He really felt that he was guilty. This mother's unreasoning anger was justifiable.
However, having saved the mother consoled him for having saved this marquis.
But the children!
The mother was thinking about them, too. Their thoughts were in the same direction, and without speaking to each other, they may have met in the shadows of reverie.
However, her eyes, in whose depths was the darkness of night, fastened on Tellmarch again.
"But it cannot go on like this," she said.
"Hush!" said Tellmarch, putting his finger on his lips.
"You did wrong to save me, and I am angry with you for it. I would rather be dead, because I am sure I should see them. I should know where they are. They would not see me, but I should be near them. One when dead may be able to protect."
He took her arm and felt her pulse.
"Calm yourself, you will bring on the fever again."
She asked him almost harshly,—
"When can I go away?"
"Never, if you are not reasonable; to-morrow, if you are good."
"What do you call being good?"
"Having confidence in God."
"God! Where has he put my children?"
She was like one deranged. Her voice grew very gentle.
"You understand," she said to him, "I cannot stay like this. You have never had children, I have had them. That makes a difference. One cannot judge of a thing when he does not know what it is. You have never had any children, have you?"
"No," replied Tellmarch.
"As for me, I had nothing else. Without my children, what am I? I wish some one would tell me why I am without my children. I feel sure something has happened, but I do not understand. They have killed my husband, they shot me, but, all the same, I do not understand it."