The leaves were so still that even Bibi thought it was going to rain. Bobinôt, who was
accustomed to converse on terms of perfect equality with his little son, called the child's attention
to certain sombre clouds that were rolling with sinister intention from the west, accompanied by
a sullen, threatening roar. They were at Friedheimer's store and decided to remain there till the
storm had passed. They sat within the door on two empty kegs. Bibi was four years old and
looked very wise.
"Mama'll be 'fraid, yes, he suggested with blinking eyes.
"She'll shut the house. Maybe she got Sylvie helpin' her this evenin'," Bobinôt responded
"No; she ent got Sylvie. Sylvie was helpin' her yistiday,' piped Bibi.
Bobinôt arose and going across to the counter purchased a can of shrimps, of which
Calixta was very fond. Then he retumed to his perch on the keg and sat stolidly holding the can
of shrimps while the storm burst. It shook the wooden store and seemed to be ripping great
furrows in the distant field. Bibi laid his little hand on his father's knee and was not afraid.
Calixta, at home, felt no uneasiness for their safety. She sat at a side window sewing
furiously on a sewing machine. She was greatly occupied and did not notice the approaching
storm. But she felt very warm and often stopped to mop her face on which the perspiration
gathered in beads. She unfastened her white sacque at the throat. It began to grow dark, and
suddenly realizing the situation she got up hurriedly and went about closing windows and doors.
Out on the small front gallery she had hung Bobinôt's Sunday clothes to dry and she
hastened out to gather them before the rain fell. As she stepped outside, Alcée Laballière rode in
at the gate. She had not seen him very often since her marriage, and never alone. She stood there
with Bobinôt's coat in her hands, and the big rain drops began to fall. Alcée rode his horse under
the shelter of a side projection where the chickens had huddled and there were plows and a
harrow piled up in the corner.
"May I come and wait on your gallery till the storm is over, Calixta?" he asked.
Come 'long in, M'sieur Alcée."
His voice and her own startled her as if from a trance, and she seized Bobinôt's vest.
Alcée, mounting to the porch, grabbed the trousers and snatched Bibi's braided jacket that was
about to be carried away by a sudden gust of wind. He expressed an intention to remain outside,
but it was soon apparent that he might as well have been out in the open: the water beat in upon
the boards in driving sheets, and he went inside, closing the door after him. It was even necessary