Page:Stories by Foreign Authors (French II).djvu/159

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

Roussillon from the neglect in which the indifference of erudites had left it.

While eating heartily—for nothing makes one hungrier than the keen air of the mountains—I scrutinized my hosts. I have said a word about M. de Peyrehorade, I must add that he was activity personified. He talked, got up, ran to his library, brought me books, showed me engravings, and filled my glass, all at the same time. He was never two minutes in repose. His wife was a trifle stout, as are most Catalans when they are over forty years of age. She appeared to me a thorough provincial, solely occupied with her housekeeping. Though the supper was sufficient for at least six persons, she hurried to the kitchen and had pigeons killed and a number broiled, and she opened I do not know how many jars of preserves. In no time the table was laden with dishes and bottles, and if I had but tasted of everything offered me I should certainly have died of indigestion. Nevertheless, at each dish I refused they made fresh excuses. They feared I found myself very badly off at Ille. In the provinces there were so few resources, and of course Parisians were fastidious!

In the midst of his parents' comings and goings M. Alphonse de Peyrehorade was as immovable as rent-day. He was a tall young man of twenty-six with a regular and handsome countenance, but lacking in expression. His height