THE STORY OF JACKO II.
The winter of 183— was unusually severe in Paris, in spite of all the predictions to the contrary of Matthew Lansberg, the weather prophet.
Counting on the mild season he foretold, many people laid in but a moderate supply of fuel, and amongst them was the artist Tony Johannot. Whether this was the result of faith in the prophet, or of some other reason into which it might be indiscreet to inquire, the fact was that towards the middle of January this distinguished painter, on going to fetch a log from his wood cupboard, discovered that if he continued to keep up fires in both studio and bedroom his store wrould barely hold out another fortnight.
Now there had been skating on the canal for a week past, the river itself was frozen, and Monsieur Arago announced from the Observatory that the frost would certainly increase. And the past being a guarantee for the future, the public began to think that M. Arago was probably right, and that for once Matthew Lansberg was mistaken.
Tony returned from his wood cupboard much troubled by the result of his calculations. It seemed a choice of freezing by day or freezing by night! However, on thinking the matter well over as he worked away at his big picture of the hanging of Admiral Coligny at Mont-faucon, it struck him that the simplest plan would be to move his bed into the studio.