which lay her work-basket, was mending stockings, and the captain, squatting on the grass, and wearing an old foraging-cap on his head, was stopping the leaks in a garden-hose which had burst the night before.
They welcomed me enthusiastically, and Rose ordered the little servant, who was weeding a bed of marguerites, to go for the bottle of peach brandy and some glasses.
The first courtesies exchanged, the captain asked:
"Well, he has not yet croaked, then, your Lanlaire? Oh! you can boast of serving in a famous den! I really pity you, my dear young woman."
He explained to me that formerly Monsieur and he had lived as good neighbors, as inseparable friends. A discussion apropos of Rose had brought on a deadly quarrel. Monsieur, it seems, reproached the captain with not maintaining his dignity with his servant,—with admitting her to his table.
Interrupting his story, the captain forced my testimony:
"To my table! Well, have I not the right? Is it any of his business?"
"Certainly not, captain."
Rose, in a modest voice, sighed:
"A man living all alone; it is very natural isn't it?"