Page:Pierre and Luce.djvu/37

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friend. Fleeting pressure ! One of the two hands, that of the man, says: "Lean upon me!" And the other, the maternal one, pushes aside her own fear in order to say: "My little dear!"

Nothing of all this was uttered or heard. But that inward murmur filled the soul far better than words, that curtain of foliage which masks our thought. Pierre allowed himself to be cradled by this humming. Such the song of a golden wasp that floats through the chiaroscuro of one's thought. His days became numb things in this new languor. That solitary and naked heart dreamed of the warmth of a nest.

During these first weeks of February, Paris was counting her ruins from the last raid and licking her wounds. The press, locked up in its kennel, was barking for reprisals. And, according to the statement of "the Man who put the fetters on," the government was making war on the French. The open season for suits at law for treasonable acts commenced. The spectacle of a wretched creature who was defending his