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gray dawn for the boat that never comes back—Mignon’s elder brothers in one of them. I do not want her to go through that agony—she is young yet—some one else will come. The first love is not always the last—except in the case of madame”—and he smiled in strange fashion. The bomb was still within reach of his hand, but the fuse had gone out.

“Then it isn’t Gaston himself?” she demanded with unflinching gaze.

“No—he is an honest lad; good to his mother; industrious—a brave fellow. He has, too, so I hear, a place in the market—one of the stalls—so he is getting on, and will soon be one of our best citizens.” He would talk all night about Gaston, and pleasantly, if she wished.

“Well, if he were a notary? Would that be different?” Her soft brown eyes were hardly visible between their lids, but they were burning with an intense light.

“Yes, it might be.” Same air of nonchalance—anything to please the delightful woman.

“Or a chemist?”—just a slit between the lids now, with little flashes along the edges.

“Or a chemist,” intoned Lemois.

“Or a head gardener, perhaps?” Both eyes