She extended her hand to him.
“I thank you. I knew I should not regret the trust I have placed in you.”
Alarmed, impatient, fearing what more he might say, she tried to escape him.
“Farewell! You have all life before you. You should be happy. Appreciate it, and do not torment yourself about things that are not worth the trouble.”
He stopped her with a look. His face had changed to the violent and resolute expression which she knew.
“I have told you I must speak to you. Listen to me for a minute.”
She was thinking of Jacques, who was waiting for her. An occasional passer-by looked at her and went on his way. She stopped under the black branches of a tree, and waited with pity and fright in her soul.
“I forgive you and forget everything. Take me back. I will promise never to say a word of the past.”
She shuddered, and made a movement of surprise and distaste so natural that he stopped. Then, after a moment of reflection:
“My proposition to you is not an ordinary one, I know it well. But I have reflected. I have thought of everything. It is the only possible thing. Think of it, Therese, and do not reply at once.”
“It would be wrong to deceive you. I can not, I will not do what you say; and you know the reason why.”
A cab was passing slowly near them. She made a sign to the coachman to stop. Le Menil kept her a moment longer.
“I knew you would say this to me, and that is the reason why I say to you, do not reply at once.”
Her fingers on the handle of the door, she turned on him the glance of her gray eyes.
It was a painful moment for him. He recalled the time when he saw those charming gray eyes gleam under half-closed lids. He smothered a sob, and murmured:
“Listen; I can not live without you. I love you. It is now that I love you. Formerly I did not know.”
And while she gave to the coachman, haphazard, the address of a tailor, Le Menil went away.
The meeting gave her much uneasiness and anxiety. Since she was forced to meet him again, she would have preferred to see him violent and brutal, as he had been at Florence. At the corner of the avenue she said to the coachman:
“To the Ternes.”
THE RED LILY
It was Friday, at the opera. The curtain had fallen on Faust’s laboratory. From the orchestra, opera-glasses were raised in a surveying of the gold and purple theatre. The sombre drapery of the boxes framed the dazzling heads and bare shoulders of women. The amphitheatre bent above the parquette its garland of diamonds, hair, gauze, and satin. In the proscenium boxes were the wife of the Austrian Ambassador and the Duchess Gladwin; in the amphitheatre Berthe d’Osigny and Jane Tulle, the latter made