Page:Crainquebille, Putois, Riquet and other profitable tales, 1915.djvu/34

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
20
CRAINQUEBILLE

“What did he say?”

“He said, ‘Mort aux vaches!’”

Uproarious laughter arose from the audience.

“You may withdraw,” said the President hurriedly.

And he warned the public that if such unseemly demonstrations occurred again he would clear the court. Meanwhile, Counsel for the defence was haughtily fluttering the sleeves of his gown, and for the moment it was thought that Crainquebille would be acquitted.

Order having being restored, Maître Lemerle rose. He opened his pleading with a eulogy of policemen: “those unassuming servants of society who, in return for a trifling salary, endure fatigue and brave incessant danger with daily heroism. They were soldiers once, and soldiers they remain; soldiers, that word expresses everything.…”

From this consideration Maître Lemerle went on to descant eloquently on the military virtues. He was one of those, he said, who would not allow a finger to be laid on the army, on that national army, to which he was so proud to belong.

The President bowed. Maître Lemerle happened to be lieutenant in the Reserves. He