Springtime in Paris

Springtime in Paris

Springtime in Paris

Springtime in Paris

Excerpt

After an absence of nearly ten years, I approached the rue de la Huchette from the east, with Notre Dame across the river, at my back, just as the hour of noon was releasing so many working Parisians from their shops and offices. It was a raw, chilly day early in April. The sky was heavy and gray, the buildings and rooftops were moist. The pavements, in need of repair, gleamed in an uneven, desultory way. I crossed the Pont au. Double, faced right, and passed along the foot of the churchyard of St. Julien the Poor, aware of early tulips, somewhat bent, inside the iron fence, shabby students on the benches like water birds waiting for an impulse, a few black-robed priests wearing berets instead of the old-time disc-like clerical hats, and children with bare chapped knees playing or idling with varying degrees of listlessness. The plants and the people were persistently alive.

The sound of a resonant bass voice startled me with its familiarity, and I noticed a group of men, about eight in number, gathered around another, younger than the others, who had a sheaf of posters under his arm. Suddenly I realized that the tall, gaunt man whose voice I had recognized was my old friend, Noel, the taxidermist of the place St. André des Arts, and a regular at the Caveau bar the last time I saw Paris. Noel was wearing what might have been the same beige linen duster and black felt hat, with limp string . . .

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