You see, the snow does come in through all the loopholes and it heaps up, and sometimes we are snowbound with the wind blowing a gale." They had come to Carhaix's lodge. His wife was waiting for them on the threshold. "Come in, gentlemen," she said. "You have certainly earned some refreshment," and she pointed to four glasses which she had set out on the table.
Ah, monsieur!" and there was fire in Carhaix's mild eyes, "that is the skull of an old, old bell whose like is not cast these days. The ring of that bell, monsieur, was like a voice from heaven." And suddenly he exploded, "Bells have had their day! As I suppose Des Hermies has told you. Bell ringing is a lost art. And why wouldn't it be? Look at the men who are doing it nowadays.
"High time it was over and done with," he said, for this Saint Vitus' dance went on not without certain diminution of force, which disturbed him. In fact he feared, after the febrile agitation of his nights, to reveal himself as a sorry paladin when the time came. "But why bother?" he rejoined, as he started toward Carhaix's, where he was to dine with the astrologer Gévingey and Des Hermies.
"Yes, but to keep from seeing the disenchanting crowd you would have to wear a long-vizored cap like a jockey and blinkers like a horse." Des Hermies sighed. "Come in," he said, opening the door. They went in and sitting down in easy chairs they lighted their cigarettes. "I haven't got over that conversation we had with Gévingey the other night at Carhaix's," said Durtal. "Strange man, that Dr.
"Don't talk so much!" said his wife. "Give monsieur a chance to sit down," and she handed Durtal a brimming glass aromatic with the acidulous perfume of genuine cider. In response to his compliments she told him that the cider came from Brittany and was made by relatives of hers at Landévennec, her and Carhaix's native village.
He came to announce that Gévingey had returned and that they were all to dine at Carhaix's the night after next. "Is Carhaix's bronchitis cured?" "Yes, completely." Preoccupied with the idea of the Black Mass, Durtal could not keep silent.
Carhaix's wife looked in. "Come in," she said. "My husband is here." Durtal found him dusting the books. They shook hands. Durtal, at random, looked over some of the dusted books lying on the table. "Are these," he asked, "technical works about metals and bell-founding or are they about the liturgy of bells?"
And too, the women who would not be indifferent to one, have not charity and discretion enough to admire the wisdom of this selfishness, for of course that's what it is. But what say, now, to putting on your shoes? It's almost six o'clock and Mama Carhaix's beef can't wait." It had already been taken out of the pot and couched on a platter amid vegetables when they arrived.
The only thing in it that pleases me is good Carhaix's aërial cave." Then he looked about him. "This square is very ugly, but how provincial and homelike it is! Surely nothing could equal the hideousness of that seminary, which exhales the rancid, frozen odour of a hospital.
It's true I promised him I'd try and get you to tell us something about it tonight. Yes," continued Des Hermies, in response to Carhaix's look of astonishment, "yesterday, Durtal, who is engaged, as you know, in writing a history of Gilles de Rais, declared that he possessed all the information there was about Diabolism in the Middle Ages.