" Why not, Joseph?"
" Because I cannot now."
' ' But when will you go, for good ? ' '
Joseph scratches his neck, gives me a sly"glance, and says:
' ' As to that I do not know. Perhaps not for six months yet ; perhaps sooner ; perhaps even later. I cannot tell. It depends."
I feel that he does not wish to speak. Neverthe- less I insist:
" It depends on what? "
He hesitates to answer; then, in a mysterious and, at the same time, somewhat excited tone, he says:
' ' On a certain matter ; on a very important matter."
' ' But what matter ? ' '
"Oh! on a certain matter, that's all."
This is uttered in a brusque voice, â€” a voice not of anger exactly, but of impatience. He refuses to explain further.
He says nothing to me of myself. This aston- ishes me, and causes me a painful disappointment. Can he have changed his mind? Has my curios- ity, my hesitation, wearied him? Yet it is very natural that I should be interested in an event in the success or failure of which I am to share. Can the suspicion that I have not been able to hide, my suspicion of the outrage committed b