court is empty, as are all the roosting-places up and down the shore. Then everybody at the Inn takes a long breath—the first they have had for weeks.
About this time, too, the crisp autumn air, fresh from the sea, begins to blow, dulling the hunger for the open. The mad whirl of blossoms no longer intoxicates. Even the geraniums, which have flamed their bravest all summer, lose their snap and freshness; while the blue and pink hydrangeas hang their heads, tired out with nodding to so many passers-by: they, too, are paying the price; you can see it in their faces. Only the sturdy chrysanthemums are rejoicing in the first frost, while the more daring of the roses are unbuckling their petals ready to fight their way through the perils of an October bloom.
It is just at this blessed moment that I move in and settle down with my companions, for now that the rush is over, and the little Normandy maids and the older peasant women who have served the hungry and thirsty mob all summer, as well as two of the three French cooks, have gone back to their homes, we have Leà, Mignon, and Pierre all to ourselves.
I put dear old Leà first because it might as