"We shall, monsieur, if you will help," he answered confidently. "I will be warrant for it we shall."
The thing had little of dignity in it, and I wonder now that I complied; but I have always shared with the King, my master, a taste for drolleries of the kind suggested; while nothing that I had as yet heard of this Grabot was of a nature to induce me to spare him. Seeing that La Font was tickled with the idea, and that the servants were a-grin, and the more eager to trick others as they had just been tricked themselves, I was tempted to consent.
After this, the preparations took not a minute. Philibert covered his fool's clothes with a cloak, and their table was drawn nearer to the fire, so as, with mine, to take up the whole hearth. La Trape fell into an attitude behind me; and the Breton, adopting a refinement suggested at the last moment, was sent out to intercept Grabot before he entered, and tell him that the inn was full, and that he had better pass on.
The knave did his business so well that Grabot, being just such a man as the stroller had described to us, the altercation on the threshold was of itself the most amusing thing in the world. "Who?" we heard a loud, coarse voice exclaim. "Who d'ye say are here, man?"
"The Mayor of Bottitort and the Mayors of Gol and St. Just," the servant repeated as if he noticed nothing amiss.
"That is a lie!" the new comer replied, with a snort of triumph, "and an impudent one. But you have got the wrong sow by the ear this time."
"Why, man," a third voice, somewhat nasal and rustical, struck in, "don't you know the Mayor of Bottitort?"
"I should," my Breton answered bluntly, and making, as we guessed, a stand before them. "For I am his servant, and he is this moment at his meat."
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