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A Love Episode - Emile Zola

A Love Episode - Emile Zola


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Originally UPLOADED by SATHEESH BALACHANDRAN/ Guruvayur/ /LIBRARY OF BABEL/ {in the process of "being built"} Contact: satheeshgvr@gmail.com, to DOWNLOAD this eBook. Thank You.
Originally UPLOADED by SATHEESH BALACHANDRAN/ Guruvayur/ /LIBRARY OF BABEL/ {in the process of "being built"} Contact: satheeshgvr@gmail.com, to DOWNLOAD this eBook. Thank You.

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Published by: Satheesh Balachandran on Jun 05, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The lad, who was doing the honors of the garden, had led Jeanne towards a tap under the steps. Here he had
turned on the water, which he allowed to splash on the tips of his boots. It was a game that he delighted in.
Jeanne, with grave face, looked on while he wetted his feet.

"Wait a moment!" said Pauline, rising. "I'll go and stop his nonsense!"

But Juliette held her back.

"You'll do no such thing; you are even more of a madcap than he is. The other day both of you looked as if
you had taken a bath. How is it that a big girl like you cannot remain two minutes seated? Lucien!" she
continued directing her eyes on her son, "turn off the water at once!"

The child, in his fright, made an effort to obey her. But instead of turning the tap off, he turned it on all the
more, and the water gushed forth with a force and a noise that made him lose his head. He recoiled, splashed
up to the shoulders.

"Turn off the water at once!" again ordered his mother, whose cheeks were flushing with anger.

Jeanne, hitherto silent, then slowly, and with the greatest caution, ventured near the tap; while Lucien burst
into loud sobbing at sight of this cold stream, which terrified him, and which he was powerless to stop.
Carefully drawing her skirt between her legs, Jeanne stretched out her bare hands so as not to wet her sleeves,
and closed the tap without receiving a sprinkle. The flow instantly ceased. Lucien, astonished and inspired
with respect, dried his tears and gazed with swollen eyes at the girl.

"Oh, that child puts me beside myself!" exclaimed Madame Deberle, her complexion regaining its usual
pallor, while she stretched herself out, as though wearied to death.

Helene deemed it right to intervene. "Jeanne," she called, "take his hand, and amuse yourselves by walking up
and down."

Jeanne took hold of Lucien's hand, and both gravely paced the paths with little steps. She was much taller than
her companion, who had to stretch his arm up towards her; but this solemn amusement, which consisted in a
ceremonious circuit of the lawn, appeared to absorb them and invest them with a sense of great importance.
Jeanne, like a genuine lady, gazed about, preoccupied with her own thoughts; Lucien every now and then
would venture a glance at her; but not a word was said by either.

"How droll they are!" said Madame Deberle, smiling, and again at her ease. "I must say that your Jeanne is a
dear, good child. She is so obedient, so well behaved--"

"Yes, when she is in the company of others," broke in Helene. "She is a great trouble at times. Still, she loves
me, and does her best to be good so as not to vex me."

Then they spoke of children; how girls were more precocious than boys; though it would be wrong to deduce
too much from Lucien's unintelligent face. In another year he would doubtless lose all his gawkiness and
become quite a gallant. Finally, Madame Deberle resumed her embroidery, making perhaps two stitches in a
minute. Helene, who was only happy when busy, begged permission to bring her work the next time she
came. She found her companions somewhat dull, and whiled away the time in examining the Japanese
pavilion. The walls and ceiling were hidden by tapestry worked in gold, with designs showing bright cranes in
full flight, butterflies, and flowers and views in which blue ships were tossing upon yellow rivers. Chairs, and
ironwood flower-stands were scattered about; on the floor some fine mats were spread; while the lacquered
furnishings were littered with trinkets, small bronzes and vases, and strange toys painted in all the hues of the
rainbow. At the far end stood a grotesque idol in Dresden china, with bent legs and bare, protruding stomach,

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