrutiny
    I questioned Harmon, looking after
    Frome's retreating figure, and thinking how gallantly his lean brown
    head, with its shock of light hair, must have sat on his strong
    shoulders before they were bent out of shape.
  1678. astride
    with one leg on each side
    He had scrambled
    up on the logs, and was sitting astride of them, close over his shaggy
    grays, when, coming between him and their streaming necks, he had a
    vision of the warning look that Mattie had given him the night before.
  1679. draw away
    remove by drawing or pulling
    A slatternly calico wrapper hung from her shoulders
    and the wisps of her thin grey hair were drawn away from a high forehead
    and fastened at the back by a broken comb.
  1680. retort
    a quick reply to a question or remark
    When she spoke
    it was only to complain, and to complain of things not in his power to
    remedy; and to check a tendency to impatient retort he had first formed
    the habit of not answering her, and finally of thinking of other things
    while she talked.
  1681. level
    a relative position or degree of value in a graded group
    He was still kneeling when his eyes, on a level with the lower panel of
    the door, caught a faint ray beneath it.
  1682. forked
    resembling a fork; divided or separated into two branches
    Abreast of the schoolhouse the road forked, and we dipped down a lane
    to the left, between hemlock boughs bent inward to their trunks by the
    weight of the snow.
  1683. get it
    understand, usually after some initial difficulty
    But after the trains begun running nobody ever
    come by here to speak of, and mother never could get it through her head
    what had happened, and it preyed on her right along till she died."
  1684. hyacinth
    any of numerous bulbous perennial herbs
    He followed her and brought the
    other geraniums, the hyacinth bulbs in a cracked custard bowl and the
    German ivy trained over an old croquet hoop.
  1685. spangled
    covered with beads or jewels or sequins
    The afternoon was drawing to an end, and here and there a lighted pane
    spangled the cold gray dusk and made the snow look whiter.
  1686. business
    the principal activity in one's life to earn money
    He was not the kind of man to be
    turned from his business by any commotion of the elements; and at
    the appointed hour his sleigh glided up through the snow like a
    stage-apparition behind thickening veils of gauze.
  1687. apple tree
    any tree of the genus Malus especially those bearing firm rounded edible fruits
    About a mile farther, on a road I had never
    travelled, we came to an orchard of starved apple-trees writhing over
    a hillside among outcroppings of slate that nuzzled up through the snow
    like animals pushing out their noses to breathe.
  1688. smile
    a facial expression with the corners of the mouth turned up
    He had taken to the girl from
    the first day, when he had driven over to the Flats to meet her, and
    she had smiled and waved to him from the train, crying out, "You must be
    Ethan!" as she jumped down with her bundles, while he reflected, looking
    over her slight person: "She don't look much on housework, but she ain't
    a fretter, anyhow."
  1689. fleck
    a small contrasting part of something
    Then, striking upward, it
    threw a lustrous fleck on her lips, edged her eyes with velvet shade,
    and laid a milky whiteness above the black curve of her brows.
  1690. warn
    notify of danger, potential harm, or risk
    Two or three times some ghostly
    landmark sprang up to warn us that we were astray, and then was sucked
    back into the mist; and when we finally regained our road the old horse
    began to show signs of exhaustion.
  1691. helping
    an individual quantity of food or drink taken as part of a meal
    Sickness and trouble: that's what Ethan's
    had his plate full up with, ever since the very first helping."
  1692. stainless
    (of reputation) free from blemishes
    It was
    formed of Zeena's obstinate silence, of Mattie's sudden look of warning,
    of the memory of just such fleeting imperceptible signs as those which
    told him, on certain stainless mornings, that before night there would
    be rain.
  1693. emerge
    come out into view, as from concealment
    When I had been there a little longer, and had seen this
    phase of crystal clearness followed by long stretches of sunless cold;
    when the storms of February had pitched their white tents about the
    devoted village and the wild cavalry of March winds had charged down to
    their support; I began to understand why Starkfield emerged from its
    six months' siege like a starved garrison capitulating without quarter.
  1694. reflection
    the phenomenon of a propagating wave being thrown back
    Frome turned away again, and taking up his razor stooped to catch the
    reflection of his stretched cheek in the blotched looking-glass above
    the wash-stand.
  1695. bit
    a small piece or quantity of something
    Title: Ethan Frome

    Author: Edith Wharton

    Release Date: October, 2003 [Etext #4517]
    Posting Date: February 4, 2010

    Language: English

    Character set encoding: ASCII

    *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK ETHAN FROME ***




    Produced by Charles Aldarondo





    ETHAN FROME


    By Edith Wharton




    ETHAN FROME



    I had the story, bit by bit, from various people, and, as generally
    happens in such cases, each time it was a different story.
  1696. undertaker
    one whose business is the management of funerals
    When the end came
    it was she who had to tell him to hitch up and go for the undertaker,
    and she thought it "funny" that he had not settled beforehand who was
    to have his mother's clothes and the sewing-machine.
  1697. medley
    a musical composition consisting of a series of songs
    Here, after
    considerable search, and sympathetic questions as to what he wanted
    it for, and whether ordinary flour paste wouldn't do as well if she
    couldn't find it, the widow Homan finally hunted down her solitary
    bottle of glue to its hiding-place in a medley of cough-lozenges and
    corset-laces.
  1698. roof
    a protective covering that covers or forms the top of a building
    I had often walked that way on Sundays, and knew
    that the solitary roof showing through bare branches near the bottom of
    the hill was that of Frome's saw-mill.
  1699. cousin
    the child of your aunt or uncle
    Frome was in the habit of walking into Starkfield to fetch home his
    wife's cousin, Mattie Silver, on the rare evenings when some chance of
    amusement drew her to the village.
  1700. reflectively
    in a reflective manner
    "Aunt Martha's ain't got a
    faded leaf on 'em; but they pine away when they ain't cared for," she
    said reflectively.
  1701. supposed
    required or under orders
    One would have supposed that such an atmosphere must
    quicken the emotions as well as the blood; but it seemed to produce
    no change except that of retarding still more the sluggish pulse of
    Starkfield.
  1702. strange
    unusual or out of the ordinary
    It was strange that the
    girl did not seem aware of it: that she could lift her rapt face to her
    dancer's, and drop her hands into his, without appearing to feel the
    offence of his look and touch.
  1703. prop
    a support placed beneath or against something to keep it from shaking or falling
    Hale sat with his feet up on the stove, his back propped against
    a battered desk strewn with papers: the place, like the man, was warm,
    genial and untidy.
  1704. pressing
    compelling immediate action
    She lingered, pressing closer to his side.
  1705. thinking
    endowed with the capacity to reason
    I questioned Harmon, looking after
    Frome's retreating figure, and thinking how gallantly his lean brown
    head, with its shock of light hair, must have sat on his strong
    shoulders before they were bent out of shape.
  1706. negation
    the speech act of denying or refusing
    But when winter
    shut down on Starkfield and the village lay under a sheet of snow
    perpetually renewed from the pale skies, I began to see what life
    there--or rather its negation--must have been in Ethan Frome's young
    manhood.
  1707. another
    any of various alternatives; some other
    In the "best parlour," with its black horse-hair and mahogany weakly
    illuminated by a gurgling Carcel lamp, I listened every evening to
    another and more delicately shaded version of the Starkfield chronicle.
  1708. derive
    come from
    If an individual Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work is derived
    from the public domain (does not contain a notice indicating that it is
    posted with permission of the copyright holder), the work can be copied
    and distributed to anyone in the United States without paying any fees
    or charges.
  1709. fumbling
    showing lack of skill or aptitude
    He was getting into his clothes in fumbling haste.
  1710. nothing
    in no respect; to no degree
    He seemed a part of the mute melancholy
    landscape, an incarnation of its frozen woe, with all that was warm
    and sentient in him fast bound below the surface; but there was nothing
    unfriendly in his silence.
  1711. question
    a sentence of inquiry that asks for a reply
    I questioned Harmon, looking after
    Frome's retreating figure, and thinking how gallantly his lean brown
    head, with its shock of light hair, must have sat on his strong
    shoulders before they were bent out of shape.
  1712. ignore
    refuse to acknowledge
    There had never been anything in her that
    one could appeal to; but as long as he could ignore and command he had
    remained indifferent.
  1713. lower
    move something or somebody to a lower position
    As the young man walked
    toward it the upper windows drew a black arcade along the side wall of
    the building, but from the lower openings, on the side where the ground
    sloped steeply down to the Corbury road, the light shot its long bars,
    illuminating many fresh furrows in the track leading to the basement
    door, and showing, under an adjoining shed, a line of sleighs with
    heavily blanketed horses.
  1714. darkened
    become or made dark by lack of light
    At the end of the village he paused before the darkened front of the
    church.
  1715. restore
    bring back into original existence, function, or position
    When she tried to extend the
    field of her activities in the direction of stenography and book-keeping
    her health broke down, and six months on her feet behind the counter of
    a department store did not tend to restore it.
  1716. neighbour
    a person who lives (or is located) near another
    These documents my neighbour would also pocket without
    a glance, as if too much used to them to wonder at their number and
    variety, and would then turn away with a silent nod to the post-master.
  1717. boot
    footwear that covers the whole foot and lower leg
    Frome scrambled up the slippery steps of the porch, digging
    a way through the snow with his heavily booted foot.
  1718. outdoors
    outside a building
    "No, I didn't forget; but it's as dark as Egypt outdoors.
  1719. accelerated
    speeded up, as of an academic course
    Ethan's long strides grew more rapid
    with the accelerated beat of his thoughts, and as he reached the foot of
    School House Hill he caught sight of Hale's sleigh in the distance.
  1720. stroking
    a light touch with the hands
    Her hat had slipped back and he was stroking
    her hair.
  1721. neighbourhood
    a surrounding or nearby region
    Zeena, who had at her fingers' ends the
    pathological chart of the whole region, had cited many cases of the kind
    while she was nursing his mother; and he himself knew of certain lonely
    farm-houses in the neighbourhood where stricken creatures pined, and
    of others where sudden tragedy had come of their presence.
  1722. outside
    the region that is outside of something
    As he stood in the darkness outside the church these memories came back
    with the poignancy of vanished things.
  1723. pretext
    something serving to conceal plans
    He knew that Zeena must be wondering why he did not offer to drive her
    to the Flats and let Jotham Powell take the lumber to Starkfield, and
    at first he could not think of a pretext for not doing so; then he said:
    "I'd take you over myself, only I've got to collect the cash for the
    lumber."
  1724. colour
    a visual attribute of things from the light they emit
    The musicians hurried to their instruments, the dancers--some already
    half-muffled for departure--fell into line down each side of the room,
    the older spectators slipped back to their chairs, and the lively young
    man, after diving about here and there in the throng, drew forth a girl
    who had already wound a cherry- coloured "fascinator" about her head,
    and, leading her up to the end of the floor, whirled her down its length
    to the bounding tune of a Virginia reel.
  1725. paw
    a clawed foot of an animal, especially a quadruped
    The cat, unnoticed, had crept up on muffled paws from Zeena's seat to
    the table, and was stealthily elongating its body in the direction
    of the milk-jug, which stood between Ethan and Mattie.
  1726. distinctness
    the quality of being sharp and clear
    She held the light at the same
    level, and it drew out with the same distinctness her slim young throat
    and the brown wrist no bigger than a child's.
  1727. cobweb
    a dense elaborate spider web that is more efficient than the orb web
    The clock ticked above the dresser, a piece
    of charred wood fell now and then in the stove, and the faint sharp
    scent of the geraniums mingled with the odour of Ethan's smoke, which
    began to throw a blue haze about the lamp and to hang its greyish
    cobwebs in the shadowy corners of the room.
  1728. brittle
    having little elasticity
    A red sun stood over the grey
    rim of the fields, behind trees that looked black and brittle.
  1729. brow
    the part of the face above the eyes
    Then, striking upward, it
    threw a lustrous fleck on her lips, edged her eyes with velvet shade,
    and laid a milky whiteness above the black curve of her brows.
  1730. changed
    made or become different in nature or form
    How the
    girl had changed since she had come to Starkfield!
  1731. bluish
    of the color intermediate between green and violet
    Here the snow was so pure that the
    tiny tracks of wood-animals had left on it intricate lace-like patterns,
    and the bluish cones caught in its surface stood out like ornaments of
    bronze.
  1732. hardly
    almost not
    But for this--as Frome sardonically reflected--it would hardly have
    occurred to Zeena to take any thought for the girl's amusement.
  1733. sociable
    inclined to or conducive to companionship with others
    They spoke of every-day things, of the prospect
    of snow, of the next church sociable, of the loves and quarrels of
    Starkfield.
  1734. undressed
    having removed clothing
    Ethan undressed
    hurriedly and blew out the light so that he should not see her when he
    took his place at her side.
  1735. facing
    an ornamental coating to a building
    Whether because of its symbolic sense, the image
    it presents of a life linked with the soil, and enclosing in itself the
    chief sources of warmth and nourishment, or whether merely because
    of the consolatory thought that it enables the dwellers in that harsh
    climate to get to their morning's work without facing the weather, it
    is certain that the "L" rather than the house itself seems to be the
    centre, the actual hearth-stone of the New England farm.
  1736. commemorate
    call to remembrance
    Zeena always
    came back laden with expensive remedies, and her last visit to
    Springfield had been commemorated by her paying twenty dollars for an
    electric battery of which she had never been able to learn the use.
  1737. ankle
    a gliding joint between the tibia and fibula
    The pains are clear away down to my ankles now, or I'd 'a' walked in to
    Starkfield on my own feet, sooner'n put you out, and asked Michael Eady
    to let me ride over on his wagon to the Flats, when he sends to meet the
    train that brings his groceries.
  1738. near
    near in time or place or relationship
    I had often walked that way on Sundays, and knew
    that the solitary roof showing through bare branches near the bottom of
    the hill was that of Frome's saw-mill.
  1739. milky
    resembling milk in color not clear
    Then, striking upward, it
    threw a lustrous fleck on her lips, edged her eyes with velvet shade,
    and laid a milky whiteness above the black curve of her brows.
  1740. grizzled
    having dark hairs mixed with grey or white
    There was something bleak and unapproachable
    in his face, and he was so stiffened and grizzled that I took him for an
    old man and was surprised to hear that he was not more than fifty-two.
  1741. shapeless
    having no definite form or distinct shape
    Under her shapeless dress her body kept its
    limp immobility, and her dark eyes had the bright witch-like stare that
    disease of the spine sometimes gives.
  1742. intensely
    in an intense manner
    It was during their night walks back to the farm that he felt most
    intensely the sweetness of this communion.
  1743. obtain
    come into possession of
    His wife died of the
    disclosure, and Mattie, at twenty, was left alone to make her way on the
    fifty dollars obtained from the sale of her piano.
  1744. spin
    revolve quickly and repeatedly around one's own axis
    But now, as he stood outside the church, and saw
    Mattie spinning down the floor with Denis Eady, a throng of disregarded
    hints and menaces wove their cloud about his brain....
  1745. reveal
    make visible
    To keep out of range of the revealing rays
    from within he made a circuit through the untrodden snow and gradually
    approached the farther angle of the basement wall.
  1746. jealousy
    a feeling of envy, especially of a rival
    His wife had never shown any jealousy of Mattie, but of late she had
    grumbled increasingly over the house-work and found oblique ways of
    attracting attention to the girl's inefficiency.
  1747. bared
    having the head uncovered
    She had plunged the breakfast
    dishes into a tin dish-pan and was bending above it with her slim arms
    bared to the elbow, the steam from the hot water beading her forehead
    and tightening her rough hair into little brown rings like the tendrils
    on the traveller's joy.
  1748. reserve
    hold back or set aside, especially for future use
    There
    was no hint of disapproval in her reserve; I merely felt in her an
    insurmountable reluctance to speak of him or his affairs, a low "Yes, I
    knew them both... it was awful..." seeming to be the utmost concession
    that her distress could make to my curiosity.
  1749. cloud
    a visible mass of water or ice particles suspended at a considerable altitude
    But at sunset the clouds
    gathered again, bringing an earlier night, and the snow began to fall
    straight and steadily from a sky without wind, in a soft universal
    diffusion more confusing than the gusts and eddies of the morning.
  1750. thumping
    a heavy dull sound (as made by impact of heavy objects)
    The earth
    lay dark under a muffled sky and the air was so still that now and then
    he heard a lump of snow come thumping down from a tree far off on the
    edge of the wood-lot.
  1751. eaves
    the overhang at the lower edge of a roof
    He had never been in her room except once, in the early summer, when
    he had gone there to plaster up a leak in the eaves, but he remembered
    exactly how everything had looked: the red-and-white quilt on her narrow
    bed, the pretty pin-cushion on the chest of drawers, and over it the
    enlarged photograph of her mother, in an oxydized frame, with a bunch of
    dyed grasses at the back.
  1752. fall asleep
    change from a waking to a sleeping state
    He fell asleep, and when he woke the chill of the winter dawn was in the
    room.
  1753. relapse
    deteriorate in health
    He said no more, and I had to guess the rest from the inflection of his
    voice and his sharp relapse into silence.
  1754. household
    a social unit living together in a residence
    I had been told that Frome was poor, and that the saw-mill and the arid
    acres of his farm yielded scarcely enough to keep his household through
    the winter; but I had not supposed him to be in such want as Harmon's
    words implied, and I expressed my wonder.
  1755. make up
    form or compose
    She had taken everything
    else from him; and now she meant to take the one thing that made up for
    all the others.
  1756. get into
    to come or go into
    Another day, on getting into my train at the Flats, I missed a volume
    of popular science--I think it was on some recent discoveries in
    bio-chemistry--which I had carried with me to read on the way.
  1757. torturing
    the deliberate, systematic, or wanton infliction of physical or mental suffering by one or more persons in an attempt to force another person to yield information or to make a confession or for any other reason
    She stood perfectly still, looking after him, in an attitude of tranquil
    expectancy torturing to the hidden watcher.
  1758. new
    not of long duration
    "There are one or two rather new things in the book: there have been
    some big strides lately in that particular line of research."
  1759. glitter
    the quality of shining with a bright reflected light
    Day by day, after the
    December snows were over, a blazing blue sky poured down torrents
    of light and air on the white landscape, which gave them back in an
    intenser glitter.
  1760. penetrate
    pass into or through, often by overcoming resistance
    Zenobia's fault-finding was of the silent kind, but not the less
    penetrating for that.
  1761. sacrilege
    blasphemous behavior
    "You wanted to make the supper-table pretty; and you waited till my back
    was turned, and took the thing I set most store by of anything I've got,
    and wouldn't never use it, not even when the minister come to dinner,
    or Aunt Martha Pierce come over from Bettsbridge--" Zeena paused with a
    gasp, as if terrified by her own evocation of the sacrilege.
  1762. best
    having the most positive qualities
    I had been sent up by my employers on a job connected with the big
    power-house at Corbury Junction, and a long-drawn carpenters' strike
    had so delayed the work that I found myself anchored at Starkfield--the
    nearest habitable spot--for the best part of the winter.
  1763. conical
    relating to or resembling a cone
    Across its frozen surface, from the
    farther bank, a single hill rising against the western sun threw the
    long conical shadow which gave the lake its name.
  1764. care
    providing treatment for or attending to someone or something
    "Somebody had to stay and care for the folks.
  1765. hint
    an indirect suggestion
    There
    was no hint of disapproval in her reserve; I merely felt in her an
    insurmountable reluctance to speak of him or his affairs, a low "Yes, I
    knew them both... it was awful..." seeming to be the utmost concession
    that her distress could make to my curiosity.
  1766. mounting
    framework used for support or display
    "What does he want you should do?" he asked, with a mounting vision of
    fresh expenses.
  1767. finer
    (comparative of `fine') greater in quality or excellence
    It was not that Mrs. Ned Hale felt, or affected, any social superiority
    to the people about her; it was only that the accident of a finer
    sensibility and a little more education had put just enough distance
    between herself and her neighbours to enable her to judge them with
    detachment.
  1768. twitching
    a sudden muscle spasm
    As he reached the door he met Zeena coming back into the room, her lips
    twitching with anger, a flush of excitement on her sallow face.
  1769. waking
    marked by full consciousness or alertness
    The hush of midnight lay
    on the village, and all its waking life was gathered behind the church
    windows, from which strains of dance-music flowed with the broad bands
    of yellow light.
  1770. clan
    group of people related by blood or marriage
    Mattie Silver was the daughter of
    a cousin of Zenobia Frome's, who had inflamed his clan with mingled
    sentiments of envy and admiration by descending from the hills to
    Connecticut, where he had married a Stamford girl and succeeded to
    her father's thriving "drug" business.
  1771. curl up
    shape one's body into a curl
    In the kitchen Mattie was sitting by the stove, the cat curled up on her
    knees.
  1772. imperceptible
    impossible or difficult to sense
    It was
    formed of Zeena's obstinate silence, of Mattie's sudden look of warning,
    of the memory of just such fleeting imperceptible signs as those which
    told him, on certain stainless mornings, that before night there would
    be rain.
  1773. far
    at or to or from a great distance in space
    Though Harmon Gow developed the tale as far as his mental and moral
    reach permitted there were perceptible gaps between his facts, and I had
    the sense that the deeper meaning of the story was in the gaps.
  1774. abide by
    show respect towards
    If you do not agree to abide by all
    the terms of this agreement, you must cease using and return or destroy
    all copies of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works in your possession.
  1775. incredulity
    doubt about the truth of something
    "Oh, Dr. Buck--" Ethan's incredulity escaped in a short laugh.
  1776. home
    where you live at a particular time
    The small ray of Frome's lantern was soon lost in this smothering
    medium, in which even his sense of direction, and the bay's homing
    instinct, finally ceased to serve us.
  1777. conceive of
    form a mental image of something that is not present or that is not the case
    All his life was lived
    in the sight and sound of Mattie Silver, and he could no longer conceive
    of
    its being otherwise.
  1778. sink
    fall or descend to a lower place or level
    He even noticed two or
    three gestures which, in his fatuity, he had thought she kept for him:
    a way of throwing her head back when she was amused, as if to taste her
    laugh before she let it out, and a trick of sinking her lids slowly when
    anything charmed or moved her.
  1779. sometimes
    on certain occasions or in certain cases but not always
    You know she
    hardly ever says anything, and sometimes I can see she ain't suited,
    and yet I don't know why."
  1780. shot
    the act of firing a projectile
    As the young man walked
    toward it the upper windows drew a black arcade along the side wall of
    the building, but from the lower openings, on the side where the ground
    sloped steeply down to the Corbury road, the light shot its long bars,
    illuminating many fresh furrows in the track leading to the basement
    door, and showing, under an adjoining shed, a line of sleighs with
    heavily blanketed horses.
  1781. hide
    prevent from being seen or discovered
    She stood perfectly still, looking after him, in an attitude of tranquil
    expectancy torturing to the hidden watcher.
  1782. flight
    an instance of traveling by air
    But if that
    were the case, how could any combination of obstacles have hindered the
    flight of a man like Ethan Frome?
  1783. living
    pertaining to living persons
    When Ethan could sweat over 'em both from sunup to dark he kinder choked
    a living out of 'em; but his folks ate up most everything, even then,
    and I don't see how he makes out now.
  1784. custard
    sweetened mixture of milk and eggs baked or boiled or frozen
    He followed her and brought the
    other geraniums, the hyacinth bulbs in a cracked custard bowl and the
    German ivy trained over an old croquet hoop.
  1785. hope
    the general feeling that some desire will be fulfilled
    She was not unwilling to exercise this faculty, and I had
    great hopes of getting from her the missing facts of Ethan Frome's
    story, or rather such a key to his character as should co-ordinate the
    facts I knew.
  1786. venom
    toxin secreted by animals
    Through the obscurity which hid their faces their thoughts seemed to
    dart at each other like serpents shooting venom.
  1787. yard
    enclosed land around a house or other building
    He hung back, and she came out alone and paused within a few yards of
    him.
  1788. sympathetically
    in a sympathetic manner
    You must do just what he tells you," Ethan
    answered sympathetically.
  1789. risen
    (of e.g. celestial bodies) above the horizon
    The black
    wraith of a deciduous creeper flapped from the porch, and the thin
    wooden walls, under their worn coat of paint, seemed to shiver in the
    wind that had risen with the ceasing of the snow.
  1790. contagion
    an incident in which an infectious disease is transmitted
    Mattie seemed to feel the
    contagion of his embarrassment, and sat with downcast lids, sipping her
    tea, while he feigned an insatiable appetite for dough-nuts and sweet
    pickles.
  1791. postage
    the charge for mailing something
    Her head
    was wrapped in her shawl, and she was reading a book called "Kidney
    Troubles and Their Cure" on which he had had to pay extra postage only a
    few days before.
  1792. united
    being or joined into a single entity
    Creating the works from public domain print editions means that no
    one owns a United States copyright in these works, so the Foundation
    (and you!) can copy and distribute it in the United States without
    permission and without paying copyright royalties.
  1793. rushed
    done under pressure
    The blood rushed to his
    thin skin under the sting of Hale's astonishment.
  1794. reticence
    the trait of being uncommunicative
    As we turned into the Corbury road the snow began to fall again, cutting
    off our last glimpse of the house; and Frome's silence fell with it,
    letting down between us the old veil of reticence.
  1795. draw back
    pull or move away
    II


    As the dancers poured out of the hall Frome, drawing back behind the
    projecting storm-door, watched the segregation of the grotesquely
    muffled groups, in which a moving lantern ray now and then lit up a
    face flushed with food and dancing.
  1796. track
    a line or route along which something travels or moves
    "We're kinder side- tracked here now," he added, "but there was
    considerable passing before the railroad was carried through to the
    Flats."
  1797. sour
    one of the four basic taste sensations
    It was what Jotham called a sour morning
    for work, and the horses, shivering and stamping under their wet
    blankets, seemed to like it as little as the men.
  1798. butterfly
    insect typically having a slender body and colorful wings
    She seemed to melt against him in her terror, and he caught her in his
    arms, held her fast there, felt her lashes beat his cheek like netted
    butterflies.
  1799. mild
    humble in spirit or manner
    She ate well, declaring that the mild weather
    made her feel better, and pressed a second helping of beans on Jotham
    Powell, whose wants she generally ignored.
  1800. go with
    go or occur together
    She murmured back: "I think Zeena wants I should go with Jotham."
  1801. glassy
    (used of eyes) lacking liveliness
    He bent down, feeling in the obscurity for the glassy slide
    worn by preceding coasters, and placed the runners carefully between its
    edges.
  1802. so long
    a farewell remark
    He said " So long, Matt," and she answered gaily "So
    long, Ethan"; and that was all.
  1803. couple
    two items of the same kind
    He was aware that he was "talking big," like Denis Eady; but his
    reaction of joy had unsteadied him, and the inflection with which she
    had said of the engaged couple "They're so happy!" made the words sound
    as if she had been thinking of herself and him.
  1804. ruffle
    stir up (water) so as to form ripples
    The clumps of trees in the snow seemed to
    draw together in ruffled lumps, like birds with their heads under their
    wings; and the sky, as it paled, rose higher, leaving the earth more
    alone.
  1805. gash
    cut open
    The "smash-up" it was--I gathered from the same informant--which, besides
    drawing the red gash across Ethan Frome's forehead, had so shortened and
    warped his right side that it cost him a visible effort to take the few
    steps from his buggy to the post-office window.
  1806. change
    become different in some particular way
    One would have supposed that such an atmosphere must
    quicken the emotions as well as the blood; but it seemed to produce
    no change except that of retarding still more the sluggish pulse of
    Starkfield.
  1807. unconsciousness
    a state lacking normal awareness of the self or environment
    "What is it--what is it?" she stammered; but he had found her lips at
    last and was drinking unconsciousness of everything but the joy they
    gave him.
  1808. motion
    the act of changing location from one place to another
    He used to drive in
    from his farm every day at about noon, and as that was my own hour for
    fetching my mail I often passed him in the porch or stood beside him
    while we waited on the motions of the distributing hand behind the
    grating.
  1809. lawyer
    a professional person authorized for legal practice
    Mrs. Hale's father had been the
    village lawyer of the previous generation, and "lawyer Varnum's house,"
    where my landlady still lived with her mother, was the most considerable
    mansion in the village.
  1810. quicken
    move faster
    One would have supposed that such an atmosphere must
    quicken the emotions as well as the blood; but it seemed to produce
    no change except that of retarding still more the sluggish pulse of
    Starkfield.
  1811. gauze
    bleached cotton cloth of plain weave used for bandages
    He was not the kind of man to be
    turned from his business by any commotion of the elements; and at
    the appointed hour his sleigh glided up through the snow like a
    stage-apparition behind thickening veils of gauze.
  1812. catch sight
    see something for a brief time
    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.
  1813. intolerable
    incapable of being put up with
    And the sweetness of Mattie's avowal, the wild wonder of knowing at
    last that all that had happened to him had happened to her too, made the
    other vision more abhorrent, the other life more intolerable to return
    to...
  1814. direction
    a line leading to a place or point
    When this happened he would listen quietly, his blue eyes on the
    speaker's face, and answer in so low a tone that his words never reached
    me; then he would climb stiffly into his buggy, gather up the reins in
    his left hand and drive slowly away in the direction of his farm.
  1815. lighting
    having abundant light or illumination
    But it was not only that the coming to his house of
    a bit of hopeful young life was like the lighting of a fire on a cold
    hearth.
  1816. fiddler
    someone who manipulates in a nervous or unconscious manner
    By this time
    the music had stopped, and the musicians--a fiddler, and the young lady
    who played the harmonium on Sundays--were hastily refreshing themselves
    at one corner of the supper-table which aligned its devastated
    pie-dishes and ice-cream saucers on the platform at the end of the hall.
  1817. inlay
    decorate the surface of by inserting wood, stone, and metal
    As he lay there, the window-pane that faced him, growing gradually
    lighter, inlaid upon the darkness a square of moon-suffused sky.
  1818. ride
    sit and travel on the back of animal, usually while controlling its motions
    "Ain't you riding, Mattie?" a woman's voice called back from the throng
    about the shed, and Ethan's heart gave a jump.
  1819. recklessness
    the trait of giving little thought to danger
    By nature grave and inarticulate, he admired recklessness and gaiety in
    others and was warmed to the marrow by friendly human intercourse.
  1820. good enough
    adequately good for the circumstances
    "If it was good enough for Mattie I
    guess it's good enough for a hired girl."
  1821. elude
    escape, either physically or mentally
    The other he tried to slip through hers; but she eluded him
    nimbly, and Frome's heart, which had swung out over a black void,
    trembled back to safety.
  1822. check
    examine so as to determine accuracy, quality, or condition
    It was not so much
    his great height that marked him, for the "natives" were easily singled
    out by their lank longitude from the stockier foreign breed: it was the
    careless powerful look he had, in spite of a lameness checking each step
    like the jerk of a chain.
  1823. die
    lose all bodily functions necessary to sustain life
    Fust his father got a kick, out
    haying, and went soft in the brain, and gave away money like Bible texts
    afore he died.
  1824. yellow
    yellow color or pigment
    It looked exanimate enough, with
    its idle wheel looming above the black stream dashed with yellow-white
    spume, and its cluster of sheds sagging under their white load.
  1825. stifle
    impair the respiration of or obstruct the air passage of
    He had to stoop his head to catch her stifled whisper: "Where'd I go, if
    I did?"
  1826. meet
    come together
    After that, for a week, he
    drove me over every morning to Corbury Flats, and on my return in the
    afternoon met me again and carried me back through the icy night to
    Starkfield.
  1827. think about
    have on one's mind, think about actively
    Ethan felt confusedly that there were many things he ought
    to think about, but through his tingling veins and tired brain only one
    sensation throbbed: the warmth of Mattie's shoulder against his.
  1828. seductive
    tending to entice into a desired action or state
    The advertising sheet was folded uppermost, and
    he read the seductive words: "Trips to the West: Reduced Rates."
  1829. exaggerated
    enlarged to an abnormal degree
    VI


    The next morning at breakfast Jotham Powell was between them, and Ethan
    tried to hide his joy under an air of exaggerated indifference, lounging
    back in his chair to throw scraps to the cat, growling at the weather,
    and not so much as offering to help Mattie when she rose to clear away
    the dishes.
  1830. warning
    a message informing of danger
    As he did so his
    glance crossed Mattie's and he fancied that a fugitive warning gleamed
    through her lashes.
  1831. faced
    having a face or facing especially of a specified kind or number; often used in combination
    The doors of the two bedrooms faced each other across the
    narrow upper landing, and to-night it was peculiarly repugnant to him
    that Mattie should see him follow Zeena.
  1832. pretence
    the act of giving a false appearance
    He roused the lagging bay with another twitch; then, as if the
    mere sight of the house had let me too deeply into his confidence for
    any farther pretence of reserve, he went on slowly: "I've always set
    down the worst of mother's trouble to that.
  1833. blood
    the fluid that is pumped through the body by the heart
    One would have supposed that such an atmosphere must
    quicken the emotions as well as the blood; but it seemed to produce
    no change except that of retarding still more the sluggish pulse of
    Starkfield.
  1834. repugnant
    offensive to the mind
    The doors of the two bedrooms faced each other across the
    narrow upper landing, and to-night it was peculiarly repugnant to him
    that Mattie should see him follow Zeena.
  1835. sick
    affected by impairment of normal physical or mental function
    She laughed at him for not knowing the simplest sick-bed
    duties and told him to "go right along out" and leave her to see to
    things.
  1836. squalid
    foul and run-down and repulsive
    He gazed blankly about the kitchen, which looked cold and squalid in the
    rainy winter twilight.
  1837. draughts
    a checkerboard game for two players who each have 12 pieces
    It was in the early morning stillness, when his muscles were swinging
    to their familiar task and his lungs expanding with long draughts of
    mountain air, that Ethan did his clearest thinking.
  1838. worn
    affected by wear; damaged by long use
    The next morning, when I looked out, I saw the hollow-backed bay between
    the Varnum spruces, and Ethan Frome, throwing back his worn bearskin,
    made room for me in the sleigh at his side.
  1839. schoolhouse
    a building where young people receive education
    Abreast of the schoolhouse the road forked, and we dipped down a lane
    to the left, between hemlock boughs bent inward to their trunks by the
    weight of the snow.
  1840. enclosing
    the act of enclosing something inside something else
    Whether because of its symbolic sense, the image
    it presents of a life linked with the soil, and enclosing in itself the
    chief sources of warmth and nourishment, or whether merely because
    of the consolatory thought that it enables the dwellers in that harsh
    climate to get to their morning's work without facing the weather, it
    is certain that the "L" rather than the house itself seems to be the
    centre, the actual hearth-stone of the New England farm.
  1841. tricky
    having concealed difficulty
    "It is a tricky place, though.
  1842. sting
    deliver a sudden pain to
    "The railroad's blocked by a freight-train that got stuck in a drift
    below the Flats," he explained, as we jogged off into the stinging
    whiteness.
  1843. intoxicating
    extremely exciting as if by alcohol or a narcotic
    It was intoxicating to find such magic in his clumsy words, and he
    longed to try new ways of using it.
  1844. wrath
    intense anger, usually on an epic scale
    Wrath and dismay contended in Ethan.
  1845. loth
    (usually followed by `to') strongly opposed
    But the hired man, though seldom loth to
    accept a meal not included in his wages, opened his stiff jaws to answer
    slowly: "I'm obliged to you, but I guess I'll go along back."
  1846. alteration
    the act of revising
    These alterations of mood were the despair and joy of Ethan Frome.
  1847. go under
    go under, "The raft sank and its occupants drowned"
    After his father's death it had taken time
    to get his head above water, and he did not want Andrew Hale, or any one
    else in Starkfield, to think he was going under again.
  1848. already
    prior to a specified or implied time
    The guests were preparing to leave, and the tide had already set toward
    the passage where coats and wraps were hung, when a young man with a
    sprightly foot and a shock of black hair shot into the middle of
    the floor and clapped his hands.
  1849. discontent
    a longing for something better than the present situation
    He had been afraid that she would hate the hard life, the cold and
    loneliness; but not a sign of discontent escaped her.
  1850. insatiable
    impossible to satisfy
    Mattie seemed to feel the
    contagion of his embarrassment, and sat with downcast lids, sipping her
    tea, while he feigned an insatiable appetite for dough-nuts and sweet
    pickles.
  1851. blanket
    bedding that keeps a person warm in bed
    As the young man walked
    toward it the upper windows drew a black arcade along the side wall of
    the building, but from the lower openings, on the side where the ground
    sloped steeply down to the Corbury road, the light shot its long bars,
    illuminating many fresh furrows in the track leading to the basement
    door, and showing, under an adjoining shed, a line of sleighs with
    heavily blanketed horses.
  1852. strike
    deliver a sharp blow, as with the hand, fist, or weapon
    Even then he was the most striking figure
    in Starkfield, though he was but the ruin of a man.
  1853. rush
    act or move at high speed
    The sweetness of the picture, and the relief of knowing that his fears
    of "trouble" with Zeena were unfounded, sent up his spirits with a rush,
    and he, who was usually so silent, whistled and sang aloud as he
    drove through the snowy fields.
  1854. sign
    a visible clue that something has happened or is present
    Two or three times some ghostly
    landmark sprang up to warn us that we were astray, and then was sucked
    back into the mist; and when we finally regained our road the old horse
    began to show signs of exhaustion.
  1855. fitful
    occurring in spells and often abruptly
    The fitful bursts of sleet had changed into a steady rain and the horses
    had heavy work even without a load behind them.
  1856. steer
    be a guiding or motivating force or drive
    "Oh, Ned ain't much at steering.
  1857. grasp
    hold firmly
    A mournful
    peace hung on the fields, as though they felt the relaxing grasp of the
    cold and stretched themselves in their long winter sleep.
  1858. repeated
    recurring again and again
    "Nobody to do for you?" he repeated.
  1859. creeper
    a person who crawls or creeps along the ground
    The black
    wraith of a deciduous creeper flapped from the porch, and the thin
    wooden walls, under their worn coat of paint, seemed to shiver in the
    wind that had risen with the ceasing of the snow.
  1860. escaped
    having escaped, especially from confinement
    He had been afraid that she would hate the hard life, the cold and
    loneliness; but not a sign of discontent escaped her.
  1861. instant
    a very short time
    The signal took instant effect.
  1862. kind
    having a tender and considerate and helpful nature
    "Wust kind," my informant assented.
  1863. catch up with
    catch up with and possibly overtake
    In the black shade of the Varnum spruces he caught up with her and she
    turned with a quick "Oh!"

    "Think I'd forgotten you, Matt?" he asked with sheepish glee.
  1864. pour
    cause to run
    Day by day, after the
    December snows were over, a blazing blue sky poured down torrents
    of light and air on the white landscape, which gave them back in an
    intenser glitter.
  1865. hated
    treated with contempt
    (How Frome hated his cheap banter!)
  1866. one by one
    one piece at a time
    Other possibilities had been in him,
    possibilities sacrificed, one by one, to Zeena's narrow-mindedness
    and ignorance.
  1867. fence
    a barrier that serves to enclose an area
    The height of
    the white waves massed against the garden- fence and along the wall of
    the church showed that the storm must have been going on all night,
    and that the drifts were likely to be heavy in the open.
  1868. swing
    change direction with a swinging motion; turn
    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.
  1869. mute
    expressed without speech
    He seemed a part of the mute melancholy
    landscape, an incarnation of its frozen woe, with all that was warm
    and sentient in him fast bound below the surface; but there was nothing
    unfriendly in his silence.
  1870. seething
    in constant agitation
    Seen thus, from the pure and frosty darkness in which he stood, it
    seemed to be seething in a mist of heat.
  1871. brick
    rectangular block of clay baked by the sun or in a kiln
    If you
    know the post-office you must have seen Ethan Frome drive up to it, drop
    the reins on his hollow-backed bay and drag himself across the brick
    pavement to the white colonnade: and you must have asked who he was.
  1872. cleared
    rid of objects or obstructions such as e.g. trees and brush
    At last, after casting about for an effective opening, he took
    a long gulp of tea, cleared his throat, and said: "Looks as if there'd
    be more snow."
  1873. task
    any piece of work that is undertaken or attempted
    It was in the early morning stillness, when his muscles were swinging
    to their familiar task and his lungs expanding with long draughts of
    mountain air, that Ethan did his clearest thinking.
  1874. imply
    express or state indirectly
    So marked was the change in her manner, such depths of sad initiation
    did it imply, that, with some doubts as to my delicacy, I put the case
    anew to my village oracle, Harmon Gow; but got for my pains only an
    uncomprehending grunt.
  1875. kind-hearted
    having or proceeding from an innately kind disposition
    Suddenly it occurred to him that Andrew Hale, who was a kind-hearted
    man, might be induced to reconsider his refusal and advance a small sum
    on the lumber if he were told that Zeena's ill-health made it necessary
    to hire a servant.
  1876. delirious
    experiencing hallucinations
    Half-way down there
    was a sudden drop, then a rise, and after that another long delirious
    descent.
  1877. angular
    having the shape of intersecting lines or planes
    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.
  1878. cropped
    (of land or soil) used for growing crops
    Four or five years earlier he had taken a year's course at a
    technological college at Worcester, and dabbled in the laboratory with
    a friendly professor of physics; and the images supplied by that
    experience still cropped up, at unexpected moments, through the totally
    different associations of thought in which he had since been living.
  1879. missed
    not caught with the senses or the mind
    Another day, on getting into my train at the Flats, I missed a volume
    of popular science--I think it was on some recent discoveries in
    bio-chemistry--which I had carried with me to read on the way.
  1880. look away
    avert one's gaze
    She looked away from him uncertainly.
  1881. lose
    fail to keep or to maintain
    "When a
    man's been setting round like a hulk for twenty years or more, seeing
    things that want doing, it eats inter him, and he loses his grit.
  1882. approach
    move towards
    On my arrival at Starkfield, Denis Eady, the rich Irish grocer, who was
    the proprietor of Starkfield's nearest approach to a livery stable, had
    entered into an agreement to send me over daily to Corbury Flats, where
    I had to pick up my train for the Junction.
  1883. loathing
    hate coupled with disgust
    Ethan looked at her with loathing.
  1884. finger
    any of the terminal members of the hand
    The girl seemed to waver, and Frome saw her twirl the end of her scarf
    irresolutely about her fingers.
  1885. brutally
    in a vicious manner
    Ethan was overcome with shame at his lack of self-control in flinging
    the news at her so brutally.
  1886. lie down
    assume a reclining position
    She
    had measured out some drops from a medicine-bottle on a chair by the bed
    and, after swallowing them, and wrapping her head in a piece of yellow
    flannel, had lain down with her face turned away.
  1887. cucumber
    a melon vine of the genus Cucumis
    A dead cucumber-vine dangled
    from the porch like the crape streamer tied to the door for a death, and
    the thought flashed through Ethan's brain: "If it was there for Zeena--"
    Then he had a distinct sight of his wife lying in their bedroom asleep,
    her mouth slightly open, her false teeth in a tumbler by the bed...
  1888. lying
    the deliberate act of deviating from the truth
    A dead cucumber-vine dangled
    from the porch like the crape streamer tied to the door for a death, and
    the thought flashed through Ethan's brain: "If it was there for Zeena--"
    Then he had a distinct sight of his wife lying in their bedroom asleep,
    her mouth slightly open, her false teeth in a tumbler by the bed...
  1889. late
    at or toward an end or late period or stage of development
    The pitch of
    the Corbury road, below lawyer Varnum's spruces, was the favourite
    coasting-ground of Starkfield, and on clear evenings the church corner
    rang till late with the shouts of the coasters; but to-night not a sled
    darkened the whiteness of the long declivity.
  1890. pour down
    drink down entirely
    Day by day, after the
    December snows were over, a blazing blue sky poured down torrents
    of light and air on the white landscape, which gave them back in an
    intenser glitter.
  1891. lump
    a compact mass
    The earth
    lay dark under a muffled sky and the air was so still that now and then
    he heard a lump of snow come thumping down from a tree far off on the
    edge of the wood-lot.
  1892. first person
    pronouns and verbs used to refer to the speaker or writer of the language in which they occur
    Perhaps Zeena had failed to see the new
    doctor or had not liked his counsels: Ethan knew that in such cases
    the first person she met was likely to be held responsible for her
    grievance.
  1893. surface
    the outer boundary of an artifact or a material layer
    He seemed a part of the mute melancholy
    landscape, an incarnation of its frozen woe, with all that was warm
    and sentient in him fast bound below the surface; but there was nothing
    unfriendly in his silence.
  1894. insinuation
    an indirect (and usually malicious) implication
    That thrust had frightened him more than any vague insinuations about
    Denis Eady.
  1895. discomfiture
    anxious embarrassment
    Ethan smiled at the discomfiture he had caused.
  1896. in that
    (formal) in or into that thing or place
    "There are things in that book that I didn't know the first word about,"
    he said.
  1897. tracked
    having tracks
    "We're kinder side- tracked here now," he added, "but there was
    considerable passing before the railroad was carried through to the
    Flats."
  1898. demur
    politely refuse or take exception to
    When his wife first proposed that they should give Mattie an occasional
    evening out he had inwardly demurred at having to do the extra two miles
    to the village and back after his hard day on the farm; but not long
    afterward he had reached the point of wishing that Starkfield might give
    all its nights to revelry.
  1899. stand out
    be highly noticeable
    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.
  1900. arcade
    a structure composed of arches supported by columns
    As the young man walked
    toward it the upper windows drew a black arcade along the side wall of
    the building, but from the lower openings, on the side where the ground
    sloped steeply down to the Corbury road, the light shot its long bars,
    illuminating many fresh furrows in the track leading to the basement
    door, and showing, under an adjoining shed, a line of sleighs with
    heavily blanketed horses.
  1901. hopeful
    having or manifesting optimism
    But it was not only that the coming to his house of
    a bit of hopeful young life was like the lighting of a fire on a cold
    hearth.
  1902. nearer
    (comparative of `near' or `close') within a shorter distance
    Zeena's native village was slightly larger and nearer to the railway
    than Starkfield, and she had let her husband see from the first that
    life on an isolated farm was not what she had expected when she married.
  1903. glazed
    having a shiny surface or coating
    Ethan set about unloading the logs and when he had finished his job he
    pushed open the glazed door of the shed which the builder used as his
    office.
  1904. talker
    someone who expresses in language; someone who talks
    His mother had been a talker in her day, but after her
    "trouble" the sound of her voice was seldom heard, though she had not
    lost the power of speech.
  1905. awhile
    for a short time
    "I guess I won't come up yet awhile," he said, turning as if to go back
    to the kitchen.
  1906. dormant
    inactive but capable of becoming active
    Ethan had
    an idea that if she were to marry a man she was fond of the dormant
    instinct would wake, and her pies and biscuits become the pride of the
    county; but domesticity in the abstract did not interest her.
  1907. either
    used as an intensive after a negative meaning "likewise"
    I was getting to know him too well to express either wonder or gratitude
    at his keeping his appointment; but I exclaimed in surprise as I saw him
    turn his horse in a direction opposite to that of the Corbury road.
  1908. deep
    having great spatial extension downward or inward
    I saw then that the unusually forlorn and stunted look of the house was
    partly due to the loss of what is known in New England as the "L":
    that long deep-roofed adjunct usually built at right angles to the main
    house, and connecting it, by way of storerooms and tool-house, with the
    wood-shed and cow-barn.
  1909. wisp
    a small tuft or lock
    A slatternly calico wrapper hung from her shoulders
    and the wisps of her thin grey hair were drawn away from a high forehead
    and fastened at the back by a broken comb.
  1910. incalculable
    not capable of being computed or enumerated
    The
    motions of her mind were as incalculable as the flit of a bird in the
    branches.
  1911. devote
    dedicate
    When I had been there a little longer, and had seen this
    phase of crystal clearness followed by long stretches of sunless cold;
    when the storms of February had pitched their white tents about the
    devoted village and the wild cavalry of March winds had charged down to
    their support; I began to understand why Starkfield emerged from its
    six months' siege like a starved garrison capitulating without quarter.
  1912. listless
    lacking zest or vivacity
    She was no longer the listless
    creature who had lived at his side in a state of sullen self-absorption,
    but a mysterious alien presence, an evil energy secreted from the long
    years of silent brooding.
  1913. oblique
    slanting or inclined in direction or course or position
    His wife had never shown any jealousy of Mattie, but of late she had
    grumbled increasingly over the house-work and found oblique ways of
    attracting attention to the girl's inefficiency.
  1914. once more
    anew
    Now her departure for Bettsbridge had once more eased his mind, and all
    his thoughts were on the prospect of his evening with Mattie.
  1915. funny
    an account of an amusing incident
    For the first time they would be alone together indoors, and they would
    sit there, one on each side of the stove, like a married couple, he in
    his stocking feet and smoking his pipe, she laughing and talking in that
    funny way she had, which was always as new to him as if he had never
    heard her before.
  1916. brewing
    the production of malt beverages (as beer or ale) from malt and hops by grinding and boiling them and fermenting the result with yeast
    Then, toward
    sunset, coming down from the mountain where he had been felling timber,
    he had been caught by some strayed revellers and drawn into the group by
    the lake, where Mattie, encircled by facetious youths, and bright as
    a blackberry under her spreading hat, was brewing coffee over a gipsy
    fire.
  1917. feed
    provide as food
    His
    father's death, and the misfortunes following it, had put a premature
    end to Ethan's studies; but though they had not gone far enough to be
    of much practical use they had fed his fancy and made him aware of huge
    cloudy meanings behind the daily face of things.
  1918. clasp
    hold firmly and tightly
    Mattie's hand was underneath, and Ethan kept his clasped on it a
    moment longer than was necessary.
  1919. scraping
    a harsh noise made by scraping
    "Oh, she'd never leave us as long as you needed her," he returned,
    scraping hard at his chin.
  1920. sparkling
    shining with brilliant points of light like stars
    I nearly tripped over you," she cried, the laughter
    sparkling through her lashes.
  1921. twenty
    the cardinal number that is the sum of nineteen and one
    "He's looked that way ever since he had his smash-up; and that's
    twenty-four years ago come next February," Harmon threw out between
    reminiscent pauses.
  1922. to it
    to that
    If you
    know the post-office you must have seen Ethan Frome drive up to it, drop
    the reins on his hollow-backed bay and drag himself across the brick
    pavement to the white colonnade: and you must have asked who he was.
  1923. streak
    a narrow marking of a different color from the background
    She wore her usual dress of darkish stuff, and there was no bow at her
    neck; but through her hair she had run a streak of crimson ribbon.
  1924. engaged
    having one's attention or mind or energy consumed
    It happened
    right below lawyer Varnum's, down at the bend of the Corbury road, just
    round about the time that Ruth got engaged to Ned Hale.
  1925. stall
    a small area set off for special use
    He opened the barn-door and craned his head into the obscurity,
    half-fearing to discover Denis Eady's roan colt in the stall beside
    the sorrel.
  1926. leaning
    the act of deviating from a vertical position
    It's as slippery as thunder on this turn," he
    cried, leaning over to reach out a hand to her.
  1927. insensibly
    in a numb manner; without feeling
    Mattie blushed to the roots of her hair and pulled her needle rapidly
    twice or thrice through her work, insensibly drawing the end of it away
    from him.
  1928. dream
    a series of images and emotions occurring during sleep
    He was never so happy with her as when he abandoned himself to these
    dreams.
  1929. earth
    the third planet from the sun
    Why on earth should he put himself out for me?"
  1930. Hill
    United States railroad tycoon (1838-1916)
    "Straight to the Junction, by the shortest way," he answered, pointing
    up School House Hill with his whip.
  1931. whatsoever
    one or some or every or all without specification
    The Project Gutenberg EBook of Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton

    This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
    almost no restrictions whatsoever.
  1932. located
    situated in a particular spot or position
    If an
    individual work is in the public domain in the United States and you are
    located in the United States, we do not claim a right to prevent you from
    copying, distributing, performing, displaying or creating derivative
    works based on the work as long as all references to Project Gutenberg
    are removed.
  1933. erratic
    liable to sudden unpredictable change
    Some erratic impulse prompted Ethan to say: "How'd you like me
    to take you down now?"
  1934. processing
    preparing or putting through a prescribed procedure
    You may convert to and distribute this work in any binary,
    compressed, marked up, nonproprietary or proprietary form, including any
    word processing or hypertext form.
  1935. as usual
    in the usual manner
    He had now no doubt that Zeena had spoken the truth in saying,
    the night before, that she had sat up because she felt "too mean" to
    sleep: her abrupt resolve to seek medical advice showed that, as usual,
    she was wholly absorbed in her health.
  1936. lashing
    beating with a whip or strap or rope as a form of punishment
    The dancers were going faster and faster, and the musicians, to keep
    up with them, belaboured their instruments like jockeys lashing their
    mounts on the home-stretch; yet it seemed to the young man at the window
    that the reel would never end.
  1937. twirl
    turn in a twisting or spinning motion
    The girl seemed to waver, and Frome saw her twirl the end of her scarf
    irresolutely about her fingers.
  1938. desire
    the feeling that accompanies an unsatisfied state
    Only once or twice was the distance between us bridged for a moment;
    and the glimpses thus gained confirmed my desire to know more.
  1939. crib
    baby bed with high sides made of slats
    But the old horse was there alone, mumbling his crib with
    toothless jaws, and Ethan whistled cheerfully while he bedded down the
    grays and shook an extra measure of oats into their mangers.
  1940. hail
    precipitation of ice pellets
    And all the first winter, how she had shivered with cold when
    the northerly gales shook the thin clapboards and the snow beat like
    hail against the loose-hung windows!
  1941. pulse
    the rhythmic contraction and expansion of arteries
    One would have supposed that such an atmosphere must
    quicken the emotions as well as the blood; but it seemed to produce
    no change except that of retarding still more the sluggish pulse of
    Starkfield.
  1942. remedy
    a medicine or therapy that cures disease or relieves pain
    Mattie had no natural turn for housekeeping, and her training had
    done nothing to remedy the defect.
  1943. pantomime
    a performance using gestures and movements without words
    By this time they had passed beyond Frome's earshot and he could only
    follow the shadowy pantomime of their silhouettes as they continued
    to move along the crest of the slope above him.
  1944. laughing
    showing or feeling mirth or pleasure or happiness
    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.
  1945. done for
    destroyed or killed
    "Yes, there she's been," Mrs. Hale continued, "and Zeena's done for her,
    and done for Ethan, as good as she could.
  1946. hatched
    emerged from an egg
    He no
    longer believed what Zeena had told him of the supposed seriousness of
    her state: he saw in her expedition to Bettsbridge only a plot hatched
    between herself and her Pierce relations to foist on him the cost of a
    servant; and for the moment wrath predominated.
  1947. come forward
    make oneself visible; take action
    Mattie came forward, unwinding her wraps, the colour of the cherry scarf
    in her fresh lips and cheeks.
  1948. sinew
    a band of tissue connecting a muscle to its bony attachment
    His wife's retort was like a
    knife-cut across the sinews and he felt suddenly weak and powerless.
  1949. deceive
    cause someone to believe an untruth
    Ethan had no suppleness in deceiving.
  1950. wake up
    stop sleeping
    He woke up with a touch o' lumbago, and I just
    made him put on one of old Dr. Kidder's plasters and set right up into
    the fire."
  1951. name
    a language unit by which a person or thing is known
    At intervals, however, the
    post-master would hand him an envelope addressed to Mrs. Zenobia--or Mrs.
    Zeena-Frome, and usually bearing conspicuously in the upper left-hand
    corner the address of some manufacturer of patent medicine and the name
    of his specific.
  1952. orchard
    garden consisting of a small cultivated wood
    About a mile farther, on a road I had never
    travelled, we came to an orchard of starved apple-trees writhing over
    a hillside among outcroppings of slate that nuzzled up through the snow
    like animals pushing out their noses to breathe.
  1953. muscle
    animal tissue consisting predominantly of contractile cells
    He could not pronounce the
    name without a stiffening of the muscles of his throat.
  1954. good day
    a farewell remark
    Ethan's arts were soon exhausted, and after an embarrassed pause he
    wished Hale good day and opened the door of the office.
  1955. scrupulously
    with extreme conscientiousness
    Andrew Hale was a ruddy man with a big gray moustache and a stubbly
    double-chin unconstrained by a collar; but his scrupulously clean shirt
    was always fastened by a small diamond stud.
  1956. extinguish
    put out, as of fires, flames, or lights
    There was in him a slumbering spark of
    sociability which the long Starkfield winters had not yet extinguished.
  1957. advertise
    make publicity for; try to sell
    The advertising sheet was folded uppermost, and
    he read the seductive words: "Trips to the West: Reduced Rates."
  1958. stunted
    inferior in size or quality
    I saw then that the unusually forlorn and stunted look of the house was
    partly due to the loss of what is known in New England as the "L":
    that long deep-roofed adjunct usually built at right angles to the main
    house, and connecting it, by way of storerooms and tool-house, with the
    wood-shed and cow-barn.
  1959. just as
    at the same time as
    When she said to him
    once: "It looks just as if it was painted!" it seemed to Ethan that the
    art of definition could go no farther, and that words had at last been
    found to utter his secret soul....
  1960. hearth
    an open recess in a wall where a fire can be built
    Whether because of its symbolic sense, the image
    it presents of a life linked with the soil, and enclosing in itself the
    chief sources of warmth and nourishment, or whether merely because
    of the consolatory thought that it enables the dwellers in that harsh
    climate to get to their morning's work without facing the weather, it
    is certain that the "L" rather than the house itself seems to be the
    centre, the actual hearth-stone of the New England farm.
  1961. stolid
    having or revealing little emotion or sensibility
    To Ethan there was something vaguely ominous in this stolid rejection of
    free food and warmth, and he wondered what had happened on the drive to
    nerve Jotham to such stoicism.
  1962. take off
    remove clothes
    The room was almost dark, but in the obscurity he saw her
    sitting by the window, bolt upright, and knew by the rigidity of the
    outline projected against the pane that she had not taken off her
    travelling dress.
  1963. growling
    a gruff or angry utterance
    VI


    The next morning at breakfast Jotham Powell was between them, and Ethan
    tried to hide his joy under an air of exaggerated indifference, lounging
    back in his chair to throw scraps to the cat, growling at the weather,
    and not so much as offering to help Mattie when she rose to clear away
    the dishes.
  1964. held
    occupied or in the control of; often used in combination
    Ethan Frome drove in silence, the reins
    loosely held in his left hand, his brown seamed profile, under the
    helmet-like peak of the cap, relieved against the banks of snow like the
    bronze image of a hero.
  1965. blinking
    closing the eyes intermittently and rapidly
    He pulled the sled out, blinking like a night-bird as he passed
    from the shade of the spruces into the transparent dusk of the open.
  1966. technological
    of a practical subject organized by scientific principles
    Four or five years earlier he had taken a year's course at a
    technological college at Worcester, and dabbled in the laboratory with
    a friendly professor of physics; and the images supplied by that
    experience still cropped up, at unexpected moments, through the totally
    different associations of thought in which he had since been living.
  1967. lighter
    a substance used to ignite or kindle a fire
    Having satisfied himself that there was no risk of
    immediate discovery he went back to the kitchen with a lighter step, and
    found Mattie disconsolately removing the last scraps of pickle from the
    floor.
  1968. older
    advanced in years; (`aged' is pronounced as two syllables)
    Every one in Starkfield knew him and gave him a greeting tempered to
    his own grave mien; but his taciturnity was respected and it was only on
    rare occasions that one of the older men of the place detained him for
    a word.
  1969. weather
    atmospheric conditions such as temperature and precipitation
    Whether because of its symbolic sense, the image
    it presents of a life linked with the soil, and enclosing in itself the
    chief sources of warmth and nourishment, or whether merely because
    of the consolatory thought that it enables the dwellers in that harsh
    climate to get to their morning's work without facing the weather, it
    is certain that the "L" rather than the house itself seems to be the
    centre, the actual hearth-stone of the New England farm.
  1970. rapt
    feeling great delight
    It was strange that the
    girl did not seem aware of it: that she could lift her rapt face to her
    dancer's, and drop her hands into his, without appearing to feel the
    offence of his look and touch.
  1971. crying
    the process of shedding tears
    He had taken to the girl from
    the first day, when he had driven over to the Flats to meet her, and
    she had smiled and waved to him from the train, crying out, "You must be
    Ethan!" as she jumped down with her bundles, while he reflected, looking
    over her slight person: "She don't look much on housework, but she ain't
    a fretter, anyhow."
  1972. considerable
    large in number or amount or extent or degree
    Mrs. Hale's father had been the
    village lawyer of the previous generation, and "lawyer Varnum's house,"
    where my landlady still lived with her mother, was the most considerable
    mansion in the village.
  1973. additional
    further or extra
    If an individual Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work is posted
    with the permission of the copyright holder, your use and distribution
    must comply with both paragraphs 1.E.1 through 1.E.7 and any additional
    terms imposed by the copyright holder.
  1974. kneel
    rest one's weight on one's knees
    Again he listened, fancying he heard a distant sound in the house; then
    he felt in his pocket for a match, and kneeling down, passed its light
    slowly over the rough edges of snow about the doorstep.
  1975. anger
    the state of being very annoyed
    It was the first scene of open anger between the couple in their sad
    seven years together, and Ethan felt as if he had lost an irretrievable
    advantage in descending to the level of recrimination.
  1976. bead
    a small ball with a hole through the middle
    She had plunged the breakfast
    dishes into a tin dish-pan and was bending above it with her slim arms
    bared to the elbow, the steam from the hot water beading her forehead
    and tightening her rough hair into little brown rings like the tendrils
    on the traveller's joy.
  1977. curtly
    in a curt, abrupt and discourteous manner
    Mattie flung an imploring glance at him, but he repeated curtly: "I'm
    going to drive her over myself."
  1978. break off
    interrupt before its natural or planned end
    It's the way your father
    begun, and I was warned of it when I took you, and I tried to keep my
    things where you couldn't get at 'em--and now you've took from me the one
    I cared for most of all--" She broke off in a short spasm of sobs that
    passed and left her more than ever like a shape of stone.
  1979. monstrous
    distorted and unnatural in shape or size
    But suddenly his
    wife's face, with twisted monstrous lineaments, thrust itself between
    him and his goal, and he made an instinctive movement to brush it aside.
  1980. milk
    a white nutritious liquid secreted by mammals and used as food by human beings
    The cat, unnoticed, had crept up on muffled paws from Zeena's seat to
    the table, and was stealthily elongating its body in the direction
    of the milk-jug, which stood between Ethan and Mattie.
  1981. sewed
    fastened with stitches
    He drew up to the table again and she sewed on in silence, with dropped
    lashes, while he sat in fascinated contemplation of the way in which her
    hands went up and down above the strip of stuff, just as he had seen
    a pair of birds make short perpendicular flights over a nest they were
    building.
  1982. illuminating
    tending to increase knowledge or dissipate ignorance
    As the young man walked
    toward it the upper windows drew a black arcade along the side wall of
    the building, but from the lower openings, on the side where the ground
    sloped steeply down to the Corbury road, the light shot its long bars,
    illuminating many fresh furrows in the track leading to the basement
    door, and showing, under an adjoining shed, a line of sleighs with
    heavily blanketed horses.
  1983. stealing
    the act of taking something from someone unlawfully
    He hesitated, and I had the impression that he felt himself about to
    yield to a stealing tide of inertia; then, "Thank you--I'll take it," he
    answered shortly.
  1984. flying
    an instance of traveling by air
    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.
  1985. body
    an individual 3-dimensional object that has mass
    Perhaps this
    connection of ideas, which had often occurred to me in my rambles about
    Starkfield, caused me to hear a wistful note in Frome's words, and to
    see in the diminished dwelling the image of his own shrunken body.
  1986. bramble
    any of various rough thorny shrubs or vines
    Every yard of the road was alive with
    Mattie's presence, and there was hardly a branch against the sky or a
    tangle of brambles on the bank in which some bright shred of memory was
    not caught.
  1987. hate
    the emotion of intense dislike
    (How Frome hated his cheap banter!)
  1988. roofed
    covered with a roof; having a roof as specified
    I saw then that the unusually forlorn and stunted look of the house was
    partly due to the loss of what is known in New England as the "L":
    that long deep- roofed adjunct usually built at right angles to the main
    house, and connecting it, by way of storerooms and tool-house, with the
    wood-shed and cow-barn.
  1989. raised
    located or moved above the surround or above the normal position
    She walked out of the kitchen ahead of them and pausing in the hall
    raised the lamp at arm's-length, as if to light them up the stairs.
  1990. cower
    crouch or curl up
    It was the tone she always heeded, but she cowered down in her seat,
    repeating vehemently: "No, no, no!"
  1991. come in
    to come or go into
    Yet I had come in the degenerate day of trolley, bicycle and rural
    delivery, when communication was easy between the scattered mountain
    villages, and the bigger towns in the valleys, such as Bettsbridge and
    Shadd's Falls, had libraries, theatres and Y. M. C. A. halls to which
    the youth of the hills could descend for recreation.
  1992. sure
    having or feeling no doubt or uncertainty
    Frome was so simple and straightforward that I was sure his
    curiosity about the book was based on a genuine interest in its subject.
  1993. reminiscent
    serving to bring to mind
    "He's looked that way ever since he had his smash-up; and that's
    twenty-four years ago come next February," Harmon threw out between
    reminiscent pauses.
  1994. most
    quantifier meaning the greatest in number
    Even then he was the most striking figure
    in Starkfield, though he was but the ruin of a man.
  1995. give back
    pay back
    The pure air, and the
    long summer hours in the open, gave back life and elasticity to Mattie,
    and Zeena, with more leisure to devote to her complex ailments, grew
    less watchful of the girl's omissions; so that Ethan, struggling on
    under the burden of his barren farm and failing saw-mill, could at least
    imagine that peace reigned in his house.
  1996. doorstep
    the sill of a door
    Again he listened, fancying he heard a distant sound in the house; then
    he felt in his pocket for a match, and kneeling down, passed its light
    slowly over the rough edges of snow about the doorstep.
  1997. zip
    forceful exertion
    End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton

    *** END OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK ETHAN FROME ***

    ***** This file should be named 4517.txt or 4517. zip
  1998. fate
    the ultimate agency predetermining the course of events
    At our next meeting he made
    no allusion to the book, and our intercourse seemed fated to remain as
    negative and one-sided as if there had been no break in his reserve.
  1999. ago
    gone by; or in the past
    It was there that, several years ago, I saw him for the first time; and
    the sight pulled me up sharp.
  2000. efficiency
    skillfulness in avoiding wasted time and effort
    Zenobia, though doubtful
    of the girl's efficiency, was tempted by the freedom to find fault
    without much risk of losing her; and so Mattie came to Starkfield.
  2001. unseen
    not observed
    Half-way up the slope Mattie stumbled against some unseen
    obstruction and clutched his sleeve to steady herself.
  2002. manhood
    the state of being a man; manly qualities
    But when winter
    shut down on Starkfield and the village lay under a sheet of snow
    perpetually renewed from the pale skies, I began to see what life
    there--or rather its negation--must have been in Ethan Frome's young
    manhood.
  2003. stinging
    (of speech) harsh or hurtful in tone or character
    "The railroad's blocked by a freight-train that got stuck in a drift
    below the Flats," he explained, as we jogged off into the stinging
    whiteness.
  2004. calculation
    determining something by mathematical or logical methods
    A rapid
    calculation showed Ethan that Zeena could not be back at the farm before
    the following evening....
  2005. need
    require or want
    Such tastes and acquirements in a man of his condition made the contrast
    more poignant between his outer situation and his inner needs, and I
    hoped that the chance of giving expression to the latter might at least
    unseal his lips.
  2006. whiten
    turn white
    Ethan, rising on his
    elbow, watched the landscape whiten and shape itself under the sculpture
    of the moon.
  2007. giving
    the act of giving
    Such tastes and acquirements in a man of his condition made the contrast
    more poignant between his outer situation and his inner needs, and I
    hoped that the chance of giving expression to the latter might at least
    unseal his lips.
  2008. restlessly
    in a restless manner
    IX


    At the kitchen door Daniel Byrne sat in his sleigh behind a big-boned
    grey who pawed the snow and swung his long head restlessly from side to
    side.
  2009. ugliness
    qualities of appearance that do not give pleasure to the senses
    The snow had ceased, and a flash of watery sunlight exposed the
    house on the slope above us in all its plaintive ugliness.
  2010. restriction
    an act of limiting
    The Project Gutenberg EBook of Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton

    This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
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  2011. steps
    the course along which a person has walked or is walking in
    The "smash-up" it was--I gathered from the same informant--which, besides
    drawing the red gash across Ethan Frome's forehead, had so shortened and
    warped his right side that it cost him a visible effort to take the few
    steps from his buggy to the post-office window.
  2012. grumble
    make complaining remarks or noises under one's breath
    His wife had never shown any jealousy of Mattie, but of late she had
    grumbled increasingly over the house-work and found oblique ways of
    attracting attention to the girl's inefficiency.
  2013. glimmering
    a slight suggestion or vague understanding
    They stood together in the gloom of the spruces, an empty world
    glimmering about them wide and grey under the stars.
  2014. gradually
    in a gradual manner
    I chafed at
    first, and then, under the hypnotising effect of routine, gradually
    began to find a grim satisfaction in the life.
  2015. dime
    a United States coin worth one tenth of a dollar
    In the summertime, on pleasant days, they move Mattie into
    the parlour, or out in the door-yard, and that makes it easier... but
    winters there's the fires to be thought of; and there ain't a dime to
    spare up at the Fromes.'"
  2016. lead
    take somebody somewhere
    As the young man walked
    toward it the upper windows drew a black arcade along the side wall of
    the building, but from the lower openings, on the side where the ground
    sloped steeply down to the Corbury road, the light shot its long bars,
    illuminating many fresh furrows in the track leading to the basement
    door, and showing, under an adjoining shed, a line of sleighs with
    heavily blanketed horses.
  2017. chirp
    a sharp sound made by small birds or insects
    She gave him a last nod of sympathy while her son chirped to the horse;
    and Ethan, as she drove off, stood in the middle of the road and stared
    after the retreating sleigh.
  2018. moss
    tiny leafy-stemmed flowerless plants
    She clung to him without answering, and he laid his lips on her hair,
    which was soft yet springy, like certain mosses on warm slopes, and had
    the faint woody fragrance of fresh sawdust in the sun.
  2019. show
    make visible or noticeable
    The height of
    the white waves massed against the garden-fence and along the wall of
    the church showed that the storm must have been going on all night,
    and that the drifts were likely to be heavy in the open.
  2020. aver
    declare or affirm solemnly and formally as true
    Denis's commercial instinct compelled him to aver on oath that what
    Eady's store could not produce would never be found at the widow
    Homan's; but Ethan, heedless of this boast, had already climbed to
    the sledge and was driving on to the rival establishment.
  2021. desert
    leave someone who needs or counts on you; leave in the lurch
    Young Ethan Frome walked at a quick pace along the deserted street, past
    the bank and Michael Eady's new brick store and Lawyer Varnum's house
    with the two black Norway spruces at the gate.
  2022. creep up
    advance stealthily or unnoticed
    The cat, unnoticed, had crept up on muffled paws from Zeena's seat to
    the table, and was stealthily elongating its body in the direction
    of the milk-jug, which stood between Ethan and Mattie.
  2023. make it
    succeed in a big way; get to the top
    When
    he raised himself again he saw that she was dragging toward the stove
    the old soap-box lined with carpet in which the cat made its bed.
  2024. damage
    the occurrence of a change for the worse
    Despite these efforts, Project Gutenberg-tm electronic
    works, and the medium on which they may be stored, may contain
    "Defects," such as, but not limited to, incomplete, inaccurate or
    corrupt data, transcription errors, a copyright or other intellectual
    property infringement, a defective or damaged disk or other medium, a
    computer virus, or computer codes that damage or cannot be read by
    your equipment.

    1.F.2.
  2025. blame
    an accusation that one is responsible for some misdeed
    I felt myself to blame for having
    accepted Frome's offer, and after a short discussion I persuaded him
    to let me get out of the sleigh and walk along through the snow at the
    bay's side.
  2026. eat up
    use up (resources or materials)
    When Ethan could sweat over 'em both from sunup to dark he kinder choked
    a living out of 'em; but his folks ate up most everything, even then,
    and I don't see how he makes out now.
  2027. scrape
    cut the surface of; wear away the surface of
    "Oh, she'd never leave us as long as you needed her," he returned,
    scraping hard at his chin.
  2028. caress
    touch or stroke lightly in a loving or endearing manner
    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.
  2029. chronicle
    a record or narrative description of past events
    I had this from Harmon Gow, who had driven the stage from Bettsbridge
    to Starkfield in pre-trolley days and knew the chronicle of all the
    families on his line.
  2030. teeth
    the kind and number and arrangement of teeth (collectively) in a person or animal
    A dead cucumber-vine dangled
    from the porch like the crape streamer tied to the door for a death, and
    the thought flashed through Ethan's brain: "If it was there for Zeena--"
    Then he had a distinct sight of his wife lying in their bedroom asleep,
    her mouth slightly open, her false teeth in a tumbler by the bed...
  2031. forgetful
    (of memory) deficient in retentiveness or range
    She was quick to learn, but forgetful
    and dreamy, and not disposed to take the matter seriously.
  2032. cap
    a tight-fitting headdress
    Ethan Frome drove in silence, the reins
    loosely held in his left hand, his brown seamed profile, under the
    helmet-like peak of the cap, relieved against the banks of snow like the
    bronze image of a hero.
  2033. replace
    put something back where it belongs
    Her "good" dress
    had been replaced by the black calico and brown knitted shawl which
    formed her daily wear, and with them she had put on her usual face and
    manner.
  2034. swarthy
    naturally having skin of a dark color
    Her hair was as grey as her companion's, her face as bloodless and
    shrivelled, but amber-tinted, with swarthy shadows sharpening the nose
    and hollowing the temples.
  2035. push back
    cause to move back by force or influence
    Zeena, after feeding the cat,
    had returned to her rocking-chair by the stove, and Jotham Powell, who
    always lingered last, reluctantly pushed back his chair and moved toward
    the door.
  2036. around
    in the area or vicinity
    When she got the rheumatism
    so bad she couldn't move around she used to sit up there and watch the
    road by the hour; and one year, when they was six months mending the
    Bettsbridge pike after the floods, and Harmon Gow had to bring his stage
    round this way, she picked up so that she used to get down to the gate
    most days to see him.
  2037. mending
    the act of putting something in working order again
    When she got the rheumatism
    so bad she couldn't move around she used to sit up there and watch the
    road by the hour; and one year, when they was six months mending the
    Bettsbridge pike after the floods, and Harmon Gow had to bring his stage
    round this way, she picked up so that she used to get down to the gate
    most days to see him.
  2038. molasses
    thick dark syrup produced by boiling down juice from sugar cane; especially during sugar refining
    She could trim a hat, make
    molasses candy, recite "Curfew shall not ring to-night," and play "The
    Lost Chord" and a pot-pourri from "Carmen."
  2039. unfriendly
    not friendly
    He seemed a part of the mute melancholy
    landscape, an incarnation of its frozen woe, with all that was warm
    and sentient in him fast bound below the surface; but there was nothing
    unfriendly in his silence.
  2040. nod
    lower and raise the head, as to indicate assent or agreement or confirmation
    These documents my neighbour would also pocket without
    a glance, as if too much used to them to wonder at their number and
    variety, and would then turn away with a silent nod to the post-master.
  2041. ironic
    displaying incongruity between what is expected and what is
    They hailed Ethan with ironic
    compliment and offers of conviviality; but no one knew where to find
    the glue.
  2042. loom
    a textile machine for weaving yarn into a textile
    It looked exanimate enough, with
    its idle wheel looming above the black stream dashed with yellow-white
    spume, and its cluster of sheds sagging under their white load.
  2043. graveyard
    a tract of land used for burials
    And I say, if she'd ha' died, Ethan might ha'
    lived; and the way they are now, I don't see's there's much difference
    between the Fromes up at the farm and the Fromes down in the graveyard;
    'cept that down there they're all quiet, and the women have got to hold
    their tongues."
  2044. balm
    preparation applied externally as a remedy or for soothing
    The cry was balm to his raw wound.
  2045. meditate
    reflect deeply on a subject
    The builder refused genially, as he did everything else: he treated the
    matter as something in the nature of a practical joke, and wanted to
    know if Ethan meditated buying a grand piano or adding a "cupolo" to his
    house; offering, in the latter case, to give his services free of cost.
  2046. noticed
    being perceived or observed
    I noticed that, though he came so punctually, he seldom
    received anything but a copy of the Bettsbridge Eagle, which he put
    without a glance into his sagging pocket.
  2047. apprenticeship
    the position of one working for an expert to learn a trade
    She seemed to possess by instinct all the household wisdom
    that his long apprenticeship had not instilled in him.
  2048. miss
    fail to perceive or to catch with the senses or the mind
    She was not unwilling to exercise this faculty, and I had
    great hopes of getting from her the missing facts of Ethan Frome's
    story, or rather such a key to his character as should co-ordinate the
    facts I knew.
  2049. faintly
    to a faint degree or weakly perceived
    Once or twice in the
    past he had been faintly disquieted by Zenobia's way of letting things
    happen without seeming to remark them, and then, weeks afterward, in
    a casual phrase, revealing that she had all along taken her notes and
    drawn her inferences.
  2050. cutting off
    the act of cutting something off
    As we turned into the Corbury road the snow began to fall again, cutting
    off
    our last glimpse of the house; and Frome's silence fell with it,
    letting down between us the old veil of reticence.
  2051. sprightly
    full of spirit and vitality
    The guests were preparing to leave, and the tide had already set toward
    the passage where coats and wraps were hung, when a young man with a
    sprightly foot and a shock of black hair shot into the middle of
    the floor and clapped his hands.
  2052. detach
    cause to become separated
    As her young brown head detached itself
    against the patch-work cushion that habitually framed his wife's gaunt
    countenance, Ethan had a momentary shock.
  2053. up and down
    moving backward and forward along a given course
    He stood there a moment, breathing quickly, and looking up and
    down
    the street, in which not another figure moved.
  2054. keep quiet
    refrain from divulging sensitive information
    "She needn't know anything about it if you keep quiet.
  2055. a hundred times
    by a factor of one hundred
    She was a hundred times
    bitterer and more discontented than when he had married her: the one
    pleasure left her was to inflict pain on him.
  2056. panorama
    the visual perception of a region
    Then he learned that
    one other spirit had trembled with the same touch of wonder: that at his
    side, living under his roof and eating his bread, was a creature to whom
    he could say: "That's Orion down yonder; the big fellow to the right is
    Aldebaran, and the bunch of little ones--like bees swarming--they're the
    Pleiades..." or whom he could hold entranced before a ledge of granite
    thrusting up through the fern while he unrolled the huge panorama of the
    ice age, and the long dim stretch...
  2057. feel for
    share the suffering of
    She slipped out of his hold without speaking, and he stooped down and
    felt for the key.
  2058. shortened
    cut short
    The "smash-up" it was--I gathered from the same informant--which, besides
    drawing the red gash across Ethan Frome's forehead, had so shortened and
    warped his right side that it cost him a visible effort to take the few
    steps from his buggy to the post-office window.
  2059. writhing
    moving in a twisting or snake-like or wormlike fashion
    About a mile farther, on a road I had never
    travelled, we came to an orchard of starved apple-trees writhing over
    a hillside among outcroppings of slate that nuzzled up through the snow
    like animals pushing out their noses to breathe.
  2060. let go
    release, as from one's grip
    "You let go, Matt," he ordered her.
  2061. afoot
    on foot; walking
    The villagers, being afoot, were
    the first to climb the slope to the main street, while the country
    neighbours packed themselves more slowly into the sleighs under the
    shed.
  2062. let down
    move something or somebody to a lower position
    As we turned into the Corbury road the snow began to fall again, cutting
    off our last glimpse of the house; and Frome's silence fell with it,
    letting down between us the old veil of reticence.
  2063. sweating
    the process of the sweat glands of the skin secreting a salty fluid
    Hale went up to the grays and patted their sweating flanks.
  2064. droop
    sink or settle from pressure or loss of tautness
    To-night the
    pressure of accumulated misgivings sent the scale drooping toward
    despair, and her indifference was the more chilling after the flush of
    joy into which she had plunged him by dismissing Denis Eady.
  2065. swinging
    characterized by a buoyant rhythm
    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.
  2066. shrivel
    wither, as with a loss of moisture
    Her hair was as grey as her companion's, her face as bloodless and
    shrivelled, but amber-tinted, with swarthy shadows sharpening the nose
    and hollowing the temples.
  2067. segregation
    the act of keeping apart
    II


    As the dancers poured out of the hall Frome, drawing back behind the
    projecting storm-door, watched the segregation of the grotesquely
    muffled groups, in which a moving lantern ray now and then lit up a
    face flushed with food and dancing.
  2068. attitude
    a complex mental state involving beliefs and feelings
    His hand was steady, but the attitude was an
    excuse for not making an immediate reply.
  2069. slight
    small in quantity or degree
    He never turned his face to mine, or
    answered, except in monosyllables, the questions I put, or such slight
    pleasantries as I ventured.
  2070. incredulous
    not disposed or willing to believe; unbelieving
    Frome heard the girl's voice, gaily incredulous: "What on earth's your
    father's cutter doin' down there?"
  2071. antipathy
    a feeling of intense dislike
    It was the sense of his helplessness that
    sharpened his antipathy.
  2072. liked
    found pleasant or attractive; often used as a combining form
    He would have liked to stand there with her all night in the
    blackness.
  2073. kindling
    material for starting a fire
    They went back to the kitchen, and he fetched the coal and kindlings
    and cleared out the stove for her, while she brought in the milk and
    the cold remains of the meat-pie.
  2074. brushing
    the act of brushing your teeth
    "I guess we'll never let you go, Matt," he whispered, as though even the
    dead, lovers once, must conspire with him to keep her; and brushing by
    the graves, he thought: "We'll always go on living here together, and
    some day she'll lie there beside me."
  2075. paying
    for which money is paid
    Zeena always
    came back laden with expensive remedies, and her last visit to
    Springfield had been commemorated by her paying twenty dollars for an
    electric battery of which she had never been able to learn the use.
  2076. hastily
    in a hurried manner
    By this time
    the music had stopped, and the musicians--a fiddler, and the young lady
    who played the harmonium on Sundays--were hastily refreshing themselves
    at one corner of the supper-table which aligned its devastated
    pie-dishes and ice-cream saucers on the platform at the end of the hall.
  2077. enable
    provide the means to perform some task
    It was not that Mrs. Ned Hale felt, or affected, any social superiority
    to the people about her; it was only that the accident of a finer
    sensibility and a little more education had put just enough distance
    between herself and her neighbours to enable her to judge them with
    detachment.
  2078. toss
    throw with a light motion
    Instead, it sprang up to
    a gale which now and then, from a tattered sky, flung pale sweeps of
    sunlight over a landscape chaotically tossed.
  2079. mouth
    the opening through which food is taken in
    A dead cucumber-vine dangled
    from the porch like the crape streamer tied to the door for a death, and