"What do you want?" she cried.
"Your lover's letters," he said.
"They're not here," she said, shutting the drawer; but from that
action he saw he had guessed right, and roughly pushing away her
hand, he quickly snatched a portfolio in which he knew she used
to put her most important papers. She tried to pull the
portfolio away, but he pushed her back.
"Sit down! I have to speak to you," he said, putting the
portfolio under his arm, and squeezing it so tightly with his
elbow that his shoulder stood up. Amazed and intimidated, she
gazed at him in silence.
"I told you that I would not allow you to receive your lover in
"I had to see him to..."
She stopped, not finding a reason.
"I do not enter into the details of why a woman wants to see her
"I meant, I only..." she said, flushing hotly. This coarseness
of his angered her, and gave her courage. "Surely you must feel
how easy it is for you to insult me?" she said.
"An honest man and an honest woman may be insulted, but to tell a
thief he's a thief is simply la constatation d'un fait."
"This cruelty is something new I did not know in you."
"You call it cruelty for a husband to give his wife liberty,
giving her the honorable protection of his name, simply on the
condition of observing the proprieties: is that cruelty?"
"It's worse than cruel--it's base, if you want to know!" Anna
cried, in a rush of hatred, and getting up, she was going away.