He seized the ferret. As one breaks a loaf of bread, he broke the little beast's back with a snap, and threw it, dead without a shock, without a spasm, on the sandy path, shouting to Rose:
"Make me a stew out of that for dinner!"
And, madly gesticulating, he ran to shut himself up in the house.
For some minutes I felt a real and unspeakable horror. Still completely dazed by the abominable action that I had just committed, I rose to go. I was very pale. Rose accompanied me. With a smile she confided to me:
"I am not sorry for what has just happened. He was too fond of his ferret. I do not wish him to love anything. He loves his flowers already too much to suit me."
After a short silence, she added:
"But he will never forgive you for that. He is not a man to be defied. An old soldier, you know!"
Then, a few steps farther on:
"Pay attention, my little one. They are beginning to gossip about you in the neighborhood. It seems that you were seen the other day, in the garden, with Monsieur Lanlaire. It is very imprudent, believe me. He will get you into trouble, if he hasn't already done so. You want to look out for yourself."
And, as she closed the gate behind me: