Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Ink Kisses By Emile Zola

 Photo by Athena's pix

But just as Madame Maloir was going off to fetch the cards herself from a drawer in the sideboard, Nana said that before they started, it'd be very kind if she could write a letter for her. She found writing a bore and she wasn't sure of the spelling, whereas her old friend could turn out letters straight from the heart. She ran out to get some of her best writing-paper from her bedroom. An ink-well and a cheap bottle of ink were lying about on a chair, together with a pen thick with rust.

The letter was to Daguenet. Without being told, Madame Maloir wrote "My little darling" in her best cursive; she then told him not to come tomorrow because "it wasn't possible", but that, wherever she might be, "he was always in her thoughts".

And I'll end with "a thousand kisses", she murmured.

Madame Lerat was nodding approval at every word. Her eyes were gleaming; she adored being involved in love affairs. And she even wanted to add a little touch of her own, whispering in a melting voice:

"A thousand kisses on your lovely eyes."

"That's it, a thousand kisses on your lovely eyes", repeated Nana, as a blissful expression spread over the two old women's faces.

Emile Zola and inkwell

 Emile Zola, Nana, first published 1880, Charpentier: Paris.

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