Samuel Brohl and Company eBook

Victor Cherbuliez
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 218 pages of information about Samuel Brohl and Company.

“Ah!  I beg of you to excuse me from recounting to you the worst employed years of my life.  I am my father’s own son.  He dreamed of cutting through an isthmus, I of inventing a gun.  I spent four years of my life in fabricating it, and the first time it was used it burst.”

And thereupon he plunged into a somewhat humorous description of his invention, his hopes, his golden dreams, his disappointments, and his chagrin.  “The only admirable thing in the whole affair,” he concluded, “and something that I believe never has happened to any other inventor, is that I am cured entirely of my chimera; I defy it to take possession of me again.  I propose to put myself under discipline in order to expiate my extravagance.  So soon as my cure is entirely finished I will set out for Paris, where I will do penance.”

“What kind of penance?” asked M. Moriaz.  “Paris is not a hermitage.”

“Nor is it my intention to live there as a hermit,” was the reply, given with perfect simplicity.  “I go to give lessons in music and in the languages.”

“Indeed!” exclaimed M. Moriaz.  “Do you see no other career open to you, my dear count?”

“I am no longer a count,” he replied, with an heroic smile.  “Counts do not run about giving private lessons.”  And a strange light flashed in his eyes as he spoke.  “I shall run about giving private lessons until I hear anew the voice that spoke to me in California.  It will find me ever ready; my reply will be:  ’I belong to thee; dispose of me at thy pleasure.’  Ah! this chimera is one that I never will renounce!”

Then suddenly he started as one just awakening from a dream; he drew his hand over his brow, looked confusedly around him, and said:  “Grand Dieu! here I have been talking to you of myself for two hours!  It is the most stupid way of passing one’s time, and I promise you it shall not happen again.”

With these words he rose, took up his hat, and left.

M. Moriaz paced the floor for some moments, his hands behind his back; presently he said:  “This diable of a man has strangely moved me.  One thing alone spoils his story for me—­that is the gun.  A man who once has drunk will drink again; one who has invented will invent again.  No man in the world ever remained satisfied with his first gun.”

“I beg of you, monsieur,” cried Mlle. Moiseney, “could you not speak to the Minister of War about adopting the Larinski musket?”

“Are you your country’s enemy?” he asked.  “Do you wish its destruction?  Have you sworn that after Alsace we must lose Champagne?”

“I am perfectly sure,” she replied, mounting on her high horse, “that the Larinski musket is a chef-d’oeuvre, and I would pledge my life that he who invented it is a man of genius.”

“If you would pledge your word of honour to that, mademoiselle,” he replied, making her a profound bow, “you may well feel assured that the French Government would not hesitate a moment.”

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Samuel Brohl and Company from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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