ADVENTURE IN THE LIFE OF A BEAR 13
' My name is Tom. I live at No. 109 Rue Faubourg St.-Denis. I have five francs in my purse. Two for a cab, and three for whoever takes me home.'
' True enough; there are the five francs,' cried the sergeant. ' Now then, two volunteers for escort duty.'
' Here ! ' cried the guard in chorus.
' Don't all speak at once! Let the two seniors have the benefit of the job; off with you, my lads.'
Two of the municipal guards advanced towards Tom, slipped a rope round his neck and, for precaution's sake, gave it a twist or two round his snout. Tom offered no resistance — the butt ends of the muskets had made him as supple as a glove. When they were fifty yards from the theatre, ' Bah! ' said one of the soldiers, ' 'tis a fine morning. Suppose we don't take a cab. The walk will do him good.'
'Besides,' remarked the other, 'we should each have two and a half francs instead of only one and a half.'
Half an hour later they stood at the door of 109. After some knocking, a very sleepy portress looked out.
'Look here, Mother Wideawake,' said one of the guard; 'here's one of your lodgers. Do you recognise him? '
' Why, I should rather think so. It's Monsieur Decamps' bear!'
The same day, Odry the actor received a bill for little cakes, amounting to seven francs and a half.