side her, and laying my hand gently upon the lassie's shoulder, implored that she weep no more.
Up she sprang to face me, flushed and indignant. Verily was I abashed. Yet there was that of sympathy and sincerity in my voice and mien—or so she told me after—which turned her wrath aside.
"You, Monsieur; I thought it was old Monsieur Viard, he pursues me so."
It was the same little maid I had seen in the hall, and that was why I trembled. She wept now for the scolding she had got. I caught my breath to inquire why she wept.
"Oh, Madame, Madame—it is the humour of Madame to humiliate me of late; she reminds me ever of my dependent position. And Monsieur," the child straightened up proudly till she was quite a woman. "Monsieur, I come of a race as old as her own—and as honoured." "Charles is poor—the Chevalier de la Mora, you know. But now he goes to the colonies, and will take me with him."
It was a silly enough thing to do, but about here I stalked most unceremoniously off, leaving her to her sorrow and her tears. Since that day I have often smiled to think how foolishly do the wisest men deport themselves when they first begin to love. Their little starts of passion, their petty angers and their sweet repentances—all were unexplored by me, for Love to me was yet an unread book.
At the door of the house M. Leroux hailed me graciously: