Page:Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag, Volume 2.djvu/47

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BRITTANY.

sieurs!" she whipped little Jean into his shirt, while the men sat clown to smoke.

It took two deliberate men nearly a week to split the gnarled logs, and one brisk woman carried them into the cellar and piled them neatly. The men stopped about once an hour to smoke, drink cider, or rest. The woman worked steadily from morning till night, only pausing at noon for a bit of bread and the soup good Coste sent out to her. The men got two francs a day, the woman half a franc; and, as nothing was taken out of it for wine or tobacco, her ten cents probably went farther than their forty.

This same capable lady used to come to market with a baby on one arm, a basket of fruit on the other, leading a pig, driving a donkey, and surrounded by sheep, while her head bore a pannier of vegetables, and her hands spun busily with a distaff. How she ever got on with these trifling incumbrances, was a mystery; but there she was, busy, placid, and smiling, in the midst of the crowd, and at night went home with her shopping well content.

The washer-women were among the happiest of these happy souls, and nowhere were seen prettier pictures than they made, clustered round the foun-