APPLE-BLOSSOMS AND WHITE MUSLIN
continued until she had joined Gaston and the others already formed in line for the march to the church.
And a wonderful procession it was!
First, of course, came the mayor—his worthy spouse on his left. “The State before the Church,” madame la marquise remarked with a sly twinkle, “and quite as it should be,” rabid anti-clerical as she was.
Close behind stepped Lemois in a frock-coat buttoned to his chin, his grave, thoughtful face framed in a high collar and black cravat—like an old diplomat at a court function—Mignon on his arm: Such a pretty, shrinking, timid Mignon, her lashes lifting and settling as if afraid to raise her eyes lest some one should find a chink through which they could peep into her heart.
Next came Louis escorting dear old Leà!
There was a picture for you! Had she been a duchess the rollicking young painter could not have treated her with more deference, bearing himself aloft, his chest out, handing her over the low “thank-ye-marm” at the street corner—the old woman, straight as her bent shoulders would allow, calm, self-contained, but near bursting with a joy that would drown her in