Across the sky, above the leaden and perfectly fiat sea, rolled stifling clouds, thick red clouds, through which the storm could not break. M. Georges had not gone out, even to the terrace, and we had remained in his room. More nervous than usual, a nervousness due undoubtedly to the electricity in the atmosphere, he had even refused to let me read poetry to him.
"That would tire me," he said. "And, besides, I feel that you would read very badly to-day."
He had gone into the salon, where he had tried to play a little on the piano. The piano having plagued him, he had at once come back into the room, where he had sought to divert himself for a moment by drawing, as it seemed to me, some feminine profiles. But he had not been slow in abandoning paper and pencil, fuming with some impatience:
"I cannot; I am not in the mood. My hand trembles. I don't know what is the matter with me. And you,—there is something the matter with you, too. You are restless."
Finally he had stretched himself on his long chair, near the large bay-window, through which one could see a vast expanse of water. Fishing-boats in the distance, fleeing from the ever-threatening storm, were re-entering the port of Trouville. With a distracted look he followed their manœuvres and their grey sails.