Page:Hopkinson Smith--armchair at the inn.djvu/102

This page needs to be proofread.


“But there is nothing for sheer obstinacy like a Frenchman in love. Indeed he was too far gone to believe a word she said or take no for an answer, and as my grounds were next to his mother’s, and the two families most intimate, he still kept up his visits to the house, where, I must say, he was always welcome, for my husband and I liked him extremely, and he deserved it. His mother, objecting to the marriage, wanted to keep him away. She insisted—all this I heard afterward—that the girl was half savage and looked and moved like one; that she had doubtless been brought up among a lawless tribe who robbed every one around them; that there was no knowing what such a girl had done and would not do, and that she would rather see her son lying dead at her feet—the usual motherly exaggeration—than see him her victim. This brought him at last to his senses, for he came to me one day and wanted me to tell him what I knew of her antecedents as well as the story of her captivity and life with the savages. This was a difficult situation to face, and I at first refused to discuss her private affairs. Then I knew any mystery would only make him the more crazy, and so I told him what I knew, omitting the