He doesn’t answer me," said she. "But when I went down-stairs, Lustucru was here; may be he can tell me what has become of the cat." She knocked without delay at the door of the steward, who pretended to rouse himself from a deep slumber, and, in a gruff voice, demanded what was wanted. "Isn’t Moumouth with you?"
Does your cat ever come where I am? You know very well that he can’t bear me." "Alas! where is he? I left him in the parlor, near the fire, and I cannot find him." She knocks at the Steward’s Door. "Can he be lost?" said Father Lustucru, feigning the most lively anxiety. "Lost! Oh, no, it is impossible! He is somewhere in the house." "He ought to be found," said the villain, gravely. "He ought to be searched for this very instant. Moumouth is a precious animal, whose merit makes it well worth while to wake up the servants." All the inmates of the house were soon on foot, each armed with a candle. They ransacked the nooks and corners, from the cellar to the garret, from the court to the garden. Lustucru directed the operations with apparent zeal. After ineffectual searches, Mother Michel, exhausted by emotion and fatigue, threw herself helplessly into an arm-chair.
Alas!" said she, "I left him only an instant, and it was to do a good action." "I begin to believe that your cat is really lost," replied Lustucru, in a severe tone. "It is a great misfortune for you! What will Madame de la Grenouillère say when she comes back? She is capable of turning you out of doors!" The Shock is too much for Mother Michel. "Turn me out of doors!" cried Mother Michel, suddenly drawing herself up to her full height. Then she sunk down again, her face grew pallid, her eyes closed, and she fell back without consciousness. Father Lustucru regarded her with a dry eye, and without feeling the slightest remorse. He laughed, the infamous man!