Page:Hopkinson Smith--armchair at the inn.djvu/347

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she wants, and she will continue to have them as long as she is alive.”

“Then I see it is not true, and that you intend breaking her heart; and now will you please tell us why?” She looked at him and waited. There was a new ring—one of command—in her voice. I understood now as I listened why it took so short a time for her to rebuild the villa.

“Is madame the girl’s guardian that she wishes to know?” asked Lemois. The words came with infinite courtesy, madame being the only woman of whom he stood in awe, but there was an undertone of opposition which, if aggravated, would, I felt sure, end in the old man’s abrupt departure from the room.

I tried to relieve the situation by saying how happy not only Mignon but any one of us would be with so brilliant an advocate as madame pleading for our happiness, but she waved me aside with:

“No—please don’t. I want dear Lemois to answer. It was one of my reasons for coming to-night, and he must tell me. He is so kind and considerate, and he is always so sorry for anything that suffers. He loves flowers and birds and animals, and music and pictures and