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2017年1月12日 (木)

Bordenave's round back

"Well now," continued the portress when she had served the supers, "is it the little dark chap out there you want?"

"No, no; don't be silly!" said Simonne. "It's the lanky one by the side of the stove. Your cat's sniffing at his trouser legs!"

And with that she carried La Faloise off into the lobby, while the other gentlemen once more resigned themselves to their fate and to semisuffocation and the masqueraders drank on the stairs and indulged in rough horseplay and guttural drunken jests.

On the stage above Bordenave was wild with the sceneshifters, who seemed never to have done changing scenes. They appeared to be acting of set purpose--the prince would certainly have some set piece or other tumbling on his head.

"Up with it! Up with it!" shouted the foreman.

At length the canvas at the back of the stage was raised into position, and the stage was clear. Mignon, who had kept his eye on Fauchery, seized this opportunity in order to start his pummeling matches again. He hugged him in his long arms and cried:

"Oh, take care! That mast just missed crushing you!"

And he carried him off and shook him before setting him down again. In view of the sceneshifters' exaggerated mirth, Fauchery grew white. His lips trembled, and he was ready to flare up in anger while Mignon, shamming good nature, was clapping him on the shoulder with such affectionate violence as nearly to pulverize him.

"I value your health, I do!" he kept repeating. "Egad! I should be in a pretty pickle if anything serious happened to you!"

But just then a whisper ran through their midst: "The prince! The prince! And everybody turned and looked at the little door which opened out of the main body of the house. At first nothing was visible save and beefy neck, which bobbed down and arched up in a series of obsequious obeisances. Then the prince made his appearance. Largely and strongly built, light of beard and rosy of hue, he was not lacking in the kind of distinction peculiar to a sturdy man of pleasure, the square contours of whose limbs are clearly defined by the irreproachable cut of a frock coat. Behind him walked Count Muffat and the Marquis de Chouard, but this particular corner of the theater being dark, the group were lost to view amid huge moving shadows.

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