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Part 2 In The Breton Land Chapter 2

In Brittany, towards the end of September, on an already chilly day,Gaud was walking alone across the common of Ploubazlanec, in thedirection of Pors-Even.

  The Icelanders had returned a month back, except two, which hadperished in that June gale. But the /Marie/ had held her own, and Yannand all her crew were peacefully at home.

  Gaud felt very troubled at the idea of going to Yann's house. She hadseen him once since the return from Iceland, when they had all gonetogether to see poor little Sylvestre off to the navy. Theyaccompanied him to the coaching-house, he blubbering a little and hisgrandmother weeping, and he had started to join the fleet at Brest.

  Yann, who had come also to bid good-bye to his little friend, hadfeigned to look aside when Gaud looked at him, and as there were manypeople round the coach to see the other sailors off, and parentsassembled to say good-bye, the pair had not a chance to speak. So, atlast, she had formed a strong resolution, and rather timidly wendedher way towards the Gaos's home.

  Her father had formerly had mutual interests with Yann's father(complicated business, which, with peasants and fishers alike, seemsto be endless), and owed him a hundred francs for the sale of a boat,which had just taken place in a raffle.

  "You ought to let me carry the money to him, father," she had said. "Ishall be pleased to see Marie Gaos. I never have been so far inPloubazlanec, either, and I shall enjoy the long walk."To speak the truth, she was curiously anxious to know Yann's family,which she might some day enter; and she also wanted to see the houseand village.

  In one of their last chats, before his departure, Sylvestre hadexplained to her, in his own way, his friend's shyness.

  "D'ye see, Gaud, he's like this, he won't marry anybody, that's hisidea; he only loves the sea, and one day even, in fun, he said he hadpromised to be wedded to it."Whereupon, she forgave him all his peculiar ways, and remembered onlyhis beautiful open smile on the night of the ball, and she hoped onand on.

  If she were to meet him in his home, of course she would say nothing;she had no intention of being so bold. But if he saw her closelyagain, perhaps he might speak.



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