She had run distractedly through those subterranean vaults when she lost Jacques, and finally escaped from the labyrinth to fall into the hands of those people whom Hugo has immortalized. These people a husband, wife and children were pillaging the dead on a battle-field, but when Cinette appeared they smiled upon her.
Mother and daughter were alike victims of the Talizacs. Francine took this woman, whom she had volunteered to support, and installed her next her own room. Day and night she watched over her with a solicitude that was absolutely filial. The elder woman was happy only when Cinette was with her, and when the girl was away, she repeated the name over and over. Francine worked hard.
I leave to your care poor Françoise and little Cinette. Love them, and they will return your affection. You have not forgotten the words addressed to you so long ago: 'Make yourself beloved. "I do not know whether I should now bid you an eternal farewell. I recognize the fact that I am the object of venomous hatred to some one, but to whom? Let no one seek to solve this mystery.
The mystery of such a strange occurrence may never be solved, but Françoise threw herself on the ground in a corner where the little garden had stood, and began to dig furiously in the earth. Presently, she screamed: "The box! The box! Jacques is not my son; Cinette is the Marquise de Fongereues. Jacques Fanfar is Vicomte de Talizac!" And she fell unconscious into the arms of Labarre.
"A poor, sick creature, who was once very happy. She has lost her husband and her children, and met with some terrible accident beside." "But her name?" "I have not the smallest idea. Cinette always calls her mamma." "Cinette! Who bears that name?" "A good little girl in Paris, who earns her bread by singing in the streets. It now seems that she is the sister of Fanfar.
It was an idea of his own to restore to Leigoutte its old look, the look it had one day long before when Simon Fougère gave him a seat at his fireside, and Jacques looked at the stranger with his big, earnest eyes, while Cinette ran around the room. The evening of which we write, this old servant of an emigré sat under the trees opposite the school-room.
He looks eagerly into the eyes of the poor woman. He recognizes her; he leans over her. "You called me Jacques, did you not? Yes, that was my name, when I was a boy in a village among the mountains. My father's name was Simon, Simon Fougère, and I had a little sister Cinette." The woman quivered from head to foot. She threw her arms around his neck. "Jacques! my child!
They had amassed quite a little property, and bought a farm in Blaisois. Cinette was happy in these days, for she was too young to remember her woes. In the village there was an old soldier whose violin and songs had often enlivened the bivouac. He soon discovered that Cinette, for she still went by that name, possessed a wonderful voice.
She fastened on her muslin cap, and then the graceful hands fluttered about her dress arranging that also. Suddenly a deep sigh, apparently from the next room, reached her ear. She ran to the communicating door, and, opening it cautiously, looked in. "Poor woman!" she said to herself, "she is awake. I wonder if she suffers still." Then a voice called, "Cinette! little Cinette!"
"Ah! she is going to the little farm of Lasvène which was burned," said Pierre to himself. Then, all the time watching Françoise, he began to question Caillette. What motive had Françoise in these persistent wanderings? Was it merely the whim of a mad woman or had she some fixed design? Françoise walked on. Sometimes she stopped short, and called Jacques, then Cinette.