Page:Crainquebille, Putois, Riquet and other profitable tales, 1915.djvu/35

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21
CRAINQUEBILLE

was also nationalist candidate for Les Vieilles Haudriettes. He continued:

“No, indeed, I do not esteem lightly the invaluable services unassumingly rendered, which the valiant people of Paris receive daily from the guardians of the peace. And had I beheld in Crainquebille, gentlemen, one who had insulted an ex-soldier, I should never have consented to represent him before you. My client is accused of having said: ‘Mort aux vaches!’ The meaning of such an expression is clear. If you consult Le Dictionnaire de la Langue Verte (slang) you will find: ‘Vachard a sluggard, an idler, one who stretches himself out lazily like a cow instead of working. Vache, one who sells himself to the police; spy.’ Mort aux vaches is an expression employed by certain people. But the question resolves itself into this: how did Crainquebille say it? And, further, did he say it at all? Permit me to doubt it, gentlemen.

“I do not suspect Constable Matra of any evil intention. But, as we have said, his calling is arduous. He is sometimes harassed, fatigued, overdone. In such conditions he may have suffered from an aural hallucination. And, when he comes and tells you, gentlemen, that Dr. David Matthieu,