never. . . . O, how queer it is, this life!"
She wore a sweet smile, sorrowful and roguish. Upon her hands placed on the table Pierre put his hands tenderly, and sat without motion.
"We are poor creatures," he muttered.
Luce continued in a moment:
"We two, how tranquil we are! . . . The others have the fever. The war. The factories. People are in a hurry. They hustle. To work hard, to live, to enjoy themselves . . ."
"Yes," said Pierre, "the time is short."
"All the more reason not to run!" said Luce. "One gets too soon to the end. Let us walk slowly."
"But it's time that hurries along. Hold on to it well."
"I'm holding onto it; I'm holding," said Luce, grasping his hand.
Thus back and forward, tenderly, gravely, they talked like a pair of good old friends. But they took good care that the table should stay between them.
And behold, they perceived that the night