Page:Pierre and Luce.djvu/117

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crept about in the promiscuous conditions of the factories made for luxury and for murder, in those human vats, no longer kept up any restraint upon herself. At home she had indulged in a scene of furious jealousy with her lover, without caring if her daughter heard; and Luce had learned that her mother was with child. For her this was like a blot that extended to herself, whose entire love, whose love for Pierre was polluted thereby. That is why when Pierre had approached her she had repulsed him; she was ashamed of herself and of him. . . . Ashamed of him? Poor Pierre! . . .

He remained there, humiliated, and not daring to budge any more. She was struck with remorse, smiled in the midst of tears and, resting her head on Pierre's knees, said:

"It is my turn!"

Still disquieted, Pierre smoothed her hair as one pets a cat. He murmured:

"Luce, what is all this? Tell me . . ."

"Nothing," she responded. "I've seen sorrowful things."

He had too much respect for her secrets to