which eddied in the wind and settled afar off, like so many white butterflies, on a field of red flowering clover.
At last, about six o'clock, the cab stopped* in a lane of the Beauvoisine quarter, and a woman got out. She walked away with her veil lowered, and did not once turn her head.
ON arriving at the inn, Madame Bovary was surprised to find that the diligence was no longer there. Hivert had waited for fifty-three minutes, at the end of which time he had started without her.
There was no compulsion on her to leave, but she had given her word that she would be home that evening. Besides, Charles would be waiting for her, and she was already conscious of that feeling of apathetic docility which, for many women, is at once the penalty of adultery and its atonement. She hurriedly packed her trunks, paid her bill, took a cab which was standing in the yard, and, by dint of pestering the driver with protests, encouragement and inquiries about what the time was and how far they had gone, managed to overtake the Swallow just as it was passing the first houses of Quincampoix.
Scarcely had she sat down in her corner than she closed her eyes, and did not open them again until they were at the bottom of the hill, where she saw Félicité in the distance standing in front of the forge, on the lookout for her. Hivert reined in his horses, and the cook, hoisting herself up to the level of the window, said, with an air of mystery:
'Please go at once to Monsieur Homais's, ma'am, it's very urgent.'
Silence, as usual, brooded over the village. At every corner of every street were little reddish heaps from which steam rose into the air, for it was the jam-making season, and in Yonville all the housewives chose the same day for the boiling of their fruit. But the particular heap which stood in front of the chemist's shop was large enough to attract general attention, and could claim over its competitors that superiority which belongs of right to a laboratory in comparison with mere private stoves, to something which proceeds from a general need and not simply and solely from a private whim.
She entered. The large armchair was overturned, and even the