124 COLAS BREUGNON
" I would have known you anywhere out of all the women in the world, with my eyes shut."
" Perhaps so, but if they were open? I have lost teeth, my cheeks have fallen in, I have red eyes, and a sharp nose; while as for my throat and all the rest of it, I am nothing but an old meal sack, and that's the truth ! "
" In my eyes you are always young."
" You must be blind, then."
" No, Belette, my sight at least is as keen as ever. Do you remember? You were called that because you were like a little weasel, and here you are, run to earth, after all your doublings and turnings, and you still have your little sharp nose, and bright eyes like your namesake, shining up at me out of your burrow."
" It's safe enough now, at any rate, for the old fox to come near me. Well, love has not made you any thinner."
" Why should it? " said I, laughing. " The crea- ture has to be fed! "
" Perhaps it would do as well to give him some- thing to drink," said she, so we went into the farm- house, and sat down at the table. The Lord knows what it was that she placed before me ! I was too much taken up with other things to notice, but all the time I plied a good knife and