Page:Stories by Foreign Authors (French II).djvu/133

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hospitality of which I stood so sorely in need. But before setting out, I laid down a gold-piece upon the table, which I could hardly have got old Salaun to accept had he been at home.

I took the way to Crozon, and had not proceeded far before I heard in the distance a solemn chant, which drew nearer and nearer to where I was. On account of the very high hedges which shut in the road, I was unable as yet to see any of the singers, even though I could distinctly hear the words of their song. A peasant who came from Crozon informed me, however, that it was a procession, undertaken by all the adjacent parishes on account of the long-continued drought, and that it was marching around the fields, chanting, and offering up prayers for rain.

From a little hillock on the roadside which I ascended, I succeeded in seeing the procession, which soon, however, defiled along a crossway, and came into the road. First came the priest, then the men, two and two; afterwards the women, in their picturesque Sunday costume, but with grave bearing, and absorbed in deep devotion.

In the pauses of the chant, which were devoted to prayer, nothing was to be heard but the humming of insects and the chirping of birds.

One of these pauses was suddenly interrupted by a noise which proceeded from the direction