When you have a sorrow that is too great, it leaves no room for any other.
Jean-Louis had never had a day's illness in his life. He was tall and as gnarled as an oak. The sun had baked his skin until it had the colour and toughness and stillness of a tree. With advancing years, he had lost his tongue. He now never spoke, considering such an activity pointless.
Words failed him again; he began to stammer in his unsuccessful attempt to express the first vague stirrings of the future he could feel within himself. While he finished feverishly brushing in the black velvet jacket, there was a long silence.