Page:Pierre and Luce.djvu/78

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was who made almost all the conversation, all by herself. Instinct told her that silence was dangerous. And as it happens with sincere persons who talk at some length, she came quickly to the point of confiding to him the intimate affairs of her life and those of her family which she did not have the slightest intention of recounting. She heard herself speak with astonishment; but there was no way of returning to solid ground; the very silence of Pierre was like a declivity down which the stream glided. . . .

She recited the facts of her infant life in the provinces. She came from Touraine. Her mother belonging to a well-to-do family of the solid bourgeoisie became infatuated with a tutor, the son of a farmer. The bourgeois family opposed the marriage; but the two lovers were obstinate; the young girl had waited until she was of age in order to send out the legal summons to her family. After the marriage her people would not recognize her. The young couple lived through years of affection and hard fare. The husband wore himself out at his task