MADAME LA MARQUISE
tor gave my husband no hope of ever being well again, my husband sent for him and begged Henri’s pardon for what he had said, saying he wanted no one to hate him now that he could not live; that all Henri had done was to love me as a man should love a woman, and that, if I would be willing, Henri should take care of the farm and keep it for me. This was four years ago, and Henri is still here and my husband has never changed. When the weather is good, Henri puts him in his chair, the one we bought in Rouen, and wheels him about under the apple-trees, and every night he comes in and sits beside him and goes over the accounts and tells him of the day’s work. Then he goes back home, six kilometres away, to his mother’s, where he lives.’”
Madame la marquise paused and shook the ashes from her cigarette, her head on one side, her eyes half-closed, a thoughtful, wholly absorbed expression on her face. Lemois, who had listened to every word of the strange narrative, his gaze fastened upon her, made no sound, nor did he move.
“And now listen to the rest: Two years later the poor cripple passed away and the next spring the two were married. The last