Chantecler eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 104 pages of information about Chantecler.

BRIFFAUT She leaves off laying and hatching eggs.  Nature then gives her back her purple and her gold, and the pheasant-hen proud and magnificent Amazon, preferring to put on her back blue, green, yellow, all the colours of the prism, rather than under a sober grey wing to shelter a brood of young pheasants, flies freely forth—­Light-mindedly she sheds the virtues of her sex, and having done it—­sees life! [He sketches with his paw a slightly disrespectful gesture.]

CHANTECLER
[Dryly.] Pray, what do you know about it?

BRIFFAUT
[Astonished.] Is he annoyed?

PATOU
[Aside.] Already!

CHANTECLER
In short, the pheasant your master missed—­

BRIFFAUT
Was a she!—­[He stops and scents the air.] Oh but!—­

PATOU
[Quickly, showing his dish.] You know, it’s my dinner you smell!

BRIFFAUT
It smells very unusually good.

CHANTECLER
[Aside.] I don’t like that way his nose has of twitching.

BRIFFAUT
[Starting upon another story.] Fancy such an instance as the following—­

THE BLACKBIRD
Holy Smoke!  Here comes another!—­Oh, I say, hire a hall!

[A distant whistle is heard.]

CHANTECLER
[Quickly.] You are whistled for!

BRIFFAUT
The deuce!  Good evening! [Disappears.]

PATOU
Good evening.

CHANTECLER
Gone, at last!

BLACKBIRD
[Calling.] Briffaut!

CHANTECLER
Great Glory, what are you doing?

THE BLACKBIRD
[Calling.] I have something to tell you!

BRIFFAUT
[His head reappears above the wall.] Well—?

THE BLACKBIRD
Look out, Briffaut!

CHANTECLER
[Low to the BLACKBIRD.] Do you make sport of our fears?

THE BLACKBIRD
You are losing something!

BRIFFAUT
What?

THE BLACKBIRD
Time!

BRIFFAUT
[Disappearing with a snort of fury.] Wow!

SCENE SIXTH

CHANTECLER, THE BLACKBIRD, PATOU, THE PHEASANT-HEN

CHANTECLER [After a moment, to the BLACKBIRD who from his cage, which he has returned, can see off over the wall.] Is he gone?

THE BLACKBIRD
He is nearly out of sight!

CHANTECLER
[Going toward PATOU’S kennel.] Madam, come forth!

THE PHEASANT-HEN [Appearing at the threshold of the kennel.] Well?—­A rebellious, self-freed slave I am—­even as that dog was saying!  But of great lineage, and proud as I am free—­A pheasant of the woods!

THE BLACKBIRD
Whew!  We hate ourself, don’t we!

THE PHEASANT-HEN
In the forest where I live there comes a-poaching—­

CHANTECLER
That madman who would have given to vile lead a jewel for setting!

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
Chantecler from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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