Once thus Chrysler met Libergent driving Grandmoulin in a “buck-board,” while another person sat in the back seat.
“Chrysler! Chrysler!—Listen!” exclaimed the person in the back seat.
Chrysler recognized an Ottawa acquaintance.
“De Bleury! how do you do!”
De Bleury put his hand on the reins to stop the vehicle:
“Come up here, Chrysler, we go past the Manoir.”
“Thank you, I enjoy walking.”
“Come along, come along; we don’t hear excuses in the country. Come, Chrysler, the road is long.”
In order not to offend, Chrysler, in spite of his objection to the company, took the unoccupied place behind Grandmoulin.
With Libergent, Chrysler did not reap much in conversation. He was conciliatory in his solitary-like way, and had indulged for once in too much liquor.
“Right Hon’ble Premier,—Sec’ State.—Hon’ble Mr. Grandm’lin—all my fren’s. You know dose gen’lmen? All my fren’s. Da’s all. My fren’s goin’ make it all right, eh? I re’spect’ble ’nough.” The half-seas-confidential style.
Grandmoulin acknowledged the stranger but gravely, and was at once immutable—oppressed with thought for the country’s welfare! As he sat before Chrysler, and the latter felt the nearness of his broad shoulders and coarse black mass of hair, he could not but picture the man within sinking into littleness and self-contempt at the debased uses of his great talent.
Ross de Bleury, the hospitable passenger, was a character. A man of immense physical strength and abounding spirits, soundly and stoutly built, of medium height, brown hair, full eyes and large nostrils, and strong merry lips, always devising some ingenious adventure.
One of his schemes, a quarter joke, three-quarters half-serious, was to band together all persons in the Dominion bearing the Ross name into one Canadian clan, he to be chief! His own surname had first of all been simply Bleury, but energetic genealogical researches having discovered to him that the founder of his line in France was a Scotch adventurer, he made bold to resurrect the original name, and add to it what was already a “Charles Rene Marie-Auguste-Raoul-St. Cyr-de Bleury.”
Jest, quip and lively saying shortened his route to the doorway of the Circuit Court, and he insisted on Chrysler’s passing to his quarters upstairs. The court-room was stocked with dusty benches and tables, on and about which a small but noisy company were postured. One reckless fellow swinging an ale-mug was singing:—
“Tant qu’on le pourra,
On se damnera, larira!”
Two girls stood together near the door laughing brazen giggles.