Puslapio vaizdai
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" It's

you !

yours as ours.

You've even turned to us, and upstairs to bagged our Joan of Arc! I a wide landing where there understand that you've been were seats. My hostess turned putting up a statue to her!” to me with excuses. “And yet – she did beat monsieur le maire," she said.

observed his sister “ My brother has told you gently.

about that money! They I felt that she was gathering bother him so that he's afraid herself together to receive my of them." return blow, and I could not " He's gone," announced the help laughing. Joan of Arc Colonel presently, from his post seemed so remote.

at the crack of the shutters. “Well, she preserved our “They're at me now to reindependence by it,” I said. vive our old university," he “Our kings would have reigned continued, " or else to endow in Paris, just as the Kings of a department of medical reScotland came to London when search in connection with the they succeeded to the English hospital. But that I'll never throne. We should have be- do !” he said, his eyes blazing. come a province of France. I There'll be vivisection there wonder how it would have whatever they may say. I worked ?"

know them ! I don't trust You would have been our 'em, and I'll have nothing to Ireland,” said the lady.

said the lady. “I do with it!” think Joan of Arc did well." I was not there to plead the

“That's about how we feel,” cause of medical research, so said I.

I changed the subject. “ You've got no jealousy,” “But the university ?” said said the Colonel. “ That's I. “Surely that would be a what's at the bottom of it, and grand piece of work ?" to us it's quite unaccountable. Yes," he said ; “but it's And you seem to think that a great chemical laboratory when once people are dead, that they've set their hearts they are common property. on, with a professor's chair. But come,” he added hurriedly, There's a fellow here who, they “ let's go in.”

say, ought to be one of the Why?” asked his sister, first chemists in the world, if but he only repeated “Come,” I gave him all the fitments he and bolted round the corner of wants and leisure to use them. the house. She swept aside Nice fellow enough—a bookto a point that commanded a seller's son." view of the road, and then “Well, there you are then,' followed him, and I brought said I cheerfully. up the rear. We slipped round “But I detest science," said the house, in at the kitchen the Colonel. door, where a portly cook “My brother is behind the stood with her back elaborately times,"remarked mademoiselle;

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“ but behind the times to a I took my leave then, wondegree that is perfectly appall- dering if the Colonel would ing! He's antediluvian !” ever get rid of his tainted

And we got on very well money, and whether, if his then,” said he. “If any one next heir had the opportunity, bored me, I ate him.”

it would occur to him that he “Luckily you can't do that might combine his own glorifinow," said his sister.

cation with that of his province.

II.

By this time the hot weather and one of the wittiest men, had begun in the plain of in a dry untranslatable way, Roussillon, and I went off into that I have ever come across ; the mountains with my ham- and he knew that country, its mock and a knapsack. The weather and its amenities, as chestnuts were in full leaf, and a man knows his pockets. I the shade was thick. There never could remember his name, were many little villages where but in my mind I always called I could eat and sleep when I him Long-and-Narrow, for long liked, and many little old forti- and narrow he was, from the fied towns, clinging like limpets top of his head to the toes of to the side of a gorge or his sandal-shod feet. Yet he squeezed into the smallest pos- was marvellously strong. He sible compass within their ram- could lift stones that I could parts on a hill-top. Between hardly move, when he was them and their protecting cliffs building a shelter or clearing stretched mile after mile of a space for his bed, which he rocky forest-land, interspersed usually made himself, of with wide clearings covered branches and an armful of with grass and flowers ; and broom. We kept together for through it all there passed, at a time. My tobacco was cerregular hours, great flocks and tainly better than his, and his herds, each with its attendant local knowledge was useful to man and dog, filling the air me. with the sound of their in- He had a funny little airnumerable bells. I was very gun that he always carried happy, and the time passed about with him. It had a good quickly.

deal of force, and made absoOn one of my rambles I fell lutely no noise. He used to in with a mining engineer, shoot all kinds of little wild tramping like myself He was things with it, but I forgave half-Spanish and half-French. him, because he never would I judged him to be something shoot the skylarks. He used of a scamp, but he was a to empty his pockets in the student of men and of beasts, evening, and toast them all for “Silly

his supper.

I was surprised respect of his uncle. when one day he produced half old crank,” he said. “There a dozen field-mice, and pro- are dozens of ways in which ceeded to skin them and eat he could spend that money if them. He said they were de- he had a little common-sense. licious, and certainly they smelt The country wants developing. good.

To take one example out of We usually slept in the woods, many, I know of a mine not I in my hammock, and he on a dozen miles from here that his brushwood bed. He used he could have for an old song. to tell me that I ought never to It simply wants capital, modern sleep out like that, alone by machinery, and skilled work. myself, because I was such a men, and in a few years he heavy sleeper. Indeed, he could would have a most colossal take what he liked from me in fortune big as anything in the the course of the night, how- States. But he won't. Won't ever carefully and secretly I even listen to me about it. stowed it away about my per- I suppose he'll fritter it away BON. He always produced it on something or other, un. in the morning; but at last I less he happened to die and got really angry, thinking the leave it for somebody more joke had gone far enough, and sensible.” then he never did it again. I found myself wondering if But the morning after, I found the Colonel had any other a dead field-mouse in my shirt- nephews. sleeve. I thought it had crept As the summer wore on we in there for warmth, and I had moved up into the region of crushed the poor little thing; the pine-forests, where the air but the next morning there was cool. One evening we were six of them ! Then he came to a hermitage, where tried me with a live one, but there was a little old chapel that did wake me up.

much visited by pilgrims from “My uncle is like you," he the whole district for many said one day; "he sleeps like miles round. There was a a dormouse. I found out then rough stone building to lodge that he was a nephew on his them, and an old abbé in mother's side of my friend charge. We had had one heavy Monsieur le Colonel.

thunderstorm, and another “But your uncle walks in seemed to be brewing, so we his sleep," I said ; "his sister agreed to have a supper off told me so.”

the abbé, and sleep for once “That only shows how sound in a proper bed.

There was he Sleeps,

answered Long- no one else there that evening. and-Narrow, since he can After supper I drew the old even walk about without wak- abbé on to talk of his chapel ing."

and its legends. He was very He did not speak with much sad, because everything about

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it was so small and mean com- have done it in French. Howpared to Lourdes.

ever, they seemed to have for“And I have had such gotten me. I waited with what hopes !” he said. “There was patience I could, and at last a great fortune-never could the abbé turned to me it have been spent in a better What do

you

think he's way.Long - and - Narrow done with all that money?" winked at me. “Even I had he said. “You English are the very plans drawn out and so practical. Tell him what an estimate made. But it was you think of him!” no good. He who had the What has he done?” spending of that money said “He's gone and given it all, he thought one Lourdes was every penny, to provide a hunenough, and he would hear no dred francs for every baby after more. But what beats me is the first two born in Roussillon the thing he has chosen to do to married parents !

And a with it,” went on the old abbé. hundred more the day it is a Long - and - Narrow almost year old !” jumped. I felt quite excited. “And the same, doubled, “ What?" I asked.

for the next baby," put in the Just then a knock came at Colonel. the door, and in walked the They say the whole of that Colonel himself, wet through, money will be gone in ten for the storm was raging, but years or so, and absolutely ruddy and cheerful, looking nothing to show for it at years younger than when I all !” concluded the old man had seen him last. He greeted bitterly. us and turned to his host, who And what does that matwas evidently an old friend. ter 1" said the Colonel. “Life's I know you said you would the only thing that matters ! never speak to me again,” he Life and morals. We're a fine observed, “but I claim the old race. Fill our province pilgrim's right to a crust of with sound men and women, bread and a shake-down," and, and they'll make good. Drat remarking that he was very you all, you and your schemes !” hungry, he set to at the food he concluded with immense we had left without any more vigour. “I'm going to enjoy ado.

all the rest of my days in Presently he said something peace, and God bless the in Catalan, very quietly, appa- babies!” rently addressed to his plate. “But how have you arranged Long - and - Narrow leant for- it?" asked Long-and-Narrow. ward, and the abbé thundered “ Have you been to a lawyer ? " a furious reply. I knew well “Of course," said his uncle. enough that they were only “ Got the whole thing put starting a bout of verbal sword- down in black and white, and play ; but I wished they would the deed's to be ready for

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signature this week. I told “How little foam there is,” them to wire to me here." remarked the abbé.

“There's nothing come for “It's because it is so deep you,” said the abbé.

Perhaps to-night,” said Long-and-Narto - morrow. To-day's only row. Friday."

The abbé went away, and "Perhaps," said the Colonel. I think it was my doing that "And won't I be a happy man we left that end window open when the job's done."

80 as to get the cool air from Thereupon we went to bed. the torrent. The Colonel took We were shown into a long the bed nearest, I came next, room, very bare, and with and Long-and-Narrow went to several beds in it. We were the one beyond me. An idea told that they were often all for a picture had come to me, full, but that to-night we might and I could not sleep. I lay be sure of having it to our- awake elaborating it in every selves. Long-and-Narrow be- detail. I had not had such gan to protest, rather unneces- an inspiration since the war, sarily I thought, against my and I was eager to get it into being expected to share a room shape. I was just thinking at with them. Said he knew the last that I would turn over English were never accustomed and go to sleep, when Longto such ways. The abbé seemed and-Narrow slipped out of bed rather embarrassed, and, to and came and stood beside me. settle the matter, I flung my In my abstraction I did not knapsack on one of the beds, move, and I thought I heard and announced it was to be him go on down the room. A mine.

clock struck two, and I opened What a noise the torrent my eyes to see what he could is making," said the Colonel be doing. I realised that the suddenly, as we were bidding Colonel was snoring magnifithe abbé good-night.

cently the sonorous rhythm “It is indeed," said he; almost drowned the roaring of “ there must have been a water- the torrent. The room was spout on the mountain." flooded with moonlight, and

We all went to the window beside his uncle's bed stood at the other end of the room, Long-and-Narrow, his air-gun and I saw that though by the in his hand. He might have door we came in at we were been aiming at the man's eye. on the first floor, the ground Like a flash I was on him, sloped away so rapidly under- wrenched the gun from his neath the house that at this hand, and flung it out of the end we were full thirty feet window. His first look at me from it, and below that was a was one of hate, changing to precipitous rock. Round its abject fear. foot swept, in a narrow channel, “I think we're dreaming,” I a flood of dark water.

said. “Let's get back to bed.”

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