M. Kangourou relates, without seeing anything wrong in it whatever, that formerly this talent was of great service to M. Sucre. It appears that Madame Prune—how shall I say such a thing, and, who could guess it now, on beholding so devout and sedate an old lady, with eyebrows so scrupulously shaven?—however, it appears that Madame Prune used to receive a great many visits from gentlemen—gentlemen who always came alone—which led to some gossip. Therefore, when Madame Prune was engaged with one visitor, if a new arrival made his appearance, the ingenious husband, to induce him to wait patiently, and to wile away the time in the anteroom, immediately offered to paint him some storks in a variety of attitudes.
And this is why, in Nagasaki, all the Japanese gentlemen of a certain age have in their collections two or three of these little pictures, for which they are indebted to the delicate and original talent of M. Sucre!
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Ah! the natural perversity
of inanimate things
Found nothing that answered to my indefinable expectations
Habit turns into a makeshift of attachment
I know not what lost home that I have failed to find
When the inattentive spirits are not listening
By PIERRE LOTI
THE FEAST OF THE TEMPLE
Sunday, August 25th.
About six o’clock, while I was on duty, the ‘Triomphante’ abandoned her prison walls between the mountains and came out of dock. After much manoeuvring we took up our old moorings in the harbor, at the foot of the Diou-djen-dji hills. The weather was again calm and cloudless, the sky presenting a peculiar clarity, as if it had been swept by a cyclone, an exceeding transparency bringing out the minutest details in the distance till then unseen; as if the terrible blast had blown away every vestige of the floating mists and left behind it nothing but void and boundless space. The coloring of woods and mountains stood out again in the resplendent verdancy of spring after the torrents of rain, like the wet colors of some freshly washed painting. The sampans and junks, which for the last three days had been lying under shelter, had now put out to sea, and the bay was covered with their white sails, which looked like a flight of enormous seabirds.
At eight o’clock, at nightfall, our manoeuvres having ended, I embarked with Yves on board a sampan; this time it is he who is carrying me off and taking me back to my home.
On land, a delicious perfume of new-mown hay greets us, and the road across the mountains is bathed in glorious moonlight. We go straight up to Diou-djen-dji to join Chrysantheme; I feel almost remorseful, although I hardly show it, for my neglect of her.