Page:Pierre and Luce.djvu/145

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PIERRE AND LUCE
135

At that moment Luce, who had just kissed her dear little comrade with a passionate glance—(his eyes half closed and his lips parted, he appeared lost in an ecstasy of happiness and raised his head in a rush of thankful joy toward that supreme Power which we look for instinctively on high)—Luce saw with terror, in the red and gilded window of the chapel, the face of the reddish-haired child of the parvis who was smiling at her. And as she sat mute, frozen with astonishment, she saw once more on that strange visage the same expression of fright and of pity.

And at the same instant the great pier against which they leaned their backs moved, and down to its very base the entire church trembled. And Luce, whose heart beats deadened in her the crash of the explosion and the shrieks of the crowd, threw herself without having time to fear or to suffer upon Pierre, in order to cover him with her body like a hen with her brood—upon Pierre, who with closed eyes was smiling with happiness. With a maternal move-