for a few months, and, presented to the Ondine, feil madly in love with her. Nor was he backword in protesting his devotion, which he proceeded to do even in his cousin's presence.
"Mademoiselle Lina, I assure you that I am not talking idly when I swear to you that I would lay down my life to save you from even a few moments of discomfort!"
"Really, Gaston? You promise me that you are not exaggerating?"
"Mademoiselle, I vow it!"
"But this is really most touching! I promise you that I am much moved! Really, Gaston, you would give me your life?"
"Very willingly, Mademoiselle. Only take me at my word one day."
"Would you give me your head, Gaston?" Lina pursued, fixing him with the slanting darkened eyes that he found so ravishing.
"My head! But most assuredly, if you wanted it."
"Ah-ha! This becomes interesting!" And she slid down on to a footstool at De Boussac's feet, while his cousin Pierre watched her moodily. "Listen, Gaston, I don't want your head, I don't want your life at all, but there is something you can do for me, if you sincerely want to prove your devotion."
"Only teil me quickly!"
"Just this," and she smiled at him like an angel. "You have very beautiful teeth. If you want to become my lover you must first of all prove that you love me very much, and you can best do that, it seems to me, by having one of your back teeth pulled out, and bringing it to me, to-morrow, in a box, to show that you have really suffered, even a little, on my account."
"Now, Lina," De Beauvais protested, "you are to be quiet at once and talk no more nonsense."