"Go ahead, my dear boy! If that is any pleasure to you! Continue! I'm listening. . . ."
That insolent little smile! . . . Their rôles were reversed.
Philip stopped talking, much mortified, and observed his young brother more attentively, who, however, did not occupy himself further with him. How he had changed! The parents, who saw him every day, had not noticed anything; but the penetrating and moreover jealous eyes of Philip did not find any more the well known expression after several months of absence. Pierre had a happy, languid, thoughtless, torpid air, indifferent as to persons, inattentive to what is about them, floating in an atmosphere of voluptuous dream, like a young girl. And Philip felt that he counted for nothing in the little brother's thoughts.
Since he was no less expert in analyzing himself than in observing others, he was quick to recover consciousness of his own vexation and laugh at it. Vanity thrust aside, he interested himself in Pierre and