Page:Stories by Foreign Authors (French II).djvu/85

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been there, stepped up to her quietly, a little sternly.

——"That was wrong," said he. "Why didn't you bring me back with you? Old Bontemps had to tell me everything. . . . After all, here I am."


It was three o'clock. Great black clouds had slowly filled the sky, the tail of some not distant thunderstorm. This yellow sky, these copper-colored rags, changed the valley of Rocreuse, so cheerful in the sunshine, to a cut-throat den, full of suspicious shadows. The Prussian officer had been content to have Dominique locked up, without saying anything about what fate he had in store for him. Ever since noon, Françoise had been a prey to abominable anguish. She would not leave the courtyard, in spite of her father's urging. She was waiting for the French. But the hours passed by, night was at hand, and she suffered the more keenly that all this time gained did not seem likely to change the frightful catastrophe.

Nevertheless, at about three, the Prussians made preparations to go. A minute before, the officer had closeted himself with Dominique, as on the preceding day. Françoise saw that the young man's life was being decided on. Then