The latter seemed as if stunned by the sudden change in Wallner's demeanor, and he looked in dismay at the audacious innkeeper who was standing close in front of him and staring at him with a laughing face. "What does this mean?" he asked at length, in a tremulous voice. "It means that we want to be Tyrolese again," shouted Anthony Wallner, exultingly.
He kept the house during many years, and was known in the neighborhood as "land'urd Bowers," the innkeeper of that period being generally addressed by the title of landlord. I do not know who succeeded him in his useful and important functions. The next tavern of which I have any knowledge was the one kept by Captain Jonathan Keep, during the latter part of the Revolution.
Beatty, the innkeeper, was at the door as they passed, and when she saw Pete approaching on the inside of the three, she said aloud meaning no mischief "Your bread and cheese and porter are ready, as usual, Capt'n." The man was killing her. To be his spoiled and adored wife, knowing she was unworthy of his love and tenderness, was not happiness it was grinding misery, bringing death into her soul.
It was panelled in oak and hung with arms, boars' heads, and other trophies. At the upper end of a long table, the one leaning forward from a chair at the head, the other from the bench at the side, lounged two men, whom I recognized instantly from the descriptions of the innkeeper as if from painted portraits. They were the Count de Lavardin and Captain Ferragant.
Thus does a wise peasantry console itself under adverse physical circumstances, and, by a startling democratic process, the defects of the majority decide the type of beauty. 'And where, said I, 'is monsieur? 'The master of the house is upstairs, she answered, 'making you a goad. Blessed be the man who invented goads! Blessed the innkeeper of Bouchet St.
"'Yes, monsieur; she died in childbirth some time after. "And, pointing to the courtyard where a thin, lame man was stirring up the manure, he added: "'That is her son. "I began to laugh: "'He is not handsome and does not look much like his mother. No doubt he looks like his father. "'That is very possible, replied the innkeeper; 'but we never knew whose child it was.
The woman, who proved to be the wife of the innkeeper at whose "hotel" I was sojourning, was shivering with the cold, and her wet garments were rapidly congealing in the keen frosty air. Her little girl was crying pitifully with the cold and fright. It was a question whether I should remain and finish off Bruin or hurry my companions homeward at a fast trot. I decided to adopt the latter course.
To divert his impatience, Montfanon bade the innkeeper point out to him whither they had carried Florent, and he ascended to the tiny room, where the doctor was dressing the wounded man's leg. "You see," said the latter, with a smile, "I shall have to limp a little for a month.... And Dorsenne?"
Do you wish a room? or rooms?" "Yes; we will have two; and let them be adjoining, if possible." "Certainly, madam; we can accommodate you in that and will be happy to do so." Then turning to the spectators, "Can you tell us our word, ladies and gentlemen?" he asked. "Innkeeper," was the prompt response from several voices. "Quite correct," he said.
At the end of about ten minutes the magistrate appeared, accompanied by his secretary, and immediately proceeded to a summary interrogation of the innkeeper; but, in the presence of Aunt Palmyra, it was impossible to do any serious work. This insupportable old woman could not make head or tail of the questions, and answered at random.