But the Mayor of Gol, a stout, big, placid man, looked at us doubtfully. "Well," he said, "I know these two; they are strolling mountebanks, honest knaves enough but always in some mischief."
"What, strolling clowns?" M. Grabot rejoined, his face falling.
"Ay, and you may depend upon it it is some joke of theirs," his friend answered, his eyes twinkling. "I begin to think that you would have done better if you had waited a little before bringing M. le Comte into the matter."
"Ah, but there are these two," M. Grabot cried, as he recovered from the momentary panic into which the other's words had thrown him. "Depend upon it they are the chief movers. What else but treason could they mean by asserting that one of them was Mayor of Bottitort? By denying my title? By setting up other officers than those to whom his Gracious Majesty has delegated his authority?"
"Umph!" his brother Mayor said, "I don't know these gentlemen."
"No!" his companion cried in triumph. "But I intend to know them; and to know a good deal about them. Guard the window there," he continued fussily. "Where is my clerk? Is M. de Laval coming?"
Two or three cried obsequiously that he had crossed the hill; and would arrive immediately.
Hearing this, and thinking it more becoming not to enter into an altercation, I kept my seat and the scornful silence I had hitherto maintained. The two Mayors had brought with them a posse of busybodies--huissiers, constables, tip-staves, and the like; and these all gaped upon us as if they saw before them the most notable traitors of the age. The women of the house wept in a corner, and the strollers shrugged their shoulders and strove to appear at their ease. But the only person who felt the indifference which they assumed was La Font; who, obnoxious to none of the annoyances which I foresaw, could hardly restrain his mirth at the DENOUEMENT which he anticipated.
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