Notwithstanding her desire for revenge, Mademoiselle de Verneuil's sympathies were with the men commanded by her lover, and she turned hastily to see if the other end of the valley were clear for them; but the Blues, conquerors no doubt on the opposite side of Fougeres, were returning from the valley of Couesnon and taking possession of the Nid-aux-Crocs and that portion of the Saint-Sulpice rocks which overhang the lower end of the valley of the Nancon.
"Ah! diviner!" she said, putting on the gay expression a woman assumes when she makes an avowal which compromises neither her dignity nor her secret sentiments. Then, having slipped on a pelisse, she accompanied him as far as the Nid-aux-Crocs. When they reached the end of the path she said, "Monsieur, be absolutely silent on all this; even to the marquis"; and she laid her finger on both lips.
She admired the vast trend of the valley, which her eyes took in, from the summit of La Pelerine to the plateau where the main road to Vitry passes; then her eyes rested on the Nid-aux-Crocs and the winding gorges of the Val de Gibarry, the crests of which were bathed in the misty glow of the setting sun.
You will see on the road which leads to Nid-aux-Crocs through the Val de Gibarry, a farmhouse belonging to Cibot otherwise called Galope-Chopine. Go in, and say to his wife: 'Good-day, Becaniere, and Barbette will hide you. If Galope-Chopine discovers you he will either take you for the ghost, if it is dark, or ten crowns will master him if it is light. Adieu, our account is squared.
At midnight she left Fougeres by the gate of Saint-Leonard, took the little path to Nid-aux-Crocs, and started, followed by Francine, to cross the Val de Gibarry with a firm step, under the impulse of that strong will which gives to the body and its bearing such an expression of force.
Hulot himself went out with the rest of his troop by the Porte Saint-Sulpice, to reach the summit of the same rocks, where, according to his calculations, he ought to meet the men under Beau-Pied, whom he meant to use as a line of sentinels from the suburb of Saint-Sulpice to the Nid-aux-Crocs.
"Aristocrat!" cried Beau-Pied, sternly, "if you don't want me to send you to your ci-devant paradise, you will not say a word against that beautiful lady." Mademoiselle de Verneuil returned to Fougeres by the paths which connect the rocks of Saint-Sulpice with the Nid-aux-Crocs.
This pretty group of rocky hills is called the "Nid-aux-Crocs"; the little vale they surround is the "Val de Gibarry," the rich pastures of which supply the butter known to epicures as that of the "Pree-Valaye." At the point where the Promenade joins the fortifications is a tower called the "Tour de Papegaut."