Page:Pierre and Luce.djvu/107

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tage of this freedom to pass a portion of the evening together and sometimes they took a simple dinner in a little out-of-the-way restaurant. On leaving after dinner on this mid-March evening they heard the bomb-alert signal sound. They took refuge in the nearest place as if it were an affair of a rain shower, and for some time amused themselves observing their chance comrades. But the danger seeming distant or no longer there, although nothing had occurred to announce the end of the bomb-warning, Luce and Pierre, who did not want to get home too late, went on their way chatting gaily. They followed an old dark and narrow street near Saint Sulpice. They had just passed a hackney coach standing idle, both horse and driver asleep, near the gate of a porte cochère. They were twenty steps away and on the other sidewalk, when everything about them shuddered: a red, blinding flash, a roll of thunder, a rain of loosened tiles and broken windowpanes! Near the buttress of a house which made a sharp projection into the street they flattened