Page:Pierre and Luce.djvu/100

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searched for the secret of his metamorphosis. He would have liked well to have solicited his confidence, but that was a business to which he was not habituated, and besides, little brother did not seem to have any need of confiding; with a careless and chaffing unconstraint he looked on while Philip attempted awkwardly to spread the net; and with his hands in his pockets, smiling, his thoughts elsewhere, whistling a little air, he answered vaguely, without listening carefully to what he was being asked—then, all of a sudden, turned off to his own regions. Good night! And he was no longer there. One caught only at his reflection in the water, which escaped from between one's fingers.—And Philip, like a lover disdained, felt all his value now and experienced the attraction of the mystery in this heart which he had lost.

The key to the enigma came to him by pure chance. As he was coming home in the evening by Boulevard Montparnasse, in the dark he passed Pierre and Luce. He was afraid they might have noticed him.