"Was it my sister?" she questions, in the highest degree amazed. She stands still, looks up at me, and positively waits for an answer. She puts the question in all sober earnest.
"Yes," I replied. "Hum—m, that is to say, it was the younger of the two ladies who went on in front of me."
"The youngest, eh? eh? a-a-ha!" she laughed out all at once, loudly, heartily, like a child. "Oh, how sly you are; you only said that just to get me to raise my veil, didn't you? Ah, I thought so; but you may just wait till you are blue first . . . just for punishment."
We began to laugh and jest; we talked incessantly all the time. I do not know what I said, I was so happy. She told me that she had seen me once before, a long time ago, in the theatre. I had then comrades with me, and I behaved like a madman; I must certainly have been tipsy that time too, more's the shame.
Why did she think that?
Oh, I had laughed so.
"Really, a-ah yes; I used to laugh a lot in those days."
"But now not any more?"
"Oh yes; now too. It is a splendid thing to exist sometimes."