My lord and spoil-sport.
The wife of Dagobert, having quitted the church, arrived at the corner of the Rue Brise-Miche, when she was accosted by the distributor of holy water; he came running out of breath, to beg her to return to Saint Mery’s, where the Abbe Dubois had yet something of importance to say to her.
The moment Frances turned to go back, a hackney-coach stopped in front of the house she inhabited. The coachman quitted his box to open the door.
“Driver,” said a stout woman dressed in black, who was seated in the carriage, and held a pug-dog upon her knees, “ask if Mrs. Frances Baudoin lives in this house.”
“Yes, ma’am,” said the coachman.
The reader will no doubt have recognized Mrs. Grivois, head waiting-woman to the Princess de Saint-Dizier, accompanied by My Lord, who exercised a real tyranny over his mistress. The dyer, whom we have already seen performing the duties of a porter, being questioned by the coachman as to the dwelling of Frances, came out of his workshop, and advanced gallantly to the coach-door, to inform Mrs. Grivois, that Frances Baudoin did in fact live in the house, but that she was at present from home.
The arms, hands, and part of the face of Father Loriot were now of a superb gold-color. The sight of this yellow personage singularly provoked My Lord, and at the moment the dyer rested his hand upon the edge of the coach-window, the cur began to yelp frightfully, and bit him in the wrist.
“Oh! gracious heaven!” cried Mrs. Grivois, in an agony, whilst Father Loriot, withdrew his hand with precipitation; “I hope there is nothing poisonous in the dye that you have about you—my dog is so delicate!”
So saying, she carefully wiped the pug-nose, spotted with yellow. Father Loriot, not at all satisfied with this speech, when he had expected to receive some apology from Mrs. Grivois on account of her dog’s behavior, said to her, as with difficulty he restrained his anger: “If you did not belong to the fair sex, which obliges me to respect you in the person of that wretched animal I would have the pleasure of taking him by the tail, and making him in one minute a dog of the brightest orange color, by plunging him into my cauldron, which is already on the fire.”
“Dye my pet yellow!” cried Mrs. Grivois, in great wrath, as she descended from the hackney-coach, clasping My Lord tenderly to her bosom, and surveying Father Loriot with a savage look.
“I told you, Mrs. Baudoin is not at home,” said the dyer, as he saw the pug-dog’s mistress advance in the direction of the dark staircase.
“Never mind; I will wait for her,” said Mrs. Grivois tartly. “On which story does she live?”
“Up four pair!” answered Father Loriot, returning abruptly to his shop. And he added to himself, with a chuckle at the anticipation: “I hope Father Dagobert’s big prowler will be in a bad humor, and give that villainous pug a shaking by the skin of his neck.”