Then, seeing Houlard look anxious, the good doctor says, "But she is so far better that I have discontinued my visits: I have given Marie leave to come to Aubette." "That is good news," says Houlard as the doctor shoots past him, and the tailor tells the next person he meets that Marie Famette is as well as ever, and is coming to market as usual.
"Didst thou see that vaurien Nicolas?" "Yes, I saw him." Marie blushed, and her mother burst out into angry words: "Foolish, trifling child that thou art! thou lovest that black-eyed gypsy boy; and for him, the idle vagabond, thou hast flung away the best parti in Aubette. Ciel! what do I say? In Bolbec itself there is no one with better prospects than Léon Roussel."
All the market-place of Aubette had given Léon Roussel to the charming Marie. "Léon Roussel! Why, she is as old as he is older; and, ma foi! how ugly! and her parents no one knows where they came from; and she she is nothing but a money-grubber." The day was tedious to Madame Famette. She tried to speak to Léon, but he avoided her with a distant bow.
The road is very long and very dusty to-day: it is never an interesting way out of Aubette, except that being cut on the hillside it is raised high, the little river meandering through the osier meadows on the left, and also commands a fine view of the beautiful old church. But Marie does not turn back to look at the church: her heart is too heavy to take interest in anything out of herself.
Mademoiselle Lesage, a short, plump young woman dressed in black, flits in and out of the chattering crowd more busily than usual. Mademoiselle holds herself of a rank above the country-folk who bring in their poultry and garden produce to Aubette.
"Well, mon gars, it is a long time since I saw you, and the town-gossip of Aubette tells me more of your affairs than you ever condescend to inform your cousin of. Your mother was different, Léon. Dame! I could never pass her door after your father died but she would stop my wagon and ask me for just five minutes' counsel.
The Aubette has its source at Saint-Aubin, a small village near Rouen. This rivulet runs through Saint-Léger-du-bourg-Denis, Darnétal, enters Rouen by the suburb Martainville, and falls into the Seine, at the entrance to the Cours-Dauphin, near the porte Guillaume-Lion. These two rivers are specially useful for mills and dying establishments.
But you young ones are all alike: the world has got a new pivot, it seems, for this generation, and it will move round more easily when we graybeards are all kicked out." "I don't think so, for one." Marie had known she must hear Léon Roussel's voice, and yet her heart throbbed at his first words. "But, my cousin, what is the news that thou hast learned about me in Aubette?"
Shortly, on the Auberive side, along the winding Aubette, feeble lights became visible, as if inviting the young man to profit by their guidance. He arose, took the path indicated, and went to supper, or rather, to a pretence of supper, in the same inn where he had breakfasted with Julien, whence the latter had gone on his mission to Reine.
Here are the indications of a prospering, laboring, thinking, virtuous city of the New World. We have tried to sketch it both as a city with a past and a city with a future. Could we have selected one for illustration that would be a better or sharper concentration of all that is good in American life? Marie Famette is the prettiest girl in the market-place of Aubette.