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5. CHAPTER V: ELEGIES (continued)
"Yes," answered Goguelat, "he was the Napoleon of our valley, barring the battles."
As they reached the parsonage, Genestas saw a little group about the door; Butifer and Adrien were talking with M. Janvier, who, no doubt, had just returned from saying mass. Seeing that the officer made as though he were about to dismount, Butifer promptly went to hold the horse, while Adrien sprang forward and flung his arms about his father's neck. Genestas was deeply touched by the boy's affection, though no sign of this appeared in the soldier's words or manner.
"Why, Adrien," he said, "you certainly are set up again. My goodness! Thanks to our poor friend, you have almost grown into a man. I shall not forget your tutor here, Master Butifer."
"Oh! colonel," entreated Butifer, "take me away from here and put me into your regiment. I cannot trust myself now that M. le Maire is gone. HE wanted me to go for a soldier, didn't he? Well, then, I will do what he wished. He told you all about me, and you will not be hard on me, will you, M. Genestas?"
"Right, my fine fellow," said Genestas, as he struck his hand in the other's. "I will find something to suit you, set your mind at rest---- And how is it with you, M. le Cure?"
"Well, like every one else in the canton, colonel, I feel sorrow for his loss, but no one knows as I do how irreparable it is. He was like an angel of God among us. Fortunately, he did not suffer at all; it was a painless death. The hand of God gently loosed the bonds of a life that was one continual blessing to us all."
"Will it be intrusive if I ask you to accompany me to the cemetery? I should like to bid him farewell, as it were."
Genestas and the cure, still in conversation, walked on together. Butifer and Adrien followed them at a few paces distance. They went in the direction of the little lake, and as soon as they were clear of the town, the lieutenant-colonel saw on the mountain-side a large piece of waste land enclosed by walls.
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