"Ha! ha! ha! I have never even seen these confounded bills."
"Well, on Sunday then," concluded Monsieur.
Monsieur had poured out a glass of cider for himself, and was drinking with father Pantois, when Madame, whom they had not heard coming, suddenly entered the kitchen, like a gust of wind. Ah! her eye, when she saw that! when she saw Monsieur sitting at table beside the poor old man, and drinking with him!
"What's this?" she exclaimed, her lips all white.
Monsieur stammered, and hemmed and hawed.
"It is some sweet-briers; you know very well, my pet; some sweet-briers. Father Pantois has brought me some sweet-briers. All the rose-bushes were frozen this winter."
"I have ordered no sweet-briers. We need no sweet-briers here."
This was said in a cutting tone. Then she made a half-circuit of the room, and went out, slamming the door and showering insults. In her anger she had not noticed me.
Monsieur and the poor old puller of sweet-briers had risen. Embarrassed, they looked at the door through which Madame had just disappeared. Then they looked at each other, without daring to say a word. Monsieur was the first to break this painful silence.