Out beyond the Malakoff. Streets like broken teeth separated by vague regions losing themselves in a dubious kind of country-side where among boarded enclosures blossom the cabins of ragpickers. The gray dull sky is lying low over the colorless ground whose thin edges smoke with the fog. The air is chill. The house easy to find: there are only three of them on one side of the road. The last of the three; it has no neighbor across the street. It has but one story with a little courtyard which is surrounded by a picket fence; two or three starveling trees, a square patch of kitchen garden under the snow.
Pierre has made no noise on entering; the snow deadens his steps. But the curtains of the ground floor are in motion; and when he reaches the door, the door opens and Luce is on the threshold. In the half light of the