<p>AMID the deep mourning life slowly resumed its course at the Beauchene works <a href="http://www.monclerjacketsusasales.com/"><strong><em>moncler jackets sale</em></strong></a> . One effect of the terrible blow which had fallen on Beauchene was that for some weeks he remained quietly at home. Indeed, he seemed to have profited by the terrible lesson, for he no longer coined lies, no longer invented pressing business journeys as a pretext for dissipation. He even set to work once more, and busied himself about the factory, coming down every morning as in his younger days. And in Blaise he found an active and devoted lieutenant, on whom he each day cast more and more of the heavier work. Intimates were most struck, however, by the manner in which Beauchene and his wife drew together again. Constance was most attentive to her husband; Beauchene no longer left her, and they seemed to agree well together, leading a very retired life in their quiet house, where only relatives were now received <a href="http://www.monclerjacketsusasales.com/"><strong><em>moncler jackets on sale</em></strong></a> .
<p>Constance, on the morrow of Maurice's sudden death, was like one who has just lost a limb. It seemed to her that she was no longer whole; she felt ashamed of being, as it were, disfigured. Mingled, too, with her loving sorrow for Maurice there was humiliation at the thought that she was no longer a mother, that she no longer had any heir-apparent to her kingdom beside her. To think that she had been so stubbornly determined to have but one son, one child, in order that he might become the sole master of the family fortune, the all-powerful monarch of the future <a href="http://www.monclerjacketsusasales.com/"><strong><em>moncler jackets men</em></strong></a> . Death had stolen him from her, and the establishment now seemed to be less her own, particularly since that fellow Blaise and his wife and his child, representing those fruitful and all-invading Froments, were installed there. She could no longer console herself for having welcomed and lodged them, and her one passionate, all-absorbing desire was to have another son, and thereby reconquer her empire.
<p>This it was which led to her reconciliation with her husband, and for six months they lived together on the best of terms. Then, however, came another six months, and it was evident that they no longer agreed so well together, for Beauchene took himself off at times under the pretext of seeking fresh air, and Constance remained at home, feverish, her eyes red with weeping.
<p>One day Mathieu, who had come to Grenelle to see his daughter-in-law, Charlotte, was lingering in the garden playing with little Berthe, who had climbed upon his knees <a href="http://www.monclerjacketsusasales.com/"><strong><em>moncler jackets women</em></strong></a> , when he was surprised by the sudden approach of Constance, who must have seen him from her windows. She invented a pretext to draw him into the house, and kept him there nearly a quarter of an hour before she could make up her mind to speak her thoughts. Then, all at once, she began: "My dear Mathieu, you must forgive me for mentioning a painful matter, but there are reasons why I should do so. Nearly fifteen years ago, I know it for a fact, my husband had a child by a girl who was employed at the works. And I also know that you acted as his intermediary on that occasion, and made certain arrangements with respect to that girl and her child--a boy, was it not?"
<p>She paused for a reply. But Mathieu, stupefied at finding her so well informed, and at a loss to understand why she spoke to him of that sorry affair after the lapse of so many years <a href="http://www.monclerjacketsusasales.com/"><strong><em>moncler jackets</em></strong></a> , could only make a gesture by which he betrayed both his surprise and his anxiety.
<p>"Oh!" said she, "I do not address any reproach to you; I am convinced that your motives were quite friendly, even affectionate, and that you wished to hush up a scandal which might have been very unpleasant for me. Moreover, I do not desire to indulge in recriminations after so long a time. My desire is simply for information. For a long time I did not care to investigate the statements whereby I was informed of the affair. But the recollection of it comes back to me and haunts me persistently, and it is natural that I should apply to you. I have never spoken a word on the subject to my husband, and indeed it is best for our tranquillity that I should not attempt to extort a detailed confession from him <a href="http://www.monclerjacketsusasales.com/"><strong><em>moncler sale</em></strong></a> . One circumstance which has induced me to speak to you is that on an occasion when I accompanied Madame Angelin to a house in the Rue de Miromesnil, I perceived you there with that girl, who had another child in her arms. So you have not lost sight of her, and you must know what she is doing, and whether her first child is alive, and in that case where he is, and how he is situated."
<p>Mathieu still refrained from replying, for Constance's increasing feverishness put him on his guard, and impelled him to seek the motive of such a strange application on the part of one who was as a rule so proud and so discreet. What could be happening? Why did she strive to provoke confidential revelations which might have far-reaching effects? Then, as she closely scanned him with her keen eyes, he sought to answer her with kind, evasive words <a href="http://www.monclerjacketsusasales.com/"><strong><em>moncler cheap</em></strong></a> .
<p>"You greatly embarrass me. And, besides, I know nothing likely to interest you. What good would it do yourself or your husband to stir up all the dead past? Take my advice, forget what people may have told you--you are so sensible and prudent--"
<p>But she interrupted him, caught hold of his hands, and held them in her warm, quivering grasp. Never before had she so behaved, forgetting and surrendering herself so passionately. "I repeat," said she, "that nobody has anything to fear from me--neither my husband, nor that girl, nor the child. Cannot you understand me? I am simply tormented; I suffer at knowing nothing. Yes, it seems to me that I shall feel more at ease when I know the truth. It is for myself that I question you, for my own peace of mind.... Ah! if I could only tell you, if I could tell you <a href="http://www.monclerjacketsusasales.com/"><strong><em>moncler down jackets</em></strong></a> !"</p>