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Two Years in the French West Indies By Lafcadio Hearn Characters: 1305

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:02

It is only half-past four o'clock: there is the faintest blue light of beginning day,-and little Victoire already stands at the bedside with my wakening cup of hot black fragrant coffee. What! so early?... Then with a sudden heart-start I remember this is my last West Indian morning. And the child-her large timid eyes all gently luminous-is pressing something into my hand.

Two vanilla beans wrapped in a morsel of banana-leaf,-her poor little farewell gift!...

Other trifling souvenirs are already packed away. Almost everybody that knows me has given me something. Manm-Robert brought me a tiny packet of orange-seeds,-seeds of a "gift-orange

": so long as I can keep these in my vest-pocket I will never be without money. Cyrillia brought me a package of bouts, and a pretty box of French matches, warranted inextinguishable by wind. Azaline, the blanchisseuse, sent me a little pocket looking-glass. Cerbonnie, the màchanne, left a little cup of guava jelly for me last night. Mimi-dear child!-brought me a little paper dog! It is her best toy; but those gentle black eyes would stream with tears if I dared to refuse it.... Oh, Mimi! what am I to do with a little paper dog? And what am I to do with the chocolate-sticks and the cocoanuts and all the sugar-cane and all the cinnamon-apples?...

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