Page:Crainquebille, Putois, Riquet and other profitable tales, 1915.djvu/51

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37
CRAINQUEBILLE

ing, now turned away from him. Having reached the shoemaker’s, at the sign of l’Ange Gardien, the place where his adventures with justice had begun, he called:

"M’ame Bayard, M’ame Bayard, you owe me sevenpence halfpenny from last time."

But M’ame Bayard, who was sitting at her counter, did not deign to turn her head.

The whole of the Rue Montmartre was aware that Père Crainquebille had been in prison, and the whole of the Rue Montmartre gave up his acquaintance. The rumour of his conviction had reached the Faubourg and the noisy corner of the Rue Richer. There, about noon, he perceived Madame Laure, a kind and faithful customer, leaning over the barrow of another costermonger, young Martin. She was feeling a large cabbage. Her hair shone in the sunlight like masses of golden threads loosely twisted. And young Martin, a nobody, a good-for-nothing, was protesting with his hand on his heart that there were no finer vegetables than his. At this sight Crainquebille’s heart was rent. He pushed his barrow up to young Martin’s, and in a plaintive broken voice said to Madame Laure: "It’s not fair of you to forsake me."

As Madame Laure herself admitted, she was no