Edna again encounters Robert accidentally, this time in a deserted garden café. When she asks him why he hasn't come to see her, he responds emotionally, again calling her cruel for forcing him into disclosure of his feelings. She withdraws from emotional topics and they chat a while in the café before he sees her home. Once inside the house, without warning she kisses him and he responds by holding her close and admitting his love. Edna tells him that she is her own woman, not a possession of Léonce's to be released, but is called away to Madame Ratignolle's before she can explain herself. Robert begs hers to stay with him, but Madame Ratignolle is in labor and Edna had promised to attend the birth. Before she leaves, she makes Robert promise to remain there and wait for her to return home. Because Edna has "abandoned herself to Fate" (as noted in the Chapter 35), she is not surprised
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