|Chapter Title||UNCLE ANTOINE.|
|Newspaper Title||Adelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904)|
|Trove Title||The Blind Fiddler. A Tale for Children|
Antoinc, who had awaited Francois aid ins son at the door of his house, emlraced them with all'his heart. The two bothers had not seen one another for a long time, being engaged in earning their daily brad.
Francois was struck with the chaigc in Antoine, who was very pale and thin.
"What is the matter with you brther?
he aBked when the three of them wereseated in the room where the cloth was lid for dinner. "Are you ill, or are you just Ecovar ing from an illness J"
" I am very well, Francois, said income, with a little embarrassment, and he tried to turn the conversation, and made aniJortto be as gay as usual.
Nevertheless the mason, who w.s not a dupe to this gaiety, saw that hie brother
wished to conceal something, and therefore kept an eye on him during the consumption of a chicken and an excellent pie, to which Jerome did ample justice. When they came to the cheese, Franyoia could not remain silent any longer.
" It is very line for you to say so. Antoine," said he, " but you are not yourself to-day,
and it is net rieht to distrust me."
"It is true," replied Antoine; "I do not distrust you, only I did not wish to grieve you in speaking of my trouble."
"Then you are in trouble?" said Franyois
"Yes," answered Antoine, sighing; " trouble whicli neither you nor I can re medy. I aun becoming blind, Franyois."
" Blind!" cried the mason.
" Alas, it is too true; you know that one of my eyes has always been weak, and now it is quite blind, and since last year the other has got so much weaker that in another six months 1 shall be completely blind,"
" You must consult a doctor for the eyes," said Franyois.
" An oculist, you mean," said Antoine.
"I have consulted many. Last week I went to Paris to do so, and they all-told me that there was no cure. Ah! if you knew how unhappy I am, when I see that every day it becomes more and more difficult for me to decipher my danccB. When I cannot read them any longer I shall be obliged to play them juBt the same. They will treat me as an old-fashioned musician, and they will not wish to employ me any more at public balls or weddings; then, Franyois, I shall resign, myself to die of hanger."
When he was speaking two big tears fell from his poor old eyes.
" My brother," cried Francois, tenderly, "You shall not die of hunger; you shall come and live with us. I am poor, it is true, but I can earn enough with my trowel.to
five you bread as long as 1 can work,
'romise me, Antoine, that you will come
and live with us if you cannot be cured ?"
Antoine threw his arms round his brother, and pressed him to his heart. The friend ship wliich Francois showed him proved the greatest consolation he could have in his misfortune, so that he soon dried his tears, and enagaged his two guests to follow bini to the Golden Fleece Ian, where he was engaged to play the violin during the even ing and part of the night, and by which he earned a very large sum. Jerome, in the hope of dancing a few contre-dansei, and eating some of the cakes his uncle promised him, was not slow to follow, and all three went to tlic hall-room gaily.