“I sole my pigshoe!”
The doctor could not help but laugh.
“Shades of the masters!”
“No; ‘Louizyanna rif-using to hantre de h-Union.’”
The doctor stood corrected.
The two walked across the deck, following the shadow of the swinging sail. The doctor lay down in a low-swung hammock, and Raoul sat upon the deck a la Turque.
“Come, come, Raoul, tell me, what is the news?”
“News? Oh, I donno. You ‘eard concernin’ the dool?”
“You don’t mean to say—”
“Agricola and Sylvestre?”
“W’at de dev’! No! Burr an’ ’Ammiltong; in Noo-Juzzy-las-June. Collonnel Burr, ’e—”
“Oh, fudge! yes. How is Frowenfeld?”
“’E’s well. Guess ’ow much I sole my pigshoe.”
“Well, how much?”
“Two ’ondred fifty.” He laid himself out at length, his elbow on the deck, his head in his hand. “I believe I’m sorry I sole ’er.”
“I don’t wonder. How’s Honore? Tell me what has happened. Remember, I’ve been away five months.”
“No; I am verrie glad dat I sole ’er. What? Ha! I should think so! If it have not had been fo’ dat I would not be married to-day. You think I would get married on dat sal’rie w’at Proffis-or Frowenfel’ was payin’ me? Twenty-five dolla’ de mont’? Docta Keene, no gen’leman h-ought to git married if ’e ‘ave not anny’ow fifty dolla’ de mont’! If I wasn’ a h-artiz I wouldn’ git married; I gie you my word!”
“Yes,” said the little doctor, “you are right. Now tell me the news.”
“Well, dat Cong-ress gone an’ make—”
“Raoul, stop. I know that Congress has divided the province into two territories; I know you Creoles think all your liberties are lost; I know the people are in a great stew because they are not allowed to elect their own officers and legislatures, and that in Opelousas and Attakapas they are as wild as their cattle about it—”
“We ‘ad two big mitting’ about it,” interrupted Raoul; “my bro’r-in-law speak at both of them!”
“Glad to hear it,” said Doctor Keene,—which was the truth. “Besides that, I know Laussat has gone to Martinique; that the Americains have a newspaper, and that cotton is two-bits a pound. Now what I want to know is, how are my friends? What has Honore done? What has Frowenfeld done? And Palmyre,—and Agricole? They hustled me away from here as if I had been caught trying to cut my throat. Tell me everything.”
And Raoul sank the artist and bridegroom in the historian, and told him.
“My cousin Honore,—well, you kin jus’ say ‘e bitray’ ’is ’ole fam’ly.”
“How so?” asked Doctor Keene, with a handkerchief over his face to shield his eyes from the sun.