In fact, the boys witness the accordailles, the engagement, of Norine and Justin Lebasset.
What an astounding man he was, this Justin Lebasset!
Justin suffered his pipe to die away: the birds were come at his invitation, and performed their prelude."
It is forty years afterwards that the narrator, now a man of letters in Paris, writes to his old friend, with tidings of Justin and Norine:--
In effect, the Cevenol bird, true to call, introduces Norine, his rightful owner, whose husband Justin is slowly dying.
"As for me, my dear Arribas, I remained in deep agitation, an attentive spectator of the scene; and while Justin and Norine, set both alike in the winepress of sorrow, le pressoir de la douleur, as your good books express it, murmured to each other their broken consoling words, I saw them again, in thought, young, handsome, in the full flower of life, under the cherry-trees, the swarming goldfinches, of blind Barthelemy Jalaguier.
Justin's one remaining hope is to go home to those native mountains, if it may be, with the dead body of his boy, dead "the very morning on which he should have received the tonsure from the hands of Mgr.
"I have seen Justin Lebasset die, dear Arribas, and was touched, edified, to the bottom of my soul.
The man is Trinidad-born Justin
Peters, a Harvard graduate and professor of literature at a public college in Brooklyn, who is constantly criticized for his focus on the works of "Dead White Men." His wife, Sally, is a Harlem-born poet-turned-elementary schoolteacher, who feels that she has lost touch with her authentic self.