Page:Stories by Foreign Authors (French II).djvu/148

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143
THE SEMPSTRESS' STORY.

gave him back to me, pale and with bloodless lips, it is true, but with life in his looks, and breathing—breathing the free, fresh air.

"'Kiss him, mother,' says the doctor, 'and put him to bed. Cover the place with some light thing or other, and Joseph must stay with you tonight; won't you, Joseph? Ah, well, that's all arranged.'

"He put on his things and wrapped himself up to go. He was shaking hands with my husband, when I seized one hand, and kissed it—like a fool, as I was—but I did n't stop to think. He laughed heartily, and said to my husband, 'Are you not jealous, friend? Your wife is making great advances to me. But I must be off now. Good-night, good people.'

"And from that night he always talks so friendly and familiarly to us, not a bit contemptuously either, but as if he liked us, and was glad to be of service to us.

"The next morning, at half-past five, there he was, as fresh as a rose, and larger, as it seemed to me, than before. And no wonder, neither, for don't you think he had brought four bottles of old Bordeaux! two in his pockets and two under his arms.

"'The little fellow must take this,' says he. 'Everything gone on well in the night, eh?'

"'Admirably well, sir,' answered Mr. Joseph. I call him Mr. Joseph, but I have since found