Chicot the Jester
To the beautiful day had succeeded a beautiful evening, only, as the day had been cold,
the evening was still colder. It was one of those frosts which make the lights in the
windows of an hotel look doubly tempting. Chicot first entered the dining-room, and
looked around him, but not finding there the man he sought for, went familiarly down to
the kitchen. The master of the establishment was superintending a frying-pan full of
whitings. At the sound of Chicot's step he turned.
"Ah! it is you, monsieur," said he, "good evening, and a good appetite to you."
"Thanks for the wish, but you know I cannot bear to eat alone."
"If necessary, monsieur, I will sup with you."
"Thanks, my dear host, but though I know you to be an excellent companion, I seek for
some one else."
"Brother Gorenflot, perhaps?"
"Just so; has he begun supper?"
"No, not yet; but you must make haste nevertheless, for in five minutes he will have
"Monsieur!" cried Chicot, striking his head.
"Monsieur, it is Friday, and the beginning of Lent."
"Well, and what then?" said Chicot, who did not hold a high opinion of Gorenflot's
Boutromet shrugged his shoulders. "Decidedly, something must be wrong," said Chicot,
"five minutes for Gorenflot's supper! I am destined to see wonders to-day."
Chicot then advanced towards a small private room, pushed open the door, and saw
within the worthy monk, who was turning negligently on his plate a small portion of
spinach, which he tried to render more savory by the introduction into it of some cheese.
Brother Gorenflot was about thirty-eight years of age and five feet high. However, what
he wanted in height, he made up in breadth, measuring nearly three feet in diameter
from shoulder to shoulder, which, as everyone knows, is equal to nine feet of
circumference. Between these Herculean shoulders rose a neck of which the muscles