“Neither,” the aunt replied.
And, laughing at their disappointment, she had informed them that it was she herself whom the embroiderer had just proposed to marry.
This memory, which today brought great joy to both women, did not, however, raise Eglantine’s voice to say:
-Yes, and your laugh then rang so clear that I saw for the first time your beautiful hair with reflections and your waist much better shot than ours.
A little silence came back.
The sounds of the city did not reach us, and the wind that passed through the leaves was soft to hear like a rustle of silk.
At all times in my memory the voice of Bergeounette sang the song of earthly paradise:
In a delicious garden,
Close to heaven …
Beyond the alleys, when a group of children dressed in light colors ran past, I thought I saw clumps of flowers escaping from the flower beds and running towards the undergrowth.
On the benches and on the chairs, couples remained inactive and silent, as if crushed with happiness.
The winter was gone, and the sun was coming back into the studio. But if the spring looked softer and loaded the chestnut trees of the avenue with flowers, he seemed to carry day by day all the freshness and gaiety of Gabielle. She herself understood nothing of the state of languor that made her work painful and deprived her of any desire to laugh. Her pink lips were now colorless and the shadow around her eyes made her cheeks look even paler.
Each of her companions believed that she knew the remedy that could ward off her withering, and that she did not lack advice:
“Drink on the sage and the little knapweed,” cried Felicite Damoure.
And then she enumerated so many plants to be attached to them, that the boss amused himself by making them repeat in the file, under the pretext of retaining the names. Bergeounette advised especially noise and movement. And Duretour, who did not like herbal teas, assured that only a fiancé could bring back the good health that Gabielle had lost.