“He’s not there any mo’. Sinze only two day’ he’s move’. Mrs. Chezter, if you’ll egscuse me till I can change the coat I’ll show you those new quarter’. Whiles I’m changing you can look ad that book of pattern’, and also—here—there’s a pigtorial of New York; that—tha’z of my son and the son of my neighbor up-stair’, De l’Isle, ric’iving medal’ from General Joffre——”
“Why, Mr. Beloiseau can it be!”
“But you know, Mrs. Chezter, he’s not there presently, yo’ son. He’s gone at St. Martinville, to the court there.”
“Yes, to be back to-morrow or next day. They told me in his office this forenoon. I reached the city only at eleven, train late. He didn’t know I was coming. My telegram’s on his desk unopened. But having time, I thought I’d see whether he’s living comfortably or only fancies he is.”
On their way Mrs. Chester and her guide hardly spoke until Scipion asked: “Madame, when you was noticing yo’ telegram on the desk of yo’ son you di’n’ maybe notiz’ a letter from New York? We are prettie anxiouz for that to come to yo’ son. I do’ know if you know about that or no, but M. De l’Isle and madame, and Castanado and his madame, and Dubroca and his madame, and Mme. Alexandre and me, and three Chapdelaine’, we are all prettie anxiouz for that letter.”
“Yes, I know about it, and there is one, from a New York publishing-house, on Geoffry’s desk.”
“Well, madame, Marais Street, here’s the place. Ah! and street-car—or jitney—passing thiz corner will take you ag-ain at yo’ hotel.”
Satisfied with her son’s quarters, Mrs. Chester returned to her hotel and had just dined when her telephone rang.
“Mme.—oh, Mme. De l’Isle, I’m so please’——”
The instrument reciprocated the pleasure. “If Mrs. Chezter was not too fat-igue’ by travelling, monsieur and madame would like to call.”
Soon they appeared and in a moment whose brevity did honor to both sides had established cordial terms. Rising to go, the pair asked a great favor. It made them, they said, “very ’appy to perceive that Mr. Chezter, by writing, has make his mother well acquaint’ with that li’l’ coterie in Royal Street, in which they, sometime’, ’ave the honor to be include’.” “The honor” meant the modest condescension, and when Mrs. Chester’s charming smile recognized the fact the pair took fresh delight in her. “An’ that li’l’ coterie, sinze hearing that from Beloiseau juz’ this evening, are anxiouz to see you at ones; they are, like ourselve’, so fon’ of yo’ son; and they cannot call all together—my faith, that would be a procession! And bi-side’, Mme. Castanado she—well—you understan’ why that is—she never go’ h-out. Same time M. Castanado he’s down-stair’ waiting——
“Shall I go around there with you? I’ll be glad to go.” They went.