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people shedding shekels and lots of tips for dear old Leà? That’s the best part of it. And did they really order good things—the beggars?—or had you cleaned them out of their last franc on their first visit? Come now—how many Pêche-Flambées, for instance, have you served, Lemois, to the mob since July—and how many demoiselles de Cherbourg—those lovely little girl lobsters without claws?”

“Do you mean the on-shore species—those you find in the hotels at Trouville?” returned Lemois, rubbing his hands together, his thoughtful face alight with humor. “We have two varieties, you know, Monsieur Louis—the on-shore—the Trouville kind who always bring their claws with them—you can feel them under their kid gloves.”

“Oh, let up!—let up!” retorted Louis. “I mean the kind we devour; not the kind who devour us.”

“Same thing,” remarked Herbert in his low, even tones from the depths of the chair, as he stretched a benumbed hand toward the fire. “It generally ends in a broil, whether it’s a woman or a lobster.”

Louis twisted his body and caught the sculptor by the lapel of his coat.