The orange-trees, and several plants, full and bright with bloom, basked also in the sun’s laughing bounty; they had partaken it the whole day, and now asked water. M. Emanuel had a taste for gardening; he liked to tend and foster plants. I used to think that working amongst shrubs with a spade or a watering-pot soothed his nerves. It was a recreation to which he often had recourse; and now he looked to the orange- trees, the geraniums, the gorgeous cactuses, and revived them all with the refreshment their drought needed. His lips meantime sustained his precious cigar—that (for him) first necessary and prime luxury of life; its blue wreaths curled prettily enough amongst the flowers and in the evening light. He spoke no more to the pupils, nor to the mistresses, but gave many an endearing word to a small spanieless (if one may coin a word), that nominally belonged to the house, but virtually owned him as master, being fonder of him than of any inmate. A delicate, silky, loving, and lovable little doggie she was, trotting at his side, looking with expressive, attached eyes into his face, and whenever he dropped his bonnetgrec or his handkerchief, which he occasionally did in play, crouching beside it with the air of a miniature lion guarding a kingdom’s flag.

There were many plants, and as the amateur gardener fetched all the water from the well in the court with his own active hands, his work spun on to some length. The great school-clock ticked on. Another hour struck. The carré and the youthful group lost the illusion of sunset. Day was drooping. My lesson, I perceived, must to-night be very short; but the orange-trees, the cactuses, the camellias were all served now. Was it my turn?

Alas! in the garden were more plants to be looked after—favourite rose-bushes, certain choice flowers. Little Sylvie’s glad bark and whine followed the receding paletôt down the alleys. I put up some of my books; I should not want them all. I sat and thought and waited, involuntarily deprecating the creeping invasion of twilight.

Sylvie, gaily frisking, emerged into view once more, heralding the returning paletôt. The watering-pot was deposited beside the well; it had fulfilled its office. How glad I was! Monsieur washed his hands in a little stone bowl. There was no longer time for a lesson now. Ere long the prayer-bell must ring; but still we should meet; he would speak. A chance would be offered of reading in his eyes the riddle of his shyness. His ablutions over, he stood, slowly rearranging his cuffs, looking at the horn of a young moon, set pale in the opal sky, and glimmering faint on the oriel of Jean Baptiste. Sylvie watched the mood contemplative; its stillness irked her; she whined and jumped to break it. He looked down.

“Petite exigeante,” said he; “you must not be forgotten one moment, it seems.”

He stooped, lifted her in his arms, sauntered across the court, within a yard of the line of windows near one of which I sat. He sauntered lingeringly, fondling the spaniel in his bosom, calling her tender names in a tender voice. On the front-door steps he turned; once again he looked at the moon, at the gray cathedral, over the remoter spires and house-roofs fading into a blue sea of night-mist; he tasted the sweet breath of dusk, and noted the folded bloom of the garden; he suddenly looked round; a keen beam out of his eye rased the white façade of the classes, swept the long lines of croisées. I think he bowed; if he did, I had no time to return the courtesy. In a moment he was gone. The moonlit threshold lay pale and shadowless before the closed front door.

Gathering in my arms all that was spread on the desk before me, I carried back the unused heap to its place in the third classe. The prayer-bell rang. I obeyed the summons.

The morrow would not restore him to the Rue Fossette, that day being devoted entirely to his college. I got through my teaching; I got over the intermediate hours. I saw evening approaching, and armed myself for its heavy ennuis. Whether it was worse to stay with my co-inmates or to sit alone, I had not considered. I naturally took up the latter alternative. If there was a hope of comfort for any moment, the heart or head of no human being in this house could yield it; only under the lid of my desk could it harbour, nestling between the leaves of some book, gilding a pencil point, the nib of a pen, or tinging the

  By PanEris using Melati.

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