that rest of the senses, Avith a curi on her lips, where she sat
or stood, in the shadow of the trees.
" To wear soft stuffs and rich colours, to have jewels in
their breasts, to sleep in satin, to hear fools laugh, to have
iioth hands full of gold, that is Avhat women love," she
thought; and laughed a little in her cold wonder, and Avent
back to her high cage in the toAver, and called the pigeons
in from the rooftops at sunset, and kissed their purple
throats, and broke amongst them her one dry crust, and,
supperless herself, sat on the parapet and watched the
round Avhite moon rise over the shining roofs of Paris.
She Avas ignorant, she Avas friendless, she was savage, she
Avas very Avretched; but she had a supreme love iu her, and
she was strong.
A hundred times the Red Mouse triea to steal through
the lips Avhich hunger, his servile and unfailing minister,
would surely, the Red Mouse thought, disbar and unclose
to him sooner or later.
" You will tire, and I can Avait, Folle-Farine," the Red
Mouse had said to her, by the tongue of the old man Sar¬
torian ; and he kept his Avord very patiently.
He vt'as patient, he Avas Avise; he believed in the power of
gold, and he had no faith in the strength of a AVoman. He
kncAV how to wait—unseen, so that this rare bird should
not perceive the net spread for it in its wildness and wari.
ness. He did not pursue, nor too quickh' incense her.
Only in the dark cheerless mists, Avheii she rose to go
amongst the Avorld of the sleeping poor at her threshold, she
would step on some gift Avorthy of a queen's acceptance,
ivithout date or Avord, gleaming there against the stone of
When she climbed to her hole in the roof at the close of a
da}^ all pain, all fatigue, all vain endeavour, all bootless
labour to and fro the labyrinth of streets, (here AA'Ould be
on her bare bench such fruits and floAvers as Dorothea
might have sent from Paradise, and curled amidst them
some thin leaf that would have bought the Aveight of the
pines and of the s'rapes in gold.
When in the dusk of the night she Avent, wearily iind
footsore, through the byways and over the sharp set flints
♦■f the quarters of the outcasts and the beggars, sick Avith tlie
f iimult an d the stench and the squalor, parched Avith dust, worn