Page:Hopkinson Smith--armchair at the inn.djvu/309

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.


of the landslide, the building of a fence, and, later on, the preparation of a new garden. This last was to be madame’s very own, and neither care nor cost was to be considered in its making. She could sleep in a garage—she had slept there since the catastrophe—and take her meals from the top of a barrel (which was also true), but a garden meant the very breath of her life—flowers she must have—flowers all the time, from the first crocus to the last October blossoms. Marc, now her abject slave, was then at Rouen arranging for their shipment. The daily news—such as twenty or more men at work, the chimney half finished, the fence begun, etc., etc.—Le Blanc, who was constantly at the site, generally brought us at night, his report being received with the keenest zest, for the marquise was now counted as the most delightful of our coterie.

His very latest and most important bulletin set us all to speculating;—the old garage—here his voice rose in intensity—was to be moved back some fifty feet and a new wing added, with bedroom above and a kitchen below. “A new garage!” we had all exclaimed. Who then was to occupy it? Not madame, of course, nor her servants, for they, as hereto-