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home and his name.
She turned away like one stunned by a blow, and walked slowly
towards the door, hoping he would call her back.
"Good-by, Armand," she moaned.
He did not answer her. That was his last blow at fate.
Desiree went in search of her child. Zandrine was pacing the
sombre gallery with it. She took the little one from the nurse's
arms with no word of explanation, and descending the steps, walked
away, under the live-oak branches.
It was an October afternoon; the sun was just sinking. Out in
the still fields the negroes were picking cotton.
Desiree had not changed the thin white garment nor the
slippers which she wore. Her hair was uncovered and the sun's rays
brought a golden gleam from its brown meshes. She did not take the
broad, beaten road which led to the far-off plantation of Valmonde.
She walked across a deserted field, where the stubble bruised her
tender feet, so delicately shod, and tore her thin gown to shreds.
She disappeared among the reeds and willows that grew thick
along the banks of the deep, sluggish bayou; and she did not come
Some weeks later there was a curious scene enacted at L'Abri.
In the centre of the smoothly swept back yard was a great bonfire.
Armand Aubigny sat in the wide hallway that commanded a view of the
spectacle; and it was he who dealt out to a half dozen negroes the
material which kept this fire ablaze.
A graceful cradle of willow, with all its dainty furbishings,
was laid upon the pyre, which had already been fed with the
richness of a priceless layette. Then there were silk gowns,
and velvet and satin ones added to these; laces, too, and
embroideries; bonnets and gloves; for the corbeille had been of
The last thing to go was a tiny bundle of letters; innocent
little scribblings that Desiree had sent to him during the days of