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Mlle. Fouchette A Novel of French Life   By: (1843-1924)

Mlle. Fouchette A Novel of French Life by Charles Theodore Murray

First Page:

Transcriber's Note: Inconsistent hyphenation in the original document has been preserved. Obvious typographical errors have been corrected. For a complete list, please see the end of this document.

MLLE. FOUCHETTE

THIRD EDITION

[Illustration: FOUCHETTE]

MLLE. FOUCHETTE

BY

CHARLES THEODORE MURRAY

ILLUSTRATED BY W.H. RICHARDSON E. BENSON KENNEDY & FRANCIS DAY

[Illustration]

PHILADELPHIA & LONDON J.B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY MCMII

COPYRIGHT, 1902 BY CHARLES THEODORE MURRAY

All rights reserved

Published March, 1902

Printed by J. B Lippincott Company, Philadelphia, U.S.A.

TO

MR. R.F. ("TODY") HAMILTON

A CHARMING GENTLEMAN, DELIGHTFUL TRAVELLING COMPANION, PRACTICAL PHILOSOPHER, AND RELIABLE FRIEND

ILLUSTRATIONS

FOUCHETTE Frontispiece

HIS STILL UNCONSCIOUS BURDEN Page 136

SHE SEIZED JEAN BY THE ARM " 182

IT WAS A CRITICAL MOMENT " 383

MLLE. FOUCHETTE

CHAPTER I

"Get along, you little beast!"

Madame Podvin accompanied her admonition with a vigorous blow from her heavy hand.

"Out, I say!"

Thump.

"You lazy caniche!"

Thump.

"You get no breakfast here this morning!"

Thump.

"Out with you!"

Thump.

In the mean time the unhappy object of these objurgations and blows had been rapidly propelled towards the open door, and was with a final thump knocked into the street.

A stray dog? Oh, no; a dog is never abused in this way in Paris. It would probably cause a riot.

It was only a wee bit of a child, dirty, clothed in rags, with tangled blonde hair that had never, apparently, seen a comb, and whose little bare feet and thin ankles were incrusted with the dried filth of the gutters.

Being only a child, the few neighbors who were abroad at that early hour merely grinned at her as she picked herself up and limped away without a cry or a word.

"She's a tough one," muttered a witness.

"She's got to be mighty tough to stand the Podvin," responded another.

In the rapidly increasing distance the child seemed to justify these remarks; for she began to step out nimbly towards the town of Charenton without wasting time over her grievances.

"All the same, I'm hungry," she said to herself, "and the streets of Charenton will be mighty poor picking half an hour hence."

She paused presently to examine a pile of garbage in front of a house. But the dogs had been there before her, there was nothing to eat there.

These piles of garbage awaited the tour of the carts; they began to appear at an early hour in the morning, and within an hour had been picked over by rag pickers, dogs, and vagrants until absolutely nothing was left that could be by any possibility utilized by these early investigators. Here and there two or three dogs contested the spoils of a promising pile, to separate with watchful amity to gnaw individual bones.

As it was a principal highway from the Porte de Charenton to the town, the piles of refuse had been pretty thoroughly overhauled by the dogs and human scum that infested the barrier.

Finally, the girl stopped as a stout woman appeared at a grille with a paper of kitchen refuse which she was about to throw into the street.

They looked at each other steadily, the child with eager, hungry eyes; the woman with resentment.

"There is nothing here for you," rasped the latter, retaining her hold upon the folded parcel as she advanced to the curb and glanced up and down the street... Continue reading book >>




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