Ashes of Incense 89

was about to go out, as she had come iii-silently —when Dorofée with a gentle word stopped her.

“Amande! You have forgotten something.”

The girl turned slowly; as one who has gone through his inferno hears himself recalled.


“You have forgotten—the little silver ring upon your hand—the ring monsieur gave you. You will give it to me, yes? I shall like it to give to my other maid, and—at the Café du Soleil, you will not miss it. They will give you lots of rings. That is it?—-thank you.”

The girl had dropped the silver circlet in the tiny outstretched hand, without a word, without the sign of an emotion. Only When Michael ex- claimed, “The Café du Soleil? Dorofée! what do you mean?” Only then did Amande turn her still, white face full upon him, with one long ex- pressive look. Michael’s conscience roused itself to run knives through him, with that look. He saw the ring in Dorofée’s hand, and it seemed to hang tight round his neck, choking him.

In another minute, Amande was gone.

“Dorofée!” Michael turned to his wife ex- citedly—it was only at moments of highest pitch that he called her full name. “Amande at the Café du Soleil!-it’s impossible. You don’t