He waved them away.
With a huzza the accumulated crowd moved off. Chance carried them up the rue Royale; they sang a song; they came to Frowenfeld’s. It was an Americain establishment; that was against it. It was a gossiping place of Americain evening loungers; that was against it. It was a sorcerer’s den—(we are on an ascending scale); its proprietor had refused employment to some there present, had refused credit to others, was an impudent condemner of the most approved Creole sins, had been beaten over the head only the day before; all these were against it. But, worse still, the building was owned by the f.m.c., and unluckiest of all, Raoul stood in the door and some of his kinsmen in the crowd stopped to have a word with him. The crowd stopped. A nameless fellow in the throng—he was still singing—said: “Here’s the place,” and dropped two bricks through the glass of the show-window. Raoul, with a cry of retaliative rage, drew and lifted a pistol; but a kinsman jerked it from him and three others quickly pinioned him and bore him off struggling, pleased to get him away unhurt. In ten minutes, Frowenfeld’s was a broken-windowed, open-doored house, full of unrecognizable rubbish that had escaped the torch only through a chance rumor that the Governor’s police were coming, and the consequent stampede of the mob.
Joseph was sitting in M. Grandissime’s private office, in council with him and the ladies, and Aurora was just saying:
“Well, anny’ow, ‘Sieur Frowenfel’, ad laz you consen’!” and gathering her veil from her lap, when Raoul burst in, all sweat and rage.
“‘Sieur Frowenfel’, we ruin’! Ow pharmacie knock all in pieces! My pigshoe is los’!”
He dropped into a chair and burst into tears.
Shall we never learn to withhold our tears until we are sure of our trouble? Raoul little knew the joy in store for him. ’Polyte, it transpired the next day, had rushed in after the first volley of missiles, and while others were gleefully making off with jars of asafoetida and decanters of distilled water, lifted in his arms and bore away unharmed “Louisiana” firmly refusing to the last to enter the Union. It may not be premature to add that about four weeks later Honore Grandissime, upon Raoul’s announcement that he was “betrothed,” purchased this painting and presented it to a club of natural connoisseurs.
OVER THE NEW STORE
The accident of the ladies Nancanou making their new home over Frowenfeld’s drug-store occurred in the following rather amusing way. It chanced that the building was about completed at the time that the apothecary’s stock in trade was destroyed; Frowenfeld leased the lower floor. Honore Grandissime f.m.c. was the owner. He being concealed from his enemies, Joseph treated with that person’s inadequately remunerated employe. In those days,