“Clotilde,” she said, very softly.
“Maman,” the daughter replied, opening her eyes, reached up her arms and drew the dear head down.
“Clotilde, once upon a time I woke this way, and, while you were asleep, left the bed and made a vow to Monsieur Danny. Oh! it was a sin! but I cannot do those things now; I have been frightened ever since. I shall never do so any more. I shall never commit another sin as long as I live!”
Their lips met fervently.
“My sweet sweet,” whispered Clotilde, “you looked so beautiful sitting up with the moonlight all around you!”
“Clotilde, my beautiful daughter,” said Aurora, pushing her bedmate from her and pretending to repress a smile, “I tell you now, because you don’t know, and it is my duty as your mother to tell you—the meanest wickedness a woman can do in all this bad, bad world is to look ugly in bed!”
Clotilde answered nothing, and Aurora dropped her outstretched arms, turned away with an involuntary, tremulous sigh, and after two or three hours of patient wakefulness, fell asleep.
But at daybreak next morning, he that wrote the paper had not closed his eyes.
A PROPOSAL OF MARRIAGE
There was always some flutter among Frowenfeld’s employes when he was asked for, and this time it was the more pronounced because he was sought by a housemaid from the upper floor. It was hard for these two or three young Ariels to keep their Creole feet to the ground when it was presently revealed to their sharp ears that the “prof-fis-or” was requested to come upstairs.
The new store was an extremely neat, bright, and well-ordered establishment; yet to ascend into the drawing-rooms seemed to the apothecary like going from the hold of one of those smart old packet-ships of his day into the cabin. Aurora came forward, with the slippers of a Cinderella twinkling at the edge of her robe. It seemed unfit that the floor under them should not be clouds.
“Proffis-or Frowenfel’, good-day! Teg a cha’.” She laughed. It was the pure joy of existence. “You’s well? You lookin’ verrie well! Halways bizzie? You fine dad agriz wid you’ healt’, ‘Sieur Frowenfel’? Yes? Ha, ha, ha!” She suddenly leaned toward him across the arm of her chair, with an earnest face. “‘Sieur Frowenfel’, Palmyre wand see you. You don’ wan’ come ad ’er ‘ouse, eh?—an’ you don’ wan’ her to come ad yo’ bureau. You know, ‘Sieur Frowenfel’, she drez the hair of Clotilde an’ mieself. So w’en she tell me dad, I juz say, ‘Palmyre, I will sen’ for Proffis-or Frowenfel’ to come yeh; but I don’ thing ‘e comin’.’ You know, I din’ wan’ you to ‘ave dad troub’; but Clotilde—ha, ha, ha! Clotilde is sudge a foolish—she nevva thing of dad troub’ to you—she say she thing you was too kine-’arted to call dad troub’—ha, ha, ha! So anny’ow we sen’ for you, eh!”