Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/105

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We continued our walk among the flower-beds, through the narrow paths where pretty corollas, blue, yellow, and red, were swaying in the breeze. And, as he looked at the flowers, it seemed to me that the captain's belly gave little starts of joy. His tongue passed over his chapped lips with a slight smack.

He said to me further:

"And I am going to confess to you. There are no insects, no birds, no earth-worms that I have not eaten. I have eaten skunks and snakes, rats and crickets and caterpillars. I have eaten everything. It is well known in the neighborhood. When they find a beast, dead or alive, a beast unknown to anybody, they say to themselves: 'I must take it to Captain Mauger.' They bring it to me, and I eat it. In winter especially, when it is very cold, unknown birds pass this way, coming from America, or from a greater distance perhaps. They bring them to me, and I eat them. I will bet that there is not a man in the world who has eaten as many things as I have. I eat everything."

The walk over, we returned to sit down under the acacia. And I was getting ready to leave, when the captain cried:

"Oh! I must show you something curious,—something that you have never seen, I am sure."

And he called in a loud voice:

"Kléber! Kléber!"