So Veronique, though not intermitting her protests, adjusted her own dress upon her mistress,—short striped petticoat, black bodice, winged turban-like white cap, and a great muffling gray cloth cloak and hook over the head and shoulders—the costume in which Veronique was wont to run to her home in the twilight on various errands, chiefly to carry her mistress’s linen; for starching Eustacie’s plain bands and cuffs was Mere Perrine’s special pride. The wonted bundle, therefore, now contained a few garments, and the money and jewels, especially the chaplet of pearls, which Eustacie regarded as a trust.
Sobbing, and still protesting, Veronique, however, engaged that if her Lady succeeded in safely crossing the kitchen in the twilight, and in leaving the convent, she would keep the secret of her escape as long as possible, reporting her refusal to appear at supper, and making such excuses as might very probably prevent the discovery of her flight till next day.
‘And then,’ said Eustacie, ’I will send for thee, either to Saumur or to the old tower! Adieu, dear Veronique, do not be frightened. Thou dost not know how glad I am that the time for doing something is come! To-morrow!’
‘To-morrow!’ thought Veronique, as she shut the door; ’before that you will be back here again, my poor little Lady, trembling, weeping, in dire need of being comforted. But I will make up a good fire, and shake out the bed. I’ll let her have no more of that villainous palliasse. No, no, let her try her own way, and repent of it; then, when this matter is over, she will turn her mind to Chevalier Narcisse, and there will be no more languishing in this miserable hole.’
CHAPTER XVI. THE HEARTHS AND THICKETS OF THE BOCAGE.
I winna spare for his tender age,
Nor yet for his hie kin;
But soon as ever he born is,
He shall mount the gallow’s pin. —Fause Foodrage.