started. Their legs were weak and they hated to walk. Under the sunshine and the silence of the woods they tottered. The earth drew them. Just to lie down in the path! Just to let themselves be carried along on the rim of the colossal wheel of the worlds. . . .
They scrambled over the bank of the wayside, entered a thicket and, side by side on the old dead leaves through which violets showed their buds, they stretched themselves out. The first songs of the birds and the distant thuds of the guns mingled with the village bells that were proclaiming the festival of the morrow. The luminous air vibrated hope, faith, love, death. Notwithstanding the solitude they spoke in whispers. Their hearts were oppressed: by happiness? or by sorrow? They could not have told. They were submerged in their dream. Lucile, immobile, stretched out, her arms close to her body, her eyes open, absorbed and gazing at the sky, felt rising in her a hidden suffering which since the morning she forced herself to drive away in order not to mar the joy of the holiday. Pierre laid his