Page:Stories by Foreign Authors (French III).djvu/72

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tary and supreme despair dimmed his eyes. Meantime, the young gentleman with the eyeglasses, his chain-fellow, laughed to see an old man weep.

Now that the bird was no longer there, he did not wish to preserve its cage, made with so much solicitude for the lonely dead bird. He offered it to this good soldier who had condescended to listen to his story, anxious to leave him this legacy before departing for his long and last voyage.

And Yves sadly had accepted the empty cage as a present, so that he might not cause any more pain to this old abandoned wretch by appearing to disdain this thing which had cost him so much labor.

I feel that I have not been able to do full justice to all the sadness that there was in this story as it was told me.

It was evening and very late, and I was about to go to bed. I, who had in the course of my life seen with little emotion so many loud-sounding sorrows and dramas and deaths, perceived with astonishment that the distress of this old man tore my heart, and even threatened to disturb my sleep.

"I wonder," said I, "if means could be found of sending him another?"

"Yes," replied Yves, "I also thought of that. I thought of buying him a beautiful bird at a bird-