or other in his platbands. It is always time gained from the ennui of the household. During these moments there are no scenes. Away from Madame, he is no longer the same man. His face lightens up, his eyes shine. Naturally gay, his gaiety comes to the surface. Really, he is not disagreeable. In the house, indeed, he rarely speaks to me now, and, though still bent on his idea, seems to pay no attention to me. But outside he never fails to address me a pleasant little word, after making sure, however, that Madame cannot be spying him. When he does not dare to speak to me, he looks at me, and his look is more eloquent than his words. Moreover, I amuse myself in exciting him in all ways, although I have taken no resolution concerning him.
In passing by him, in the path where he was working, bent over his dahlias, with bits of string between his teeth, I said to him, without slackening my pace :
"Oh! how hard Monsieur is working this morning!"
"Yes, indeed," he answered; "these confounded dahlias! You see" …
He invited me to stop a minute.
"Well, Célestine, I hope you are getting accustomed to the place, now?"
Always his mania! Always the same difficulty in engaging in conversation! To please him, I replied with a smile: