The original title is Ut de Franzosentid, here translated from the Platt-deutsch original into english by Charles Lee Lewes. The story takes place in early 19th century Germany, where the hatred against the Napoleon and the French is seething.
knows about as much of French as the cow does of Sunday."
"The devil!" said my father and jumped up, for he was a quick, determined man, and did not know what fear meant.
When he entered the room, the Frenchman was rushing about like a wild beast, and the words came sputtering out of his mouth like the beer from a barrel without a bung. The Amtshauptmann was standing quite still, and had his French pocket dictionary in his hand, and whenever he caught a word the Frenchman said, he turned over the leaves to see what the dictionary made of it, and when my father came in, he asked: "My friend, what does the fellow want? Eh!... Ask the fellow what he wants."
My father thereupon began to speak to the Frenchman, but he was so loud and vehement, shouted and gesticulated so much, that the old Amtshauptmann asked: "What is he so excited for, friend?" Well, at last my father got out of the Frenchman what it was he wanted:--"fifteen fat oxen, and a load of corn, and seven hundred ells of green cloth