382 THE STORY OF A FROG
claret, and to ask me to dinner. But as you only happen to have one, we will, with your leave, content ourselves with making a barometer.
'Now,' said Thierry, opening a drawer, 'let us attend to the prisoner's furniture.' Saying which he took out two cartridges, a gimlet, a penknife, two paint-brushes, and four matches. Decamps watched him without in the least understanding the object of all these preparations, which the doctor was making with as much care as though for some surgical operation.
First he emptied the powder out of the cartridges into a tray and kept the bullets. Then he threw the brushes and ties to Jacko and kept the handles.
'What the deuce are you about?' cried Decamps, snatching his two best paint-brushes from Jacko. ' Why you're ruining my establishment!'
' I'm making a ladder,' gravely replied Thierry.
And true enough, having bored holes in the bullets, he fixed the brush handles into them so as to form the sides of the ladder, using the matches to make the rungs. Five minutes later the ladder was completed and placed in the jar, where the weight of the bullets kept it firmly down.
No sooner did Mademoiselle Camargo find herself the owner of this article of furniture than she prepared to test it by climbing up to the top rung.
'We shall have rain,' said Thierry.
' You don't say so,' replied Decamps, ' and there's my brother who wanted to go out shooting again to-day.'
* Mademoiselle Camargo does not advise his doing so,' remarked the doctor.
' How so ?'
' My dear friend, I have been providing you with an inexpensive but reliable barometer. Each time you see Mademoiselle Camargo climb to the top of her ladder it's a sure sign of rain; when she remains at the bottom you may count on fine weather, and if she goes up half-way,