Page:Hopkinson Smith--armchair at the inn.djvu/266

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XI
IN WHICH THE HABITS OF CERTAIN
GHOSTS, GOBLINS, BANDITS, AND OTHER
OBJECTIONABLE PERSONS ARE DULY SET FORTH

THE Engineer’s story whetted every one’s appetite for more. Lemois, hoping to further inspire him, left his chair, crossed the room, and began searching through the old fifteenth-century triptych to find some object of interest which would start him to talking again as entertainingly as had the carved soup bones from the Moscow prison. When he reoccupied his seat he held in his hand a small statuette in terra-cotta. This he placed on the table where the light fell full upon it.

“You overlooked this, I am afraid,” he said, addressing The Engineer. “It is one of the most precious things I own. It is a portrait of Madame de Rabutin-Chantal, the grandmother of Madame de Sévigné.” The Sévigné family were a favorite topic with the old gentleman, and anything pertaining to them of

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