Page:The Wheel of Time, Collaboration, Owen Wingrave (New York, Harper & Brothers, 1893).djvu/115

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107
COLLABORATION

simple than the spectacle (so easily conceivable) of a German's finding it hot for him in a French house—a house French enough, at any rate, to give countenance to the idea of his quick defeat.

How could the right cause fail of protection in any house of which Madame de Brindes and her charming daughter were so good as to be assiduous frequenters? I recollect perfectly the pale gleam of joy in the mother's handsome face when she gathered that what had happened was that a detested German was on his defence. She wears her eternal mourning (I admit it's immensely becoming) for a triple woe, for multiplied griefs and wrongs, all springing from the crash of the Empire, from the battlefields of 1870. Her husband fell at Sedan, her father and her brother on still darker days; both her own family and that of M. de Brindes, their general situation in life, were, as may be said, creations of the Empire, so that from one hour to the other she found herself sinking with the wreck. You won't recognize her under the name I give her, but you may none the less have