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His fingers were straying about among the litter of tin tubes and dry brushes, seeking for something.
He was seen at once rummaging with ardor in an old box, in which he found some brushes, a little gnawed by the rats, but still passable; some colors in bladders almost dried up; some linseed-oil in a bottle, and a palette which had formerly belonged to Bronzino, that dieu de la pittoure, as the ultramontane artist, in his ever young enthusiasm, always called him.
On laying my hands on the brushes I had a profound emotion, and with misty eyes I examined them meticulously with the new hope of finding one of Rita's tawny hairs entangled amongst the bristles by a miraculous chance.
Her absorption seemed so great that she sat down before her easel, opened her color-box, took up her brushes, drew on her brown sleeves, arranged her apron, looked at her picture, examined her palette, without, apparently, thinking of what she was doing.
There were also some rather commonplace pictures of river scenery, a paint-box, a box of colored chalks, some brushes, that curved bone which lies upon my inkstand, a volume of Baxter's `Moths and Butterflies,' a cheap revolver, and a few cartridges.
And now, since last Monday, there has suddenly sprung up a barrier between us, and I find that there is something in her life and in her thought of which I know as little as if she were the woman who brushes by me in the street.
The first twig, dear father, that brushes against your hat when you turn your face to come homewards,' said she.
This seemed as natural to Newland Archer as all the other conventions on which his life was moulded: such as the duty of using two silver- backed brushes with his monogram in blue enamel to part his hair, and of never appearing in society without a flower (preferably a gardenia) in his buttonhole.
He appeared to have dressed at his leisure in the intervals of a light collation, and his dressing-case, brushes, and so forth, all of quite an elegant kind, lay about.
The mirror was cracked across; the dressing-table had lost a leg; and both lay flat, with my brushes and shaving-table, and the foolish toilet crockery which no one uses (but I should have to replace) strewn upon the carpet.
The bedroom looked as though she had just left it: the brushes were neatly placed on the toilet-table, one on each side of the comb; someone had smoothed down the bed on which she had spent her last night in the studio; and her nightdress in a little case lay on the pillow.
To our surprise, we were ushered into a room where the first object that met the eye was a painter's easel, with a table beside it covered with rolls of canvas, bottles of oil and varnish, palette, brushes, paints, &c.