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Francezka
written by "Fisher, Harrison, 1875-1934"
...ion for Gaston Cheverny expressed in every tone of her voice, every glance of her eye, that it must have been wormwood to a haughty, jealous and disappointed man like Regnard Cheverny. And I made not the slightest doubt that she rather enjoyed Regnard’s humiliation. “I perceive, Madame,” I answered, “that ladies can be cruel as well as pitiful to a man who loves them.” “Perhaps so,” replied Francezka, sitting again, and leaning her head pensively on her hand. The dog had not stirred a foot from her in this time, and was watching her with a human look of love and intelligence in his tawny eyes. “And then Regnard, mastering his rage, said to me: “‘I thought your coldness to me came from a careless and heedless indifference of an untouched heart. Now I know it to be the steady deception of a woman already a wife. I could not forget this if I would, and I would not forget it if I could. I have the honor to bid you adieu, Madame Cheverny.’ And he walked off, looking so like Gaston! And then I suddenly began to feel frightened at being frightened—do you know that feeling?” “Yes,” I replied. “It is the form that fear takes with the brave.” “I had thought,” said Francezka, “that I was exempt 268 from fear, and now I find it is my lot, just as much as any one’s, to feel fear as one feels heat or cold or thirst. But fear is the most terrible thing on earth. And now, Babache, I have opened all my heart to you. It has been so comforting!” We talked some time longer. As it seemed the likeliest thing in the world that I should see Gaston Cheverny shortly, it was agreed that she should prepare a packet for me that night, which I would take with me next morning. The purple twilight had fallen before we quitted the Italian garden, and went to the château. Old Peter was glad to see me, and at supper I met Madam...

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