Page:Crainquebille, Putois, Riquet and other profitable tales, 1915.djvu/117
"Look. … What did appear to me unusual was to see Monsieur Malorey's tie on the windowsill. Overcome by the heat, the Dean had unwound the black cravat that three times encircled his neck. And the long piece of black silk hung from side to side out of the open window. I was seized with an uncontrollable desire to take it. I crept softly up to the wall of the house, I stretched my arm towards the tie, I pulled it; nothing stirred in the study; I pulled it again; there it was in my hand; I went and hid it in one of the large blue pots in the garden."
"It was not a very brilliant joke, Lucien."
"No. .. I hid it in one of the large blue pots and I took care to cover it with leaves and moss. Monsieur Malorey continued for some time at work in the study. I watched his motionless back and the long white hair flowing over the collar of his frock-coat. Then the servant called me to lunch. As I entered the dining-room the most unexpected sight met my gaze. Between our father and mother I saw Monsieur Malorey grave, calm, but without his necktie. He had all his usual dignity. He was even august. But he was not wearing his tie. This filled me with surprise. I knew he could not be wearing it, since it was in the blue pot. And yet I was prodigiously astonished to see him without it.