Feu de Joie


Autumn Leaves by John Everett Millais, 1855

"Lovely bonfire!" Sally said, poking it so that the flames shot up with a roaring, crackling sound. "The French call if feu de joie --I think that's an awfully good name for it, don't you? Is this a feu de joie or is it just burning rubbish?"

"It's a feu de joie," Barbara replied incautiously.

"Oh! That makes it ten times nicer," cried Sally. "Let's pile on more sticks until it's as high as the house. What's it for?"

"Well, it's for me," Barbara said lamely, "I can't tell you exactly--"

"A secret?"

Barbara nodded.

"How too marvelous!" breathed Sally. "Oh, I do think it was good of you to let me come and help you with it."

They worked away happily, piling more sticks onto the feu de joie so that the flames sank down for a minute and then leapt up higher than ever. It became so hot that they could not go near it. They poked at it with long sticks and laughed and the smoke poured into their lungs and made them cough; it was tremendous fun.

At last, worn out with their efforts, they retired to a short distance and sat down on a log to admire their handiwork.
~ from Miss Buncle by D.E. Stevenson ~

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