MONSIEUR DUMAS AND HIS BEASTS 115
opened it for him. My mother was very fond of Mysouff; she used to call him her barometer.
' Mysouff marks my good and my bad weather,' my dear mother would say; ' the days you come in are my days of sunshine; my rainy days are when you stay away.'
When I came home, I used to see Mysouff at the street corner, sitting quite still and gazing into the distance. As soon as he caught sight of me, he began to move his tail; then as I drew nearer, he rose and walked backwards and forwards across the pavement with his back arched and his tail in the air. When I reached him, he jumped up upon me as a dog would have done, and bounded and played round me as I walked towards the house; but when I was close to it he dashed in at full speed. Two seconds after, I used to see my mother at the door.
Never again in this world, but in the next perhaps, I shall see her standing waiting for me at the door.
That is what I was thinking of, dear readers, when the name of Mysouff brought back all these recollections; so you understand why I did not answer Madame La-marque's questions.
Henceforth Mysouff II. enjoyed the same privileges that Mysouff I. had done, although, as will be seen later, he was not distinguished by similar virtues, but was, in fact, a very different sort of cat.
The following Sunday, when my son Alexandre and one or two intimate friends were assembled in my room, a second Auvergnat boy, with a second monkey, demanded admittance, and said that a friend having told him that M. Dumas had bought his monkey for forty francs, two white mice, and a guinea-pig, he was prepared to offer his for the same price. My friends urged me to buy the second monkey.