P and down the town went Jérôme Crainquebille, costermonger, pushing his barrow before him and crying: "Cabbages! Turnips! Carrots!" When he had leeks he cried: "Asparagus!" For leeks are the asparagus of the poor. Now it happened that on October 20, at noon, as he was going down the Rue Montmartre, there came out of her shop the shoemaker's wife, Madame Bayard. She went up to Crainquebille’s barrow and scornfully taking up a bundle of leeks, she said:
"I don’t think much of your leeks. What do you want a bundle?"
“Sevenpence halfpenny, mum, and the best in the market!"
"Sevenpence halfpenny for three wretched leeks?"
And disdainfully she cast the leeks back into the barrow.