Page:Memoirs of Vidocq, Volume 1.djvu/35

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pleases me. Now, if you are obedient it remains with yourself to be happy: from to day you must let your nails grow; your hair is already of a sufficient length; you are nearly naked, and a decoction of walnut-tree leaves will do the rest." I did not understand what Garnier meant, when he called my friend Paillasse and desired him to bring the tiger skin and club. Paillasse obeyed—"Now," said Garnier, "we will go through the performance. You are a young savage from the South Seas, and moreover a cannibal; you eat raw flesh, the sight of blood puts you in a fury, and when you are thirsty, you introduce into your mouth flints which you crack; you utter only broken and shrill sounds, you open your eyes widely, your motions are violent; you only move with leaps and bounds: finally, take for your model the ourang-outang who is in cage number one." During this lesson, a jar full of small stones quite round was placed at my feet, and near it a cock which was tired with having its legs tied together; Garnier took it, and offered it to me, saying "Gnaw away at this." I would not bite it; he threatened me. I rebelled, and demanded to be released; to which he relied by a dozen cuffs of the ear. But he did not get off scot-free: irritated at this usage, I seized a stake, and should assuredly have knocked the naturalist on the head, if the whole troop had not fallen on me, and thrust me out at the door with a shower of blows from the fist and kicks of the feet.

Some days afterwards, I was at the same public house with a showman and his wife who exhibited puppets in the open street. We made acquaintance, and I found that I had inspired them with some feelings of interest. The husband pitied me for having been condemned to what he termed the society of beasts. He compared me with Daniel in the lions' den. We may see that he was learned, and intended for something better than to play 'Punch.' At a later period he superintended a provincial theatrical company, and perhaps superintends it still. I shall conceal