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CHAPTER XII                            SOUTHERN FRANCE AGAIN
THE Countess A. asked me if I would like to motor
with her from Vichy, where she was about to take
a cure, to Juan-les-Pins, where her brother-in-law
had a house. She was going alone to Vichy for two
weeks and I was to join her for the last week and
we could motor South together. I had often wanted
to see the Riviera, and was delighted. I arrived at
Vichy one evening after a long dreary journey and
she met me at the station. She thought that I was
lost as the train was about an hour and a half late.
She was not allowed to eat in the evenings, so I had
to dine alone. After dinner we sat and talked till
late in her sitting-room. The next morning she had
to go off early to the cure, and I wandered about the
town. It is a most dismal place, with many Arab
chiefs; and in the gardens are kiosks, one side of
which sit the chiefs and the other side their Arab
servants. Everyone looked bad tempered and
liverish; afterwards I was told that they were all
suffering from that complaint. Before dinner we
went to the Gelestin Spring. The first day I hired a
little mug and it was hung up on a hook with the
other mugs. I, of course, was not a patient, but
could drink the waters. I found it so agreeable as it
poured out of the rock and had so much more kick
ia it than when it was bottled that I swallowed it in
one gulp, to the horror of the attendant and the
other patients. Afterwards I had to sip it.
I had arrived on a Tuesday and spent most of the