THE WOOD FIRE AND ITS FRIENDS
boy. Louis insisted it should be sent to the Salon, and thus the explorer, writer, and painter became the sculptor. And so the friendship grew and strengthened with the years. Since then both men had won their gold medals at the Salon—Louis two and Herbert two.
The same old dog-play was now going on before the cheery fire, Louis scrouging and pushing, Herbert extending his muscles and standing pat—either of them could have held the other clear of the floor at arm’s length—Herbert, all his sinews in place, ready for any move of his antagonist; Louis, a Hercules in build, breathing health and strength at every pore.
Suddenly the tussle in the chair ceased and the young painter, wrenching himself loose, sprang to his feet.
“By thunder!” he cried, “I forgot all about it! Have you heard the news? Hats off and dead silence while I tell it! Lemois, stop that confounded racket with your dishes and listen! Let me present you to His Royal Highness, Monsieur Herbert, the Gold Medallist—his second!” and he made a low salaam to the sculptor stretched out in the Florentine. He was never so happy as when extolling Herbert’s achievements.