Jacques was setting out for the South Pole, and papa considered me much too young to get married, I promised Jacques to wait for his return."
"Why, it was everything that's romantic!" cried Marie.
"Romantic? Oh, yes," said Germaine; and she pouted. "But between ourselves, if I'd known that he was going to stay all that time at the South Pole—"
"That's true," broke in Marie. "To go away for three years and stay away seven—at the end of the world."
"All Germaine's beautiful youth," said Jeanne, with her malicious smile.
"Thanks!" said Germaine tartly.
"Well, you ARE twenty-three. It's the flower of one's age," said Jeanne.
"Not quite twenty-three," said Germaine hastily. "And look at the wretched luck I've had. The Duke falls ill and is treated at Montevideo. As soon as he recovers, since he's the most obstinate person in the world, he resolves to go on with the expedition. He sets out; and for an age, without a word of warning, there's no more news of him—no news of any kind. For six months, you know, we believed him dead."
"Dead? Oh, how unhappy you must have been!" said Sonia.
"Oh, don't speak of it! For six months I daren't put on a light frock," said Germaine, turning to her.
"A lot she must have cared for