"Are you getting accustomed to the place, Célestine?"
That question? Was I getting accustomed to the place? And I had been there but three hours. I had to bite my lips to keep from laughing. The old gentleman has queer ways; and, really, he is a little stupid.
But that makes no difference. He does not displease me. In his very vulgarity he reveals a certain power and masculinity which are not disagreeable to me.
When his boots had been taken off, and to leave him with a good impression of me, I asked him, in my turn:
"I see Monsieur is a hunter. Has Monsieur had a good hunt to-day?"
"I never have good hunts, Célestine," he answered, shaking his head. "I hunt for the sake of walking,—for the sake of riding,—that I may not be here, where I find it tiresome."
"Ah! Monsieur finds it tiresome here?"
After a pause, he gallantly corrected himself.
"That is to say, I did find it tiresome. For now, you see, it is different."
Then, with a stupid and moving smile:
"Will you get me my slippers? I ask your pardon."