ure you, quite an oddity." The oddity, you may be certain, ground his teeth. She had a way of standing in our midst, nodding around, and addressing us in what she imagined to be French: "Bienne, hommes! ça va bienne?" I took the freedom to reply in the same lingo: "Bienne, femme! ça va couci-couci tout d'même, la bourgeoise!" And at that, when we had all laughed, with a little more heartiness than was entirely civil, "I told you he was quite an oddity!" says she in triumph. Needless to say, these passages were before I had remarked the niece.
The aunt came on the day in question with a following rather more than usually large, which she manoeuvred to and fro about the market and lectured to at rather more than usual length, and with rather less than her accustomed tact. I kept my eyes down, but they were ever fixed in the same direction, quite in vain. The aunt came and went, and pulled us out, and showed us off, like caged monkeys; but the niece kept herself on th
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