A Love Episode eBook

Émile Gaboriau
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 433 pages of information about A Love Episode.
Paris, which had assumed with the showers a dingy-yellow hue, the livid clouds spread themselves out in uniform fashion, without stain or rift.  The rain was becoming finer, and was falling sharply and vertically; but whenever the wind again rose, the grey hatching was curved into mighty waves, and the raindrops, driven almost horizontally, could be heard lashing the walls with a hissing sound, till, with the fall of the wind, they again fell vertically, peppering the soil with a quiet obstinacy, from the heights of Passy away to the level plain of Charenton.  Then the vast city, as though overwhelmed and lifeless after some awful convulsion, seemed but an expanse of stony ruins under the invisible heavens.

Jeanne, who had sunk down by the window, had wailed out once more, “Mamma! mamma!” A terrible weariness deprived her limbs of their strength as she lingered there, face to face with the engulfing of Paris.  Amidst her exhaustion, whilst the breeze played with her tresses, and her face remained wet with rain, she preserved some taste of the bitter pleasure which had made her shiver, while within her heart there was a consciousness of some irretrievable woe.  Everything seemed to her to have come to an end; she realized that she was getting very old.  The hours might pass away, but now she did not even cast a glance into the room.  It was all the same to her to be forgotten and alone.  Such despair possessed the child’s heart that all around her seemed black.  If she were scolded, as of old, when she was ill, it would surely be very wrong.  She was burning with fever; something like a sick headache was weighing on her.  Surely too, but a moment ago, something had snapped within her.  She could not prevent it; she must inevitably submit to whatever might be her fate.  Besides, weariness was prostrating her.  She had joined her hands over the window-bar, on which she rested her head, and, though at times she opened her eyes to gaze at the rain, drowsiness was stealing over her.

And still and ever the rain kept beating down; the livid sky seemed dissolving in water.  A final blast of wind had passed by; a monotonous roar could be heard.  Amidst a solemn quiescence the sovereign rain poured unceasingly upon the silent, deserted city it had conquered; and behind this sheet of streaked crystal Paris showed like some phantom place, with quivering outlines, which seemed to be melting away.  To Jeanne the scene now brought nothing beyond sleepiness and horrid dreams, as though all the mystery and unknown evil were rising up in vapor to pierce her through and make her cough.  Every time she opened her eyes she was seized with a fit of coughing, and would remain for a few seconds looking at the scene; which as her head fell back once more, clung to her mind, and seemed to spread over her and crush her.

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A Love Episode from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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