Feeling that his days of peace are numbered, Strether takes a train, "selected almost at random," to spend a day in the countryside. He alights at a small village and heads for the hillside, intending to relax there for the afternoon, return to the village for supper, and catch the 9:20 train back to Paris. He feels at peace as he stretches out beneath the poplars, with his straw hat over his eyes. He discovers that he is tired, "not from his walk, but from that inward exercise which had known, on the whole, for three months, so little intermission." He meditates on his two recent visits with Madame de Vionnet and how he had told her he preferred not to talk of tiresome things. Thus ridding their conversation of everything that was unpleasant, Strether realized that "he had conjured away almost all they had hitherto talked about." He remembers the "delightful facility,
This is the end of the preview. Sign up
access the rest of the document.