Wednesday, 20/11/2019 - 17:23

Hector Malot

Chapter I. My Village Home

I was a foundling. But until I was eight years of age I thought I had a mother like other children, for when I cried a woman held me tightly in her arms and rocked me gently until my tears stopped falling. I never got into bed without her coming to kiss me, and when […]

Chapter II. My Adopted Father

Mother Barberin kissed her husband; I was about to do the same when he put out his stick and stopped me. “What’s this?… you told me….” “Well, yes, but it isn’t true … because….” “Ah, it isn’t true, eh?” He stepped towards...

Chapter III. Signor Vitalis’ Company

That night I dreamed that I had been taken to the Home. When I opened my eyes in the early morning I could scarcely believe that I was still there in my little bed. I felt the bed and pinched my arms to see if it were true. Ah, yes, I was still with Mother […]

Chapter IV. The Maternal House

“Well,” asked Mother Barberin, when we entered, “what did the mayor say?” “We didn’t see him.” “How! You didn’t see him?” “No, I met some friends at the Notre-Dame café and when we came out it was too late. So we’ll go back...

Chapter V. En Route

Because a man pays forty francs for a child that is not to say that he is a monster, and that he intends to eat the child. Vitalis had no desire to eat me and although he bought children he was not a bad man. I soon had proof of this. We had been walking […]

Chapter VI. My Début

We started early the next morning. The sky was blue and a light wind had come up in the night and dried all the mud. The birds were singing blithely in the trees and the dogs scampered around us. Now and again Capi stood up on his hind paws and barked into my face, two […]

Chapter VII. Child and Animal Learning

Vitalis’ small group of actors were certainly very clever, but their talent was not very versatile. For this reason we were not able to remain long in the same town. Three days after our arrival in Ussel we were on our way again. Where were we going? I had grown bold enough to put this...

Chapter VIII. One Who Had Known a King

Our mode of traveling was very simple: We went straight ahead, anywhere, and when we found a village, which from the distance looked sufficiently important, we began preparations for a triumphal entry. I dressed the dogs, and combed Dulcie’s hair; stuck a plaster over Capi’s eye when he...

Chapter IX. Arrested

I had a pleasant remembrance of Pau, the beautiful winter resort where the wind scarcely ever blew. We stayed there the whole winter, for we were taking in quite a lot of money. Our audience consisted mostly of children, and they were never tired if we did give the same performance over and over...

Chapter X. Homeless

When I returned to the inn with heavy heart and red eyes, the landlord was standing in the yard. I was going to pass him to get to my dogs, but he stopped me. “Well, what about your master?” he asked. “He is sentenced.” “How long?” “Two months’...