A buxom wench and her mate step forward and perform a wild, sensuous combination of movements, a sort of negro can-can, like those dancing girls one sees in India, striving to express sentiments of love, jealousy, and passion by their pantomime, though these negroes are far less refined in their gestures. When these two are exhausted, others take their place, with very similar movements.
The more he laughed at De Gollyer, who laughed back at him, the more uncontrollable he became. Tears came to his eyes and trickled down his cheeks, washing away all illusions and self-deception, leaving only the joy of deliverance, acknowledged at last. All at once holding his sides, he found a little breath and cried combustibly: "A can-can!"
In another she is dancing the Can-can, and throwing her petticoats over her head, before King William, who is drinking champagne, seated on a sofa, while her husband is in a cage hung up to the wall. These scandalous caricatures have not even the merit of being funny, they are a reflection upon French chivalry, and on that of Trochu.
Dutch contemplates a plug of fresh tobacco. Then he resumes. This time a more intimate tale the story of his romance a weird, grotesque amour with a gaudy can-can obbligato. "Long ago," Dutch whispers; "yeh, I knew all the girls. I tattoned them all. And I live in this street for thirty years now. But nobody is interested any more in what used to be. How this street has become different!
"Well, the devil has a pleasant way with him, there's no denying it! Come and find a seat! The next will be one of the special dances a can-can or a Spanish dance. I'd like you to see it." "Who will dance it?" "Who? Oh, probably, if it's the can-can, half a dozen of the best-looking of those girls with the elaborate lingerie. They're paid to dance here. They're part of the show." "I see!"
With us, once you are married, you stick to your wife, and there is no talk about it, but goodness knows how it is with you. The husband is sitting all day long in a café, while his wife fills the house with Frenchmen, and sets to dancing the can-can with them." "That's not true!" Champoun protests, flaring up and unable to restrain himself.
Nothing in the world is so painful as to see a good man masquerading in the company of sinners. He may drink and blaspheme, he may robe himself in scarlet, and dance the can-can, but he is always virtuous. The mind of the moulin rouge is not his. Wickedness does not sit easily upon him. It looks like a coat that has been paid for." "Esmé, you are getting drunk!" "What makes you think so, Reggie?"
Here are sounds of soft Italian melodies; yonder, Spanish songs are sung, accompanied by the rattle of the castanets; but strongest of all, and predominating over the rest, the street-organ tunes of the moment, the exciting "Can-Can" music, which Orpheus never knew, and which was never heard by the "Belle Helene." Even the barrow was tempted to hop upon one of its wheels.
A "where are the snows of yesteryear" motif played on a can-can fife. Finally a modern photo in a folder, unyellowed. A smiling, wholesome faced girl. Here Dutch pauses in his game of solitaire and looks in silence. "My daughter," he says finally. "I sent her through college. Yeh, she's graduated now and has a fine job. I help her all I can. What? Is she tattooed?"
It even occurred to him that at a late hour Kitty herself might be seen there, dancing a can-can with Rainham, or singing songs with a riotous chorus. But in spite of this prospect, the notion was not sufficiently attractive.