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The Devil's Pool eBook

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

“I hope not, for I shouldn’t like a fool.  Come, eat your partridges, they are cooked to a turn; and, having no bread, you must be satisfied with chestnuts.”

“And where the devil did you get chestnuts?”

“That’s wonderful, certainly! why, all along the road, I picked them from the branches as we passed, and filled my pockets with them.”

“Are they cooked, too?”

“What good would my wits do me if I hadn’t put some chestnuts in the fire as soon as it was lighted?  We always do that in the fields.”

“Now, little Marie, we will have supper together!  I want to drink your health and wish you a good husband—­as good as you would wish yourself.  Tell me what you think about it!”

“I should have hard work, Germain, for I never yet gave it a thought.”

“What! not at all? never?” said Germain, falling to with a ploughman’s appetite, but cutting off the best pieces to offer his companion, who obstinately refused them, and contented herself with a few chestnuts.  “Tell me, little Marie,” he continued, seeing that she did not propose to reply, “haven’t you ever thought about marrying? you’re old enough, though!”

“Perhaps I am,” she said; “but I am too poor.  You need at least a hundred crowns to begin housekeeping, and I shall have to work five or six years to save that much.”

“Poor girl!  I wish Pere Maurice would let me have a hundred crowns to give you.”

“Thank you very much, Germain.  What do you suppose people would say about me?”

“What could they say? everybody knows that I’m an old man and can’t marry you.  So they wouldn’t imagine that I—­that you—­”

“Look, ploughman! here’s your son waking up,” said little Marie.

IX

THE EVENING PRAYER

Petit-Pierre had sat up, and was looking all about with a thoughtful expression.

“Ah! the rascal never does anything else when he hears anybody eating!” said Germain; “a cannon-shot wouldn’t wake him, but move your jaws in his neighborhood, and he opens his eyes at once.”

“You must have been like that at his age,” said little Marie, with a mischievous smile.  “Well, my little Pierre, are you looking for the top of your cradle?  It’s made of green leaves to-night, my child; but your father’s having his supper, all the same.  Do you want to sup with him?  I haven’t eaten your share; I thought you would probably claim it!”

“Marie, I insist on your eating,” cried the ploughman; “I shan’t eat any more.  I am a glutton, a boor; you go without on our account, and it’s not right; I’m ashamed of myself.  It takes away my appetite, I tell you; I won’t let my son have any supper unless you take some.”

“Let us alone,” replied little Marie, “you haven’t the key to our appetites.  Mine is closed to-day, but your Pierre’s is wide open, like a little wolf’s.  Just see how he goes at it!  Oh! he’ll be a sturdy ploughman, too!”

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