Les âmes fortes by Jean Giono

By Jean Giono

Elle était à ce moment-là, de beaucoup et de loin, los angeles plus belle femme de Châtillon, et même d'ailleurs certainement. Quelqu'un qui l'a bien connue à ce moment-là me disait : Elle était belle comme ce marteau, vois-tu ! Et il me montrait le marteau dont il faisait utilization depuis vingt ans (c'était un cordonnier), un marteau dont le manche était d'un bois doux comme du satin depuis le temps qu'il le maniait, dont le fer si souvent frappé étincelait comme de l'or blanc. Et avec ça elle était tout le temps affable et gentille.

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MRS. MI breezes in. MRs. MI TZU: YOtlre her co usin , are you? "Cplain what all this means police drag­ ging people from a respectable hous e! -Well, as you see, I know all ! SHUI TA: Yes. My c ousin has the worst possible reputa­ tion: that of being poor. MRS. MI TZU: No sentimental rubbish, Mr. Shui Ta. Your cousin was a common • SHUI TA: • . Pauper. Let's use the uglier word. Two Plays by Bertolt Brecht 30 MRS. MI I'm speaking of her conduct, not her earn­ TZU: ings. But there must have been earnings, or how did she buy all this?

Buy water! Buy water, you dogs! Nice to dream of lovely weather! Think of all the coostemation Were there no precipitation Half a dozen years together! " Pretending they adore me? They all would go down on their lmees before mel Down on your knees! dogsl What 31'e lawns and hedges thinking? What are fields and forests saying? Athirst and dying And· drinking and paying! Buy water! Buy water, you dogs! Tbe rain bu stopped nMD. SBEN m sees WONG lliZ4 nms tMDII1d him. IBEN m: Wong! You're back! r carrying pole's at the shop.

SHUI TA: You're thieves, parasites. I'm giving you this chance. Go! BUSBM"D (summoning all his ancestral dignity) : That sort deserves no answer. Besides, one should never shout on an empty stomach. WIFE: Where's that boy? SHUI TA: Exactly. The boy. I wa n t no stolen goods in this shop. ( Very loudly ) I strongly advise you to SHUI Two Plays by Bmolt Brecht 28 leave! (But they remain seated, noses in the •ir. Qui­ etly ) As you wish. (sHUI TA goes to the door. A PO­ LICEMAN appears. SHUI TA bO'WS,) I am addressing the officer in charge of this precinct?

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