THE ARM-CHAIR AT THE INN
Herbert and Louis, Le Blanc, Brierley, The Architect, madame, and the others lay themselves out to entertain these simple people. Leà and Mignon, knowing the ways of gentle-folk, soon forgot their shyness, as did Gaston, and entered into the spirit of the frolic without question—but the stiff old mother, and the lame uncle, and the aunts and cousins were sore distressed, refusing more than a mouthful of food, their furtive glances wandering over the queer figures and quaint objects of the Marmouset—more marvellous than anything their eyes had ever rested on. One by one, with this and that excuse, they stole away and stood outside, their wondering eyes taking in the now quiet and satisfied Coco and the appointments of the court-yard.
Soon only our own party and Leà and the bride and groom were left, Lemois still the gracious host; madame pitching the key of the merriment, Louis joining in—on his feet one minute, proposing the health of the newly married couple; his glass filled from the contents of the rare punch-bowl entwined with blossoms, which madame had given the coterie the autumn before; paying profound and florid compliments the while to madame la marquise;