He beheld this Baron Pontmercy for the first time, and, in spite of his disguise, this Baron Pontmercy recognized him, and recognized him thoroughly. And not only was this Baron perfectly informed as to Thenardier, but he seemed well posted as to Jean Valjean.
The motor, in starting, forged gallantly ahead for a yard or two, then, as it felt the unexpected weight dragging behind, it appeared surprised. It was, indeed, literally "taken aback" for an instant, but only for an instant. The brave little beast seemed to say to itself, "Well, they expect a good deal of me, but there are ladies on board, and I won't disappoint them." "Félicité," I murmured.
In the great mirror opposite I saw myself, and right behind, another wicked, fearful self, so like me that my soul seemed to quiver within me, as though not knowing to which similitude of body it belonged.
Assurances from the United States of the full political equality of all republics, big or little, in the western hemisphere did not always carry conviction to Spanish American ears. The smaller countries in and around the Caribbean Sea, at least, seemed likely to become virtually American protectorates.
"It is and I hope," but as the words rose to his lips, he looked into the face of Belle, and it was so radiant with intelligent tenderness and joy, that she seemed to him almost like a glorified saint, a being too precious high and good for common household uses, and so the remainder of the sentence died upon his lips and he held his peace.
Life was a Song, the world a Paradise, the future a long-drawn Glory. He would like to go and hold the Sword in his hand for a minute, and something seemed to stir beneath his foot, and a shudder ran through his powerful frame. The brightness of the morning was dimmed, and then Lucille came towards him blushing, radiant, changed, and all was well with the world, and God in high heaven.
Sometimes I think that friendliness is the only achievement of life worth while and unfriendliness the only tragedy." I have since felt ashamed of myself when I thought how I lectured my unprotected host that day at luncheon; but it seemed to boil out of me irresistibly.
Before, when she was living at home, he could have spoken to her about anything, and now he did not feel equal to asking her the simple question, "How do you like being here?" The question seemed awkward and unnecessary. Probably the same change had taken place in her.
Where was Beatrice? He knew not. Everything boomed and echoed in his stunned ears. Below there, he heard thunderous crashes as wrecked walls and floors went reeling down. And ever, all about him, eddied the strangling smoke. Then, how long after he knew not, he found himself gasping for air beside a window. "Beatrice!" he shouted with his first breath. Everything seemed strangely still.
Looking from earth to sky and from blossom to blossom, the little world of the apple orchards, shedding its falling petals like fair-weather snow, seemed made of alabaster and porcelain, ivory and mother-of-pearl, all shimmering on a background of tender green.
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