The passers-by in the evening down their pathway, heard the soft murmur of two voices mingling with the voice of the sea, down below at the foot of the cliffs. It was a most harmonious music; Gaud’s sweet, fresh voice alternated with Yann’s, which had soft, caressing notes in the lower tones. Their profiles could be clearly distinguished on the granite wall against which they reclined; Gaud with her white headgear and slender black-robed figure, and beside her the broad, square shoulders of her beloved. Behind and above rose the ragged dome of the straw thatch, and the darkening, infinite, and colourless waste of the sea and sky floated over all.
Finally, they did go in to sit down by the hearth, whereupon old Yvonne immediately nodded off to sleep, and did not trouble the two lovers very much. So they went on communing in a low voice, having to make up for two years of silence; they had to hurry on their courtship because it was to last so short a time.
It was arranged that they were to live with Granny Moan, who would leave them the cottage in her will; for the present, they made no alterations in it, for want of time, and put off their plan for embellishing their poor lonely home until the fisherman’s return from Iceland.
CHAPTER II—THE SEAMAN’S SECRET
One evening Yann amused himself by relating to his affianced a thousand things she had done, or which had happened to her since their first meeting; he even enumerated to her the different dresses she had had, and the jollifications to which she had been.
She listened in great surprise. How did he know all this? Who would have thought of a man ever paying any attention to such matters, and being capable of remembering so clearly?
But he only smiled at her in a mysterious way, and went on mentioning other facts to her that she had altogether forgotten.
She did not interrupt him; nay, she but let him continue, while an unexpected delicious joy welled up in her heart; she began, at length, to divine and understand everything. He, too, had loved—loved her, through that weary time. She had been his constant thought, as he was guilelessly confessing. But, in this case, what had been his reason for repelling her at first and making her suffer so long?
There always remained this mystery that he had promised to explain to her—yet still seemed to elude—with a confused, incomprehensible smile.
CHAPTER III—THE OMINOUS WEDDING-DRESS
One fine day, the loving pair went over to Paimpol, with Granny Moan, to buy the wedding-dress.
Gaud could very easily have done over one of her former town-lady’s dresses for the occasion. But Yann had wanted to make her this present, and she had not resisted too long the having a dress given by her betrothed, and paid for by the money he had earned at his fishing; it seemed as if she were already his wife by this act.