“All governments are more or less ungrateful.”
“Yes, but the Republicans are jealous of you. That class of person is always afraid of his superiors. They cannot endure the Services. Everything that has to do with the navy and the army is odious to them. They are afraid of you.”
“That is possible.”
“They are wretches; they are ruining the country. Don’t you wish to save Penguinia?
“In what way?”
“By sweeping away all the rascals of the Republic, all the Republicans.”
“What a proposal to make to me, dear lady!”
“It is what will certainly be done, if not by you, then by some one else. The Generalissimo, to mention him alone, is ready to throw all the ministers, deputies, and senators into the sea, and to recall Prince Crucho.”
“Oh, the rascal, the scoundrel,” exclaimed the Emiral.
“Do to him what he would do to you. The prince will know how to recognise your services, He will give you the Constable’s sword and a magnificent grant. I am commissioned, in the mean time, to hand you a pledge of his royal friendship.”
As she said these words she drew a green cockade from her bosom.
“What is that?” asked the Emiral.
“It is his colours which Crucho sends you.”
“Be good enough to take them back.”
“So that they may be offered to the Generalissimo who will accept them! . . . No, Emiral, let me place them on your glorious breast.”
Chatillon gently repelled the lady. But for some minutes he thought her extremely pretty, and he felt this impression still more when two bare arms and the rosy palms of two delicate hands touched him lightly. He yielded almost immediately. Olive was slow in fastening the ribbon. Then when it was done she made a low courtesy and saluted Chatillon with the title of Constable.
“I have been ambitious like my comrades,” answered the sailor, “I don’t hide it, and perhaps I am so still; but u on my word of honour, when I look at you, the only, desire I feel is for a cottage and a heart.”
She turned upon him the charming sapphire glances that flashed from under her eyelids.
“That is to be had also . . . what are you doing, Emiral?”
“I am looking for the heart.”
When she left the Admiralty, the Viscountess went immediately to the Reverend Father Agaric to give an account of her visit.
“You must go to him again, dear lady,” said that austere monk.
V. THE PRINCE DES BOSCENOS
Morning and evening the newspapers that had been bought by the Dracophils proclaimed Chatillon’s praises and hurled shame and opprobrium upon the Ministers of the Republic. Chatillon’s portrait was sold through the streets of Alca. Those young descendants of Remus who carry plaster figures on their heads, offered busts of Chatillon for sale upon the bridges.