"When we left her, Marie used to relapse at once into her old condition, and sit with closed eyes and motionless limbs.
"For two days the children looked after her, and then, when the village people got to know that Marie was really dying, some of the old women came and took it in turns to sit by her and look after her a bit.
"Marie lay in a state of uncomfortable delirium the whole while; she coughed dreadfully.
"I long sought to meet Marie alone; and at last I did meet her, on the hillside beyond the village.
Occasionally they stopped and listened; but they teased Marie all the same.
"Next morning they came and told me that Marie was dead.
"They have planted roses all round her grave, and every year they look alter the flowers and make Marie's resting-place as beautiful as they can.
"A charming woman was that Marie Michon," resumed Athos, "one of those wild creatures who are constantly conceiving the strangest ideas.
Ambroise, and I repeat, Marie Michon was an adorable creature."
And therefore Marie came seeking hospitality from the guest of the good abbe and not from the good abbe himself."
upon my word," said she, "it is very droll, and that mad Marie Michon fared better than she expected.
"Yes, but he couldn't understand what it meant, for he had spent that night with a dying person and Marie Michon had left his house before his return."
"You must know, monsieur, that Marie Michon, when she returned to France in 1643, immediately sought for information about that child; as a fugitive she could not take care of it, but on her return she wished to have it near her."
"Ah," murmured Athos, kissing her hand, "had I only sooner known that Marie Michon was so charming a creature!" And he withdrew, sighing.