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Ms A 27v

[27v°] sweet Queen of heaven was watching over her fragile little flower, that she was smiling on her from her throne in heaven and was preparing to stop the storm the moment her flower was to break without any hope of recovery.

Toward the end of the year, I began to have a constant headache. [5] It didn’t cause me much suffering. I was able to pursue my studies and nobody was worried about me. This lasted until Easter, 1883. Papa had gone to Paris with Marie and Léonie, and Aunt had taken me and Céline with her into her home. One evening Uncle took me for a walk and spoke about Mama and about past memories with a kindness that [10] touched me profoundly and made me cry. Then he told me I was too softhearted, that I needed a lot of distraction, and he was determined to give us a good time during our Easter vacation. He and Aunt would see to it. That night we were to go to the Catholic Circle meeting, but finding I was too fatigued, Aunt made me go to bed; when I was undressing, I was seized with [15] a strange trembling. Believing I was cold, Aunt covered me with blankets and surrounded me with hot water bottles. But nothing was able to stop my shaking, which lasted almost all night. Uncle, returning from the meeting with my cousins and Céline, was very much surprised to see me in this state, which he judged to be very serious. He didn’t want to say this [20] in order not to frighten Aunt.

He went to get Doctor Notta the next day, and he judged, as did Uncle, that I had a very serious illness and one which had never before attacked a child as young as I. Everybody was puzzled. Aunt was obliged to keep me at her home, and she took care of me with a truly maternal solicitude. When Papa returned from Paris with my older sisters, Aimée met them at the door with such a sad face that Marie



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