"And was the transaction a good one for you?"
"Not so bad, not so bad," said he, winking his honest gray eyes with a world of simple cunning. "It cannot be so very bad, since I owe nothing on the hotel, and the cellar is full, and I am selling wholesale and retail."
The vanity which a minute since had expanded his hands now got into his legs, and set them upright under his body. He stood upon them, his eyes proudly lowered upon the seal of the claret. A pang of envy actually crossed my mind. I, simple _rentier_, with my two little establishments pressing more closely upon my resources with every year's increase of house-rates, how could I look at this glorious small freeholder without comparisons?
"So, then, Father Joliet," said I, "you are rich?"
"At least I depend no longer on my horse, and that thanks to you and the government."
"To me! What do you mean?"
"Why, have you forgotten the two chickens?"
[Illustration: THE LONE CRUSADE.]
At the allusion to the chickens we caught