The shopwoman came out and offered
them to me for thirty-five francs. I said it was cheap,
but I did not need them.
"Ah, but monsieur, they are so beautiful!"
I confessed it, but said they were not suitable for one
of my age and simplicity of character. She darted in and
brought them out and tried to force them into my hands,
"Ah, but only see how lovely they are! Surely monsieur will
take them; monsieur shall have them for thirty francs.
There, I have said it - it is a loss, but one must live."
I dropped my hands, and tried to move her to respect
my unprotected situation. But no, she dangled the beads
in the sun before my face, exclaiming, "Ah, monsieur
CANNOT resist them!" She hung them on my coat button,
folded her hand resignedly, and said: "Gone, - and for
thirty francs, the lovely things - it is incredible! - but
the good God will sanctify the sacrifice to me."
I removed them gently, returned them, and walked away,
shaking my head and smiling a smile of silly embarrassment
while the passers-by halted to observe. The woman leaned
out of her door, shook the beads, and screamed after me: