Page:Stories by Foreign Authors (French II).djvu/127

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

He knew best what wind had driven it upon the Ravens' Cliff. And then the little black imp sat upon the coop, and was scarcely on shore before he shook off the water like a poodle, and danced and screamed, so that it was awful to see him. But as he had been almost drowned, the country people called him 'Bauzec,' which means in the gentleman's language 'the drowned one.'"

"Judock, then, adopted him as a son?" asked I. "That is more than I should have believed of him."

"That was not the case either," replied Salaun, "but just the contrary. The boy hung upon the old man like a chain; hooked himself to him like a kitten. He could neither be shaken off nor driven away by blows, kicks, or hunger—he always returned. If Judock had flung him out at night, and driven him far away across the downs, believing that he would not find his way back; when morning came, there he was again cowering at the door. But you are not to suppose that gratitude or attachment had anything to do with this. On the contrary, from the very first he took to playing all manner of tricks upon the old man; and if he ever failed to get out of the way of blows with cat-like expertness, and chanced to be caught, which was rare, he would bite and scratch like a young wild beast. It really seemed as though he were an evil spirit, and had a hold over the old sinner's soul. At all