106 MONSIEUR DUMAS AND HIS BEASTS
' Oh, sir,' said Michel, ' he can do that already. He retrieves like an angel!'
This failed to convey to me an exact idea of the way in which Pritchard retrieved. But Michel threw a handkerchief, and Pritchard brought it back. He then threw one of the rabbits that Vatrin carried, and Pritchard brought back the rabbit. Michel then fetched an egg and placed it on the ground. Pritchard retrieved the egg as he had done the rabbit and the handkerchief.
' Well,' said Vatrin, ' the animal knows all that human skill can teach him. He wants nothing now but practice. And when one thinks,' he added, ' that if the rascal would only come in to heel, he would be worth twenty pounds if he was worth a penny.'
' True,' said I with a sigh, ' but you may give up hope, Vatrin; that is a thing he will never consent to.'
I think that the time has now come to tell my readers a little about Mademoiselle Desgarcins, Potich, and the Last of the Laidmanoirs. Mademoiselle Desgarcins was a tiny monkey; I do not know the place of her birth, but I brought her from Havre, where I had gone — I don't know why — perhaps to look at the sea. But I thought I must bring something home with me from Havre. I was walking there on the quay, when at the door of a bird-fancier's shop I saw a green monke} and a blue and yellow macaw. The monkey put its paw through the bars of its cage and caught hold of my coat, while the blue parrot turned its head and looked at me in such an affectionate manner that I stopped, holding the monkey's paw with one hand, and scratching the parrot's head with the other. The little monkey gently drew my hand within reach of her mouth, the parrot half shut its eyes and made a little purring noise to express its pleasure.