And he looked at his wife as if to ask her advice, at the same time murmuring:
"Indeed, that is something! One cannot deny it. That is not bad."
The woman stammered:
" Surely that helps out a little."
Then, trembling and embarrassed:
"Madame the Countess no doubt gives presents also in the month of January and on Saint Fiacre's day?"
' ' No, nothing. ' '
"It is the custom, however. ' '
"It is not mine."
In his turn the man asked :
' ' And for the weasels and pole-cats ? ' '
"No, nothing for those either; you can have the skins."
This was said in a dry, decisive tone, that for- bade further discussion. And suddenly:
"Ah! I warn you, once for all, that I forbid the gardener to sell or give vegetables to any one whomsoever. I know very well that it is necessary to raise too many in order to have enough, and that three-fourths of them are wasted. So much the worse! I intend to allow them to be wasted."
' ' Of course, the same as everywhere else ! ' '
"So it is agreed ? How long have you been married? "
' ' Six years, ' ' answered the woman.