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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 160 pages of information about The Flower of the Chapdelaines.

“Oh!  Prospering and care-free, and yet you’d drop everything and go to France, to war.”

“No, dearie, no.  I’m sorry I wrote you what I did, but I only said I felt like it.  I don’t now.  I envied those Royal Street boys, who could do that with a splendid conscience.  I—­I can’t.  I can’t go killing men, even murderers, for a remote personal reason.  I must wait till my own country calls and my patriotism is pure patriotism.  That’s higher honor—­to her, isn’t it?”

“It is to you; I’m not bothering about her.”

“You will when you see her, first sight.  To-morrow afternoon, you say.  Wish I could be there when your eyes first light on her!  Mother, dearie, isn’t it as much she as I you’ve come to see?”

“Well, if it is, what then?”

“I’m glad.  But I draw the line at seeing. Help, you understand, I don’t want—­I won’t have!”

“Why, Geoffry, I——!”

“Oh, I say it because there isn’t one of that kind-hearted coterie who hasn’t wanted to put in something in my favor.  I forbid!  A dozen to one—­I won’t allow it!  No, nor any two to one, not even we two.  Win or lose, I go it alone.  ’Twould be fatal to do otherwise if I would.  You’ll see that the minute you see her.”

“Why, Geoffry!  What a heat!”

“Oh, I’ll be the only one burned.  Good night.  I can’t see you to-morrow before evening.  Shall we dine here?”

“Yes.  Oh, Geoffry—­that New York letter!  Manuscript accepted?”

A shade crossed the son’s brow.  “Don’t you think I ought to tell her first?”

“Her first,” the mother—­the mother—­repeated after him.  “Maybe so; I don’t care.”  They kissed.  “Good night.”

“Good night . . . good night . . . good night, dear, darling mother.  Good night!”

XLVIII

At the batten door of her high, tight garden-fence Mlle. Yvonne, we repeat, let in Mme. De l’Isle and Mrs. Chester.

“Mother of—­ah-h-h!” Her rapture was mated to such courteous restraint that dinginess and dishevelment were easily overlooked.  “And ’ow marvellouz that is, that you ‘appen to come juz’ when he—­and us—­we’re getting that news of the manu’——­”

“What! accepted?”

“Oh, that we di’n’ hear yet!  We only hear he’s hear’ something, but we’re sure tha’z the only something he can hear!” She had begun to close the gate, but Mrs. Chester lingered in it.

“That fine large house and garden across the way,” she said, “are they a Creole type?”

“Yes, bez’ kind—­for in the city.  They got very few like that in the vieux carre, but up yonder in that beautiful garden diztric’ of the nouveau quartier are many, where we’ll perchanze go to live some day pritty soon.  That old ’ouse we’re inhabiting here, tha’z—­like us, ha, ha!—­a pritty antique.  Tha’z mo’ suit’ for a relique than to live in, especially for Tantine—­ha, ha!—­tha’z auntie, yet tha’z what we call our niece.  Aline—­juz’ in plaisanterie!—­biccause she take’ so much mo’ care of us than us of her.”

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