The Grey Wig
Madame Valière shuddered unexpectedly. "Let us not speak of it. Take a fig."
But Madame Dépine persisted--though she took the fig. "Ah! those were brave days when we had still an Emperor and an Empress to drive to the Bois with their equipages and outriders. Ah, how pretty it was!"
"But the President has also"--a fit of coughing interrupted Madame Valière--"has also outriders."
"But he is so bourgeois--a mere man of the people," said Madame Dépine.
"They are the most decent sort of folk. But do you not feel cold? I will light a fire." She bent towards the wood-box.
"No, no; do not trouble. I shall be going in a moment. I have a large fire blazing in my room."
"Then suppose we go and sit there," said poor Madame Valière.
Poor Madame Dépine was seized with a cough, more protracted than any of which she had complained.
"Provided it has not gone out in my absence," she stammered at last. "I will go firs