Page:Hopkinson Smith--armchair at the inn.djvu/375

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by something she saw through the archway of the court, and burst into a peal of ringing laughter.

“Oh!—come here quick, every one of you, and see what’s driving in! It’s Monsieur Brierley in the dearest of donkey carts. Where did you get that absurd little beast?”

“Whoa! Victor Hugo!” shouted Brierley, springing from the cart (both together wouldn’t have covered the space occupied by an upright piano). “I found him last fall, my dear madame la marquise, in a stable in Caen, kicking out the partitions, and brought him home to my Abandoned Farm by the Marsh to add a touch of hilarity to my surroundings. He wakes me every morning with his hind feet against the door of his stable and is a most engaging and delightful companion. Hello! Lemois, and—you here, Herbert! Shake!—awful glad to see you. Where’s Louis?—gone for blossoms?—just like him. I tried to get here earlier, to help you all, but Victor Hugo is peculiar and considerably set in his ways, and if I had tried to overpersuade him he might still be a mile down the road with his feet anchored in the mud.

“Take a look inside my cart, will you, Her-