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Graeve, Oscar (ed.) / Delineator
Vol. 119, No. 1 (July, 1931)

[Continued articles and works],   pp. 76-[89] PDF (9.4 MB)

Page 83

JULY, 1931
Spare the corn
spoil the drive
And simply ruin your whole day's
fun . . . and the dance at the club
afterward. What a lot to lose-just
for the lack of one simple little Blue-
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Wear Blue-jay while you play or work
-soon you'll be on easy feet! . . .
Made by a house renowned for its sur-
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Chicago . . New York . . Toronto
Do- you know Protect-O-Pads, smart
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pretending that she had heard even less; for
it would have been difficult to have explained
to the wrathful Aunt Lucinda, who had just
heard of Juniper's presence at Alobs, her own
exact reasons for inviting him to leave his
hotel and come to stay at the villa.
Especially with Juniper in the room.
"I don't know what you're talking about,
Lucinda, but all I can say is you must have
felt very badly about it to have managed to
bite a way through all this thunder and
lightning . . . unforgivable insult?  Very
well then. I'm sorry; I do as I like, but I hope
my manners are as good as anybody's and if
you can't forgive me, you can't. Perhaps
you'd better tell me the rest when the weath-
er's quieter. What? . . . What? . . . "
Dead silence, except for a quieter crack-
ling, then even that subsided.
"I've been cut off," said Sophia, replacing
the receiver with a bang.
"Good thing, too," said Paul, who had
changed into dry clothes and returned to the
salon. "What's the trouble?"
Sophia hesitated. There was a big bellow
of laughter from Juniper, who knew quite
well what was the trouble.
Sophia looked at him, and laughed too. "I
believe the air's lighter," she remarked
AS IF in ironic comment on her words, came
a shrill burst of altercation from the
kitchen and hall. The door was flung open
and L~onie rushed in.
Silv~re followed her. It was not at all
clear at first whether Lkonie was addressing
Sophia, the company in general, the stormy
heavens, or whether she and Silvare had
merely thought it would be a pleasant varia-
ation to continue their quarrel in the salon
instead of in the kitchen.
"There can be no dinner!" That, at all
events, was meant for Sophia. "No, no, no!
I will not stay. I will depart, but immedi-
ately, with my poor, poor little one, if I have
to beg for him the whole way
from here to Paris. I will
depart. For I am an honest
woman and an honest wife,
et voyez-vous, madame, it is
not right that I, who can
make confiscrie, and pate,
and vol-au vent, and souflis,
should day after day have
to serve up the same dinner
to madame and to her
friends, who will say to each
other that Lkonie is no
cook; she has no variety.
But what can one do with
ce fourneau maudit? And
madame will come to see for
herself the kitchen full of
smoke and yet no fire, and
I who tear my heart out!
But these men they are all
the same. They make prom-
ises and they break
them . . . Up the road and
down the road I have
looked.  I have asked every auto that
passed, and their answer is always the same:
'Yes, we have seen him, le glacier, but he has
gone home.' He has brought ice here and
there, to every villa, only not to Alobs. Ah,
le saligaud! And as if that were not enough-"
she turned furiously upon Silv~re-"that one,
who only a year ago swore he would die if I
did not take pity on him, but now-bah! All
day long he must pester me with his jeal-
ousies, as though, nom de Dieu, it were my
fault that there are gendarmes in the villa
and that his name is Pierre which is the
same as Pauquet!"
Silvbre was also in a passion, but it rose
more slowly, and from a deeper base; more
dangerously, too: "It is not that I ask for
presents. I would willingly give them away
to those who are in need. But-madame, je
vous demande pardon-but madame shall
judge that when the wife of your heart, the
wife for whom you would cheerfully work
day and night, for her and the little one to
have food and shelter, gives you a pocket-
book, with false embraces because it is your
Saint's Day, Saint Silvkre . . . I was pro-
foundly touched, for it was a beautiful pocket-
book and I took pride in it . . . and then to
steal it away again to give it to ce vilain, her
paramour, who calls himself a gendarme, and
sits all day long in the kitchen, staring, star-
ing at an honest man's wife, the mother of his
Sophia was not sure by then whose was the
child to whom they referred, nor whose was
the pocketbook, nor whose the blame; nor,
indeed, who was called Pierre and who Pau-
quet?  So she continued to sit passively
amidst this whirl of Southern jealousy and
Provengal unreason, hoping for further en-
lightenment. Could it be really that Silv&re's
honest wife had given her fickle heart-and
her husband's pocketbook-to the infatu-
ated gendarme? But meanwhile, L~onie had
returned to the subject of the truant ice-man,
who, it appeared, was in at least as much
disfavor as Silvbre. For the third time she
flung down her notice at Sophia's feet, and
announced her intention of quitting the villa
at once. Within the next hour they would
seek and not find her. She would be gone,
she would leave them all behind her, Silvbre,
the gendarme, the ice-man. As for madame,
she regretted, for madame had always been
an angel of kindness and consideration, but
not even madame could persuade her to stay.
And she was on her way to the door, when, to
Sophia's astonishment, Joe took an impulsive
step forward and caught L6onie, not un-
kindly, by the arm. "Wait a minute! Al-
tende7."' he said. "Look here, Sophia, I don't
know if she's really going, but if she is, you
mustn't let her. I mean, we oughtn't to,
until she's told us where it all links up. With
poor old Fred, I mean."
"Where what links up?"
"This," said Joe, intensely worried. And
with his free hand he produced from his
pocket a stained and faded oblong which had
once been a purple sudde pocketbook with
flexible gold edges and the initial "P" sprawl-
ing showily across one corner.
Lbonie, at sight of it, let loose a shriek.
"Ah, c'est le mien-it is mine!" exclaimed
But Joe still held it out of their reach, and
still, almost apologetically, addressed Sophia:
"You see, I'm not at all sure about any-
thing; that's why I shut up till now, waiting
for what would turn up. But if they're
using this-this hullabaloo as an excuse to do
a bunk, ice-man and gendarme and all that-
and heaven only knows what we shall do
without a postman!"-poor Joe was nearly
sobbing himself, at the de-
vastating thought-"Well,
but all the same, it all looks
damned queer to me!"
And then, as best he
could amid the frequent in-
S         terruptions from Lkonie, he
described first of all how he
had noticed the shining new
pocketbook when Silvkre
had used it two mornings
V,       ago, an hour or two before
their discovery of Fred's
body; next, how Ldonie had
confided to him her private
hatred for Fred, because she
had learned through Marie-
F61ise how he had attempted
to get her and le petit Her-
cule banished from Aloos;
and, finally, how today he
had found the same pocket-
book, soaked and stained
with sea-water, in a crevice
of rock on the side of the
bay used mostly by the servants, and, exam-
ining it, had found the name of a Marseilles
firm stamped inside.
"Marseilles!" echoed Prunella; and Paul,
turning towards Silvare, asked him how the
pocketbook had originally become his.
"But, monsieur-" said the man, bewil-
dered, "I have told you. It is no secret, only
that I cannot understand why it should have
been found on the rocks. L~onie, my wife,
she gave it to me for a present."
"And Fred's notes and money were found
lying loose on the dressing-table," remarked
Sophia, trying to piece together this jig-saw.
LEONIE dramatically flung herself on the
ground at her mistress's feet.
"Ah, madame-madame who has so much
bonti, she will believe me! She will not send
him to the guillotine, my husband, mon brave
homme, who has always been so good to me,
from whom I have had never a cross word,
nor for the little one either. There is no such
husband on all the coast. And if they kill
him, it will be my fault, and I will suffer-ah,
mon Dieu, it is not right that we should
suffer so, we others, when it is just that we
wish to give a little present to make pleasure.
But he, Silvhre, he is not a thief, whatever
Monsieur Joe may say," her glance stabbed
Joe, so that he shrank back and took up his
stand a little nearer Paul, for protection.
Sophia, more accustomed to Lhonie's tem-
perament, merely asked her gently but clearly
to explain to them all exactly where she had
procured the pocketbook.
"I do not know how I could have forgotten
his Saint's Day, except  (Turn to page 84)
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