Page:Hopkinson Smith--armchair at the inn.djvu/164

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Herbert, catching our suggestive glances, essayed the task. He was the man held in most esteem by Lemois, and might perhaps be allowed to say things which the old gentleman would not take from the rest; and then again, whatever the outcome, Herbert could be depended upon to keep his temper no matter what Lemois might answer in return.

“Mignon did nothing, monsieur, except show her love for her sweetheart—why break out on her?” Herbert’s voice was low, but there was meaning behind it.

“I won’t have this thing!” came the indignant retort, all his poise gone. “That’s why I broke out on her. Mignon is not for fishermen, nor ditch-diggers, nor road-makers. She is like my child—I have other things in store for her. I tell you I will not have it go on—she knows why and Leà knows why! I have said so, and it is finished!”

“He about saved your life a little while ago. Does that count for anything?” The words edged their way through tightly closed lips.

“Yes—for me; that is why I brought him home—but he has not saved Mignon’s life. He would wreck it. She will marry somebody else and he will marry somebody else. There