P. G. Wodehouse: The Man Upstairs and Other Stories


'He is an employe whom I--I myself--have but yesterday dismissed,' vociferated M. Bredin. 'He has no money to lunch at my restaurant.'

The policeman eyed Paul sternly.

'Eh?' he said. 'That so? You'd better come along.'

Paul's eyebrows rose.

Before the round eyes of M. Bredin he began to produce from his pockets and to lay upon the table bank-notes and sovereigns. The cloth was covered with them.

He picked up a half-sovereign.

'If monsieur,' he said to the policeman, 'would accept this as a slight consolation for the inconvenience which this foolish person here has caused him--'

'Not half,' said Mr Parsons, affably. 'Look here'--he turned to the gaping proprietor--'if you go on like this you'll be getting yourself into trouble. See? You take care another time.'

Paul called for the bill of fare.

It was the inferior person who had succeeded to his place as waiter who attended to his needs during the meal; but when he had lunched it was Jeanne who brought his coffee.

She bent over the table.

'You sold your picture, Paul--yes?' she whispered. 'For much money? How glad I am, dear Paul. Now we will--'

Paul met her glance coolly.

'Will you be so kind,' he said, 'as to bring me also a cigarette, my good girl?'

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