courtesies. At last, in a burst of carefully assumed roguishness:
'No, please,' she protested: 'I will go!'
'How good you are!' he said, kissing her on the forehead.
Next day she took her seat in the Swallow for the trip to Rouen, where she was to ask counsel of Monsieur Léon.
She stayed there for three days.
THEY were three full, exquisite and splendid days, a true honeymoon.
They stayed at the Hôtel de Boulogne, down on the quay. They spent the whole time there, with shutters and doors closed, with flowers scattered on the carpet. Iced drinks were brought up at intervals from the morning onwards.
When evening came they took a boat with an awning and went out to one of the islands for dinner.
It was the hour of the day when from every shipyard came the sound of caulking hammers working on the hulls. The smoke of burning pitch drifted up between the trees, and the surface of the river showed patches of oil heaving unevenly in the red light of the setting sun, like floating plates of Florentine bronze.
They went downstream through a medley of moored vessels, whose long, slanting cables grazed the top of their little craft.
Gradually the sounds of the town grew fainter, the rumbling of carts, the hubbub of voices, the barking of dogs on the decks of ships. Emma took off her hat. They landed on their island, and sat in the low-ceiled public room of a tavern, which had black nets hanging round its door. They ate fried smelts, cream and cherries. They lay on the grass and embraced under the poplars, in a quiet place. They longed to live like a couple of Robinson Crusoes, for ever in this tiny spot which seemed to them, in their mood of bliss, to be the loveliest in all the world. It was not the first time that they had seen trees, blue sky and green turf, or heard the lapping of water and the moaning of the breeze through the leaves, but it is doubtful whether they had ever before known the wonder of these things. It was as though nature had never before existed, or had taken on its full beauty only now that their desires were gratified.