Page:Hopkinson Smith--armchair at the inn.djvu/283

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hand put his house, his fortune, and his future happiness at my feet. There were bread and wine, and cheese and grapes; and there were also eggs, and it might be a slice of pork. As for chicken—he would regret to his dying day that none was within his reach. Would I take my repast in the house at the adjoining table, or would I have a lamp lighted in the arbor and eat under the trees?

“I preferred the lamp, of course, under the trees; picked up the flask of wine, poured out a glass for my guide, which he drank at a gulp, and handed him a franc for his trouble. The woman gave a sidelong glance at the coin and followed him out into the garden; there the two stood whispering. On her return, while she passed close enough to me to graze my arm, she never once raised her eyes, but kept her face averted until she had hidden herself in the kitchen.

“I had selected the garden for two reasons: I wanted the air and I wanted to know something more of my surroundings. What I saw—and I could see now the more clearly, for the moon had risen over the mountain—were two rear windows on the second floor, their sills level with the sloping shed, and a tree with its