Page:Hopkinson Smith--armchair at the inn.djvu/84

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door at the other side of the court, busying himself with his larder spread out on a table.

“Monsieur Lemois! Oh, Monsieur Lemois!” Louis called; “will you be good enough to pay attention! What about eggs?—can I have a couple of soft-boiled?”

“Why, of course you can have eggs! Leà, tell Pierre to——

“Yes, I know, but will it endanger the life of the chickens inside? After your sermon last night, and Herbert’s penguin yarn, I don’t intend that any living thing shall suffer because of my appetite—not if I can help it.”

Lemois shrugged his shoulders in laughter, and kept on with his work, painting a still-life picture on his table-top—a string of silver onions for high lights and a brace of pheasants with a background of green turnip-tops for darks. To see Lemois spread his marketing thus deliberately on his canvas of a kitchen table is a lesson in color and composition. You get, too, some idea as to why he was able to reproduce in real paint the “Bayeux” tapestry on the walls of the “Gallerie” and arrange the Marmouset as he has done.

My ear next became aware of a certain silence in the direction of the coffee-roaster