When the weather is dark and cloudy, Edna can’t work on her paintings. On those days, since she has nothing else to do, she goes out with her Grand Isle friends, or to the horse races with Alcee Arobin and a woman named Mrs. Highcamp.
Edna is an expert on horseracing because she grew up around horses, and she does very well at knowing which horse to bet on.
She feels exhilarated by her time at the racetrack.
One day, Edna stays to eat dinner with Arobin and Mrs. Highcamp.
Afterwards, Arobin drives her home.
When they reach Edna’s house, Arobin asks permission to come inside to light his cigarette.
He leaves after she promises to go to the races with him again.
The next time they go, Mrs. Highcamp can’t make it.
They go alone.
Just the two of them.
They grow more familiar with each other.
So familiar, in fact, that they eat dinner together afterwards. He shows her a scar on his wrist. He claims it's from a duel he fought when he was nineteen.
She squeezes his hand impulsively, her nails biting into his palm.
He asks her if she will accompany him to the races again. She says no, but he keeps asking, and then practically glues his lips onto her hand.
Edna acts upset.
He finally leaves.
Edna goes to bed, thinking that Arobin means nothing to her – yet his touch on her hand felt "like a narcotic."