Page:Hopkinson Smith--armchair at the inn.djvu/94

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stories of our coast? Only this summer something occurred which I laugh over every time I think of it. The Cabourg races were on and the court-yard outside was packed with people who had come for luncheon before the Prix Lagrange was run. They were making a good deal of noise—a thing the old gentleman hates, especially from loudly dressed women. I was at the next table, sheltered from the others, and was enjoying the curious spectacle—such people always interest me—when I noticed Monsieur Lemois rubbing his hands together, talking to himself, his eyes fixed on the group. I knew one of his storms was brewing, and was wondering what would happen, when I saw him start forward as another uproarious laugh escaped one of the most boisterous.

“‘Mademoiselle,’ he said in his softest and most courteous tone, hat in hand, bowing first to her and then to her male companions; ‘mademoiselle, I love to hear you laugh; I built this place for laughter, but when you laughed so very loud a moment ago my flowers were so ashamed they hung their heads,’ and then he kept on bowing, his hat still in his hand, his face calm, his manner scrupulously polite. No-