CHAPTER 2. TURN VAGABOND.
"The rest?" said the archdeacon.
"Alas! my very dear brother, I should like to settle down
to a better life. I come to you full of contrition, I am
penitent. I make my confession. I beat my breast violently.
You are quite right in wishing that I should some day become
a licentiate and sub-monitor in the college of Torchi. At
the present moment I feel a magnificent vocation for that
profession. But I have no more ink and I must buy some; I
have no more paper, I have no more books, and I must buy some.
For this purpose, I am greatly in need of a little money, and
I come to you, brother, with my heart full of contrition."
"Is that all?"
"Yes," said the scholar. "A little money."
"I have none."
Then the scholar said, with an air which was both grave and
resolute: "Well, brother, I am sorry to be obliged to tell you
that very fine offers and propositions are being made to me in
another quarter. You will not give me any money? No. In
that case I shall become a professional vagabond."
As he uttered these monstrous words, he assumed the mien
of Ajax, expecting to see the lightnings descend upon his head.
The archdeacon said coldly to him,-
"Become a vagabond."
Jehan made him a deep bow, and descended the cloister
At the moment when he was passing through the courtyard
of the cloister, beneath his brother's window, he heard that
window open, raised his eyes and beheld the archdeacon's
severe head emerge.
"Go to the devil!" said Dom Claude; "here is the last
money which you will get from me?"
At the same time, the priest flung Jehan a purse, which
gave the scholar a big bump on the forehead, and with which
Jehan retreated, both vexed and content, like a dog who had
been stoned with marrow bones.