"No, my child, other shoes."
And with a slender tongue he licked his lips, after the manner of cats.
I did not answer at once. This word shoes, reminding me of the coachman's salacious joke, had astounded me. Then that had a meaning? On a more pressing interrogation I finally answered, but in a voice somewhat hoarse and thick, as if I were, confessing a sin of gallantry:
"Yes, Monsieur, I have others."
"Highly, highly glazed?"
"Why, yes, Monsieur."
"Good, good! And of yellow leather?"
"I have none of that kind, Monsieur."
"You will have to have some; I will give you some."
"Thank you, Monsieur."
"Good, good! Be still!"
I was frightened, for dull gleams had just passed over his eyes, and drops of sweat were rolling down his forehead. Thinking that he was about to faint, I was on the point of shouting, of calling for help. But the crisis quieted down, and, after a few minutes, he continued in a calmer voice, though a little saliva still foamed at the corner of his lips.
"It is nothing. It is over. Understand me,