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HOME > Short Stories > The Children's Pilgrimage > CHAPTER XI. THE FAUBOURG ST. G——.
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 Pericard was a genuine French lad. Perhaps few boys had undergone more hardships in his life; he had known starvation, he had known blows, he had felt in their extremity both winter's cold and summer's heat. True, his old grandmother gave him what she could, both of love and kindness. But the outside world had been decidedly rough on Pericard. An English boy would have shown this on his face. He would have appeared careworn, he would scarcely have seemed gay. Very far otherwise, however, was it with this French lad. His merry eyes twinkled continually. He laughed, he whistled, he danced. His misfortunes seemed to have no power to enter into him; they only swept around.  
Had he then a shallow heart? Who can tell? He was a genuine specimen of the ordinary Paris gamin.
Pericard now much enjoyed the idea of taking Cecile and Maurice out to the rather distant suburb called the Faubourg St. G——.
He knew perfectly how to get there. He knew that Cecile, who understood no French wanted to find herself there. He understood nothing, and cared less for what her object was in going there.
He was to be her guide. He would lead her safely to this faubourg, and then back again to his grandmother's house.
Pericard, for all his rags, had something of a gentleman's heart.
He enjoyed guiding this very fair and pretty little lady.
Of course, Maurice and Toby came too. But Cecile was Pericard's princess on this occasion.
As they walked along, it occurred to him how very pleasant it would be to treat his princess—to buy a dainty little breakfast from one or more of the venders who spread their tempting condiments on different stalls, as they passed. He might purchase some fruit, some chocolate, a roll, some butter. Then! how good these things would be, shared between him and the princess, and, of course, the little brother and the good dog, and eaten in that same faubourg, where the air must be a little better, purer than in Paris proper. If only he had the necessary sous?
Alas! he only possessed one centime, and that would buy no dainties worth mentioning.
As the funny little group walked along, Pericard steering straight and clear in the right direction, they saw an old Jew clothesman walking just in front of them. There was nothing particular about this old fellow. He was, doubtless, doing as lucrative a trade in Paris as elsewhere. But, nevertheless, Pericard's bright eyes lighted up at sight of him.
He felt hastily once again in his ragged coat; there rested his one centime. Nodding to Cecile and Maurice, and making signs that he would return instantly, he rushed after the old Jew—tore his coat from his back, and offered it for sale.
It was an old garment, greasy and much worn, but the lining was still good, and, doubtless, it helped to keep Pericard warm. Intent, however, now on the trick he meant to play, he felt no cold.
The old Jew salesman, who never on principle rejected the possible making of even a few sous, stopped to examine the shabby article. In deliberation as to its age, etc., he contrived also to feel the condition of its pockets. Instantly, as the boy hoped, he perceived the little piece of money. His greedy old face lit up. After thinking a moment, he offered one franc for the worthless garment.
Pericard could not part with it for a franc. Then he offered two. Pericard stuck out for three. He would give the greasy and ragged old coat for three francs. The Jew felt the pocket again. It was a large sum to risk for what in itself was not worth many sous; but, then, he might not have such a chance again. Finally, he made up his mind, and put three francs into Pericard's eager hand.
Instantly the old fellow pounced upon his hidden treasure. Behold! a solitary—a miserable centime. His rage knew no bounds! He called it an infamous robbery! He shouted to Pericard to take back his rags!
Whistling and lau............
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