How, then, had she not spoken of it to her mother? Why had she not said any thing to her the day, when, happening, to look out of the window, she saw her "persecutor" passing before the house, or, evidently looking in her direction?
"Am I losing my mind?" she thought, seriously irritated against herself. "I will not think of him any more."
And yet she was thinking of him, when one afternoon, as her mother and herself were working, sitting upon a bench, she saw the stranger come and sit down not far from them. He was accompanied by an elderly man with long white mustaches, and wearing the rosette of the Legion of Honor.
"This is an insolence," thought the young girl, whilst seeking a pretext to ask her mother to change their seats.
But already had the young man and his elderly friend seated themselves, and so arranged their chairs, that Mlle. Gilberte could not miss a word of what they were about to say. It was the young man who spoke first.
"You know me as well as I know myself, my dear count," he commenced - "you who were my poor father's best friend, you who dandled me upon your knees when I was a child, and who has never lost sight of me."
"Which is to say, my boy, that I answer for you as for myself," put in the old man. "But go on."
"I am twenty-six years old. My name is Yves-Marius-Genost de Tregars. My family, which is one of the oldest of Brittany, is allied to all the great families."