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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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confusion, swaying to and fro with glee till they all but fell on one another. One tiny girl, but four years old,
all pink and white, considered the spectacle so entrancing that she pressed her little hands devoutly to her
heart. Others burst into applause, while the boys laughed, with mouths agape, their deeper voices mingling
with the shrill peals from the girls.

"How amused they are!" whispered the doctor. He had returned to his place near Helene. She was in high
spirits like the children. Behind her, he sat inhaling the intoxicating perfume which came from her hair. And
as one puppet on the stage dealt another an exceptionally hard knock she turned to him and exclaimed: "Do
you know, it is awfully funny!"

The youngsters, crazy with excitement, were now interfering with the action of the drama. They were giving
answers to the various characters. One young lady, who must have been well up in the plot, was busy
explaining what would next happen.

"He'll beat his wife to death in a minute! Now they are going to hang him!"

The youngest of the Levasseur girls, who was two years old, shrieked out all at once:

"Mamma, mamma, will they put him on bread and water?"

All sorts of exclamations and reflections followed. Meanwhile Helene, gazing into the crowd of children,
remarked: "I cannot see Jeanne. Is she enjoying herself?"

Then the doctor bent forward, with head perilously near her own, and whispered: "There she is, between that
harlequin and the Norman peasant maiden! You can see the pins gleaming in her hair. She is laughing very

He still leaned towards her, her cool breath playing on his cheek. Till now no confession had escaped them;
preserving silence, their intimacy had only been marred for a few days past by a vague sensation of
discomfort. But amidst these bursts of happy laughter, gazing upon the little folks before her, Helene became
once more, in sooth, a very child, surrendering herself to her feelings, while Henri's breath beat warm upon
her neck. The whacks from the cudgel, now louder than ever, filled her with a quiver which inflated her
bosom, and she turned towards him with sparkling eyes.

"Good heavens! what nonsense it all is!" she said each time. "See how they hit one another!"

"Oh! their heads are hard enough!" he replied, trembling.

This was all his heart could find to say. Their minds were fast lapsing into childhood once more. Punch's
unedifying life was fostering languor within their breasts. When the drama drew to its close with the
appearance of the devil, and the final fight and general massacre ensued, Helene in leaning back pressed
against Henri's hand, which was resting on the back of her arm-chair; while the juvenile audience, shouting
and clapping their hands, made the very chairs creak with their enthusiasm.

The red curtain dropped again, and the uproar was at its height when Malignon's presence was announced by
Pauline, in her customary style: "Ah! here's the handsome Malignon!"

He made his way into the room, shoving the chairs aside, quite out of breath.

"Dear me! what a funny idea to close the shutters!" he exclaimed, surprised and hesitating. "People might
imagine that somebody in the house was dead." Then, turning towards Madame Deberle, who was
approaching him, he continued: "Well, you can boast of having made me run about! Ever since the morning I

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