Page:Pierre and Luce.djvu/56

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about that. Or we shall not be friends any more . . ."

"We are friends, then?"

"Yes. That's to say, if you are so still after you have seen these horrible daubs?"

"Surely, surely! It isn't your fault."

"But do they trouble you?"

"Oh, yes."

She laughed out contentedly.

"That makes you laugh, naughty girl!"

"No, it's not being naughty. You do not understand."

"Then why do you laugh?"

"I shan't tell you."

(She was thinking: "Love! how kind you are to be troubled because I have done something that is ugly!")

She went on:

"You are so kind. Thank you."

(He looked at her with astonished eyes.)

"Don't try to understand," said she, tapping him softly on his hand. . . . "There, let's talk of something else. . . ."

"Yes. But one word more. . . . Still, I could wish to know. . . . Tell me (and