Page:Hopkinson Smith--armchair at the inn.djvu/169

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It was not to be wondered at, therefore, that the day was passed quietly, the men keeping indoors, although the storm had whirled down the coast, leaving behind it only laughing blue skies and a light wind.

The one exciting incident was a telegram from madame la marquise, thanking Lemois and his “brave body of men” for their heroic services and adding that she would come as soon as possible to inspect what she called her “ruin,” and would then give herself the pleasure of thanking each and every one in person. This was followed some hours later by a second despatch inquiring after the wounded fisherman and charging Lemois to spare no expense in bringing him back to health; and a third one from Marc saying he had gone to Paris and would not be back for several days.

The absorbing topic, of course, had been Lemois’ outbreak on Mignon and subsequent justification of his conduct. Louis was the most outspoken of all, and, despite Lemois’ defence, valiantly espoused the girl’s cause, the rest of us with one accord pledging ourselves to fight her battles and Gaston’s, no matter at what cost. Brierley even went so far as to offer to relieve Leà, during which blissful in-