across her, Folle-Farine sprang up, defiance and fury
bi'eathing from all her beautiful fierce face.
She seized the staff in her right hand, wrenched it with a
.?wift movement from his hold, and catching his head under
her left arm, rained blows on him from his own weapon,
with a sudden gust of breathless rage which blinded him,
and lent to her slender muscular limbs, the strength and the
force of man. Then, as rapidly as she had seized and
struck him, she flung him from her with such violence that
he fell prostrate on the pavement of the court; caught up
the metal pail which stood by ready filled, dashed the water
over him where he lay, and turning from him Avithout a
word, walked across the courtyard sloAvly, and with a
haughty grace in all the carriage of her bare limbs, and the
folds of her ragged garments; bearing the empty osier-
basket on her head, deaf as the stones around to the screams
of the sacristan and his mother.
In these secluded cloisters, and in the high noontide,
when all were sleeping or eating in the cool shelter of
their darkened houses, the old woman's voice remained
The saints heard, no doubt, but they were too lazy to
stir from their niches in that sultry noontide; except the
baying of a chained dog aroused, there Avas no answer to
the outcry, and Folle-Farine passed out into the market
place unarrested, and not meeting another living creature!
As she turned into one of the squares that led to the open
country, she saw in the distance one of the guardians of
the peace of the town moving quickly towards the clois¬
ters, Avith his glittering lace shining in the sun, and his
it)ng scabbard clattering upon the stones. She laughed a
little as she saw.
" They will not come after ?we," she said to herself.
'' They are too afraid of the devil,"
She judged rightly; they did not come.
She crossed all the wide scorching square, whose white
stones blazed in the glare of the sun.
There was nothing in sight except a stray cat prowling
in a corner, and three sparrows quarrelling over a foul-
smeUing heap of refuse.
The quaint old houses round seemed all asleep, with the
shutters closed like tired eyelids over their little dim, aged.