But Jeanne only shrugged her shoulders, and held out her hands for the baby. “It is naught to me,” said she. “We are happy here under this roof, are we not?”
“Precisely. We are safe here. That child yonder is safe here. But how long shall we be safe if there are not those to keep this roof protected? The law, Jeanne,—the Justice, back of the law,—are these things of no interest to you?”
“At least, when it comes to roofs,” reiterated Jeanne. “Monsieur Dunwodee has pulled down his roof about his ear.”
“Yes! Yes! Thank God! And so did Samson pull down the pillars about him when he had back his strength!”
“Madame has given me occasion to disappear,” rejoined Jeanne, with a resigned shrug. “I do not always find myself able to follow the lofty thought of madame. But, at least, for these people of St. Genevieve there is no doubt. They have argue’ among theirself. The vote here is against Monsieur Dunwodee. He is what one calls depose’.
“But then, Madame,” she added presently, as she turned at the door, with the baby on her arm, “if madame should wish to explore the matter for herself, that is quite possible. This night, perhaps to-morrow, Monsieur Dunwodee himself comes to St. Genevieve. He is to meet the voters of this place. He wishes to speak, to explain. I may say that, even, he will have the audacity to come here to advocate the cause of freedom, and the restriction of those slavery for which hitherto he has labor’ so valiant. Perhaps there will be those who care to listen to the address of a man of no more principle. For me and for my husband Hector—we do not argue. Hector, he is for Monsieur Dunwodee. Save as a maker of love, Madame, I am not!”
Josephine made no immediate reply. A tall mirror with pretentious golden frame hung opposite to her across the room. A few moments later, with a start, she suddenly pulled herself together, discovering that she had been gazing steadfastly into the glass.
[Illustration: Gazing steadfastly into the glass.]
It was late in the sunlit afternoon when there rode into the head of the street of old St. Genevieve a weary and mud-stained horseman, who presently dismounted at the hitching rail in front of the little inn which he favored with his company. He was a tall man who, as he turned down the street, walked with just the slightest trace of a limp.
This traveler did not turn into the inn, did not pause, indeed, at any of the points of greater interest, but sought out the little cooper shop of Hector Fournier. That worthy greeted him, wiping his hands upon his leathern apron.
“Eh, bien, then, it is Monsieur Dunwodee! Come in! Come in! I’ll been glad for see you. There was those talk you’ll would not came.”
“Yes, I have come, Hector,” said Dunwody, “and naturally, I have come to see you first. You are one of the few political allies that I have left. At least, if you don’t believe the way I do, you are generous enough to listen!”