No, it was not a heron; and after taking thought, he said, "I think it was a wild duck." Bestowing a penny to encourage him in his promising researches into the feathered world, I went on by a footpath over a hill, and as I mounted to the higher ground there before me rose the noble tower of St.
Such was the life of these two persons during a period of nine years, the great events of which were a few journeys to Bourges, Vierzon, Chateauroux, or somewhat further, if the notaries of those towns and Monsieur Heron had no investments ready for acceptance. Rouget lent his money at five per cent on a first mortgage, with release of the wife's rights in case the owner was married.
But when he spoke the mystery seemed, in Mr. Heron's eyes, to be partly solved. "I had better mention one thing from the very first," said the young man, quietly. "I have no references. I am afraid the lack of them will be a fatal drawback with most people." "No references!" stammered Mr. Heron, evidently much taken aback.
The shade of disappointment upon his face was so deep that Heron felt some pity for him all the more because he believed that the monk was destined to deeper disappointment still. He turned to him with almost a friendly look. "You can't expect extraordinary motives from an ordinary man like me," he said. "I must say in all fairness that you have made a generous proposal.
Besides these there were three egrets, the large crane, stork, green heron, and the demoiselle; the English sand-martin, kingfisher, peregrine-falcon, sparrow-hawk, kestrel, and the European vulture: the wild peacock, and jungle-fowl.
"If you are so near the end, citizen Heron," he now said, sinking his voice to a whisper, "why not make a final effort and end it to-night?" "I wish I could; the anxiety is wearing me out more'n him," added with a jerky movement of the head in direction of the inner cell. "Shall I try?" rejoined Chauvelin grimly. "Yes, an you wish." Citizen Heron's long limbs were sprawling on a guard-room chair.
He could hit a flying bird with a stone, was a deadly shot for snipe or mallard, rode like a centaur, and fished with the instinct of a heron. It is probable that his consciousness of this faculty was at the bottom of his startling recovery. Possibly he was frightened to find a little of his skill failing. I only know that at the age of forty-eight, he pulled himself up short.
Without one word of farewell, without a glance, Felix rode out into the forest. There was not much conversation on the trail to Heron Bay. The serfs were still there in charge of the canoe, and were glad enough to see their approach, and thus to be relieved from their lonely watch.
Jim sat in the stern of his little boat, guiding and propelling it with his paddle. Flocks of ducks rose before him, and swashed down with a fluttering ricochet into the water again, beyond the shot of his rifle. A fish-hawk, perched above his last year's nest, sat on a dead limb and watched him as he glided by. A blue heron rose among the reeds, looked at him quietly, and then hid behind a tree.
Such is human nature in its self-satisfied complacency that de Batz, calmly ignoring the vile part which he himself had played in the last quarter of an hour of his interview with the Committee's agent, found it in him to think of Heron with loathing, and even of the cobbler Simon with disgust.