And it just happened to be that “Fils Gaos,” of whom she had heard the Moans speak as a great friend of Sylvestre’s. On the evening of this same Pardon, Sylvestre and he, walking arm-in-arm, had crossed her father and herself, and had stopped to wish them good-day.
And young Sylvestre had become again to her as a sort of brother. As they were cousins they had continued to tutoyer (using thou for you, a sign of familiarity) each other; true, she had at first hesitated doing so to this great boy of seventeen, who already wore a black beard, but as his kind, soft, childish eyes had hardly changed at all, she recognized him soon enough to imagine that she had never lost sight of him.
When he used to come into Paimpol, she kept him to dinner of an evening; it was without consequence to her, and he always had a very good appetite, being on rather short rations at home.
To speak truly, Yann had not been very polite to her at this first meeting, which took place at the corner of a tiny gray street, strewn with green branches. He had raised his hat to her, with a noble though timid gesture; and after having given her an ever-rapid glance, turned his eyes away, as if he were vexed with this meeting and in a hurry to go. A strong western breeze that had arisen during the procession, had scattered branches of box everywhere and loaded the sky with dark gray draperies.
Gaud, in her dreamland of remembrances, saw all this clearly again; the sad gloaming falling upon the remains of the Pardon; the sheets strewn with white flowers floating in the wind along the walls; the noisy groups of Icelanders, other waifs of the gales and tempests flocking into the taverns, singing to cheer themselves under the gloom of the coming rain; and above all, Gaud remembered the giant standing in front of her, turning aside as if annoyed, and troubled at having met her.
What a wonderful change had come over her since then; and what a difference there was between that hubbub and the present tranquility! How quiet and empty Paimpol seemed to-night in the warm long twilight of May, which kept her still at her window alone, lulled in her love’s young dream!
Their second meeting was at a wedding-feast. Young Gaos had been chosen to offer her his arm. At first she had been rather vexed, not liking the idea of strolling through the streets with this tall fellow, whom everybody would stare at, on account of his excessive height, and who, most probably, would not know what to speak to her about. Besides, he really frightened her with his wild, lofty look.
At the appointed hour all were assembled for the wedding procession save Yann, who had not appeared. Time passed, yet he did not come, and they talked of giving up any further waiting for him. Then it was she discovered that it was for his pleasure, and his alone, that she had donned her best dress; with any other of the young men present at the ball, the evening’s enjoyment would be spoiled.