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much a part of the coterie as if he had taken the fifth chair, left vacant for the always late Marc, who had not yet put in an appearance, and a place we would have insisted upon his occupying, despite his intended isolation, but for a certain look in the calm eyes and a certain dignity of manner which forbade any such encroachments on his reserve.

To-night he was especially welcome. Thanks to his watchful care we had dined well—Pierre having outdone himself in a pigeon pie—and that quiet, restful contentment which follows a good dinner, beside a warm fire and under the glow of slow-burning candles, had taken possession of us.

“A wonderful pie, Lemois—a sublime, never-to-be-forgotten pie!” exclaimed Louis, voicing our sentiments. “Every one of those pigeons went straight to heaven when they died.”

“Ah!—it pleased you then, Monsieur Louis? I will tell Pierre—he will be so happy.”

“Pleased!” persisted the enthusiastic painter. “Why, I can think of no better end—no higher ambition—for a well-brought-up pigeon than being served hot in one of Pierre’s pies. Tell him so for me—I am speaking as a pigeon, of course.”