" Yes, on you; on you alone."
"And how is that?"
A moment of silence follows, during which, straightening up and twisting his pointed beard, he seeks to envelop me in a seductive fluid.
" Come," he says, suddenly, " let us go straight to the point. Let us speak squarely, â€” soldier- fashion. Do you wish to take Rose's place? "
I was expecting the attack. I had seen it com- ing from the depth of his eyes. It does not sur- prise me. I receive it with a serious and unmoved expression.
" And the wills. Captain? "
" Oh! I tear them up."
" But I do not know how to cook."
"Oh! I will do the cooking; I will make my bed ; I will do everything. ' '
He becomes gallant, sprightly; his eye sparkles. He leans towards the hedge, stretching out his neck. His eyes become bloodshot. And in a lower voice he says:
< ' If you came to me, Celestine, â€” well" . . .
'â– Well, what?"
"Well, the Lanlaires would die of rage. Ah! that's an idea! "
I lapse into silence, and pretend to be profoundly dreaming. The captain becomes impatient. He digs the heels of his shoes into the sandy path.