150 THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF 'TOM'
The municipal guard understood that the danger lay on that side, and bravely drawing his sword ran up the steps, through the door, and into the ground-floor apartments.
The first thing which met his eye on entering the drawing-room was the good-humoured face of Tom, who, standing on his hind legs, had pushed his head and front paws through one of the panes and was inspecting these unknown regions with some curiosity.
The municipal guard paused—uncertain, brave though he was, whether to advance or retreat; but no sooner did Tom catch sight of him than with a kind of smothered roar he hastily drew back his head and forepaws, and made all possible haste to take refuge in the furthest corner of the garden.
The fact was that Tom had never forgotten the beating given him by the municipal guards on the occasion of that memorable visit of his to the masked ball at the Odeon Theatre. He connected the sight of their uniform with the treatment he had received at their hands, and this being the case, it is not surprising that as soon as he saw one of his enemies appear in the ground-floor drawing-room he made haste to quit the premises.
Nothing is so inspiriting as to see your enemy in flight. Besides, as already said, the guard was not wanting in courage; so he set off after Tom, who, after two or three unsuccessful attempts to climb the wall, had placed himself in an angle, rose up on his hind legs and prepared to defend himself in accordance with the lessons in boxing given him by his friend Fan.
The guard, on his side, put himself into position, and lost no time in attacking Tom according to every rule of art.
After a few rounds Tom dealt his opponent such a blow on the arm that his wrist was dislocated, and the gallant guard found himself at the mercy of the bear.
Luckily for him the Commissioner of Police arrived at