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AT this dead time, when everybody is
making a tour somewhere, an idle remembrance
of an idle incident, in an old tour,
may not be out of season.

About fourteen years ago, a wedding tour
which had been rather brilliantly inaugurated
with four greys, two postilions in bright blue
jackets, and the usual accompaniment of
white satin favours, terminated in a manner
which, considering the difference of style,
might almost be called ignominious. We
had taken Amiens on our way home from
Paris, and had proceeded thence to Abbeville,
where, having passed the night, and
soon exhausted the wonders of the town on
the following morning, we began to look
about us for the means of reaching Boulogne.
To wait until midnight for the Diligence from
Paris, on the chance of obtaining two places,
was out of the question, and, in all probability,
would have answered no purpose, as
it was generally booked full all the way
through. To post was not desirable with
finances somewhat exhaustedsuch things
will happen on wedding tours when Paris
is included in themand there remained
only the option of proceeding by whatever
cheap conveyance we might manage to pick

Assured on inquiry that we should be certain
to find some conveyance, we set out on a
voyage of discovery, trying the market-place
first, then the little square in front of the old
church of St. Wolfram, then certain Remises
which promised much but performed nothing,
till with our patience nearly exhausted we
were informed at last, that one Monsieur
Jerome, if he could be found, was the man
for our purpose: he being the proprietor of a
vehicle with which he traversed the country
in all directions.

The person who gave us this information,
an idler in a blouse and cotton nightcap,
added to his civility by conducting us down
a very narrow, dirty lane to the residence of
Monsieur Jerome, whoof coursewas not
at home.

"But it's very extraordinary," said his
wife, desisting for a moment from her occupation
of scraping and cutting up carrots for
her pot au feu. " But it's very extraordinary.
Only a little quarter of au hour ago, he was
sitting on that chair!"

If Monsieur Jerome had occupied the
chair unexpectedly, like Banquo's ghost, I
could have understood his wife's cause for
wonderment; but as he was the master of
the house, it seemed only a natural thing that
he should sit down in it; equally natural
that he should no longer be there if he felt a
desire to go out.

The friend in the blouse suggested the
possibility of unearthing Monsieur Jerome
at a neighbouring house of entertainment,
known as the Good Sportsman.

It was very singular that idea had never
come into her head. Yes, it was possible!
Would monsieur and madame object to wait
one single instant, while her husband was
sent for? Monsieur Pierre, that was the
gentleman in the blouse, would run and call
him. He was an old friend.

Monsieur Pierre, with an eye perhaps to
the future, in which there loomed a petit
verre, was all alacrity. He merely requested
me to be calm, and straightway disappeared.

In the mean time monsieur and madame
would take seats, such as they were. It was
a poor place, that was not a difficult thing to
see, but what would you have? One must
live where one could; rents were high; and
those people (meaning the landlord) never
waited for their money, it must be ready in
the hand when called for. She had three
childrenthe eldest a girl, who would soon
be old enough to do something for herself--
she was now at school, but was next month to
take her first sacrament; the other two, both
boys, had lately had the measles, and were
staying, for the sake of change of air, at their
grandmother's, near the sea; it was said that
sea-air was good for children-

The family history was cut short by a
clattering of sabots in the lane, and, at the
sound, Madame Jerome rushed out, without
relinquishing either knife or carrot, and cried
out at the top of her voice, for her husband
to make haste. A gentleman and lady desired
to speak to him. Already a whole hour had
they been waiting!

This hyperbolical declaration had scarcely
been uttered, before Monsieur Jerome stood
on his own threshold.

Like the friend who seemed familiar with