felt their old hearts beat again to the manly rolling of the drums.' He mentioned himself as having occupied a prominent place among the judges, and recalled, in a note, that Monsieur Homais, pharmacist, had sent a memorandum on cider to the Agricultural Society. In his description of the prize-giving, he waxed lyrical over the delight of the successful entrants. 'Fathers embraced their sons, brothers brothers, husbands wives. Not a few of them exhibited with pride their simple medals, and, doubtless, on returning to those homes where the good wife was awaiting them, hung these trophies with tears upon the modest walls of humble cots.
'At six o'clock a banquet was served in Monsieur Liégeard's paddock, to which were invited the most prominent of those who had taken part in the festivities. A number of toasts were drunk. Monsieur Lieuvain proposed the health of the King, Monsieur Tuvache that of the Prefect. Monsieur Derozerays raised his glass to Agriculture, Monsieur Homais his to Industry and the Fine Arts, those inseparable sisters! Monsieur Leplichey called on the company to drink to Progress! After dark, the night was made brilliant by a display of fireworks. The scene took on the appearance of a kaleidoscope, of an opera, and, for a moment, our little town might have thought itself transported to the heart of some dream of the Arabian Nights.
'It should be put on record that no untoward incident occurred to mar this happy family party.' He added:
'It was noticed that only the clergy were absent. Those who dwell in sacristies understand progress, no doubt, rather differently than we do. No one, dear followers of Loyola,* will question your right to do so.'
SIX weeks passed. Rodolphe had not come back. Then, one evening, he appeared.
It would be a mistake to return too soon, he had said to himself. At the end of the week he had gone away for the shooting. When that was over, he had thought at first that he had delayed too long, but then had come this reflection:
If she loved me from the first, having to wait to see me again