Chapter 160164822

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Chapter NumberIX
Chapter TitleHOW THE OLD MAN'S GIFT MADE VICTOR RICH.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article160164822
Full Date1882-12-16
Page Number43
Corrections0
Word Count1345
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleAdelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904)
Trove TitleThe Blind Fiddler. A Tale for Children
article text

CHILDREN'S COLUMN.

THE BLIND FIDDLER.

A TALE FOB CHILDREN.

[Translated from the French by Dieudonnee

Leiebuhe.]

CHAPTER IX.

HOW THE OLD MAK'S GIFT MADE VICTOR RICH.

Victor went away crying hard on his way to the shop, where he would probably be scolded ana punished for his long absence, but lils grief was too great for such a fear to occupy his mind. Nor was it realized, for on arriving at the shop he heard that M. and Madame Moreau had gone out together a quarter of an hour after he had left, and that ? they had not returned.

The headman called him inte the bake house, and the poor child set himself to work with a heart full of grief and eyes full of tears; for he could not help thinking of the

blind man. When he recalled their last con versation he remembered how thai Antoine

had ordered him to tell his master every

thing that same day, and he resolved to do it whatever it might cost him.

So. at G o'clock, not seeing M- Moreau in the shop), and his companion telling him that Madame Moreau had come in and gone up stairs, he took courage, and for the first time in his life, he went and followed the passage which led to the rooms of his master and mistress.

llie door of the first ro mi was open. Victor entered softly. Then he stopped suddenly, because he heard somebody in tears in the

next room.

"My God!" cried a voice which Victor

recognised as that of Madame Moreau; " my . God, is there no hope; wilt not thou come to my help ?"

These words made Victor think that his young mistress was suffering, and, although she had inspired him with great respect By the great elegance of her dress, he made bold

to knock two or tbree times at the door.

"Who is there?" asked Madame Moreau in an altered voice.

Victor turned the handle and advanced timidly.

"It is I, madame. I thought that you were ill, and that you wanted some one."

"No, my little friend," said the young woman in a soft voice, and drying her tears; " I am not ill, and do not want anybody."'

"Excuse me, madame," said Victor; "I did not come up here by accident. I wanted to speak to you about eomething "

"To-morrow, to-morrow, Victor," inter rupted Madame Moreau, with a look of kind ness. " To-day, my child, I cannot under take to do anything."

Victor was going away, astonished at him Eclf for having been frightened at a woman who seemed so good, when his mistress called

him back.

"Victor!" she cried, "Victor, is the master in the shop V"

" No, madame; he has not been there since the morning."

At tins answer tne young woman rose

quickly and began to walk about tlic room as though sbe was beside herself.

" He has not returned," she said to her self ; " he has not returned ! Oh, he has not succeeded anywhere." Then, as though a fearful thought struck her, she continued, "Oh, if dcBpair has seized him. Oh, my God, where is he now; where can he be ?"

" Shall I go after him, and look for M. Moreau," said Victor, with great feeling.

The youug woman stopped and looked at tlie child.

" Yes, my child ; yes," she said, " Run to M. Duprc's, that grocer in Sainte Anne to whom you take tarts ~every Sunday—you

know—on the left hand side of the road ?

"Yes, madame ; lean 6ee the house from

here."

" It is his last resource," she exclaimed, speaking to herself, and taking Victor's arm, she continued, "Ask ifM. Moreau has been to M. DupriS during the day, and if so, at what time. Do you understand ? Go, run my little friend, and come hack to me with the answer at once."

Victor went as fast as his lees could carry him. and in less than tcu minutes he returned to his mistress's room.

"M. Moreau was at M. Dupre's at 3 o'clock," he said breathlessly.

" Three o'clock, and it is now 7 !" cried the your.g woman; "he is dead! he is dead!"

" Dead !" said Victor, turning pale.

" Yes, yes," continued she, throwing about Lor aims in despair; " I have killed him ; I have rained him by my extravagance. It is because he loved me too much that he is rained. It is because he loved me too much tbat l;e is dead. Did he not tell me," she continued, running about the room wildly, " tbat he is two thousand franca short to

meet his bills; he must be a bankrupt! He has gone and drowned himself."

" Two thousand francs," cried Victor with animation; " how many twenty-five pieces is that?"

Madame Moreau did not answer, hut Vic tor had already run like lightning to his gar ret, and returning as quicklv, he threw the contents of the sack which the blind man had given him .in front of his mistress, saying, " See, madame, if this makes up the sum."

Madame Moreau, stupefied, looked first at the hoy and then at 'the money, and could

not believe her senses.

" It has all been made a gift to me, at any

rate," continued Victor; " I will tell you all the story- But, madame, do see first whether this makes the'sum."

T he poor young woman dried her tears, and counted the pieces of gold.

" It is only five hundred francs short," she said, and we cau make that up if my husband would return."

"He is coining up stairs," cried Victor,, transported with joy, I know his step.

Madame Moreau ran and threw her arms round her husband, who threw himself on a chair, pale, and as if dying with fatigue, and

"without seeing Victor, who retreated into a •corner of the room.

" All is lost, my wife," he said, in a feeble voice, " I can only collect 600 francs."

That is all we want! Look! look !" she

-cried, pointing to the pieces of gold lying on

s table. "the t

" Where did that come from ?" asked M.

Moreau, his eyes brightening with pleasure.

" From this good boy, from Victor."

Then Victor approached him, and told in a few words the story of what had passed - between the blind man and him. He ended

by telling his master the means he had of proving that all he Baid was true.

Both husband and wife embraced him, and you may imagine that M. Moreau let him go to Antoine's funeral the next day.

After this day, the most perfect order reigned in the pastrycook's house, not only -did Madame Moreau stop every unnecessary expense, but brought up her little daughter, who was their only child, in the principles of the strictest economy. -

After that day, also, Victor was treated like their own child by M. and Madame Mareau, who soon returned his 1,500 francs which were invested in his name, and, what is more, in a few years M. Mareau became the best pastrycook in Paris, and Victor was the head hoy in the shop. When Victor was twenty M. -and Madame Mareau, who became more and more attached to him every day, -decided to give him their daughter in mar riage, who was both good and good-looking,

-and whom Victor loved from the bottom of liis heart and soul. Victor, then at the

height of his happiness, made the vow that if heaven gave him a son he would name him Antoine. _ .

On his marriage day a convicts' chain-gang left for Brest, and among them was Jdrome Girard, who, after he had robbed his poor blind uncle, had gone from crime to crime ^till at last he waB condemned by the Court •of Assizes to the galleys for life.

The End.