" Can one never cut the devil out of her ? " muttered the
miller, going back to his work amongst the beans.
After a while the song ceased; the pain she suffered
stifled her voice despite herself; she felt giddy and sick,
but she sat there still in the shadow, holding on by the
jutting woodwork, and watching the water foam and eddy
The hours went away; the golden day died ; the grey-
tiess of evening stole the glow from the gladioli and shut up
the buds of the roses; the lilies gleamed but the whiter in
the dimness of twilight; the vesper chimes were rung from
the cathedral two leagues away over the fields.
The miller stopped the gear of the mill; the grindstones
and the water-wheels were set at rest; the peace of the
night came down; the pigeons flew to roost in their
niches ; but the sacks still lay uncarried on the grass, and
a spider had found time to spin his fairy ropes about them.
The miller stood on his threshold, and looked up at her
where she sat aloft in the dusky shades of the leaves.
" Come down and carry these sacks, little brute," he said.
" If not—no supper for you to-night."
Folle-Farine obeyed him and came down from the huge
pile, slowly, her hands crossed behind her back, her head
erect, hex eyes glancing like the eyes of a wild hawk.
She walked straight past the sacks, across the dew-laden
turf, tlu'ough the tufts of the lilies, and so silently into the
The entrance was a wide kitchen, paved with blue and
white tiles, clean as a watercress, filled with the pungent
odour of dried herbs, and furnished with brass pots and
pans, with walnut presses, with pinewood tressels, and with
strange little quaint pictures and images of saints. On one
of the tressels were set a jug of steaming milk, some rolls of
black bread, and a big dish of stewed cabbages. At the
meal there was already seated a lean, brown, wrinkled,
careworn old serving woman, clad in the blue kirtle and the
white head gear of Normandy.
The miller stayed the child at the threshold.
" Little devil—not a bit nor drop to-night if you do noi
carry the sacks."
Folle-Farine said nothing, but moved on, past the food on
the board, past the images of the saints,*past the high lancet