216 THE STRANGE HISTORY OF CAGNOTTE
scarlet) quite handy, so that he might play the triumphal march of the victor. Nothing was of any use. As soon as Josephine's back was turned Theophile threw soldiers and village and fiddle out of the window, and then prepared to jump after them, so that he might take the shortest way back to Tarbes and Cagnotte. Luckily, just as his foot was on the sill, Josephine came back from the next room, and saw what he was about. She rushed after him and caught him by the jacket, and then took him on her knee, and asked him why he was going to do anything so naughty and dangerous. When Theophile explained that it was Cagnotte whom he wanted and must have, and that nobody else mattered at all, Josephine was so afraid he would try to run away again, that she told him that if he would only have patience and wait a little Cagnotte would come to him.
All day long Theophile gave Josephine no peace. Every few minutes he came running to his nurse to know if Cagnotte had arrived, and he was only quieted when Josephine went out and returned carrying a little dog, which in some ways was very like his beloved Cagnotte. Theophile was not quite satisfied at first, till he remembered that Cagnotte had travelled a long, long way, and it was not to be expected that he should look the same dog as when he started; so he put aside his doubts, and knelt down to give Cagnotte a great hug of welcome. The new Cagnotte, like the old, was a lovely black poodle, and had excellent manners, besides being full of fun. He licked Theophile on both cheeks, and was altogether so friendly that he was ready to eat bread and butter off the same plate as his little master.
The two got on beautifully, and were perfectly happy for some time, and then gradually Cagnotte began to lose his spirits, and instead of jumping and running about the world, he moved slowly, as if he was in pain. He breathed shortly and heavily, and refused to eat anything, and even Theophile could see he was feeling ill. One day Cagnotte