Mrs. Scott and Bettina stopped, struck with this inscription carved on the stone:
“Here lies Dr. Marcel Reynaud, Surgeon-Major of the Souvigny Mobiles; killed January 8, 1871, at the Battle of Villersexel. Pray for him.”
When they had read it, the Cure, pointing to Jean, said:
“It was his father!”
The two sisters drew near the tomb, and with bent heads remained there for some minutes, pensive, touched, contemplative. Then both turned, and at the same moment, by the same impulse, offered their hands to Jean; then continued their walk to the church. Their first prayer at Longueval had been for the father of Jean.
The Cure went to put on his surplice and stole. Jean conducted Mrs. Scott to the seat which belonged to the masters of Longueval.
Pauline had gone on before. She was waiting for Miss Percival in the shadow behind one of the pillars. By a steep and narrow staircase, she led Bettina to the gallery, and placed her before the harmonium.
Preceded by two little chorister boys, the old Cure left the vestry, and at the moment when he knelt on the steps of the alter:
“Now! Mademoiselle,” said Pauline, whose heart beat with impatience. “Poor, dear man, how pleased he will be.”
When he heard the sound of the music rise, soft as a murmur, and spread through the little church, the Abbe Constantin was filled with such emotion, such joy, that the tears came to his eyes. He could not remember having wept since the day when Jean had said that he wished to share all that he possessed with the mother and sister of those who had fallen by his father’s side under the Prussian bullets.
To bring tears to the eyes of the old priest, a little American had been brought across the seas to play a reverie of Chopin in the little church of Longueval.
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Ancient pillars of stone,
embrowned and gnawed by time
And they are shoulders which ought to be seen
But she will give me nothing but money
Duty, simply accepted and simply discharged
God may have sent him to purgatory just for form’s sake
He led the brilliant and miserable existence of the unoccupied
If there is one! (a paradise)
Never foolish to spend money. The folly lies in keeping it
Often been compared to Eugene Sue, but his touch is lighter
One half of his life belonged to the poor
Succeeded in wearying him by her importunities and tenderness
The history of good people is often monotonous or painful
The women have enough religion for the men
THE ABBE CONSTANTIN
By LUDOVIC HALEVY
A RIOT OF CHARITY