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ATELIER DU LYS.
MOTHER AND DAUGHTER.
BETWEEN Pontarlier on the French frontier and that district which in 1793 was known as Bresse lies a great stretch of as uninteresting country as can be found in the whole of Central France. It is sparsely populated now, and was even more so then; but here and there a village raises its red-tiled roofs beside a winding river, and then the long white road goes on again over a featureless plain, as far as eye can see, without another hamlet coming into sight. Vaise is one of these villages, far off the modern track of travellers, and offering nothing noticeable in itself, but situated in one of the few spots which have any claim to picturesqueness, for there a little river runs fiercely between rocky banks, eddying and foaming round great blocks of stone which fell into it at that far-off time when this strange and sudden upheaval of the ground took place, and obliging anyone who wishes to cross to go all the way round to the bridge, which spans the stream with a single very high and pointed
stone arch. At first sight the bed seems so narrow and so much encumbered by the huge boulders lying in it that, except at times when melting snow or heavy rains send the stream in flood to the Saône, it looks an easy thing to cross upon them; but the inhabitants know that in mid-channel there is always a deep and rapid current, too wide to jump across, and strong enough to sweep away any steppingstones. They either go round to the bridge, or borrow the miller's boat. The mill stands by a wider and quieter bit of water, formed partly by Nature, partly by art. Every mill has its boat along these streams. In 1792 the mill of Vaise belonged to the Château de St. Aignan, and until feudal rights were abolished the villagers were bound to have their corn ground at it. The château stood on the other side of the river, an ancient, but not very extensive building. Its owners were of a good country family-noblesse de province-who, until the last twenty years, had lived on their estates, and only claimed very distant cousinship with the elder branch of the same name. The actual owner had joined the army as a lad of twelve, with some half-dozen young cousins, under his father's guardianship, and before he was thirteen had seen some service, and came home for a short time to be cured of a wound in the arm. Since then he had rarely appeared, except to pass a few weeks in hunting, and his intendant, or steward, Leroux, was much better known to the tenants than their master, of whom Leroux's dealings gave no very pleasant impression. Living at Court strained the resources of a