Yves is now in bed and sleeping under our roof.
Sleep has come to him sooner than to me to-night; for somehow I fancy I had seen long glances exchanged between him and Chrysantheme.
I have left this little creature in his hands like a toy, and I begin to fear lest I should have caused some perturbation in his mind. I do not trouble my head about this little Japanese girl. But Yves—it would be decidedly wrong on his part, and would greatly diminish my faith in him.
We hear the rain falling on our old roof; the cicalas are mute; odors of wet earth reach us from the gardens and the mountain. I feel terribly dreary in this room to-night; the noise of the little pipe irritates me more than usual, and as Chrysantheme crouches in front of her smoking-box, I suddenly discover in her an air of low breeding, in the very worst sense of the word.
I should hate her, my mousme, if she were to entice Yves into committing a fault—a fault which I should perhaps never be able to forgive.
A LITTLE DOMESTIC DIFFICULTY
The Y——and Sikou-San couple were divorced yesterday. The Charles N—–and Campanule household is getting on very badly. They have had some trouble with those prying, grinding, insupportable little men, dressed up in gray suits, who are called police agents, and who, by threatening their landlord, have had them turned out of their house (under the obsequious amiability of this people lurks a secret hatred toward Europeans)—they are therefore obliged to accept their mother-in-law’s hospitality, a very disagreeable situation. And then Charles N—–fancies his mousme is faithless. It is hardly possible, however, for us to deceive ourselves: these would-be maidens, to whom M. Kangourou has introduced us, have already had in their lives one adventure, at least, and perhaps more; it is therefore only natural that we should have our suspicions.
The Z-----and Touki-San couple jog on, quarrelling all the time.
My household maintains a more dignified air, though it is none the less dreary. I had indeed thought of a divorce, but have really no good reason for offering Chrysantheme such a gratuitous affront; moreover, there is another more imperative reason why I should remain quiet: I, too, have had difficulties with the civilian authorities.
The day before yesterday, M. Sucre, quite upset, Madame Prune, almost swooning, and Mademoiselle Oyouki, bathed in tears, stormed my rooms. The Nipponese police agents had called and threatened them with the law for letting rooms outside of the European concession to a Frenchman morganatically married to a Japanese; and the terror of being prosecuted brought them to me, with a thousand apologies, but with the humble request that I should leave.
The next day I therefore went off, accompanied by “the wonderfully tall friend”—who expresses himself in Japanese better than I—to the registry office, with the full intention of making a terrible row.