THE ARM-CHAIR AT THE INN
were glum and solemn; they might have been asleep so dull were they. My old Virgin in the corner, which I found in Rouen, and which is unquestionably French, never raised her eyes; but the two carved saints over your head, the ones I got in Salamanca when I was last there, were overjoyed. One smiled so sweetly that I could not take my eyes from her, and the other kept such perfect time with his head that I was sorry when you stopped. So you see, your chant is unquestionably Spanish, and I am glad.”
Nor did his spirits flag when dinner was over and he took his place by the coffee-table, handing Mignon the tiny cups without even a look of reproach at the demure, sad-eyed girl who was keeping up so brave a heart.
The change was a delightful one to the coterie. As long as the embarrassing situation continued there was no telling what might happen. A question of cuisine could be settled by more or less cayenne, but the question of a marriage settlement was another affair. Press him too far and the old gentleman might have bundled us all into the street and thrown our trunks after us.
The wisest thing, therefore, was to meet his