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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 115 pages of information about The Devil's Pool.

“Suppose she was a widow herself, Germain? what do you say to a widow without children, and a snug little property?”

“I don’t know of any just now in our parish.”

“Nor do I, but there are other places.”

“You have some one in view, father; so tell me at once who it is.”

IV

GERMAIN, THE CUNNING PLOUGHMAN

“Yes, I have some one in view,” replied Pere Maurice.  “It’s one Leonard, widow of one Guerin, who lives at Fourche.”

“I don’t know the woman or the place,” replied Germain, resigned, but becoming more and more depressed.

“Her name is Catherine, like your deceased wife’s.”

“Catherine?  Yes, I shall enjoy having to say that name:  Catherine!  And yet, if I can’t love her as well as I loved the other, it will cause me more pain than pleasure, for it will remind me of her too often.”

“I tell you that you will love her:  she’s a good creature, a woman with a big heart; I haven’t seen her for a long time, she wasn’t a bad-looking girl then; but she is no longer young, she is thirty-two.  She belongs to a good family, all fine people, and she has eight or ten thousand francs in land which she would be glad to sell, and buy other land where she goes to live; for she, too, is thinking of marrying again, and I know that, if her disposition should suit you, she wouldn’t think you a bad match.”

“So you have arranged it all?”

“Yes, subject to the judgment of you two; and that is what you must ask each other after you are acquainted.  The woman’s father is a distant relation of mine and has been a very close friend.  You know him, don’t you—­Pere Leonard?”

“Yes, I have seen him talking with you at the fairs, and at the last one you breakfasted together:  is this what you were talking about at such length?”

“To be sure; he watched you selling your cattle and thought you did the business very well, that you were a fine-appearing fellow, that you seemed active and shrewd; and when I told him all that you are and how well you have behaved to us during the eight years we’ve lived and worked together, without ever an angry or discontented word, he took it into his head that you must marry his daughter; and the plan suits me, too, I confess, considering the good reputation she has, the integrity of her family, and what I know about their circumstances.”

“I see, Pere Maurice, that you think a little about worldly goods.”

“Of course I think about them.  Don’t you?”

“I will think about them, if you choose, to please you; but you know that, for my part, I never trouble myself about what is or is not coming to me in our profits.  I don’t understand about making a division, and my head isn’t good for such things.  I know about the land and cattle and horses and seed and fodder and threshing.  As for sheep and vines and gardening, the niceties of farming, and small profits, all that, you know, is your son’s business, and I don’t interfere much in it.  As for money, my memory is short, and I prefer to yield everything rather than dispute about thine and mine.  I should be afraid of making a mistake and claiming what is not due me, and if matters were not simple and clear, I should never find my way through them.”

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