Page:Crainquebille, Putois, Riquet and other profitable tales, 1915.djvu/24

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10
CRAINQUEBILLE

as a child. He knows naught save his official instructions.

"Don’t you understand when I tell you to move on?"

To Crainquebille’s mind his reason for standing still was too weighty for him not to consider it sufficient. Therefore, artlessly and simply he explained it:

"Good Lord! Don’t I tell you that I am waiting for my money."

Constable 64 merely replied:

"Do you want me to summons you? If you do you have only to say so."

At these words Crainquebille slowly shrugged his shoulders, looked sadly at the constable, and then raised his eyes to heaven, as if he would say:

"I call God to witness! Am I a law-breaker? Am I one to make light of the by-laws and ordinances which regulate my ambulatory calling? At five o’clock in the morning I was at the market. Since seven, pushing my barrow and wearing my hands to the bone, I have been crying: ‘Cabbages! Turnips! Carrots!’ I am turned sixty. I am worn out. And you ask me whether I have raised the black flag of rebellion. You are mocking me and your joking is cruel."