Thursday, 9 April 2015

...of the forsaken

What was he going to do? Alice hadn't come! He didn't even ask himself whether she loved him or didn't love him. He had never asked himself that. The only question was whether or not she was his. He had shown her the 8, 000 francs.
It wasn't cynicism. It was humility. Now, she hadn't come, despite the Treasury bonds, and he didn't understand; he was out of his depth. Without knowing why; he found himself thinking of the girl in the red-and-blue-striped sweater, who had looked at him with such distrust, then with a kind of anger. Why?
He waited for a Villjuif tram. He could still see his two followers. He was sad again, no longer impatient, but sad - a hot, private sadness, like tears. It was the hour when, during his days on Rue Saint-Antoine, he would have already been putting clothes out on hangers and accosting passers-by. In prison, where everyone rises early, it was the hour of walking in the yard, single file, in silence, ears straining to hear the rumblings of the waking city on the other side of the walls.

[Mr Hire's Engagement, Simenon, G.]

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