Page:Stories by Foreign Authors (French II).djvu/67

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

like the rungs of a ladder along the Morelle. Only a single one stood opposite the mill, on the other side of the river near a willow whose branches dipped into the water. Françoise saw him distinctly; he was a big fellow, standing motionless, his face turned toward the sky with the dreamy look of a shepherd.

Then, when she had carefully inspected the ground, she went back and sat down upon her bed. She stayed there an hour deeply absorbed. Then she listened again; in the house not a breath stirred. She went back to the window, and looked out; but, no doubt, she saw danger in one of the horns of the moon, which still appeared behind the trees, for she went back again to wait. At last the time seemed to have come. The night was quite dark, she no longer saw the sentinel opposite, the country lay spread out like a pool of ink. She listened intently for a moment, and made up her mind. An iron ladder ran near the window, some bars let into the wall, leading from the wheel up to the loft, down which the millers used to climb, to get at certain cog-wheels; then, when the machinery had been altered, the ladder had long since disappeared beneath the rank growth of ivy that covered that side of the mill.

Françoise bravely climbed over the balustrade of her window, grasped one of the iron bars, and found herself in empty space. She began