Joyselle, who was sitting by his wife, looked up when Brigit entered with the roses, but he did not speak.
“I have brought these—for her—Beau-papa,” the girl faltered, and he rose.
“Thank you. Yes, she loved roses—ma Felicite.”
Brigit noticed, with a thrill of horror, remembering what the doctor had said, that he spoke not quite distinctly; his tongue was a little thick.
“Let us,” she said, laying her hand on his shoulder, “thank God that she died so happily, with you by her side.”
He passed his hand over his forehead where the halo of hair lay so untidy.
“Yes. Let us thank God. You see, ma fille—I have not been a good man. I have loved many women—or thought I did. I have betrayed her love for me; I have—enfin, I have not been good. But—it all meant nothing. She was the bride of my youth, the companion of my—of my young manhood.” He stammered again, and went on with the slight difficulty she had noticed before, “and—I know now that after all, and in spite of all, I have loved only her. Felicite, ma vieille, tu m’entends?”
He laid the roses on the pillow near her little peaceful face, and then sat down again.
“My wife is—dead,” he added.