me, took my hands and patted them. Under his blinking eyelid his eye turned, like that of an old hen dazzled by the sunlight. It vas enough to make one die of laughter.
" Celestine," said he, " for my part, I prefer to call you Celestine. That does not offend you, does it?"
could hardly keep from bursting.
' ' Why, no. Monsieur, ' ' I answered, holding my- self on the defensive. â–
" Well, Celestine, I think you charming! There!"
" Really, Monsieur? "
'â€¢Adorable, in fact; adorable, adorable!"
'Â« Oh! Monsieur! "
His fingers had left my hand, and were caressing my neck and chin with fat and soft little touches.
" Adorable, adorable! " he whispered.
He tried to embrace me. I drew back a little, to avoid his kiss.
" Stay, Celestine, I beg of you. I do not annoy you, do I ? "
'â€¢ No, Monsieur; you astonish me."
" I astonish you, you little rogue. I astonish you? Oh! you don't know me."
His voice was no longer dry. A fine froth moistened his lips.
" Listen to me, Celestine. Next week I am go- ing to Lourdes ; yes, I conduct a pilg