• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Half Title
 Advertising
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 Dedication
 List of Illustrations
 Chapter I
 Chapter II
 Chapter III
 Chapter IV
 Chapter V
 Chapter VI
 Chapter VII
 Chapter VIII
 Chapter IX
 Chapter X
 Chapter XI
 Chapter XII
 Chapter XIII
 Chapter XIV
 Chapter XV
 Advertising
 Back Matter
 Back Cover
 Spine






Title: Pierrette
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00085399/00001
 Material Information
Title: Pierrette
Physical Description: 203, 4 p. : ill. ; 20 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Bouvet, Marguerite, 1865-1915
Hooper, Will Phillip ( Illustrator )
A.C. McClurg & Co ( Publisher )
Publisher: A.C. McClurg and Company
Place of Publication: Chicago
Publication Date: 1896
 Subjects
Subject: Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Widows -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Poor -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Mothers and daughters -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Wealth -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Christian life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1896
Genre: novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- Illinois -- Chicago
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Marguerite Bouvet ; illustrated by Will Phillip Hooper.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00085399
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002222419
notis - ALG2664
oclc - 234194664

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Front Matter
        Page 3
    Half Title
        Page 4
    Advertising
        Page 5
    Frontispiece
        Page 6
    Title Page
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
    Dedication
        Page 10
    List of Illustrations
        Page 11
        Page 12
    Chapter I
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
    Chapter II
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
    Chapter III
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
    Chapter IV
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
    Chapter V
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
    Chapter VI
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
    Chapter VII
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
    Chapter VIII
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
    Chapter IX
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
    Chapter X
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
    Chapter XI
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
    Chapter XII
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
    Chapter XIII
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
    Chapter XIV
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
    Chapter XV
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
    Advertising
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
        Page 207
    Back Matter
        Page 208
    Back Cover
        Page 209
        Page 210
    Spine
        Page 211
Full Text
P'I'LRRE`"'FTL
Al;










































The Baldwin Library
^Univeiac/I
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PIERRETTE

























BY MISS BOUVET.


PIE.RRETTE. .Small 4t,). illustrated. $z.25.
.1 CHILD) (O TUSCANY. Small 4to. Illustrated $.50o.
MY IADV) A >o'ry of Long Ago. i6mo. Illustrated.
.2
LITTLE MAR.RIIII'S LOVE STORY. Small 410.


PRINCE TIP I OP. A Fairy Tale. Sm.I 41t. Illus-
trated oi ,
SWVIFE' WI ILLIAM. Small 4to. Illustrated. $i.5o.


A. C. McCLURG AND CO., CHICAGO.












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"There is something I have wanted to ask you about for a
hI'on time."


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PIERRETTE


BY

MARGUERITE BOUVET
AUTHOR OF
"A CHILD OF TUSCANY," "MY LADY," "SWEET WILLIAM,"
LITTLE MARJORIE'S LOVE STORY," '" PRINCE
TIP TOP," ETC.


ILLUSTRATED BY

WILL PHILLIP HOOPER


CHICAGO
A. C. McCLURG AND COMPANY
1896































COPYRIGHT
BY A. C. MCCLURG AND CO.
A.D. IS96.

All rihits reserved.















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" Are we sure we have done, if only half done,
The good 'I was ours to do ?
Hate have we conquered, and by love have we won.
Aye, won our enemy, oo ?''
VICTOR HUGO.

















LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.



PAGE
"One evening Pierrette and her mother sat together
beside the window" . .. 19
"'Here is a piece of work that once belonged to the
Countess of B.'" . 37
"' A, le monstre !'" .. .. 47
"She was just emerging from the big stone portal,
with her precious bundle in her arms" .. 55
" Even grumbling old Jeanneton said, when she came
in, that it was as if a sunbeam had entered her
room" ............... 71
"Elize and Pierrette had been obliged to stand a
little aloof on account of the crowd" S3
' There is something I have wanted to ask you about
for a long time' . . 97
"' I know, I know, Monsieur, and I thank you in my
heart'" ............. .. 115
"As if all the airy sprites she had heard of in the
old fairy-book were dancing by her in gay
procession" ......... 123
"They walked down the shady avenue . 131








xii PIERRETTE.
PAGE
" He was obliged to have a serious tussle with Joy-
of-My-heart" .. .. 149
"'But, Madame,' he said in a feeble voice of apol-
ogy,'I do not understand!'" . 161
S' Look, look, petite mire, it is a Christmas basket' 173
"Ah, Madame,' she said, tremulously, 'you make
me very happy!" . ... 185
"' Pierrette did as she was bidden, and laid the cool,
wet cloth on the old man's head .... 193



















PIERRETTE.



CHAPTER I.

IHo~w was it that she had found her way into
that gloomy, narrow, crowded, noisy quarter of
the Luxembourg, that busy section of Paris
where the people are for the most part poor,
and must live all huddled up together in great
dismal houses, and have to labor very hard to
earn their meagre living! In that vast human
bee-hive where every one, child as well as man
or woman, has some art or trade at which he
toils for the glory and fame of his dear city!
One would scarcely have expected to find
such a bright, pretty little creature as Pierrette
hidden away there under a high attic set in








PIERRETTE.


the irregular roofs of one of the oldest houses
in old Paris. Yet I am not sure that these
humble surroundings did not serve the better to
set forth her fresh young beauty, her gentle
little graces, and the sunny nature that made
the dingy garret seem a home instead of a
prison, for a little light often shines brightest
in dark places. Pierrette had no recollection
of any other home. She could remember no
other days than those which she had spent with
"Petite Mbre" in the little room under the
peaked roof of the old house. She was very
young when she was brought to it, and she
had grown up there contented, like a young
pigeon in a very small cote, never dreaming of
the wonders and splendors of the great city in
which she lived.
But the Little Mother," who was all alone
in the world now save for Pierrette, could
remember a happier time, when she had had
her own little home in pretty Meudon, in the
beautiful open country, with a broad expanse
of sunshine and sky overhead, and an abun-
dance of sweet air and flowers, and a kind
husband to love and care for her; and it was








PIERRETTE.


very hard now to live in this wretched way
after having once known happiness and peace,
to sit beside her high window in the daytime,
and beside her lamp at night, working with
weary fingers and straining eyes at some bit of
fine lace for which she received scarcely enough
to keep herself and Pierrette from starving.
She was young, and knew very little of the
ways of the great world when she had been left
a widow, and she had thought, like many others,
that her only chance of earning a decent liveli-
hood was in coming to Paris. To Paris, alas!
that great refuge of struggling human beings.
She did not know what life was to the poor in a
great city; she could not foresee the loneliness,
the disappointments, the trials and hardships
she would have to endure. She had only seen
Paris from without, as it seems to all those who
first look upon its beauty, gay, brilliant, smil-
ing and beckoning, promising many things.
And she had sold what little she possessed, and
come to this fair haven alone with her little
daughter, but full of hope and courage.
She was very deft with her fingers, as are
most of the women of France, and she had








PIER ETTE.


learned the art of making beautiful laces from
rare old patterns, and she knew that in Paris*
there were many people who paid large sums of
money for the lovely work, and that many
workers were employed by the big merchants
who supplied the luxurious wants and caprices of
the rich world. But the city was very crowded
when she came to live in it, for there were
nearly two millions of people there already, who
were trying to do just what she wanted to do,
to earn a few sous by their handiwork; and she
felt almost lost in that struggling, toiling multi-
tude. They had to live very poorly, for their
resources were small and were soon exhausted;
and many days and weeks went by before any
one came to offer them any work.
Ah, what despairing days those were for the
poor little mother, as she sat in the miserable
little room, her arms clasped about Pierrette,
weeping and asking God what was to become of
them Pierrette was too young to understand
or realize what they were suffering, and that
was indeed a blessing; but, young as she was,
she was a comfort to the little mother. For her
the young widow prayed and lived; without








PIERRETTE.


her life would hardly have been worth the effort
she was making to keep it going. The child's
very ignorance was a blessing, and her innocent
smiles and unconscious childish prattle cheered
many long and weary days of waiting.
They had been living in Paris now nearly five
years,--living a life that would have seemed
miserable to many, for there was but little food
and scanty clothing, and scarcely any fire in the
wintry season, and no fresh, cool air in the hot
summer. Yet the little garret room under the
caves had during that time grown to be their
home, and they had learned to care for it in
spite of its poverty; because it held all that was
most precious to them in the world, and that
was each other.
It was a bare little room enough, and dismal
enough, when the sun happened to be shining
on the other side of the house, or not at all, for
it had but one small square window; but there
were a few pale flowers doing their best to
bloom in bits of broken china that stood on its
ledge, and an old vine had crept up between
the stones from ever so far down below in the
street, as if purposely to keep them company,
2







PIERRETTE.


and a golden canary hung in a cage above this
bit of verdure and sang merrily, all the day: all
of which showed that there was a gentle spirit
reigning there. The walls were dingy and dis-
colored with age, and the floor was made of
chill gray stone, and what few necessities they
had were of the plainest kind; but everything
was well kept and exquisitely neat, for though
the little mother was poor, and a daughter of
the people, she was of the people of France,
who by some inborn, unconscious grace are able
to soften the cruel edges of necessity, and t,
make poverty seem less hideous with them than
it is anywhere else in the world.
One evening Pierrette and her mother sat
together beside the window. It was too early
to light the lamp, and yet too dark to see the
fallen stitches in the lace that she was mending,
and the young woman lay back in her chair
with her eves closed and her work in her lap,
enjoying one of those rare idle moments that
are so precious to weary workers. Pierrette
nestled closer and looked questioningly at the
pale young face.
"You are very tired, petite mere, let me













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"One evening Pierrette and her mother sat together beside
the window."


I ..








PIERRETTE.


stroke your pretty head, and perhaps you will
fall asleep."
"Ah, that must not be until night comes, my
Pierrette; the work must be finished first, and
if Pere Michel is pleased, and pays us our
money, we shall be sure of a dinner to-morrow,
and shall sleep all the better for it to-night,"
said the little mother, with a smile.
It is very bad of people to tear their laces
and take them to P&re Michel for you to mend.
I wish they would not do so any more," said
the child.
Not so, my little Pierrette; we must be
very grateful to them for taking the lace to
Pere Michel, otherwise there would be nothing
for us to do. It would be a sad time for us if
the rich people gave us no work."
"But the mending is tedious and hurts your
eyes, petite mere."
Yes, it is hard to darn up the holes, and to
make them look like the rest; and I could take
more pleasure in setting up a beautiful new
piece from one of.the lovely patterns that I
have. But we must not complain as long as we
can earn a few sous. We are not so poorly off








PIERRETTE.


as we might be, not so poorly off as old Jean-
neton, who is sick and who has no little girl to
comfort her, are we, Pierrette? "
"Oh, no, maman, we are not unhappy like
poor Jeanneton; but then she is old and cross
and ugly, and you will never be old and ugly
like her. You are a sweet, pretty mother, and
of course you are never cross," and she stroked
the delicate hand that lay in hers. "Is it
not always the cross, bad people who are
unhappy?"
Not always, dear; it is more often because
of their misfortunes that people grow cross and
ill-tempered; but we all have a great deal to do
with our own happiness. It is safest to be
good, and to do the duty that God sends us to
do, and happiness will surely follow at some
time," said the little mother, who had a gentle,
pious nature, and whose faith alone had upheld
her through all her tribulations.
That is what you always say, petite mere.
I should think that sometime' would come
very soon for you; for you are so good, so
good that even old Jeanneton calls you a saint."
The young mother bent down and kissed








PIERRETTE.


Pierrette. To that tender little creature, it was
reward enough for all her goodness and self-
sacrifice that her dear Pierrette should love and
trust her so much. The thought that a little
child, innocent of all this world's wrongs, looks
to us for every good, and takes us for its model
of every virtue, has served to ennoble and
strengthen many of us when we might otherwise
have been cowardly and weak.
"Now, little mother dear, you must soon
teach me to do the mending; and then perhaps
I can do all of Pere Michel's work, and you need
only stitch at the beautiful new pieces."
Not yet, my Pierrette; you are still too
young to do such work. You would not do it
well, perhaps, and Pere Michel would scold us.
You know how vexed he is if there is a thread
loose anywhere. You must be content to at-
tend to your little duties at home; and that is as
much help as you can give me for the present."
Secretly, the little mother had a dread of
Pierrette's beginning at her tender age to work
for wages as if she were obliged to earn her
own living. She had seen so many children in
the neighborhood, scarcely older than Pierrette,








PIERRETTE.


with tired, careworn faces, bending at some
trade or other, perhaps till late in the night;
and it seemed a terrible thing to her that a
child should know no childhood because of
poverty and want. She had striven hard that
Pierrette should never know such hardships;
she cherished a hidden thought that somehow,
at some time, she did not exactly explain to
herself in what way, something would happen
that would bring about a change in Pierrette's
life, a change for something brighter and hap-
pier than they had ever known. She felt, like
the fond little mother that she was, that Pier-
rette was unlike other children whom she knew.
She was gentler, more thoughtful and more
loving. Her quiet, simple life had rendered
her not old and unchildlike, but sweetly serious
and reasonable, so that she and the young
mother were like companions, having no thoughts
apart from one another.
Pierrette rose at once and lighted the little
oil-lamp, for it had grown quite dark while they
sat talking. She drew the small round table
into the middle of the room, and set the light
upon it, and her mother's working chair close








PIERRETTE.


beside it, ready for the evening's work. Then
she went about the room, like a little housewife,
closing the curtains, and covering the canary,
and stirring up the embers of the scanty fire
in the hollow of the old chimney.
The evenings were long, for it was just in the
fall of the year, when Paris looks very gray and
bleak after the sun has gone down, and when a
raw chill wind howls fiercely down the gables
of the old houses in the quarter of the Luxem-
bourg, and when every man feels that his own
fireside, however plain and humble it may be, is
assuredly the best place to be in at that hour.
Pierrette and her maman made avery comfortable
and pleasing picture as they sat together under
the rosy glow of the lamp,-the young mother
bending over her work, and the little girl prepar-
ing her needles, or holding her frame and watch-
ing intently the progress of every stitch. For
Pierrette's maman was in truth all that the child
had said of her, a sweet, tender, lovely little wo-
man. She had no riches to set off her still girlish
beauty; but her slender figure was graceful in
her neat black gown, and her pretty head and
throat rose like a flower from the folds of her








26 PIERRETTE.

white kerchief. She had large gray eyes that
were both mild and fearless, and an abundance
of soft brown hair that waved of its own fancy
about her white temples, a sensitive mouth, and
the sweetest smile in the world,--at least, so
Pierrette thought. And the little girl was
remarkably like her.
What wonder, then, that these two young
creatures were at peace and even happy, happy
in a little garret, with so few of the things which
the world counts necessary to happiness What
wonder, indeed For one can be happy almost
anywhere, almost anyhow, when one is young.








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CHAPTER II.

VERY early the next morning, Pierrette and
her mother were making their way through the
little narrow dingy street called the rue des
Anges," where Pere Michel had his shop. Pier-
rette had often wondered why this small busy
street, hardly more than a generous alley, should
have been given the comely name of the street
of the Angels." Truly the people who inhab-
ited it could not be said to resemble angels in
any particular whatsoever. They were very
substantial, earthly-looking people, especially
the children, of whom the population seemed
chiefly to consist. Yet I am not sure that the
rue des Anges was not a paradise in its way, -a
very dark, dingy, dirty sort of paradise, but well
enough, I dare say, for those who had no notion








PIERRETTE.


of one better; for its people were about as easy-
going and care-free a community as one could
wish to meet anywhere in Paris.
The street was hardly more than two hundred
yards long, and yet there were people enough
living in it to populate an ordinary sized village.
It was stocked with curious little shops of vari-
ous small traffic, with all their wares displayed at
one window or case, and that was done with
such skill and grace that the eye of the passer-
by could not but be arrested by their contents.
There was a number of distracting toy-shops,
with gay-colored polic/inzelcs dangling from the
ceiling, and capable of the most fascinating con-
tortions; and it was here that the gains of the
neighborhood loved to congregate, and stare and
exclaim their admiration, and long in vain for
the airy nothings that the children of the rich
have without the asking and cast aside the next
moment. It was here that little Pierrette glanced
wistfully whenever she travelled back and forth
to Pare Michel's. There was so much in these
windows, although they were so small, to attract
the eye of a child, such brilliant coloring, such
quaint devices, such airy fabrications, as only
the artisan of Paris knows how to fashion.







PIERRETTE.


At the very end of the street, underneath the
projecting arcades of an old square building,
was a large iron gate-way leading into a circular
court upon which Pere Michel's dwelling opened.
For Pare Michel's traffic was of that conserva-
tive sort that he felt perfectly certain of his
patronage no matter how obscure or remote his
place of habitation might be. There was no-
thing at the entrance of the old stone building
to suggest the presence of so important a per-
sonage as Pere Michel. The ignorant might
have gone on looking for him up and down the
rue des Anges, and never found him. But those
who patronized him, or, to speak more exactly,
whom he patronized, knew that they must walk
the entire length of the damp court and, turning
up a short flight of mouldy steps on the left,
knock, with due precaution, at a long glass door
on which was inscribed, in the smallest possible
letters: -
A. MICHEL
NEGOCIANT DE LUXE.

It was not every one, however, who knew by
this inscription just the nature of Pere Michel's








PIERRETTE.


traffic. One had really to enter the little shop
in order to understand the true importance of
his business. But that was not an easy matter
to accomplish, for it was one of old Michel's
oddities never to admit any one inside his dwell-
ing until he knew precisely what their business
was, and had agreed with them about it before-
hand. In this way he had grown to be a sort of
autocrat in the court; and his neighbors were
much puzzled concerning him, and looked upon
him as a mysterious, and therefore a dangerous,
character. But A. Michel gave them no satis-
faction, and left them to their own conjectures.
All that they gleaned of his doings was from
watching the people who came and knocked at
his door. They were for the most part women,
- ladies and working girls. The ladies came
in their carriages to the entrance of the court,
and were usually covered with long mantles and
closely veiled when they walked out, which did
not in the least disguise the fact that they were
ladies, as every observer at the windows could
tell, by their gait and demeanor.
The others were girls, -shop-girls, working
girls of all classes, who made no attempt to dis-







PIERRETTE.


guise their identity, being rather proud than
otherwise of their exploits at Pere Michel's,
and who always came away with delighted faces
and one or more mysterious bundles in their
arms.
Then there were yet a few others, like Pier-
rette's mother, who came and went so quietly
that they were scarcely noticed by the dwellers
of the court; for they came neither to sell nor
to buy, but to bring and take away the work
with which the old man supplied them.
The little mother gave a gentle tap at the
glass door which was no longer transparent,
because of the great quantity of dust that had
gathered and settled on its surface. In a few
moments a fat finger appeared on the inside of
the pane, and cleared a small round opening of
its dust, and a round red eye bleared at them
through it. Having satisfied himself that Pier-
rette and her mother were no intruders, Pere
Michel immediately loosened the bolt and stood
before them in a red night-cap and long loose
dressing-gown.
"Aie, aie, aie, it is you, Ma'am Elize and
M'amzelle Pierrette, very early and yet too







PIERRETTE.


late," said the old man, with a threatening wrin-
kle in his brow, and yet making a very polite
salutation.
What do you mean, Monsieur Michel ?"
said the little mother, in anxious alarm. You
told me to bring the lace back on Friday, and
it is only Wednesday."
"That is just like you women, Wednesday,
Friday, Thursday!" cried Pere Michel, in his
nasal tenor, and shrugging his shoulders so that
his neck almost disappeared between them.
" \hat is that to me, hein! You think I can
wait till Wednesday or Friday to make a good
bargain I tell you if I had had that strip of
lace yesterday I might have sold it for thirty
francs. Do you comprehend that? thirty
good francs -a fortune that does not drop in
one's beak every day; and yet you talk to me
of Friday! Aie, aie, aie! and Pare Michel
scratched his ear and frowned as he beckoned
them in and closed the door.
Oh, I am so very sorry! said the little
mother, timidly. If I had known you wanted
it, I could have worked at night and finished it;
and Pierrette might have brought it yesterday.







PIERRETTE.


But I thought this was an order, not a piece
for sale."
No, it was not an order this time, and I have
missed a rare chance of making a precious thirty
francs, that is all. It is of no use weeping over
it now," he added with sudden philosophy, ob-
serving the look of confusion on the young
woman's face, no use regretting what is past;
we have no time for that. Come, let us look at
the lace, a pestilence on it! I shall always be a
poor beggar simply because I can never catch
a glimpse of my luck until it is just turning the
corner."
Elize untied her little paper parcel with ner-
vous fingers, and displayed about three yards of
soft rich lace, of beautiful texture, and so exquis-
itely wrought that no eye save that of sharp old
Pere Michel could ever have detected that once
its firm edge had been torn and that its roses
lost some of their petals.
The old man took it up in his fingers, and
examined it closely, inch by inch, and spread it
out upon his knees, and held it up to the light,
and then he laid it aside, saying, with rare con-
descension, It is not so bad, not so bad; for
3








PIERRETTE.


which the little mother felt exceedingly grateful,
for the old man never paid one sou for any-
thing until he had thoroughly ascertained that it
was in every way satisfactory. Is there some-
thing else for me to take away this morning,
Monsieur Michel? asked the little woman, with
hesitation.
'But P&re Michel did not answer immediately.
He was busy dropping some eggs into a pot of
boiling water for his breakfast. He did not
know, or perhaps he only appeared not to know,
how anxiously his answer was awaited by the
two young creatures who depended so largely
upon him for their bread. Pire Michel was
such a surprising old person one could never
quite tell what he would do next. His moods
were uncertain, and Elize was never sure whether
she had pleased him or not. He was now deeply
absorbed in a tussle with Joy-of-My-Heart,"
who was taking too active an interest in the
hard-boiled eggs.
Joy-of-My-Heart was a fat, ugly, snarling
poodle with a woolly tangled coat and a most
idiotic expression of countenance as he lay on
his back, all fours in the air, wriggling and mak-








PIERRETTE.


ing the most unseemly noises, which amused
Pierrette immensely, although she dared not
laugh, as she knew Pere Michel to be extremely
sensitive on the subject of his beast. It was
another of the old man's oddities that he had
more regard and affection for this uninteresting
brute than for any human being on earth.
While they sat waiting for him to speak,
Pierrette was looking about the little room to
see what changes had taken place since her last
visit; for the quaint old shop was always a
source of interest and wonder to her. It con-
tained what Pere Michel called his luxe,"
which was a motley assortment of discarded fin-
ery from the ladies of the faubourg. There were
faded silk gowns of several seasons past, and
fascinating ball-dresses whose first freshness
Nwas more or less gone, but which were never-
theless carefully displayed in long glass cases
that lined the walls of the room, and where they
hung with the most tempting effect. There were
old velvet mantles, and high-heeled gilt slippers,
and ostrich feathers of all colors, and indeed an
endless confusion of useless things which the
daughters of Paris love and labor to get, and







PIERRETTE.


turn to account, no matter to what station in
life they belong.
In another part of the room, there was an old
wooden coffer with a glass top, in which Pire
Michel kept his articles of the most value.
These were odd bits of jewelry, brooches,
bracelets, fancy combs, rings, a few lockets,
and one or two time-pieces. It was also where
he kept the valuable laces that were brought to
him to be repaired, or to be disposed of when
they had served their time. It was to this
coffer that Pere Michel now turned, having at
length decided to answer the little mother's
question about more work.
Here is something," he said, opening the
chest and taking from it a small mantilla of
" point d'Alencon" that was almost in shreds.
" Here is a piece of work that once belonged
to the Countess of B. and is now the possession
of Madame de L." Pere Michel never gave
full names. This enchanting piece of an-
tiquity is itself past all remedy. I told Madame
so. The cat has put her claws through it. But
it is a choice relic as it is; I would not have
it mended for the world; Madame is very















































"Here is a piece of work that once belonged to the Countess
of B."





PIERRETTE.


proud of it. Now, she wishes us to make a
new one from this model. It is a beautiful
one, and I have the design and all the neces-
sary materials. How would you like to take
this with you, providing you can promise to
bring it to me finished in two weeks, hark you,
two weeks, and not a minute later? "
"Oh, I should like it above all things!"
cried Elize, in happy surprise. This was a
mark of trust which she had hardly dared to
expect from Pere Michel. But the old man
was very shrewd. He knew very well that
of all the people who worked for him, there
was not one who was so honest, so conscien-
tious, and withal so skillful, or who would be so
grateful for this rare piece of handiwork, as was
Elize. And while he appeared to be confer-
ring a great favor upon her by placing it into
her hands, he was in reality serving his best
interests.
I promise you it will be finished, Monsieur
Michel. I shall work at it all the time; it is
so beautiful, it will really be a pleasure," said
the young woman, her pretty face all flushed
at this unexpected good fortune.







PIERRETTE.


"That is well," said the old man, beginning
to take the shells from his boiled eggs, and
spreading himself comfortably in his one large
chair. Take your pay, it is on the corner
of the chimney; and you know where I keep
the needles and the thread. Choose what you
need, and do your best; for Madame de L. is a
good patron, as you know."
Elize did as she was bidden, and promised to
do her best; and then she made a careful
bundle of the work, and, giving her hand to
Pierrette, rose to go.
As she laid her hand on the latch, the door
opened from without and some one entered at
whom Joy-of-My-Heart gave a sudden leap and
a surly growl, leaving his attractive place beside
the egg-pot to bite and snarl at the stranger's
shoes. The stranger was unmistakably a gen-
tleman, an exquisitely dressed French gentle-
man, who raised his hat with much elegance,
and stepped aside to let Elize and the little
girl pass out of Pere Michel's shop.






















CHAPTER III.

PIERRETTE and her mother could hardly help
looking a second time at the surprising mon-
sieur, whose magnificent appearance in the
rue des Anges had indeed brought out the
whole population to comment thereupon from
their doorsteps and windows. Pierrette had
never seen any one quite like him before.
Such a very tall shining silk hat as he wore,
and such an immensely long mustache standing
out on each side of his face like the horns of a
big black beetle! and such piercing eyes as he
looked at them with as they had passed him.
It would not have been in the least surprising
if he had turned out to be the president him-








PIERRETTE.


self, or an exiled prince of the house of
Bourbon.
They made their way hurriedly across the
court into the street, so that they did not hear
Pare Michel's greeting of the fine strange gen-
tleman, nor yet Joy-of-My-Heart's persistent
growls of discontent as the new-comer walked
into the little shop and seated himself in a
graceful attitude on one of Pre Michel's
wooden benches.
"You see me, Monsieur Michel," said the
exquisite person, taking a dainty pinch from
a little gold snuff-box which he drew from his
waistcoat pocket. You see me again with a
request upon your indulgence."
"I see you, Monsieur Le Page," returned
Pere Michel, with a polite grimace, with in-
finite regret, if your request is of the same
nature as when you honored me with your last
visit."
I must confess that it is," returned Monsieur
Le Page. I would have you reconsider your
refusal. You know my reputation in Paris. I
have the largest traffic, in our line of busi-
ness, in the city, and the richest and most







PIERRETTE.


notable patronage. I must satisfy the caprice
of a wealthy enthusiast; I resort to a little
harmless stratagem; you assist me. Who is
harmed thereby? No one. I am well paid,
and you receive a munificent reward for
your share in the bargain. Come, Michel,
be reasonable; do not lose sight of your
own interests; you have nothing to lose by
my proposition," and he twirled the ends of
his long black mustache, and looked hard at
the old man.
Nothing to lose, in effect, Monsieur, if I
belonged to your aristocracy, because I should
then have no scruples about doing a dishonest
thing," and Phre Michel straightened himself
with much dignity. It may be difficult for
you to comprehend, but we poor, beggarly,
toiling creatures whom you despise, do some-
times have a grain of conscience, and that
prevents us from seeing matters with your
vision."
Chut, chut," rejoined the gentleman, with a
suave wave of his gloved hand, "that is talk,
talk, Monsieur Michel. You and I cannot
afford to talk; we must act. Once for all, will








PIERRETTE.


you take my order for the work and bind
yourself to secrecy? "
"Assuredly not,' responded P&re Michel,
with grim persistence.
"Ah, then you are immovable? My good
man, it is foolish, it is stupid. You will regret
your obstinacy some day, some day when it
is too late," and he shrugged his shoulders
impatiently, and trod absently upon a crawling
spider near his foot, and killed it with that
same suave expression upon his face.
"I shall regret nothing but the time I am
wasting in listening to you," said Pere Michel,
dividing his fourth egg with Joy-of-My-IHeart.
"Perhaps, then, you will be obliging enough
to address me to some one of your workers
who may not share your scruples, and who
would be grateful for the remuneration?"
But Pare Michel remained silent, having
turned his attention entirely upon the snarling
poodle, which every now and then jumped up
and uttered a sharp yelp at the intruder, and
then lay wriggling on his back in a confusion
of egg-shells.
"The young person who was just leaving








PIERRETTE.


your shop as I entered, it is possible she may
be one of your needle-women, and would be
glad of the work. Come, Monsieur Michel,
give me a little of your assistance. I have a
promise to fulfill, and a promise is a weight
upon a gentleman's honor. I will make the
offer a thousand francs! and tle gentleman
moved a little closer to the old man, and
leaned forward so that the waxed ends of
his mustache barely escaped the ear of Pere
Michel, and uttered the last words in a most
persuasive whisper.
Great thunders and blue lightning! ex-
claimed Pere Michel, bouncing out of his chair,
by this time exasperated to the point of quite
losing control of his French temper. \Vill
you let me alone? Will you go?" and he
pointed to the door with his finger in a melo-
dramatic manner. You have always found
my abode clean; pray leave it as you find it."
There was really nothing for the elegant
gentleman to do but to take himself away,
which he did with exquisite grace and a smile
that contrasted oddly with the red, indignant
face of old Michel, who stood with his arm








PIERRETTE.


still uplifted, like an avenging spirit, until the
door had closed behind his visitor.
Monsieur Le Page stepped lightly over the
mud in the court, toying with his cane the
while, wearing that same mild expression of
countenance which never forsook him, even
under much more trying encounters than the
one he had just had with Pere Michel. He did
not turn around to see the old tradesman shak-
ing his fat fist at him and muttering between his
teeth, Ah, le monstre "
Monsieur Le Page was a man of large inter-
ests, the proprietor of one of the richest and
most noted antiquary shops of Paris. His busi-
ness often took him into the very poor and
obscure quarters of the city, where he, in some
mysterious way, unearthed many of his choicest
treasures which the true lovers of antiquity
came from all parts of Europe to admire and
purchase, providing their wealth was great
enough. He often had to encounter much
that was disagreeable and repugnant to him,
when he came in contact with that low, igno-
rant portion of Paris. But he nevertheless
maintained a polite and gentlemanly demeanor.






























"Ah, le monstre I "


FeR~~
L1PZ:









PIERRETTE.


It was all a necessary means to his prosperity;
his traffic could not dispense with it, and he was
willing to sacrifice everything, even his own
personal feelings, to the success of his business.
Therefore as he passed the great iron gateway
of Pere Michel's court, and turned into the rue
des Anges, he only dusted the bottom of his
trousers a little more than usual, and scraped
the soles of his shoes a little longer, as if by
so doing he were ridding himself of some
obnoxious contact.
As luck would have it, just as he was about
to hail a passing cab, he caught sight of Elize's
slender black figure, with the child's hand in
hers, just disappearing at the other end of the
street. They had loitered a little on their way,
for Pierrette's eyes could not help looking at
the fascinating shop-windows. They had stopped
at the bakery, too, to buy a couple of petits
pains and a sweet bun or two, and they had
entered one of those delectable little chlarcutcerirs,
or French meat-shops, where the most savory
of cooked meats are temptingly displayed on
immaculate paper with festooned edges, and
garnished all around with bits of green parsley









PIERRETTE.


and red peppers and crisp water-cress. Here
they had bought something for their dinner, for
on the days when Prre Michel paid them they
must always make a little feast and take home
something out of the common, some little dainty
which they shared with their old neighbor
Jeanneton. They were very young at heart,
Pierrette and her little mother, these two chil-
dren of Paris!--young enough to enjoy the
simple pleasures that came in their way. Too
young perhaps to be launched alone in a great
brilliant city full of dangers and temptations.
But they had no thought of that to-day; they
were happy because Prre Michel had not found
fault, and had given more work; and they were
safe and provided for, at least for two weeks to
come.
The strange gentleman hastened his steps and
caught up with them just in time to see them
leaving the broad avenue that fronts the palace
and gardens of the Luxembourg, and turn into
a narrow street where, after a few minutes' walk,
they reached their own door. They crossed
the dark passage-way and climbed the long
flights of dingy stairs, not aware that any one








PIERRETTE. 51

was watching them. Monsieur Le Page had
kept himself at a judicious distance; but now
he knew where the young ouvriere lived, in
spite of old Michel, and he was satisfied. He
rode back across the city, to his grand establish-
ment in the rue de Rivoli, well pleased with his
morning's errand.














YVTL T1


CHAPTER IV.

IT was nearly two weeks since Pierrette and
her mother had come away from Pre IMichel's
shop with the old lace mantilla; and, true to her
promise, Elize had worked day and night, and
scarcely rested until the beautiful piece was fin-
ished. She was very weary. Her pretty eyes
were red with straining them, and her head
ached, ached and burned as if it were on fire.
The exquisite work was a masterpiece, and
would have brought her a small fortune if she
had not been such a timid little woman, known
to very few people, and so very distrustful of
her own skill that she felt quite repaid if those
who employed her did not scold, never dream-
ing of any praise from any one but little
Pierrette.








PIERRETTE.


Hidden away there in her high garret, she
never suspected that the delicate, exquisite
work of her fingers had found its way into
many of the great and rich homes of Paris,
and had been admired and marvelled at. Howv
many of those lovely creations which we look
upon with pleasure are fashioned in some
dark, dingy room in some remote quarter of
a great city, by some obscure craftsman whose
lot it may never be even to enter the places
where the fruit of his toil is welcomed and
cherished !
Elize was too weary that morning to walk
to Phre Michel's, and Pierrette had begged to be
allowed to carry the finished work to him. It
was still very early, and the little girl, all
wrapped in her hood and cloak, for it was
beginning to be very wintry, was just emerg-
ing from the big stone portal, with her precious
bundle in her arms, when she was met by a
gentleman, strangely enough, the same gentle-
man whom she had seen going into Pere
Michel's some two weeks ago. Yes, it was un-
mistakably he, -the same elegant clothes, the
same glistening black eyes and long mustache,








PIERRETTE.


the same air of graciousness as he bent down
and addressed Pierrette.
My amiable child," he said, laying his fine
gloved hand upon the little red hood, upon
what errand are you bound so early this wintry
morning? It is a raw, chill time for little peo-
ple like you to be abroad."
Pierrette felt a thrill of delight as the hand-
some gentleman who so much resembled a
prince touched her cheek and looked kindly
into her eyes.
I am on my way to PFre Michel's to return
the lace for maman. Maman is not .well; she
has stitched so much her head is very tired,"
said the child, innocently.
Ah, maman does the lace work for Monsieur
Michel? Indeed! Now, that is a great pity,
for Michel is a hard-hearted old brute. Perhaps
you would let me look at maman's work. If it
pleased me I would furnish her plenty of em-
ployment, and pay her five times as much as
Monsieur Michel."
Oh, certainly, Monsieur," said Pierrette,
eagerly untying her bundle. Maman would
be very happy, I am sure."

















--iU: 7- ..=-









.. L 7' '- '_-- .I J- *


N













"She was just emerging from the big stone portal, with her
precious bundle in her arms."









PIERRETTE.


They stepped into the court a few paces,
and the gentleman took up the piece of work in
his hands and examined it very carefully, saying
now and then, Marvellous I extremely ancient,
exquisite !" and then he wrapped it up with
great care, and gave it back to Pierrette, saying,
It is well; I shall go up and see your maman
immediately, if you will tell me where I may
find her."
Pierrette led him to the first turn in the
spiral stairway, at the top of which there was
a miserable little sky-light whose feeble rays
of light were quite lost by the time they had
descended to the middle floors, and she pointed
up to it.
On the eighth floor, Monsieur, the fifth door
to the left," she said.
I must caution you," added Monsieur Le
Page, as Pierrette was taking leave of him, not
to mention to Pere Michel what I have said
to you this morning, or that I have been here
at all."
Indeed, I will not, if Monsieur so wishes it,"
said Pierrette, who was naturally an obedient
child, and who had always been taught that








PIERRETTE.


when she was forbidden anything it was because
of some very good reason.
Monsieur Le Page then waved his hand to
her and smiled, and began his steep ascent up
the eight flights of steps, while the little girl
sped on her way to the rue des Anges, her little
head full of pleasant fancies about the astonish-
ing gentleman who had appeared to her in the
light of a fairy prince indeed. She did not stop
to look into the shop-windows this morning;
her mind was too busy trying to imagine what
good fortune would come to them if this rich
and handsome monsieur became their patron
instead of Pere Michel, who was exacting and
not always easy to please, and who paid very
little money for a great deal of work. Then
maman would not have to work so hard to earn
the money for what they needed, and she might
have all the little comforts she wanted. For
although Pierrette was only a little girl, the
problem of life was already a serious thing to
her, as it is to most children who are brought
up in an atmosphere of necessity. The little
mother had taken Pierrette into her confidence
in everything. Whon else had she to help her








PIERRETTE.


to bear the burden of responsibility of their two
young lives! And the little girl had always
proved herself a reasonable and helpful little
companion.
When Monsieur Le Page had reached the top
of the house, he was obliged to pause a few
minutes to catch his breath, before rapping
gently with his gloved knuckles at the fifth door
on the left, the door of the little attic. Elize
appeared at once, looking as neat and dainty as
any little lady, in her well-fitting black serge and
white apron. She was busy preparing the caf'-
au-lait for Pierrette's breakfast, on a little spirit
lamp, and steeping some tisane for her head-
ache. Her pretty face was pale ; but it flushed
up suddenly when, on opening the door in
answer to the rapping, she saw the strange
gentleman.
"A thousand pardons, Madame," said the
polite visitor, taking notice of Elize's confusion.
Pray do not let me disturb you from your
breakfast. You do not know me, it is evident.
My name is Joseph Le Page. I am come to
ask a favor, a little business favor. You will
honor me by giving me your attention for a
very few minutes."







PIERRETTE.


Monsieur Le Page repeated Elize, in as-
tonishment. She did not know him personally,
she only remembered having met him that once
coming out of P&re Michel's door. But she
knew the name well. Who in Paris did not! -
the rich dealer in old treasures and works of
art, whose fine establishment occupied an envi-
able portion of the brilliant rue de Rivoli, under
those old arcades immediately facing the Tuil-
eries gardens. Every one knew his name, knew
his wealth, had seen or heard of the little palace
that was his home on the broad road to the
Bois de Boulogne. And this was he standing
before her, in her little garret-room, to ask a
favor of her !
Monsieur is exceedingly good," said Elize,
in pretty confusion, and drawing a chair for
him. "I do not understand in what way I
may do Monsieur a favor, but I am entirely at
his service."
AMonsieur Le Page sat down, and again drew
forth his little gold snuff-box. He could hardly
ever get on in any delicate matter of business
without this small talisman. He was in reality
wondering how he should broach the subject of









PIERRETTE.


his visit to a simple, womanly little person like
Elize. He saw, with his naturally fine percep-
tion, that although Elize was poor and belonged
to a lower condition of society than himself,
there was an atmosphere of delicacy and refine-
ment about her and all that belonged to her.
He knew, by the look in her candid gray eyes,
that she was incapable of lending herself to any
fraudulent proceeding, that those calm eyes
might light up in anger at any suggestion of
wrong-dealing. He must be very circumspect
and approach her very cautiously. Just now,
she was all modesty and gratitude towards him
for his condescension in coming to find her,--
a simple, obscure, unknown little ouvri'rc like
her!
Madame is an artiste at her trade," said the
handsome gentleman, I have seen her work-
manship; it is exquisite; such perfection in
every detail, such delicacy!"
Elize blushed for pleasure.
You have lately come to Paris? inquired
Monsieur Le Page, with a show of interest.
\e have been here five years, Pierrette and
I, Monsieur."








PIERRETTE.


Five years! it is incredible that I should
not have found you out before, such a skill-
ful worker. There are plenty of people who
work in lace, Madame, indeed the city is full
of them, but there are not many who work
like you. Where did you learn the art,
Madame? "
I had it of my mother when very young,"
said Elize, simply, she had acquired her
knowledge at the convent."
Monsieur Le Page mused a moment, and then
resumed, With the proper patronage it is pos-
sible for you to make a very good income, I
might truly say a little fortune, in a city where
the best of everything is sought and appre-
ciated as it is in Paris."
At these words Elize's heart began to beat
very fast. A fair, vague vision rose before her.
Had it not been her one great hope that some-
time, in this vast city of Paris, she would be
found out, and her work recognized and appre-
ciated, that some time, through the labor of her
loving hands, she and Pierrette would be made
comfortable and happy, and perhaps be able to
buy again the little home at Meudon, and go









PIERRETTE.


back to the dear country to live among the birds
and flowers!
Monsieur Le Page was watching her closely
to see what effect his words produced. He
wanted, first of all, to win her confidence, and
make her believe thoroughly in his power to
help her.
"And you have been spending these five
years toiling for that old miser, Michel Ah,
if I had but known it!"
It is only three years that I have worked for
Monsieur Michel. For a long time we knew
no one, and it was hard to get anything to do.
I was very grateful for the little money that he
let me earn," said Elize. She felt that she could
almost smile now, at all her past hardships, so
bright and promising did he make the future
seem for them.
And he has kept you hidden, and not
allowed any one to know you, the old rascal!
It is like him. He will be mightily vexed when
he hears that I have discovered you and your
lovely work, in spite of him, and that I have
made you a fine offer. Nevertheless," pursued
Monsieur Le Page, resting his temple on his








'IE RRETTE.


forefinger, in a meditative attitude, "\\e must
not unduly aggravate tlhe old man. An eccen-
tric old personage like Pere Michel, is some-
times dangerous. and his ill-will is not to be
disposed of at any price. It would not be
pleasant for you to offend him, perhaps."
I would not offend Monsieur Michel for the
world," said Elize, with genuine sincerity. lie
has been very kind to us in his way; and
although he pays but little, I hardly know what
we should have done without that little."
That is quite reasonale," coml)lied Mon-
sieur Le IPage the simplest way is not to men-
tion the matter to him at all; to which ]-lize
agreed, for she knew no reason why she should
not keep her affairs to herself. She was natu-
rally a quiet, reserved, little person. They had
but few friends in the neighborhood; 'ere
Michel was really the only person whom they
saw often, and he was not inclined to be over
interested in anything besides the sale and pur-
chase of his own wares and his ugly poodle.
And now," said the merchant, feeling that
he had quite won the little woman's sympathy,
" I want you to do for me a real piece of antique.








PIERRETTE.


We deal only in antiquities. The ladies are
crazy after them; they will have nothing but
the oldest patterns in laces, and they come to
me for them, because they know that we have
the means of securing the genuine article, the
most delicate and rarest handiwork that can be
had in the city. You have models of ancient
pieces, did I understand you to say?"
Oh, yes," said Elize, I have some very
old models, and I have studied them all."
You will be good enough to show me some
of them, and we shall then make a selection."
Elize drew a little key from her pocket and
opened a small wooden chest where she kept
her few treasures. She took from it a roll of
very yellow pieces of parchment upon which
were traced innumerable little holes, so close
and so intricate that only the most carefully
trained eye could have discerned the graceful
pattern that it was made to represent.
Monsieur Le Page put on his gold-rimmed
eye-glasses, and began to unfold and inspect
them one by one.
Ah, this is chaste! he exclaimed, with
genuine enthusiasm, as his eye fell upon a very








PIERRETTE.


ancient-looking piece, yellower and more worn
than the rest, "this is superb! A device, I
should judge, of no later than the seventeenth
century. Quite such a piece as I have been
looking for; very ancient indeed "
"Yes, this is the oldest of all the designs.
I think it is a very rare pattern. It was left
me by my grandmother, who herself had it
of a woman who was lace-maker to one of
our queens many years ago, I cannot tell you
how many."
The antiquarian could hardly suppress his
agitation. He was not given ordinarily to vio-
lent betrayal of any emotion. But- it may
have been because of his great love and vener-
ation for all that was old his fingers certainly
did tremble as he separated the parchment from
the other sheets, and said in a tone that had a
little more animation in it than usual,-
This must be the one; we shall choose no
other for the present. I will trouble you for not
more than two such pieces a year, possibly not
more than one. But I will pay you liberally.
For this one, I will offer you the sum of one
thousand francs."








PIERRETTE. 67

"Oh, Monsieur!" cried Elize, clasping her
hands, and almost ready to fall at his feet, you
are too good!"
"One.thousand francs," repeated Monsieur
Le Page, with crisp utterance, and not appearing
to notice the little mother's surprise. "I will
also furnish the materials, for the pearls must be
of the very choicest, and pay you two hundred
francs in advance each month until the work is
done."
Innocent, trustful little Elize, she thought she
had never seen any one so beautiful or so
benevolent, so magnanimous, as this slight gen-
tleman with his pale face and thin features and
searching black eyes. She could only account
for the generosity of his heart by the prompt-
ings of her own, if she had been rich and had
seen some fellow-creature in need.
You are munificent, Monsieur," was all that
she could say, when suddenly the door opened
and Pierrette came in with rosy cheeks and fly-
ing curls, and eyes dancing with the freshness
of the morning She ran into her mother's
arms, and Elize laid her head on the little girl's
neck and wept for joy.








68 PIERRETTE.

Maman, maman, what is it?"' cried the
child.
"Oh, Monsieur is so good, so kind to us,
Pierrette; thank him for me, I cannot."
Monsieur Le Page, perhaps made a little
uncomfortable by the pathos of the scene,
promptly took his leave, and promised to return
on the following day. For the first time in his
life, as he descended the dark stairway, he had
an ugly feeling somewhere in the remote locality
of his conscience. He could not account for it
to himself; but he felt as if he had just crushed
some innocent creature with his foot, and gone
off and left it dying ; and he almost wished that
he had not met Pierrette and her mother coming
out of Pere Michel's that morning.























CHAPTER V.

\WHAT a happy prosperous time was now
dawning for the little mother and Pierrette! It
seemed as if they had been suddenly led by
some kind fortune into a new world where every-
thing was bright and peaceful. They would
never again need to be anxious; there would
be no more want and suffering; they would
always have enough to be comfortable,- enough
for themselves and enough for others, perhaps.
Two hundred francs a month seemed such a
fortune for two little souls who had been ac-
customed to do with a few sous a day. And
it had all come to them in a moment, as in
fairy-land, through this kind gentleman who









IIERRETTE.


had sought them out and brought such a wealth
of happiness into their little home.
Pierrette and her little mother laughed and
cried and kissed each other many times after
Monsieur Le Page had gone, and prayed in
their simple hearts that Heaven would bless the
saintly gentleman, and keep and prosper him
always because of his goodness.
The season was advancing very fast, and
Paris grew cold and gray; but Pierrette and the
little mother had never thought the city looked
so beautiful, for they minded not the snow and
sleet without, when there was a cheerful fire
within, and their hearts were warm with hope
and gratitude. Elize began to look younger
and prettier than ever, if that were possible,
with the sweet pink color returned to her cheeks
and a deeper warmth in her gray eyes. And
Pierrette was so full of joyous spirits, and her
little tongue was so active, that even grumbling
old Jeanneton said, when she came in to see her,
that it was as if a sunbeam had entered the
room.
"It is very easy to be good when one is
happy, is it not, petite mrre? said Pierrette,













*: > 7: !
[N *.-i


"Even grumbling old Jeanneton said, when she came in, that it
was as if a sunbeam had entered the room."








PIERRETTE.


when she had been especially lavish in her at-
tentions to the sick old woman, and had taken
a portion of their warm supper to the chiffonnzlier
who lived on the floor below, and who was laid
up with rheumatism in his bones from having
been out so much in the damp and cold.
Yes, my Pierrette, if one's heart is made for
goodness, then prosperity makes it grow richer
and better, as the warm spring sunshine makes
the young flowers sweeter and more beautiful.
You will always think of others, will you not,
Pierrette, no matter how happy you are
yourself? "
Yes, petite mere, I will try to be always as
good as you, as good as Monsieur Le Page,"
said the child, who regarded the handsome gen-
tleman as the author of all their good fortune.
As for Monsieur Le Page himself, his thoughts,
if he took the trouble to give them shape at all,
were not such simple and artless ones as the
little girl's and her mamma's. For many days
and weeks he could not forget the sight of the
pretty child and the sweet young mother weep-
ing in each other's arms,- weeping because of
his goodness to them. For a second, perhaps








PIERRETTE.


the first time in his life, he had hesitated. The
thought had flashed across his mind that per-
haps it would be better, better for them, if he
did not return to them on the following day to
fulfill his promise; but then it had been only
for one second. What had he to do with senti-
mental scruples? He was a business man, full
of busy interests; he could not, for the sake of
an ignorant little woman and a pretty child,
sacrifice a great gain. It was absurd even to
think of it; besides it could mean no harm to
them as long as they remained ignorant; and
he would see that they remained in ignorance
of his schemes. He would not be as frank with
them as he had been with P&re Michel; he
would not, if he could, dispel their little illusion
about him, and they should never have cause to
think him otherwise than good.
Strange it was that this man who had spent
most of his life in thinking of himself, and caring
nothing for what the rest of the world thought
of him, except that it should know him to be
wealthy and therefore powerful, who had known
no other love in all his life but the love of gain,
should of a sudden care to retain the admiration









PIERRETTE.


and confidence of these simple young creatures.
It amazed and puzzled him, and as often as
these thoughts came to him, he would dismiss
them; but they came back to him again and
again, like gentle spirits that will not be repelled.
Through the busy hours of the day, in the soli-
tary grandeur of his home at night, the picture
of those two young faces rose before him, with
their innocence and trust appealing to him, and
at length he almost wished that he had not to
deceive them, that he might be and that he
had been all his life as good and noble as
they believed him.
It is a great thing to wish to become good;
to have even a desire for justice and honesty is
the better part of the battle; and to have
strength and determination enough to obtain
these virtues, after having lived a life of error, is
to become indeed a great conqueror.
Monsieur Le Page was thirty-eight years old.
Half of his life, or very nearly half of it, had
been spent in the pursuit of his own happiness.
To become good all at once, to give up his
selfish habits and little intrigues for gain, of
which he had never before been ashamed, meant








PIERRETTE.


a great deal that was disagreeable, and a mighty
struggle for his better self Monsieur Le Page
did not like struggles. He preferred that every-
thing which came to him should come easily,
as his fortune had done. He had really never
thought before that his conduct needed reform-
ing. What he did was only what thousands of
others were doing, or would do if they were
in his place. Still he felt that the little woman
whose candid eyes had met his so trustfully
would hardly approve his dealings, and still less
give her aid to further them; and he wished
that nothing to his discredit should ever reach
her ears. Every time he visited the small dark
garret, which was perhaps oftener than once a
month, for he was quite anxious about the pro-
gress of the work, the feeling in him grew
stronger that these two, in all their ignorance
and youth, were powerful, while he, with his
wealth and knowledge, was weak. He would
always place the money which he brought in pay-
ment for the work upon the mantel. Somehow he
could not find the heart to put it in that honest
little woman's hand. And whenever Pierrette
looked up at him with her round childish eyes,







PIERRETTE. 77

and said, Oh, Monsieur, you are so good!
You have made maman so happy! there was
an uncomfortable consciousness that he was
hardly deserving that childish trust.
How beautiful a thing is the trustfulness of
youth; how powerful a thing it is when it can
change the current of a life, and by its sweet
unconscious influence turn a human heart from
its sordid and selfish ends to a just conscious-
ness of right and truth !









i_ '


CHAPTER VI.

ONE bright morning in December, it was very
near the Christmas time, Pierrette and her
mother were on their way to church. It was
a saint's day, and they were going to attend the
later mass at the beautiful old church of Saint-
Germain des Prds, which was only a short walk
from where they lived. It was a clear, brisk,
sunny morning, and Paris is always gay when
the sun shines. The bright-colored omnibuses,
with their crowds of lively people a-top of them;
the cabmen dashing by, cracking their whips
in the air; the busy tradespeople doing their
best to entice those whom the pleasant weather
had brought out of doors ; artists looking from
their high windows and whistling lustily over
their work; young students hanging, with books







PIERRETTE.


in hand, at the window of some old curiosity-
shop on their way to the Sorbonne, all of
which made a very active scene in that most active
portion of Paris known as the Latin Quarter.
Pierrette and her mother walked with light
steps and joyous hearts, for they felt that they
had their full share of the morning's blessings.
The day before Monsieur Le Page had been to
see them, and had left a large gold coin which
he said was for Pierrette, as it was nearing
Christmas time, and the little girl would wish,
no doubt, for some of the pretty things which
the shops offered at that season, and might
perhaps want to make her young maman some
little gift to celebrate the feast, and he wanted
to gratify her wishes. He had no one at his
home whom he could please with a gift, no
little girl, no relatives of any kind, no one but
himself, and he was getting tired of pleasing
himself he said.
Pierrette's first thought had been, not of what
she should get for herself, for she was accus-
tomed to giving up the simple pleasures that
most children enjoy, but of how, with her treas-
ure, she should first of all buy something that








PIERRETTE.


the little mother wanted very much, and with
the rest she should get a few things that would
please and surprise her friends in the neighbor-
hood. There was the old chiffonnicr, who really
needed some flannel for his rheumatism; and
poor little Francois, the hunchback, who painted
all day long at those wretched, cheap little bon-
bon boxes, he must have a new box of colors,
which he could ill-afford to buy with the few
sous he earned. And for old Jeanneton, she
would buy some good tea to make her better-
natured; and the canary should have a brand-
new cage with gilded wires, and a leaf of fresh
lettuce every day, so that he, too, might have
a share in her good fortune.
Pierrette was telling all this to her mamma,
as they made their way through the narrow
streets leading to the church of Saint-Germain;
and Elize was smiling with pleasure at the
child's unselfish delight in what she would do
for others.
But you must get something for yourself,
my Pierrette," said the young mother; "and
what shall it be? "
Oh, petite mere," cried Pierrette, laughing,








PIERRETTE.


" I shall not want to buy anything for myself;
I am getting too old for toys and dolls," and
she smiled a demure little smile that amused
her mother greatly. I would so much rather
buy something for you, something that you
have wanted very much, and wished you had
many times; you can never guess what it is,
and you will be so surprised when you see it!
and she clapped her hands merrily in her en-
joyment of the thought.
But will not Monsieur Le Page take it
unkindly that you should spend all his money
on gifts for others, when he meant you should
enjoy it yourself?" said Elize, in gentle
remonstrance.
Oh, I shall enjoy seeing you open the little
box on Christmas morning more than anything
else. You cannot guess what it is I have chosen
for you, petite mre and Pierrette's eyes were
so bright, and her cheeks so rosy with the ex-
citement of keeping her secret, that several
persons were obliged to turn back to look at
her as she passed them on the street.
They were now turning into the open square
in front of the old church, when a carriage drove
6








PIERRETTE.


up from the boulevard, -a large open carriage
from which a very beautifully dressed lady
alighted, followed by her maid. She was about
to enter the church when she recognized a
gentleman picking his way through the crowd.
"Ah, Monsieur Le Page cried the lady,
arresting him, it is so fortunate that I have
met you. I have been twice to see you and not
found you in. You know how anxious I am
about my antique lace; I shall be in despair if
you cannot procure it. My friends tell me it
will be quite impossible; but you will not dis-
appoint me, my dear Monsieur Le Page; you
will obtain it if such a piece is really in
existence "
The lady spoke with much animation. She
was evidently one of those worldly deities who
are accustomed to having all their wishes and
whims gratified, however impossible these may
be. And Monsieur Le Page was certainly the
one to whom she could appeal with confidence;
she knew that he had a miraculous way of pro-
ducing even the impossible, when it became a
necessity. He was truly a remarkable man, this
Monsieur Le Page.




















fiI


"Elize and Pierrette had been obliged to stand a little aloof on
account of the crowd."










PIERRETTE.


It was very strange, Elize and Pierrette had
been obliged to stand a little aloof on account
of the crowd at the doors, and Monsieur had
met their eyes at only a few paces from where
he and the lady stood; but he had made no
sign of recognition to them, apparently taking
no more notice of them than if they had been
strangers to him. But Elize observed that the
natural pallor of his face deepened a little, and
his handsome features wore a singularly an-
noyed expression, as he listened to the lady's
appeal. She did not hear his reply; it was
given in an undertone; and by that time the
crowd at the door had moved in, and Pierrette
and her mother had disappeared within it. All
through the service Elize's devotions were
troubled. She could not tell why, but some-
thing seemed to have come suddenly between
her and her new happiness. It was not exactly
because Monsieur Le Page had taken no notice
of them. She could hardly expect a gentleman
of his position to recognize a plain little work-
ing-woman like her. Yet he had always been
so kind to them, so courteous, so considerate
in his dealings with her; she could not but








PIERRETTE.


think it strange, and feel a little hurt that he
should have looked at her and ignored her as
if she had been a common beggar in the crowd.
Her young nature was a sensitive one, per-
haps too much so for a little woman who had to
battle for herself in a great heartless city like
Paris. She guessed at once that the richly
dressed lady was one of Monsieur's patrons.
Fortunately, or unfortunately perhaps, she had
not quite understood the drift of her words;
but she had seen the strange look that came
over the face of Monsieur Le Page, and she
fancied it had something to do with his meeting
her. She wondered sorrowfully whether there
was anything about her and the little girl that
could make any one feel ashamed to know
them.
Innocent little Elize, she was very far from
the truth. A careful observer would never have
mistaken her and the winsome Pierrette for
persons belonging to the common populace,
especially now, when, with the coming of their
new prosperity, she had been able to afford
many little comforts, and a few of the luxuries
of dress that are so dear to the French woman's








PIERRETTE.


heart. In her trim black gown and cape as she
appeared that morning, always carrying herself
with modest dignity, few would have guessed
what very humble people they really were, and
how they passed their simple lives under the
eaves of an old, old house in one of the poorest
streets of the city. But Monsieur Le Page
knew all this, knew how poor they had been;
and perhaps he did not care for them after all,
as she had thought he did by his great kind-
ness, but only for her work, because it would
bring a large sum.
Was it not Pere Michel who had told her, in
his blunt but good-natured way, that she and
Pierrette reminded him of a portrait of a great
lady and her little daughter which he had seen
hanging in the galleries of the Louvre during
one of his Sunday ramblings there! He had
stopped in front of it a long time, and called
upon his friend Francois to notice the resem-
blance. That young mother with the pretty
child's arms thrown about her neck had the
same sweet Madonna-look he had seen on Elize
when he had chanced to surprise them with a
visit of an evening in their little garret. But








PIERRETTE.


now she could not recall P&re Michel's words
with any comfort, although she had laughed a
pleased little laugh when he had said it a few
months ago. For Pere Michel was only a sim-
ple, untaught old man who had very little knowl-
edge or appreciation of social distinctions, and
whose opinion was only to be valued when it
came to judging of old silks and laces, and cer-
tain trinkets of which his trade consisted. She
could not expect any one else, any one who
had moved in, and knew the great world, to
look upon her otherwise than as a common
little outvri'-irc of Paris with no claim on the
regard of those who were above her. For she
belonged, alas! to that army of patient souls
who must labor for their bread.
On their walk homeward, Elize was silent and
thoughtful. A shadow seemed to have come
over the brightness of the morning, and later in
the day, as she sat bending over her lace work,
Pierrette noticed that there were tears falling
from her pretty eyes.
Dearest maman," cried the child, running to
her and clasping her about the neck, what is it
that makes you cry? Are you not happy any







PIERRETTE.


more? What is it, tell'me. Are you thinking
of poor papa?"
Elize drew the young head down on her
shoulder and kissed it many times.
No, my Pierrette, I am thinking only of you,
thinking how I wish it were in my power to
make your life different."
How do you mean different ?" asked the
little girl, wondering.
Perhaps I am a silly little mother, Pierrette,
but I should wish to see you happy and rich,
and admired by all the world."
Oh, petite mere," cried the child, with a
bright smile, and a little coaxing caress of her
mother's cheek, if you love me, that is enough,
I do not care for all the world; and if you will
only always be happy, and never cry, I shall
surely be so."
Pierrette's thoughts did not wander so far into
the future as did her young mother's. Her
little hopes and plans were all for the present;
and she had begun to think of late that the
present was becoming very kind to them.
How fortunate a thing it is that youth takes
no thought for the future, that the hopes and








90 PIERRETTE.

joys of to-day's sunshine are unclouded by any
shadow that may come to-morrow What were
the spring-time of youth worth, indeed, without
that glad hopefulness which sheds its warm
glow upon all the events and changes and even
the vicissitudes of our after life!



















CHAPTER VII.

TIIE next day Pierrette could scarcely wait
until their little morning meal was over to has-
ten to the old house in the rue des Anges. She
had an errand at Pere Michel's, a very impor-
tant errand, in fact it was the purchasing of
her mother's Christmas gift. She had eyed
wistfully, during her frequent visits to the little
shop, something in that wonderful chest in
which Pere Michel kept his treasures that
strongly appealed to her childish taste, but
which she had never dared hope to possess.
It was a tiny gold watch hardly larger than
a locket, with one or two small jewels set
in the case, and so much gold tracery on
its small face that it was quite impossible to
tell the time of day at a single glance. To








PIERRETTE.


be sure, the minute-hand was slightly broken,
but this was hardly a defect to one who was
well acquainted with it; and Pierrette admired
it above everything else in the old man's
shop.
When the surprisingly large gold coin was
put into her hand by their benefactor, and
she was told by him to do as she liked with
it, that little watch, lying on its old blue-
plush cushion, with the fine linked chain wound
all around it, was the first thing that came
into her mind. How surprised and delighted
the little mother would be when she opened
her bundle on Christmas morning to find a
beautiful watch with a tiny gold key hanging
from its long chain, which she could always
wear about her neck, as did the ladies whom
she had seen sometimes riding in the Bois!
Pierrette had no conception of the value of such
a trinket. She hoped to astonish Pere Michel
with the enormity of her wealth by showing
him the double-louis. She fancied that his eyes
would blink at sight of it, and that he would
place everything in his shop at her disposal;
for Pare Michel had a passion for gold, and








PIERRETTE.


liked nothing so well as the feeling of it between
his fingers.
There was a bit of work to be returned; Pere
Michel had not provided much of late. He com-
plained of the dullness of trade; and, secretly,
Elize was rather glad of it, for the work of her
new employer was so fine and exquisite, and
had to be so carefully wrought, that it took
the most of her time. And she had really lost
interest in the old tiresome mending. Yet she
could not have refused the old man's work with-
out some explanation, and so she was rather
thankful on the whole that no explanation was
necessary.
She did not suspect that Pere Michel had
formed his own conclusions about her, for he
was sharp, was Pare Michel, and had a way of
his own of finding everything out, and that
he was now sending the work he had always
given her to other ouvri-rcs, much to his own
vexation, be it said, since he learned the cause
of her new prosperity. He did not care a fig,
he said to himself; she was a silly little creature
who knew nothing of the world, and would find
herself well pinched some of these fine days.








PIERRETTE.


He was disappointed in her, that was all; he
had always thought her a little woman of prin-
ciple, but she preferred working for that genteel
rascal. Ah, well, women were all alike! and he
made a wry face and prophesied that she would
be glad enough to come back to him sometime,
for they always did. But then, that was only
Ptre Michel's way of talking.
That morning the little mother was not in-
clined to leave the house; she had spent a
sleepless night, and she did not wish to see or
talk with any one.
You will hasten there and return quickly,
my Pierrette," she said, as she placed the mended
laces in the little girl's hand.
Yes, petite mere," said Pierrette, very glad
of the opportunity of going alone to Pere
Michel's in order to transact more freely her
business with him.
The little mother kissed her on both cheeks,
and wondered as she did so at the child's eager
look and the joyous excitement twinkling in her
bright eyes. She wondered too if there was
anywhere in all this great city of Paris a lovelier
child than Pierrette. She watched her down








PIERRETTE.


the long flight of stairs, and then she went back
to her little window and looked out of it into the
street below until the little red hood had disap-
peared around the corner.
Dear, fond little mother! what was it that
made her tender heart overflow that morning,
as she watched the little girl out of her sight?
Was it a foreboding of something that was in
store for her, of a parting that was near at hand?
She sat with her head buried in her hands for a
long time, whispering to herself, without knowing
why, Heaven bless her! "
But presently a knock at the door roused her
from her meditation; and she rose to receive
her visitor.
Meanwhile little Pierrette was hastening to the
rue des Anges. When she reached the old
man's door she found Pare Michel in the act of
preparing his noon-day meal, and Joy-of-My-
Heart in his favorite attitude upon his back.
Ah, little Red-Riding-Hood," croaked the
old fellow, as he opened the door with one
hand, and with the other flourished a long-
handled spoon with which he had been stirring
some batter, so that everything in the vicinity








PIERRETTE.


caught a mild spatter of yellow dough. You
must have scented my good crepcs in the air,
little witch, eh?"
Pierrette looked around her for a minute,
quite out of breath with having walked so fast
and with the prospect of approaching Pare
Michel on the delicate subject of the watch.
"I did not know it was so late; maman and
I have had breakfast but a short time ago," said
the child, in some surprise. "I have brought
back the work; maman could not come herself,
she has the migrainfc."
Humph, the migrainc, indeed quite like a
fine lady," murmured old Michel, stirring his
batter vigorously.
"If I shall disturb you by staying, I can
leave the work now and come again at some
other time to speak to you about something ;
but-but I wanted to do it this morning, very
much; when maman was not here," she added,
with some hesitation.
Now that you are here, you may stay," said
Michel, good-humoredly. It is not late, it is
hardly ten o'clock; but Joy-of-My-Heart and I
are bound by no rules, are we my beauty? We













1j:~ i

.bii2I(


< 1 !'


"There is something I have wanted to ask you about for a
long time."


~-~U7
I'-- I
Ylt, -


?L~~


I~









PIERRETTE.


cook our dejeuncr-a-la-folirc/lcttc when we please,
and we eat when we are hungry. Have we not
the right? "
Pierrette could not dispute that fact, especially
as Joy-of-My-Heart was just then going through
a series of most foolish contortions to empha-
size his master's words. "Then I may wait till
you have finished?" ventured she, much re-
lieved; there is something I have wanted to
ask you about; it is a surprise for maman, and
it is a secret also ; she is not to know about it
until Christmas day."
You need not wait until I have finished to
ask me. We do not eat our cripes with our
ears, My-Joy and I," said the old man, face-
tiously. Sit down, sit down, and tell me your
secret; if it is a good one, I will keep it."
Pierrette laughed, and drew a little three-
legged stool near the big logs that were blazing
between two huge fire-dogs over which Pere
Michel's frying-pan was sizzling merrily.
Some one, a very kind gentleman who has
been very good to maman and me I may not
tell you his name, I have been forbidden to do
that-has made me a present of a great deal








PIERRETTE.


of money!" and she opened her small palm
ard showed the round coin, at which Pere
Michel's little round eyes made a pretence of
staring quite wildly, although the little explana-
tion about the kind friend was unnecessary ; he
knew him very well. He said I should buy
something for myself and maman with it; and
what do you suppose I have thought of for her?
You cannot guess," she added, leaning forward
to look at the old man, and speaking in a
confidential undertone.
Pere Michel was just then in the act of send-
ing a large batter-cake flying up in the air and
landing it safely back, right side up, in the fry-
ing-pan, according to the most approved French
fashion, and this he did with much grace and
dexterity.
No, I can't guess," he said, when he had
accomplished the feat. "What, for instance? "
Pierrette screwed up her rosy mouth, and
her round eyes shone with suppressed secrecy.
" You will not laugh at me, Monsieur Michel, nor
say that I am trying to play la grande dame, as
you sometimes do when I admire your pretty
things? "


100




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