They had now reached the Forte Neuve, by which they entered the town, with many others who were returning from the Plain-palais. As they walked along the Corratorie they met Berthelier and Gabrielle, taking the air, as the afternoon was very fine for the season of the year.
Both the lads saluted; De Marsac with a flush and a beaming smile.
"I did not know you knew them," said Norbert. "Oh yes; did I not tell you I was going to see them? Master Berthelier's sister, Damoiselle Claudine, and I are fast friends. Some years ago when I came here first, a mere child, I was one day in the market, looking about me and buying cherries or the like, when I saw this poor damoiselle being frightened half out of her senses by a group of angry, scolding fish-women. That was before such good order was put in the market, and in all the town, thanks to Master Calvin. She had told them, quite truly, that they were trying to cheat her. I fought her battle with all my might, which in truth was not great, and at last brought her home in triumph. She was much more grateful than the occasion required, and has been my very good friend ever since. I — they — they are all good to me, though lately, being much occupied with my studies, I have seen them but seldom."
"Do you not think the young damoiselle very pretty?" asked Norbert. "I do."
"She is beautiful," Louis answered quietly; and the subject dropped.
Deborah Alcock (1825–1913) is best known as the author of historical fiction on religious themes.She was born in Kilkenny, where her father, the Venerable John Alcock, became Archdeacon of Waterford. Unmarried, she lived with her father writing a memoir of him on his death. Her work The Spanish Brothers, published in 1870, was set in the 16th century and was a tale of Protestant martyrdom. Other work includes The Czar (1882), set during the French invasion of Russia; and Archie’s Chances (1886).