Page:Pierre and Luce.djvu/106

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and oftener, cleverly kept up the nervousness of Paris.

Pierre and Luce continued to refuse to recognize anything about them, but the slow fever which they breathed in, whether they would or not, from that atmosphere heavy with menace, kindled the desire that glowed in their young bodies. Three years of war had propagated in European souls a freedom of morals which reached even the most honest and straight. And of the two children, neither one nor the other, had any religious beliefs. But they were protected by their delicacy of heart, their instinctive modesty. Only, in secret they had decided to give themselves completely one to the other before the blind cruelty of mankind should separate them. They had not spoken of this. They said it to themselves that evening.

Once or twice during the week Luce's mother was kept at the factory by her night work. On these nights Luce, in order not to stay alone in that desert quarter, slept in Paris with a girl friend. Nobody kept watch over her. The two lovers took advan-