Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
"Why should I go down to bathe at the very end of the season
when I haven't been in the surf all summer," replied the woman,
"I beg your pardon," offered Edna, in some embarrassment, for
she should have remembered that Mademoiselle Reisz's avoidance of
the water had furnished a theme for much pleasantry. Some among
them thought it was on account of her false hair, or the dread of
getting the violets wet, while others attributed it to the natural
aversion for water sometimes believed to accompany the artistic
temperament. Mademoiselle offered Edna some chocolates in a paper
bag, which she took from her pocket, by way of showing that she
bore no ill feeling. She habitually ate chocolates for their
sustaining quality; they contained much nutriment in small compass,
she said. They saved her from starvation, as Madame Lebrun's table
was utterly impossible; and no one save so impertinent a woman as
Madame Lebrun could think of offering such food to people and
requiring them to pay for it.
"She must feel very lonely without her son," said Edna,
desiring to change the subject. "Her favorite son, too. It must
have been quite hard to let him go."
Mademoiselle laughed maliciously.
"Her favorite son! Oh, dear! Who could have been imposing such
a tale upon you? Aline Lebrun lives for Victor, and for Victor
alone. She has spoiled him into the worthless creature he is. She
worships him and the ground he walks on. Robert is very well in a
way, to give up all the money he can earn to the family, and keep
the barest pittance for himself. Favorite son, indeed! I miss the
poor fellow myself, my dear. I liked to see him and to hear him
about the place the only Lebrun who is worth a pinch of salt.
He comes to see me often in the city. I like to play to
him. That Victor! hanging would be too good for him.
It's a wonder Robert hasn't beaten him to death long ago."
"I thought he had great patience with his brother," offered
Edna, glad to be talking about Robert, no matter what was said.
"Oh! he thrashed him well enough a year or two ago," said
Mademoiselle. "It was about a Spanish girl, whom Victor considered
that he had some sort of claim upon. He met Robert one day talking
to the girl, or walking with her, or bathing with her, or carrying