L'Abbe Constantin — Complete eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 152 pages of information about L'Abbe Constantin — Complete.

Twenty yards off she perceived the white horses of the trumpeters, and along the road caught glimpses, vaguely appearing through the fog, of the long line of guns and wagons.

She sheltered herself under one of the old limes which bordered the terrace.  She watched, she waited.  He is there among that confused mass of riders.  Will she be able to recognize him?  And he, will he see her?  Will any chance make him turn his head that way?

Bettina knows that he is Lieutenant in the second battery of his regiment; she knows that a battery is composed of six guns, and six ammunition wagons.  Of course it is the Abbe Constantin who has taught her that.  Thus she must allow the first battery to pass, that is to say, count six guns, six wagons, and then—­he will be there.

There he is at last, wrapped in his great cloak, and it is he who sees, who recognizes her first.  A few moments before, he had recalled to his mind a long walk which he had taken with her one evening, when night was falling, on that terrace.  He raised his eyes, and the very spot where he remembered having seen her, was the spot where he found her again.  He bowed, and, bareheaded in the rain, turning round in his saddle, as long as he could see her, he looked at her.  He said again to himself what he had said the previous evening: 

“It is for the last time.”

With a charming gesture of both hands, she returned his farewell, and this gesture, repeated many times, brought her hands so near, so near her lips, that one might have fancied—­

“Ah!” she thought, “if, after that, he does not understand that I love him, and does not forgive me my money!”



It was the 20th of August, the day which should bring Jean back to Longueval.

Bettina awoke very early, rose, and ran immediately to the window.  The evening before, the sky had looked threatening, heavy with clouds.  Bettina slept but little, and all night prayed that it might not rain the next day.

In the early morning a dense fog enveloped the park of Longueval, the trees of which were hidden from view, as by a curtain.  But gradually the rays of the sun dissipated the mist, the trees became vaguely discernible through the vapor; then, suddenly, the sun shone brilliantly, flooding with light the park, and the fields beyond; and the lake, where the black swans were disporting themselves in the radiant light, appeared as bright as a sheet of polished metal.

The weather was going to be beautiful.  Bettina was a little superstitious.  The sunshine gives her good hope and good courage.  “The day begins well, so it will finish well.”

Mr. Scott had come home several days before.  Susie, Betting, and the children waited on the quay at Havre for the arrival of his steamer.

They exchanged many tender embraces; then, Richard, addressing his sister-in-law, said, laughingly: 

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L'Abbe Constantin — Complete from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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