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Original Short Stories — Volume 03
written by "McMaster, Albert M. C."
... back, she would accompany me in silence as far as the end of the village, evidently struggling to find words with which to begin a conversation. Then she would leave me abruptly and walk away quickly with her springy step. "One day, however, she plucked up courage: "I would like to see how you paint pictures. Are you willing? I have been very curious.' "And she blushed as if she had said something very audacious. "I conducted her to the bottom of the Petit-Val, where I had begun a large picture. "She remained standing behind me, following all my gestures with concentrated attention. Then, suddenly, fearing perhaps that she was disturbing me, she said: 'Thank you,' and walked away. "But she soon became more friendly, and accompanied me every day, her countenance exhibiting visible pleasure. She carried her camp stool under her arm, not permitting me to carry it. She would remain there for hours, silent and motionless, following with her eyes the point of my brush, in its every movement. When I obtained unexpectedly just the effect I wanted by a dash of color put on with the palette knife, she involuntarily uttered a little 'Ah!' of astonishment, of joy, of admiration. She had the most tender respect for my canvases, an almost religious respect for that human reproduction of a part of nature's work divine. My studies appeared to her a kind of religious pictures, and sometimes she spoke to me of God, with the idea of converting me. "Oh, he was a queer, good-natured being, this God of hers! He was a sort of village philosopher without any great resources and without great power, for she always figured him to herself as inconsolable over injustices committed under his eyes, as though he were powerless to prevent them. "She was, however, on excellent terms with him, affecting even to be the confidante of his secrets and of his troubles. She would say: "'God wills' or 'God does not will,' just like a serge...

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