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The record-union. [volume] (Sacramento, Calif.) 1891-1903, January 10, 1891, Image 6

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MONSIEUR TRINGLE'S MASQUE.
[Adapted from the French of Jules Floury, for
the U_cui;n-U>-ioN, by Mrs. >.'. K. White.]
CHAPTER I.
Never was there a happier man than
Mons. Tringie the day he received an in
vitation to the fancy ball to be giveu by
his friends, the Brous.'
Tlie very moment lie read the pleasing
request lie resolve I to dress himself as
tlie Devil, which was a singular notion
for a bachelor whose usital appearance
bore a strong resemblance to a sheathed
umbrella.
True, a month before the announce
ment of the bail, Mons. Tringlc had ob
served hanging outside the window of
Chabre, tho hair-dresser, a strange-look
ing figure, representing tho Devil, dressed
entirely in red, with a bushy wig' and a
long tail. It occurred to our hero that
this costume would bo just the thing to
produce a sensation in a quadrille.
Not that Mons. Tringlc was a fine
dancer. In fact, at evening gatherings he
•was usually assigned a place at one of the
tables where the principal functionaries
of the town of Ilettes played 100, but on
this occasion he determined to take a
more conspicuous part in the festivities,
and persuaded himself that this leostume
would not only excuse him from the
usual gamo of cards, but would also en
able him to outshino tho most accom
plished dancers in the room.
A whole future of happiness -was stored
. up in that costume de (liable, for Mons.
Tringlc had been secretly sighing for some
. time past over his lonely bachelorhood,
tnd sought only to share his income of
8,000 francs a year with some young lady
•who would bring him at least twice that
dum. And as Mile. Brou soemod to possess
I all the qualities that ho desired in a lifo
companion—namely, 0,000 francs a year in
her own right—more than once when
passing the hair-dresser's shop had lie ad
mired, as it fluttered in the breeze, tho
asata:iic costume which ho fondly hoped
• "would settle him in life.
"• "How light and free a porson ought to
I feel in that costumo!" thought he with a
' .sigh of regret that he had not, in his
youth, given his legs an opportunity of
becoming more nimble. Still, he hoped,
under cover of the bewitching costume,
to soften the heart of Mile. Brou iind win
her admiration by feats of grace and agility
that would be so much the more remark
i able from the fact that people were not ac
customed to such novel exhibitions.
As a usual thing, he had no chance to
. pay his court to the young lady, for the
moment ho entered tho Brou parlor he
was taken possession of by tlie card
players.
"\Vo are going to make up a gamo of
loo—come, Monsieur Tringlc," the mis
tress of the house would exclaim. At tbo
name time he would bear the shrill voice
of a certain old dowager, an inveterate
gamester, bidding hitn make haste. And
no sooner had he removed his hat than
Mons. I'aff, a Captain in the National
Guard (who was invariably already in
stalled in his place at the gaming-table),
would vociferate his name as if calling tbo
roll of his company.
"My dear Monsieur Tringle, you are iv
demand," Madame Brou would say,
flushing him familiarly toward the over
asting green-covered table.
These reasons and many others served
to intltienco him strongly in favor of
dressing in costume; however, Mons,
Tringle did not dare toeonlide his protect
to tiie old servant, Therese, who had
managed his household for over eighteen
years. 'What would -she think of her
master burlesquing in such a fashion!
< Sertainly she would raise a thou sand ob
jections; perhaps she might even have a
pns. n*ji: tit that, under that particular
costume, he concealed the bold purpose
of drawing near to Mile. Brou. declaring
his love, and afterward bringing her to
Tirelire street as mistress of the house.
Would not Therese, therefore, who ruled
the old bachelor as she pleased, use every
possible means of preventing such a cat
astrophe?
There are very fow mon who, in order
to escape the chains of matrimony, do not
contract ties a thousand times more irk -
■ema Even a quarter of an hour's tarii
. ness on the pan of Mons. Tringle drew
forth from the shrewish maiden innumer
able comments upon the extraordinary
event which had obliged the pot-a u-feu to
remain fifteen minutes too long on the
lire. What fancies would trouble tho old
housekeeper's mind, therefore, at the an
nouncement of this masquerade ball!
So, contrary to his custom, be had re
frained from speaking to his faithful
Therese either bf the invitation ho had
received or tho character he intended to
personate; but the bail was none the loss
ever present in his mind, and at night, as
ho sat watching the prophetic little
tongues of flame carting and leaping in
his fireplace, he saw gleaming brightly in
the matrimonial hori/.on that dowry, the
prize tor which he intended to strive ou
tite sth of February, the duio set for Mme.
Brou's famous party.
\ CHAi'TEIi 11.
The Sth of February having arrived,
Mons. Tringle. smiling to himself at the
good joke he wis going i<> perpetrate, en
tered the rear room of the wig-maker's
shop. The Brou ladies had asked him
the preceding week whether or not he
would dress in costume, and with a disre
gard for truth quite in consonanco with
the Father of Lies, he had replied :
"Ah, ladies, you know the state of my
health will not permit me to do so."
As he opened the door Chabre,who was
expecting him, was vigorously comb
ing something which looked like a dilap
idated mull' when he went in.
"What do you say to that, Monsieur
Tringle," said he triumphantly, holding
fee object up for his inspection. "It is
your wig. Ah, you will be incomparable
in it!"
"Incomparable! yes, it is to bo hoped,"
anid Tringle dubiously, as he regarded
with amazement a conglomeration of cat
skins and rabbii-skins which tho wig
maker-was. shaking energetically.
"With such a coiffure as this. Monsieur
Tringle, you ought to carry oil' the honors
Ot the evening.''
! "Do you really think so, Monsieur
Ohanre?" said Tringle its ho thought of
the main object for which he desired to
appear to the best advantage. "I was
•omewhat doubtful about the propriety
of wearing it, but if a person of your
judgment vouches for it, why—"
"I assure you that never before in
Ilettes has any one seen such an admir
able disguise."
"You know, undoubtedly, some of the
costumes that will be worn?"
"Don't talk to me of costumes for the
Bourgeois of Ilettes!" answered Chabre,
Who was a native of Agen. "They area
•tlngy, miserly set of curmudgeons! You
ere the only ono solar. Monsieur Tringle,
that has rented a costume for the ball."
"So much the better!" interrupted tho
Old bachelor joyfully.
"Therefore," continued Chabre, "every
one will readily see thai you have gone to
some expense."
"Expense!" mentally': ejaculated the
•COnomical Tringle, "By the wav, Cha
bre," said ho with Well-It igned careless
ness, "how much are you going to ask mo
for the use of the suit?"
"That devil's costume was a very ex
j>ensive thing to fix up in its time,*" re
plied Chabre, "audi would not undertake
to ou pi '.ate it for a hundred crowns,
lou will see how comfortable it is, even
thoughitbetight-tiuing. Theraost linelv
formed man in Ilettes would appear to
•yen better advantage—"
"But the price!" demanded Mons. Trin
gle. who saw in all this circumlocution a
prelude to an exorbitant bill.
"Weil, for six francs you may cut a fig
ure in it at the bail."
• "Six francs!" exclaimed Mons. Trin
gle.
, "It is the most graceful costume of hit
collection," replied Chabre. firmly; "antl
it would have been worn out long "ago had
I rented it to the youhg blades lor the
fiiardi-gras: I only trust it lo persons
Whose character I know."
"But you know, Monsieur Ombre, who
.Jam."
\ _**! am not referring to you, Monsieur
SACBAMENTO DAILY BECOBD-TTlSriOy, SATURDAY, JANTTAKY 10, 1891.—EIcmT PAGKES.
Tringle. A man of your age and settled
habits amuses himself decently; but this j
kind of a Costume requires such delicate :
handling, that —"
"In what respect?" asked Mons. Trin- ■
gie. impatiently.
"Bed is such a delicate color, you know; :
every drop of punch spilled upon it leaves j
a spot," said Chabre, depreeatingly.
""But I have a perfect horror Of spots," ''
replied tlie bachelor, confidently.
"That Ls quite evident from the appear
ance of your clothes. Monsieur Tringle;
that is why I do not need to caution you
about the refreshments."
After these polite injunctions, Mons.
Tringlc went into the wig-maker's bed
rcom and slipped on the breaches,
which immediately put him into a lively
mood, for the long tail —which was con
structed upon a very pliable piece of brasa
wire—sometimes switched his legs, and
sometimes caressed his back.
Thus costumed he proceeded to indulge
in all the antics of a playful kitten. Ko
ono would have recognized in the author !
of these ridiculous gyrations the staid old j
bachelor, who, indeed, no longer recog
nized himself, an unnatural sportiveness
and agility having taken possession of
him. Chabre adjusted the wig. and titter
giving a final touch to the dishevelled
cat's-lur, handed a mirror to the now
r giddy bachelor, who, as tho heat of his!
grotesque head-gear penetrated his scalp,
began to simper and nod his head to ob
serve tho effect of his pcrruquc. His ad
miration for his really diabolical appear
ance knew-no bounds when Chabre had j
completed his make-up by outlining the
eyebrows in the shape of a circumflex
accent, and glued a few wisps of broom
corn to his upper lip in lieu of a mous
tache. .After a glance at the tout ensem
ble, Tringle concluded that he was un
questionably a most fascinating devil and
■would certainly make a deep Impression
upon the heart of the coveted heiress.
"You aro a subject for a painter!" cried
Chabre, buckling the costume so that
Tringle felt Ught as a feather, and in a
transport of enthusi&sm attempted to
execute a pafr&cul beforo the glass.
"You are simply ravishing, Monsieur
Tringle:" again cried tho obsequious
hairdresser. . ,
"Oh! Monsieur Chabre, you flatter
me."
"No, indoed! Monsieur Tringle. Light
ness, suppleness and elegance aro too
rarely seen in tho gentlemen of to-day
for me not to applaud a spectacle of truo
grace and virile beauty."
At this decided compliment Tringle <
leaped as high as tho counter for joy.
"Oh, Monsieur Tringle, a little pru
dence, I pray you! It"is such a close
fitting garment I advise you not to tako
too long a step; but by dancing cautiously
I think you will havo nothing to fear."
Once more Tringlo attempted a few
capers, interspersed with one or two well
executed pirouettes.
"Who could imagine that a man habit
ually so reserved in his manner could be
so lively!" exclaimed Chabre with well
feigned admiration.
But Tringlo was no longer listoning.
Tho desire of making his appearance in
tho Brou drawing-room in such seductive
attiro had caused him to depart uncere
moniously.
"Your cloak. Monsieur Tringle! Don't
forget your cloak!" called the wigmuker
alter the fleeing form. "It is cold, I warn '
you!"
But tho enthusiastic masker was al
ready bounding through the streets, re
hearsing in the open air a danse diabo
liquc that ho had just invented.
CH.WTKII 111.
Tho north wind whistled, tho wcathor
vancs squeaked on the roots, and a sheet
iron heart which served as a sign before a
tobacco shop was groaning at being thus
beaten by tne winds. Who would have
thought it! Mons. Tringle climbed upon
a stone, took off tho iron heart and throw
it over tho walls of tho Convent of tho
Da.-nes de la Providence, lie had entered
into the spirit of his role.
A tom-cat was coming out leisurely
from a cellar window in response to what
may havo been an invitation from a
neighboring roof. Tringle placed himsolf
in his way and stood immovable beforo
him as if trying to magnetize those big
green eyes; I >ut tho cat managed lo escape,
and Triangle started in pursuit, uttering
such hideous cries of s-s-s-s-scat! as to se
riously disturb tho reposo of the quiet
loving inhabitants of that section of the
town. As he passed before the shop of a
worthy cobbler he saw a wooden statho of
Saint Crispin, which the bwner had pos
sessed from time iijimeniorial, and which
served the double purpose of advertising
his handiwork and honoring the saint
under whoso patronuge he had placed his
shop.
Tringlc, after a vain attempt to remove
tho Father of Shoemakers froirrfitsfniehe,
broke off its head ana throw it alter the
fleeing cat. '
Curious effects of dressing as a dovil!
Tho culler and scissors-grinder of tho
town kept for sale optical instruments,
and an immense pair of spectacles .Of col
ored glass served as a sign for his trade.
Tringlo took down tho glasses and
smashed them against a wall. In his ex
citement ho respected nothing—not even
the golden sign of the Notary, which ho
threw into a cellar, after trampling under
foot the emblems of the law.
A lighted lantern before the office door
of the .Justice of tlio Peace testified to the
ever-vigilant eye of the police. Tringlo
took possession of tho lantern and sent it
to keep company with the Notary's
scutcheon. The most brazen criminal
would bave hesitated about carrying off
that emblem of the peace in the town of
Ilettes, but Mons. Tringle committed this
new misdeed without compunction. The
quarter was plunged in the deepest ob
scurity, and tho old fellow took advant
age of tbo darkness to ring tho bells and
null the knockers of all the principal
Louses in town, und seemed to consider
this puerilo act of lawlessness a bold antl
daring expression of 'his defiance of law
and order.
Such excesses might possibly havo
been pardonable in a drunken man, bnt
indeed Tringle scorned intoxicated with
his novel appearance. By ihe aid of the
ropo which ho took from the pulley of
the town pump he broke a long, wooden
arquebuse which stood before the door of
tho principal gunsmith of the town, and
which was a constant source of admira
tion to tho country folk. Ho pulled the
gilded cockade from the big red cocked
hat which he could not detach from the
front of the hatter's store; and in fact the
damage which he did in going to the
Brou mansion was incredible. Shutters, !
vat -. blinds, pails, carriages in their shed.s
—all were overturned in this wild career,
and it was in a state of feverish excite
ment that be arrived at his destination,
having awakened in thegCommission of
these depredations.an agility which had
lain dormant ibr many a year.
CfIAPTEtt IV.
Full of enthusiasm, he sped through
the hall which kd to the first story of the
building occupied by the Brous, trying
as he went to decide in what manner he
would make his entree. Ought he to
make his appearance bead-downward
and legs in the air, or should he enter
ceremoniously, with exquisite politeness,
as a gallant French chevalier?
He left it entirely to the inspiration of
the moment, and having moderated the
frenzy which made him regard every
bell-Knob he encountered as an enemy,
he gently pulled the bell. A light sup
sounded from within and Mile. Brou
herself came to the door.
".Mademoiselle," wiid Mons. Tringle.
bending obsequiously, so that the caudal
appendage of his costume bobbed about
in the most frisky and affable munner.
Mile. Brou's countenance ordinarily
showed about as little emotion as that of
a milliner's doll when viewing, from the
glass case, the passage of a squadron of
cavalry. In the present instance, how
ever, she betrayed unbounded astonish
ment.
"Madame Brou is well, I hope?" con
tinued her visitor, with redoubled affa
bility as ho entered the vestibule and
found himself on the threshold of the
dining-room, where that lady herself,
surrounded by an array of dress-goods,
sat at a table lighted by a single lamp.
Not without some chagrin did Tringle
say to himself that he had arrived too
early; yet he saluted none the less re
spectfully his hostess, who, after giv
ing a covert glance from liehiiid her pile
of sewing, regarded with compressed lips
the strange being who begged permission
to pay his respects.
Mile. Brou had taken her place beside
her mother, and the two ladies exchanged
such astonished glances that Tringle be
lieved at first that his brilliant costume
had suffered somo unseemly damage in
his mad course through the streets. A
painful silence then ensued, during which
lie mentally berated himself for having
arrived so early.
"Pardon, Monsieur," said Mmc, Brou
at length, making a visible effort to open
the conversation.
"Madame—" and poor Tringle stopped
confusedly, unable to say anything fur
ther. With downcast eyes lie sat pain
fully conscious that Mine. Brou was in
specting him from head to foot, from his
claws to his wig, ami, uneasy as a soldier
before a severe officer, he asked himself
timorously:
"Am I presentable!"
Mme. Brou, having cast another inquir
ing glance at her daughter, as if to consult
with her before opening lire, once more
began:
"I do not place you at first glance, Mon
sieur."
These words caused Tringlo to laugh
immoderately, llis disguise was evi
dently a success.
But the humorous bachelor soon per
ceived that Mme. Brou dill not appreciate
his merriment. The lips of the two ladies
were more compressed than ever; with a
gesture full of offended dignity, Mme.
Brou motioned her daughter to'sit erect.
Both ladies had the air of judges about to
pronounce a sentence.
"What! Mesdames you do not recog
nize me?" said Tringle, proud of his im
penetrable disguise.
Once more the bachelor was subjected
to a supercilious glance from those pierc
ing eyes, and another awkward pause fol
lowed this futile attempt to make himself
at home, during which the scissors of
mother and daughter snipped vigorously
at the dress materials before them.
"Aro you ladies behind-hand with your
costumes,?" he at length ventured to ask.
But its neither deigned to answer, he be
gan to lose his temper and thought sav
agely that, in parties of this kiud, the
hour ought to be mentioned in tho invita
tion.
His sticky moustache began to draw
the skin on his cheeks and lips, causing a
furious desire to scratch; at the same
timo drops of perspiration, produced by
the thickness cf the wig, commenced to
drip upon tho blackened arch of his eye
brows, and forming in drops at the ends
of his eye-lashes, fell upon his painted
cheeks, causing him the greatest anxiety
as to the effect, for ho did not dare to look
I tit himself in the glass, lest he should dis
cover that the harmony of Iho visage had
been marred.
"It is very comfortable here, ladies,"
ho again ventured to rem ark,, secretly
hoping to bo invited to partake of somo
of the refreshments, for tho exercises in
which he had indulged ou the way had
rendered him excessively thirsty.
The ladies appoared not to comprehend
this gentle hint, leaving Tringle aston
ished at the tranquillity of the mistress of
the house, who by this time, he thought,
should have been busy preparing tho
cakes, the syrups and the punch.
But no appetizing odor of steaming
punch greeted his nostrils, and it was evi
dent the polished kettlo was not singing
gavlv in the silent pantry.
'''If only some other masker would ar
rive!" thought Tringle, despairingly. "A
1 new costume would divert those terrible
! eyes from me."
"But the guests seemed in no haste.
Slowly and solemnly the pendulum of
the clock announced the inevitable flight
of the minutes, one by one, and Tringlo
made another desperate effort to animate
the conversation by remarking:
"It is universally conceded that your
ball will bo brilliant in the extreme."
Again the scissors stopped, and Jline.
Brou looked at him from head to foot.
"Surely," thought tho unhappy Tringle,
"thero must be some unbecoming rent in
my costume." And with his daws, for
| the red covering extended beyond tho
I ends of his fingers, he endeavored to dis
cover it, and was enraged to find hissenso
of touch so dull.
"I suppose you ladies are finishing your
costumes," he remarked uneasily, won
dering at what advanced hour of tho
night tho etuiryet uncut would be sewed.
And as he expressed a regret thatvtho
ladios could not then and there display
the disguises in which they intended to
appear, Mile. Brou replied curtly:
"What would be the use ol wearing
them a week before tho ball?"
"A wook before the ball!" exclaimed
Tringle in consternation, "Grand Dieu!"
"Wo have not been invited to tho party
to which you are going, Monsieur," said
Mme. Brou, lighting a candle and rising
to signify to' the ill-bred jester that his
visit had been already unduly prolonged.
"Do you really mean, to say that your
ball does hot hike-placo this evening?"
asked«the bachelor m dismay.
"I have tho honor of informing you.
' Monsieilr^-thtit our salon will bo opened
the 18th of this monill.^
Tringle gave a start of surprieo. "Tho
18th?" cried he, "why the invitation stated
tho Sth of February. Ah! poor Trin
gle!"
"^\ hat!" queried Mme. Brou, "aro you
Monsieur Tringle?" j
It was now the bachelor's turn to make
no reply. With his periwigged head
buried in his hands he wus thinking of
tho ridiculous guise in which he had pre
sented himself in the very house whero
he was most desirous of making a favora
ble impression.
"This is a very disagrooablo misunder
standing, Monsieur Tringle." continuod
Mine. Brou. "I wondered what queer
notion induced a stranger to visit ns in
i such a costume."
Poor Tringlc heard no more. How fool
ish he must appear in the eyes of Mile.
Brou, whose usually' calm features wore
a mocking look, which was exasperating
in the extreme. Who had ever heard of
a person dressing up as a devil a weak
| before the ball? Could *-uch a grotesque
I costume be worn more than once? And
that tail, upon whoso freaks ho had
counted for his greatest triumph, ho
would now most willingly conceal be
hind his choir; but, like Banquo's ghost,
it would not down, so strong and rebel
lious was the wire spring. Athis slightest
movement tho tult which adorned the
end of it appeared on the arms of his
chair, first on one side and then on the
other, taking, ns it were, a diabolical de
light in his intense mortification.
CHAPTER V.
There is nothing more paralyzing to a
person's faculties than a sense of being
ridiculous; so our unfortunate hero had
arrived at a degree of embarrassment
which caused him to sit on the edge of
his chair like a solicitor.
"The wig-maker should at least have
informed you that there was to be no
party here to-night, and that I am not in
the habit of receiving on Friday," said
Mme. Brou, sevcrelv.
Mons. Tringle. although his perceptive
faculties were greatly dulled by his dis
comfiture, comprehended that Mme. Brou
was reproaching him for his untimely
call; but his chagrin nailed him to the
chair and prevented him from taking his
leave.
"In fact," said he, humbly, "Mons.
(. habre did tell me that no one had hired
1 any costumes at his store."
' Does anyone rent costumes from that
| poruqidcr:' asked Mile. Brou, disdain
: rally.
"timbre has played you a very mean
trick, Monsieur Tringle," remarked her
mother.
"No doubt he wanted to let a costumo
which had hung in his window forages."
added the young lady, sarcastically,while
poor Tringle groaned aloud to learn that
she despised tiie costume de (liable which
he had supposed would render him irre
sistible in her eyes. Cruel disappoint
ment!
"I, myself, have'seen that devil hanging
from Chabre's window for the hist thirty
years," said Mme. Brou.
"Did they take it down for you, Mon
sieur Tringle," asked the daughter mali
ciously. *
"What an indignity it was to dress a re
spectable man up in such a nest of dust!"
exclaimed her mother.
"Why, I saw a flock of swallofvs living
from it one day," added tho daughter.
Undoubtedly they had made a nest in it."
"if it were only swallows," continued
Mme. Brou; ."but the moldiness and
horrible spider webs—ugh!"
Mons. Tringle twitched nervously in
his chair; he seemed to feel things creep
ing all over his body, and the wounds to
his amour-propre were so great that he
would have conceived an immediate
hatred for the two ladies had uot the six
thousand francs a year of Mile. Brou pal
liated tho biting sarcasms.
"Why did you not consult us, Monsieur
Tringle, on the choice of your costume?"
asked Mme. Brou softly.
"I thought, Madame," that this costume
! de (liable would be quite a success," said
: Tringle more and more humbled.
"Oh!" exclaimed the heiress, disdain
full v.
"You have still a week before you," re
sumed Mme. Brou; "we are getting up a
ball in the style of Louis NIII. See,
here is some jaconet from which my
daughter and myself are cutting out cos
tumes ala marquise. They will bo quite
distinguished-looking. Tho time of Louis
XIII. abounds in picturesque costumes.
In your place, Monsieur Tringle, I would
seek something in that epoch."
"A Louis XIII. devil!" exclaimed
Tringle.
"So, no! Monsieur, no more devil; you
woiUd look much better as a Lord."
CHAPTEK VI.
At this moment the bell rang and Mon
sieur Brou entered the room.
"What is this?" said he, walking round
and round Mons. Tringle.
"Monsieur Brou," said his wife, "it is
thut poor Mons. Tringle, who had an idea
that our fancy ball was to take place this
evening.
"Tringle gotten up as a devil 1" ex
claimed Mons. Brou. "Why no one
would recognize you in such a garb, my
friend. Come now, get up and let mo see
you."
"Excuse ma, I beg you," said Tringle,
who sat as if fastened "to his chair.
"What! don't you want to be admired
on all sides!" continued his tormentor.
With a motion of his hand the unlucky
bachelor begged to be excused from sucn
an ordeal.
"You do not seem very comfortable,"
said his hoet, continuing his inspection.
The clock struck midnight.
"Madame Brou," said her husband/Tt
is timo to retire."
That was an unmistakablo method of
signifying to their guest that it was time
for him to depart. Theu, indeed, did ho
rogret having left his cloak at tho wig
maker's, for it would have helped him to
conceal the unlucky tail while making
his exit. With a thousand excuses to tho
ladies, he bowed himself out backwards,
trying in vain to hide tho caudal append
age, which frisked playfully about with
out appearing to share at all in its wear
er's melancholy.
In the corridor Mons. Brou assumed a
grave expression and said:
"Monsieur Tringle, I am in no wLso
duped by your stories. People do not go
to a ball on the Sth, when the invitation
reads tho 13th. I havo mado figures
enough in my experience as Keceivor to
know their value. I have never mado a
mistake in my writing. I have, as you
are aware, a marriageable daughter, and
it was highly improper for.-you to present
yourself 111 such a costume 1 before a young
girl, even though she w_a protected by
the presence other mother. As soon as
you discovered your mistake you should
nave made reparation for it by immedi
ately retiring."
Poor Tringle ende.Tvored' to open his
lips to defend himself, but M6ns. Brou
had not finished his discourse, and With
an impatient gesture silenced hi in and
continued:
"You have dared to remain three hours,
seated by my fireside, without fearing to
excite ridicule by a costume which says
little in favor of the nobility of your sen
timents! I do not bid you a« revoir,
Monsieur, hoping you yourself will un
derstand what bad tasto it would be for
you to be present at our coming party."
CHAPTER VII.
Tho philosophers of all nations aro
unanimous in declaring that misfortunes
never come singly. So, lv the case "of
poor Mons. Tringle;. wjiat was his con
sternation to find upon attempting to go
down the stairs that he was restrained m
ix sudden arid forcible manner. Tho tail
of his costume was caught in the door!
—in the door of n house from which ho
had just been ejected.
His first Idea was to ring the bell, but
that would bring him once moro into tho
presence of an angry man who did not
seem disposed to tako a loke.
A half-hour pf complete silenco had
followed the unceremonious closing of
tho front door; the ladies Irad certalnly
rotired and, no doubt, the severe master
of tho hou«e likewise.
Wouldn't the wits of tho tdWn perse
cute him with taunts and jeers if they
were to learn of this annoying advent
ure. "It would be better to get rid
of this cursed tail by cutting it off,"
thought the wretched bachelor. But Trin
gle had neither, dirk nor pen-knitb in his
close-fitting garment.
If even a 'second-floor Irtdgci* wore to
come in, Tringle in his dire Cxtremlty
would have begged him to'give him some
assistance; But the sipartuients above
tho Brou quarters were occupied by un
old lady who went to bed regularly at
nightfall. t \
Toward one o'clock in. tho fnornlng
Tringle felt thoroughly-chilled,' although
he had kept moving in every possible
way, very cautiously, however, so as not
to awaken the fumily. , , •
How Chabre, tho pcrrHquicr, had bdon
calumniated! If the costume had really
boon as dilapidated as the Brou ladies,
affirmed, certainly, after so many efforts,
the tail would not have remained so
firmly attached to the pantaloons.
At two o'clock the cold had greatly In-*
creased. Tho thin cloth of the costume
afforded no protection ugaiust a tempera
ture of twelve degrees Centigrade, which
was almost freezing tho blood in his
veins.
At tho risk of being anathematized by
tho irate Brou, Tringle said to himsolf
that he would ring. Then vaguely, dur
ing a quarter of an hour, ho felt in all di
rections in the moldings for tho door
iamb without being able to find the bell,
which, however, he was quite sure was on
the left-hand side; but tho tail was caught
so close to the body of his suit that his
arms were not left sufficient freedom to
reach the knob.
"I.broko too many of them &h I camo
through town,"' thought Tringle in de
spair; "I am punished by mv sm itself."
And at that moment the bachelor, al
though he was by no means of an extrav
agant disposition, would willingly liavo
given twenty sous apiece for all tlie bells
lie had maliciously broken on his way
over to the Brou mansion, Remorse,
though somewhat tardy, began to fill his
breast; still, with the utmost anxiety, he
wondered whether one moment of fever
ish excitement ought to be punished by
such tortures.
But, as Providence sometimes casts a
glance of compassion on those who re
pent, it happened that Tringle, while rub
bing his back rather briskly against the
door, in order to warm himself, noticed
that the brass knob mado an almost im
perceptible movement.
Now, a ray of light suddenly beaming
on some unfortunatolostinthc catacombs
was never greeted with wilder joy than
filled the captive's breast at this dis
covery.
Turning to one side as much as the im
prisoned tail permitted, Tringlo seized the
door-knob and discovered that it was only
screwed into tho wood. After consid
erable effort he finally gfiined possession
of tho knoli. but could not see very clearly
how it was going to assist him in
opening the door and liberating the cap
tive tail, when, his fingers comingiu con
tact with the screw, a brilliant idea sud
denly occurred to him—that, by means of
its sharp edges, ho might saw off the un
lucky tail which bound him,like Pro
metheus, to a ridiculous rock.
The emphatic recommendations of
Chabre in reference to the famous cos
tume flashed through his mind, but tho
joy of an immediate delivery from cap
tivity was so great that Tringle, without
further concerning himself about the
consetpiences, left the greater part of the
tail in tho door, and rapidly descended
the stairs, thinking impatiently of his
snug, warm bed, in which a sound slum
ber would efface tho recollection of his
disagreeable adventure.
CHA.ITER vn,
Tho wind was keen and biting, but the
joy of being liberated made Tringle indif
ferent to the cold. It is easy to picture
with what delight he saw his dwelling
once more, and with what ceierity he
sped toward tho protecting seclusion of
his own hearth! Ho rapped briskly, his
heart beating with some trepidation at the
idea of meeting his old housekeeper.
Therese did not respond at the first
stroke of the knocker, nor at the second,
nor tho third. At the fourth a blind was
opened ou tho inside, then a window, and
after a fit of coughing Therese asked, in
a half-sleepy, lialf-frightciied voice: •
" Who is there?"
"It is I," said Tringle, his teeth now
chattering with the cold.
" Who are you?" demanded the cau
tious servant. •
" Tringle," replied he curtly.
"Why, Monsieur! is it possible?" ex
claimed the astonished domestic.
"Open tho dooi^ Therese!" said Tringle
imperiously.
"Did Monsieur only return now?"
asked Therese suspiciously.
"You see for yourself, do you not?"
said Tringle, Who pranced about with
angry impatience.
"Where iv the world can Monsieur
hare been at this timo of tho night?" so
liloquized the imperturbable Therese.
"Oh! Therese, open tho door, quick, I
beg you!" cried Tringle, this time en
treatingly.
Thou, with a grumUlo of discontent,
tho old housekeeper carefully closed tho
window and blinds, after which a mo
ment of silence ensued, during which
Tringlo bore his discomfort heroically,
consoling himself with tho reflection that
his tribulations would soon be at an end.
The outer door, which opened on tho
street, was provided with a big bolt,
which Therese always securely fastened
every night before retiring, and in fact so
careful was she that often she went down
stairs again, after saying her prayers, to
make sure that the strong bolt was prop
erly pushed into place.
With what den'ght Tringlo heard tho
immonse bolt grating in its socket! A
turn of tho key in tho inside lock and he
would at length enter into tho enjoyment
of his downy couch; bnt tho cautious
Thoreso did not straightway give that
turn to tho key. The entrance door
opened into a narrow hallway adjoining
the kitchen, where soon a light gleamed
through tho window. Then Thorese,
intrenched behind tho iron bars, which
"protected the. windows of tho first floor,
appeared with ono hand shielding tho
candle-flame from tho Wind.
"Quick! Therese, quick! open the
door!" cried poor Tringle, benumbed
with cold.
"I supposed you were in bed hours ago,
Monsieur" said she. "What has kept
you out tilL2 o'clock in the morning?"
"Open tho door, Therese; I will tell you
about it afterward," said Tringle per
suasively.
"This is tho first time you have over
acted in this way, Monsieur," remarked
Therese, in a somo what reproachful tone.
"And will bo tho last, Therese! Coino,
open the door!'.'
"Upon my word of honor, Monsieur, I
thought n band of robbers "'
"Will you open tho door?" shrieked
Tringle, exasperated nt the untimely gar
rulity of his housekeeper.
"\\ hat can you have been doing to keep
you in tho streets so lute?" queried
Therese.
"If you do not open the door immedi
ately," cried the Infuriated bachelor, "I
will discharge you!" As he stood shiver
ing ho said tc himself that, soon warmly
ensconced beneath his downy eiderdown,
tho biting winds which Were now chilling
the very marrow of his bones would give
plaeo to a delicious warmth and all this
horrible nightmare would change to pleas
ant dreams.
Instead of the downy eiderdown, how
ever, the unhappy Tringle received a
pailful of water squarely on his upturned
face.
"I will pay you tor that, you old hag!"
Cried he, gasping with IVight and rage.
It was one of those unexpected blows
that overthrow the most courageous
natures. Tringle was so overcoiafe with
tho cold and, the iriipotency of his anger
that ho remained as silent and ashamed
as a cat that has fallen into a tub of water.
Decidedly the house was too welhgu&rded!
What was he to do ? With a faint hope of
mollifying tho hard-hearted Cerberus, he
called once more:
"Therose! Thereso!"
But tho first floor had relapsed Into
utter silence.
"Therese! Therese!" repeated Tringle
Bupplicatingly.
"There, demon, take that!" cried the
obdurate old woman, and a second bucket
ful of water splashed from the upper story
on tho head of the shivering Tringlc, who,
ln order to escape from these dreadful
shower-baths, fled from his own door
step, followed by the maledictions of the
angry Therese, who had seen, by the dim
light of tho candle, a frightful, horned
being, imitating tho voice of her master
in order to practice his witchcraft in a
house where, according to her belief, the
real Mons. Tringle was at that very timo
peacefully slumbering.
cHAi-rEu'viir.
Wet to tho skin, and fearing that he
Would be covered with a coating of ice if
he stood stfll, Tringle galloped through
•tlie town like a runaway horse. Witliout
knowing whither he was going, he soon
found himself in the open country, on a
dry, clean, ringing highway, bordered
with .sparse brushes which offered no,
shelter. The Hiverv.light of the mooh
was reflected from the icy twigs bf the
i trees, and the icicles cracked beneath his
feci. _.'*«'• \ • "
In, his despair he wJis crying, "Must I
perish thus?" when ln tt»3 distance he
espied a faint light, which seemed like an
answer from the Providence who wids
not the death of tlie sinner.
Upon drawing nearer he perceived that
the light proceeded from a little hamlet
about a league distant from the town,
and, as he was acquainted with the farm
ers who came to sell their produce at tho
market, he said to himselt that he could
at lelsi borrow from them a suit uf warm
homespun and return to Ilettes without
cutting too ridiculous a figure.
When he arrived beforo the first house
of tho hum lot he was greeted by the furi
ous barking of an immense* clog which
was chained in the garden, This noisy
recaption did not displease the weary
wanderer, for it would necessarily
awaken the inmates of the farm-house,
from whom he could ask shelter. As tiie
dog nearly strangled himself pulling upon
Ids chain, while the pain, together with the
uneasiness which ho felt at finding himself
face to face with a devil having a tail like
his own, lent additional force to the fury
with which he barked at the intruder.
At first -Mons. Tringle had regarded the
animal's rage without tho least anxiety.
However, tho clanking of tho chain,
which the dog had finally succeeded in
breaking, caused him a little trepidation,
but tho gate and the garden walls wero so
high that he did not think the brute could
cross them. This illusion was soon dis
pelled, for tho barking, which for a mo
ment had died away, became once more
more audiblo and grew louder, showing
that the dog avus coining back on the
outer side of tho wall, and soon Tringle
saw, only fifty paces away, the ferocious
animal rushing toward him at full speed.
He made a leap for the branches of a
tree, and so great was his fright that ho
climbed to the top without knowing how
he arrived there. Through the puro in
stinct of self-preservation he who, but a
low hours before, deplored his hick of
agility, had contrived to reach the top of
a tree' at whoso foot barked a savage clog,
which, rolling Ids blood-shot eves and
opening his, enormous jaws, gleaming
with huge Wliite fangs, circled round and
round the trunk, as if trying to discover
what road his enemy had taken.
Clinging to the branches, Tringlo felt
for tho time being out of danger; but
when the first agony of fear was over, and
ho began to stiffen with the cold, he asked
himself in dismay how he was going to
escape the jaws of thai terrible dog, whose
continuous circling round the tree almost
caused him an'attack of vertigo.
Tho tree hung over tho garden wall,
against which stood a cabin from the
chimney of which roso a small thread of
smoke. As soon as Tringlo recovered
sufficiently to reconnoiter, he lost no time
in leaving his cramped position, and,
with the greatest prudence, leaped upoh
the wall despite the frantic barking and
leaping of the dog. Then, leaning npon
the broad edge ot the chimney, he heard
a woman's voice which, under the cir
cumstances, sounded really angelic.
Mons. Tringlo had never before im
agined that the descent through a chim
ney was such a rapid trip; but, With the
exception of a- few scratches upon his
nose and knees, he made the transit with
out accident, and landed in a bed of
ashes. •>
His advent was, however, greeted by
two shrieks of terror. The farmer and
his wife, awakened rudely from their
first slumber, uttered such screams at the I
sight of their diabolical looking visitor, I
emerging from the fire-place, that Trin- !
gle bounded across the room and down i
the stairs which Ml to the garden. But,
as the dbg still continued to bark on the
outside of the wall, Tringle, in order to
throw him off the track, went through a
little gate, and after crossing the fields on
a run found himself in the very heart of
the hamlet, where he stopped to recover
his breath.
cr-AiTf-ft IX.
Profound silence and darkness reigned
throughout the place, except in one little
hut through tho blinds of which filtered
a feeble light. Tlie outer door, which
facet l the street, stood ajar. TT i agio mado
bold enough to enter, and the first thing
which met his eye was a roaring fire.
"At last!" he cried, us he quickly ap-
E reached the darting flumes for which he
ad been seeking to dry his sulking gar
ments.
"Is that you, Pierre?" asked a feeble
voice from one cornor of tho room.
Tringlo turned his head and perceived
only a largo bed hung with heavy dark
curtains.
"Pierro, is that you?" repeated tho
voice still moro faintly than before.
Tringle seemed transformed Into a
statue. Seated on a low chair before tho
fire-place, ho saw with ecstasy the mois
ture of his garments rising in steamy
clouds under the cheerful blaze of a crack
ling log-fire. A dim light pervaded tho
room, proceeding from a little lamp in
which tlie oil was nearly exhausted.
"Pierre," resumed tho voice, "listen to
me! I have committed many a crime in
my life; do not imitate me, my son!"
Tringle pricked up his ears and began
to question the propriety of listening to
such confidences; but his costumo Was
but half dried, and a few minutes more
would enable him to depart in compara
tive comfort from this strange dwelling.
So, stilling his compunction, ho continued
to avail himself of the vivifying warmth,
whito tho voieo went on in a thrilling
whisper:,
"Pierre, I hnvo ruined many a fainilv.
After my death, look after the people who
have given me their notes; cancel tho
mortgages without demanding the pay
ment Of the sums due; it would be ill
gotten gains—it would burn you, atT it
now burns my guilty breast!"
Then Tringlo remembered that there
lived in the hamlet a usurer who had
amassed a fortune by oppressing the poor.
"Pierre," cried tho dying man, "human
justice was never ablo to overtake me, but
that of the Lord overwhelms me now!
My strength is going fast. Quick! Pierre,
v drink!"
Tringlo hositated about making known
his presence; but tho voice still en
treated :
. "Pierro! a drink!"
Taking up the smoking lamp and going
toward tho beel, Tringle perceived ou tho
little table a small vial und a glass. Ho
poured out a few drops of tho tonic, which
proved to bo a mixture of wine and quin
quina, and found the odor so appetizing
that ho did not scruple to tasto the liquid.
Intending, however, to leave enough for
the penitent usurer.
Hardly had he touched his lips to the
mouth of tho bottle when the door opened,
admitting the priest, the lawyer, and the
neighbors whom Pierre hud informed of
his father's approaching death.
Tringle dropped the bottle in affright,
and the new-comers each uttered a cry of
terror, believing themselves in the pres
ence of Satan himself, who had, no doubt,
profited by tho lonely condition of tlio
dying man to take immediate possession
of his soul.
" Vade retro."' shouted the curate, dash
ing the holy water into his luce; but
Tringlo did not wait for this abjuration.
With one bound ho passed the notary,.
who tried to give him a blow of the
leather bag which contained tho testi
nientary papers.
Tho son was too overctfnio With grief to
act; but tho neighbors set out ln pursuit
of tho fleeing devil, who, thanks to the
thorough warming which he had obtained,
had somewhat recovered his strength,
else ho could not have escaped tho fury of
tho peasants.
At about a gun-shot's distance from tho
hamlet was a little wooded hill over-look
ing tho road. Tringle pot forth all his
remaining strength to reach it, think
ing it would be an impregnable fortress
in which to elude his enemies. After
filling his lungs to their utmost capacity,
he lengthened his pace and plunged into
the woods, regardless of the thorns und
bromides which guarded tho entrance.
while nearer and nearer on the hard road
sounded the hob-nallod shoes of the
peasants.
Panting llko a deer pursued by the
hounds, Tringle sped through the woods,
trembling at the murder, .us cries which
reached his ears from all sides. At length,
oomingtc^apond of dark-looking water
covered-with long sword-grass and pond-
ho jumped in, at tho risk of-being
drowned.
I CtIAPTKU £.
Cowering In thenx-css-bf ail bid Willow
Which overhung the pontl, Tringle, shiv
£ringaWith<old and^faar,-declared to him
self that he only escaped bne danger to
Tali into oitbther. A new element, water,
hud conspired with .its terrible colleague,
rthe air, to prosecute him. An attack of
pleurisy was the very least that he might
expect from such exposure.
Lloweveh as soon as the irate country
folk wero at a safe distance he crawled out
of his muddy hiding-place, and, having
wiped off his slimy garments as best lie
could with tlie leaves of the pond-lilies,
once more resumt'd his course through
the briars and brambles. Fur iv tho dis
tance there gleamed through tho trees a
faint light indicating the edgo of the
wood, and after a final effort he found
himself in an open field, where a herd of
cattle, browsing on the scanty grass,
looked at him with wondering eyes.
A flock of sheep was grazing peacefully
around a hut which to poor Tringle
seemed, at that moment, a kingly place.
The door was open, and as the herdsman
had probably gonorfnt, Tringlo did not
hesitate to cross the meadow to roach the
inviting shelter. The oxen, with their
usual pacific disposition, movod slowly,
away and watched with gentlo eyes thfe
obtrusive devil, which, from their point
of view, must havo appeared utraugciy
fantastic
Suddenly a loud bellowing broke upon
the unlucky Tringle. He hud reckoned
without the bull, which, excited by the
flaring red of the costume de diable, came
toward him with evidently hostile Inten
tions. A cold perspiration started on tho
body of tho terrified masker, who stood
rooted to the spot. The most savage heart
may be softened, but not an enraged bull.
He advanced rapidly, his tail iv air, his
eyes inilamed, und bellowing forth a war
cry moro terrible than that of a savage
about to scalp a victim.
Flight was out of the question'! Tringle
wns surrounded on all sides by tho cattle,
which seemed to await the combat and to
glory in the triumph of their chief. At
tlio first lunge tho infuriated beast made
toward his intended victim he missed
him, for Tringle, notwithstanding his
terror, observed that tho ferocious brute
lowcrod his head for the purpose of run
ning him through tho breast, and as ho
came thundering toward him, managed to
step aside. Then began a wiltl chase
around tho circle of cattle, when Tringle,
finding no point of defense, und pursued
tco closely by the bull, had presence of
mind enough to seize him by the horr.s,
and at the very moment he lowered his
head to disembowel his enemy, to leap
upon his back.
Tho astonished beast gave such a bellow
of rage tlii.it the cattle dVsw back to allow
tho king of the herd full play for his
wrath- Then the animal leaped and
reared like a vicious horse which seeks to
unseat his rider. But Tringle was cling
ing to the horns as if screwed to them,
and although bruised by the violence of
the shocks, he resisted all the efforts of
the ferocious beast to throw him from his
neck. Then, with one final cry of rage
which attracted the attention of the herds
man, tho bull sniffed the air, whirled
quickly around, and excited by the shouts
of the herdsman who cried, "Ha.' Fro
vient."' the animal set ofl" on a wild gal
lop, stopping for neither ditch nor bar.
Thus he traversed the hamlet, already
greutiy excited by tlie previous apparition
of Tringle in his costume diaboliquc. It
was n#w the hour at which tho iieasants
repaired to tho fields,
''The devil! There's the devil!" cried
they all, men and women, old und young.
But the bull kept on galloping.
Presently Tringle heard the alarm bell
of the hamlet; to this bell responded
that of the neighboring village, and tlie
inhabitants—supposing that a fire had
broken out in the vicinity—were soon
running about in all directions.
With anxious eyes they sc&nneo th
horizon, but saw nothing but a horsema*
afar oil", coming at full s]ieed ;md bripgini
no doubt news of the conflagration; ba
if their eyes opened wide, their boon
speedily closed, when the peasants recog
nized in him whom they supposed to bi
a messengor, a devil astride a mad bull!
And as the alarm bell redoubled it"
Warning voice, the bells of all the envi
rons which usually answered to the shop
herds' tuneful lays, echoed the sinistoi
sounds, till the whole air was full of criei
of distress.
But Tringle was not just then concern,
mg himself with the resounding echoes
Mounted on his redoubtable steed h,
traversed hill and valley, river and plain,
while ever and anon tho enraged beast
stoppetl short, lashed the air with his tail
blew forth clouds of vapor from his di
lated nostrils, and resuming his mad ca.
reor across tho country he passed like til
wind through ancient and historical vfl<
luges—through pasture lands and vine
yards—but he hud something else to thin],
of than antiquities, harvests or ruby vino
All his attention was centered upon ih«
horns of the bull, which ho clasped eon«
vulsively, never suspecting that he win
leaving behind him in all the canton i
legend which would be heard with bated
breath by coming generations.
Moro than ono weird legend owes iv
origin to less positive facts. This tirm
the devil was really seen by hundreds ol
individuals who could testify to the cos.
tume, the horns and the furious rac«
across fields, meadows, brooks and rivers,
tho Devil ami his steed stopping ncithei
for sticks nor stones, for tocsin nor wild
ballooSa
CHAPTER' XI.
The day after Mons. Tringle carrier! out
his iinfortunate notion ol dressing as a
devil, there was considerable excitement
in the town of Ilettes.
Therese arose* curly in the morning tq
relate to her master the frightful vision oi
tho preceding night* After rapping dis
creetly and receiving nt) reply-, tho old
housekeeper opened the door and ran
away affrighted upon perceiving that tha
bed had not been disturbed. In terror she
hastened to recount the adventure to the
•servants ofTire-Lire street, who in turn
circulated the remarkable story in Chat-
Bossu street. The news spread rapidly
through Bclles-Femmes square, from
which it was carried to Petit Credo street
In this way the tale was repeated through
out the town, and everyone was talking
of Tringle's ill-timed Visit to the Brou
family, as well as his subsequent disap
pearance.
What could, havo becomo of Mons.
Tringlo? Such was the universal finery,
while all this timo tho poor bachelor,
clinging in desperation to his dreadful
foe, was spreading terror among the
country people. Somo pessimistic indi
viduals were of the opinion that, cha
grined at his ridiculous blunder, Tringle
had perhaps done himself some bodily
harm; but his whole life decried any such
probability.
However, so much damage had been
done throughout the town Tho previous
night that the authorities assembled at the
sub-Prefect's to open an investigation.
The inhabitants, terrified by Therese's
stories, buried their silverware in their
cellars, for it seemed certain that a ma
levolent spirit had taken possession ol
Tringle and had left in his wake innumer
able traces of his diabolical character. •
The committee, composed of tho Police
Judge, the Just ice of tho Peace, the Mayor
and tho sub-Prefect, proclaimed to the
beating of a drum, that all citizens should
lock their doors at nightfall, pending a
convocation of the National Guard on the
morrow.
As for Chabro,thoper;'«^iu'cr, he grieved
far more over the loss of his cherished cos
tume than over the mysterious disappear
ance of Mons. Tringle. Mournfully seated
in his shop and gazing ruefully at the
vials of Macassar and antique oil which
the rays of a smoky lamp flecked with
sparks of light, ho grew indignant over
the mirth of tho gamnis who had assem
bled before the wonderful show-window
whore were displayed pasteboard masks of
grotesque shapes.
Tho neighbors, gathering around him,
endeavored to console the sorrowing wig
maker, who, in a quavering voice, was
lamenting his loss.
"One should always be on his guard in
business. Mons. Tringle has not even
left mo a deposit! Who will pay for my
costume'?" he was saying dejectedly,
when tho panes of the show-window lle\v
into b thousand pieces and a sort of cy
clone rushed into tho shop overturning
lamp, essences, jars of pomade, and hair
dyes, while, without a hundred voices
were shouting:
"Stop him! Stop Mm!"
Thou a crowd of peasants rushed into
therffehhp in pureuiUof the bull, which,
crazed by blows of their pitchforks, had
galloped iiito the town and brought, back
to his own neighborhood the bruised aud
bleeding Tringle, upon whom there re
mained hardly a vestige of tho famous
costume dc-diable. '•
The crowd kept on increasing without
comprehending what had taken place.
Somo thought the shop had been over
turned by tin earthquake; others, hearing
tho drum-beating of the firemen, sup
posed that a conflagration was threaten
ing the destruction of the town. Soon a
bright light appeared at the end of the
street. The firemen were coming, carry
ing torches, and followed by crowds of
frightened people. Then the neighbors
opened their windows and groaned sym
puthizinglv:
"Alas! chabre's shop is demolished!" -
Tho gamins, wild with delight, aaCk
through the streets screaming: "Fire! *
Fire!"' and the town of Ilettes, ordinarily
so quiet, seemed a prey to tire and pillage.
It required the interference of the authori
ties to isolate tho wig-maker's shop and
restore order.
Then, by tho light of tho torches thoy
discovered, hidden under the counter,
poor Tringle, who no longer resembled a
human being. His face black with soot,
his costumo in tatters, one horn hanging
dejectedly—lie was a picture of distress as
lit cried. "Mercy 1 mercy!" But the bull,
recognizing the voice of his obstinate
rider, replied with a prolonged bellow, as
if *o say: "No quarter!"
At that moment the Justiceof the Peace
came in, and Tringlc—whom the peasants
could not bclievo to be human—escaped
from them, crying:
"Sttvc me, monsieur! I am not the
devil; lam Tringle!"
The authorities, although still some
what suspicions, ordered him to be
brought before Therese, who, alter con
siderable hesitation, identified her master.
But even after his identity was proved and
ho was allowed to return to his home, his
troubles were not ended, for wieh gfeat
remorse did he behold pass before him,
ono by one, the landlords, shopkeepers
and public officers, whose property he
had damaged in his mad frolic of the pre
ceding night.
Tringle received his just chastisement.
When lie had sufficiently recovered to re
sume his formes tranquil existence, he
was obliged to indemnify tho owner of
the bull for having foundered it, while
claim alter claim poured in from tlie peas
ants whoso property had been injured in
that eventful ride.
Finally Chabre sent In his bill for re
placing the costume de (liable, tlie pay
ment of which enabled him to furnish his
shop anew, while it nearly crazed poor
Tringle, who saw in tho accursed costume
the cause of all his misfortunes, not tlie
least of which was,the loss of Mile. Brou
and her coveted income of six thousand
francs.
An Exclusive Virginian.
A lady called at one of our banks and
presented a check which she wished
cashed. As she was a perfect stranger to
the paying teller, lie said very politely:
"Madam, you will have to bring some
ono to introduce you before we can cash
this check."
Drawing herself up quite haughtily,
she said, frcezingly:
"But I do not want to know you, sir!"
Richmond Dispatch.
The United States Bank.
The Bunk of tho United States was in
stituted in 17'Jl, and Its charter expired in
Mil. The second United Suites Bank was
chartered in ISKi, and went out of exist
ence on the expiration of its privileges in
1838. Th... Democrats Were opposed to the
bank, believing that Congress, under tiie
Constitution, had no right to endow any
financial institution with such preroga
tives.
Nearly one-half of the area of tho prov
ince of Utretcht, Holland, is under grass.

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