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Marie Gourdon eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 70 pages of information about Marie Gourdon.

“Yes, Noel, it is hard.  It has always seemed to me that you with your talents, your learning, are thrown away here.  But why not go to Quebec or Montreal?  You would have a wider sphere there.”

“I would go to-morrow, Marie, if it were not for one thing.”

“What is that, Noel?”

“Marie, do you not know?”

“I suppose your reason is that you do not wish to leave your mother,” said the girl hesitatingly.

“No, Marie, that is not the reason.  My mother would let me go to-morrow, if I wished.”

“Then I cannot understand why you stay.  You would do much better in Quebec, you with your ability.”

“You cannot understand, Marie?  You do not know that it is because of you, and you alone, that I stay on in this place, smothering all my ambitions, my hopes of advancement.  No, Marie, you say you do not understand.  If you spoke more truly you would say you did not care where I went.”

“Noel,” said the girl gently, and looking distressed, “you know, my dear one, that I do care very much, and I cannot think why you speak to me in that bitter way.”

“Marie, do you care?  You have seemed lately so indifferent to my plans, and it has made me angry, for, my darling, you must have seen that my love for you is deep, strong, mighty, like the flow of yonder great river.  Aye, it is stronger, greater, more unchangeable.”

A glad light came into the girl’s pale face, but she did not speak, and Noel went on: 

“It is not as if my love for you were a thing of yesterday, for I can never remember the time when you were not first in my thoughts.  Yes, Marie—­

  ’Il y a longtemps que je t’aime,
     Jamais je ne t’oublierai.’”

“What, Noel, never?  That is a long, long time.  Are you sure, Noel?”

“Am I sure, Marie?  Is yonder great rock, on which countless tides have beaten, sure?  Is the mighty Gulf sure of its ebb and flow?  Is anything sure in this world, Marie?”

The girl did not answer, and he went on: 

“Tell me, Marie, do you care for me or do you not?”

Marie hesitated, and Noel impatiently gathered up some loose pebbles and threw them into the water, walking hurriedly up and down the beach.

“Marie, you must answer me to-night; I must come to a decision.”

The girl rose slowly from her seat, and, coming towards Noel, put both her hands in his, and lifting up her great brown eyes, lighted with happiness and perfect trust, said deliberately,—­

  “’Il y a longtemps que je t’aime,
      Jamais je ne t’oublierai.’”

CHAPTER IV.

  “Red o’er the forest peers the setting sun,
     The line of yellow light dies fast away.”

  Keble.

“Well, I’m afraid, Webster, it’s a thankless task.  There are plenty of Scotch names about here, but not the one we want.  I’m heartily tired of going about from churchyard to churchyard, poking around like ghouls or medical students.  We’ve been to all the graves in the neighborhood, and, interesting as such a pursuit may be to an antiquary like yourself, I find it very slow.  I’m one of those sensible people who believe in living in the present, and letting the dead past bury its dead, as the poet says.”

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