The grating sound of a chair knocked over and a girl of thirteen ran in, hiding something in her short muslin petticoat, and stopped short in the middle of the room. She had evidently bounded so far by mistake, unable to stop in her flight. At the same instant there appeared in the doorway a student with a crimson band on his collar, a young officer in the Guards, a girl of fifteen, and a fat, rosy-cheeked boy in a child's smock.
The prince jumped up, and swaying from side to side, held his arms out wide round the little girl. Ah, here she is! he cried, laughing. Our little darling on her fte day!My dear, there is a time for everything, said the countess, affecting doorphone severity. You're always spoiling her, Elie, she added to her husband. Bonjour, ma chre, je vous flicite, said the visitor. Quelle dlicieuse enfant! she added, turning to her mother.
The dark-eyed little girl, plain, but full of life, with her wide mouth, her childish bare shoulders, which shrugged and panted in her bodice from her rapid motion, her black hair brushed back, her slender bare arms and little legs in lace-edged long drawers and open slippers, was at that charming stage when the girl is no longer a child, while the child is not yet a young girl. Wriggling away from her father, she ran up to her mother, and taking no notice whatever of her severe remarks, she indoor monitor