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L'Assommoir by Émile Zola
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By Emile Zola



Gervaise had waited and watched for Lantier until two in the morning.
Then chilled and shivering, she turned from the window and threw
herself across the bed, where she fell into a feverish doze with her
cheeks wet with tears. For the last week when they came out of the
Veau a Deux Tetes, where they ate, he had sent her off to bed with the
children and had not appeared until late into the night and always
with a story that he had been looking for work.

This very night, while she was watching for his return, she fancied
she saw him enter the ballroom of the Grand-Balcon, whose ten windows
blazing with lights illuminated, as with a sheet of fire, the black
lines of the outer boulevards. She caught a glimpse of Adele, a pretty
brunette who dined at their restaurant and who was walking a few steps
behind him, with her hands swinging as if she had just dropped his
arm, rather than pass before the bright light of the globes over the
door in his company.

When Gervaise awoke about five o'clock, stiff and sore, she burst into
wild sobs, for Lantier had not come in. For the first time he had
slept out. She sat on the edge of the bed, half shrouded in the canopy
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