376 THE STORY OF A FROG
opening of the shooting season on the plains of St.-Denis, where, according to general report, there were swarms of quails, clouds of partridges, and troops of hares.
As a result of this visit, Alexandre Decamps ordered a shooting coat from his tailor, a gun from the first gun-maker's in Paris, and a pair of gaiters from an equally celebrated firm; all of which cost him 660 francs, not to mention the price of his licence.
On August 31 Alexandre discovered that one important item was still wanting to his outfit — a dog. He went at once to a man who had supplied various models to his brother Eugene's well-known picture of ' performing dogs,' and asked if he happened to have any sporting dogs.
The man declared he had the very thing, and going to the kennel promptly whipped off the three-cornered hat and little coat worn by a black and white mongrel whom he hastened to present to his customer as a dog of the purest breed. Alexandre hinted that it was not usual for a pointer to have such sharp-pointed ears, but the dealer replied that ' Love ' was an English dog, and that it was considered the very best form for English dogs to have pointed ears. As this statement might be true, Alexandre made no further objections, but paid for the dog and took Love home with him.
At five o'clock next morning Alexandre was roused up by his sporting friend, who, scolding him well for not being ready earlier, hurried him off as fast as possible, declaring the whole plain would be shot before they could get there.
It was certainly a curious sight; not a swallow, not even the meanest little sparrow, could rise without a volley of shots after it, and everyone was anxiously on the look-out for any and every sort of bird that could possibly be called game.
Alexandre's friend was soon bitten by the general fever and threw himself energetically amidst the excited