Madame Chrysanthème, by Pierre Loti

Chapter 9

My Plaything

July 12th

Yves visits us whenever he is free, in the evening at five o’clock, after his duties on board are fulfilled.

He is our only European visitor, and, with the exception of a few civilities and cups of tea, exchanged with our neighbors, we lead a very retired life. Only in the evenings, winding our way through the steep, narrow streets and carrying our lanterns at the end of short sticks, we go down to Nagasaki in search of amusement at the theatres, at the tea-houses, or in the bazaars.

Yves treats my wife as if she were a plaything, and continually assures me that she is charming.

I find her as exasperating as the cicalas on my roof; and when I am alone at home, side by side with this little creature twanging the strings of her long-necked guitar, facing this marvellous panorama of pagodas and mountains, I am overcome by sadness almost to tears.

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Last updated Friday, March 7, 2014 at 22:36