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Page:Man Who Laughs (Estes and Lauriat 1869) v1.djvu/221

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MISANTHROPY PLAYS ITS PRANKS.

"Water! pretending to be pure, thou resemblest false friends. Thou art warm at the top and cold at the bottom."

In the mean time the boy had finished his supper. The porringer was more than empty; it was cleaned out. He picked up and ate pensively a few crumbs caught in the folds of the knitted jacket on his lap.

Ursus turned towards him. "Now, a word with you. The mouth is not made only for eating; it is made for speaking. Now that you are warmed and stuffed, you beast, give an account of yourself. You are going to answer my questions. Where did you come from?"

"I do not know," the boy replied.

"Why do you say you don't know?"

"I was abandoned this evening on the sea-shore."

"You little scamp! what's your name? He is so good for nothing that even his relatives desert him."

"I have no relatives."

"Have a care! I don't like people who sing a tune of fibs. You must have relatives, since you have a sister."

"She is not my sister."

"She is not your sister?"

"No."

"Who is she then?"

"It is a baby that I found."

"Found?"

"Yes."

"What! did you pick her up?"

"Yes."

"Where? If you lie I'll thrash you within an inch of your life!"

"I found her on the breast of a woman who was lying dead in the snow."

"When?"