en-es  A LODGING FOR THE NIGHT
Un Albergue para la noche por Robert Louis Stevenson (1877) - Parte Primero


Estaba tarde en noviembre 1456. La nieve se cayó sobre Paris con persistencia rigurosa e implacable; a veces el viento hizo una salida y la dispersó en vértices volantes; a veces hubo una calma, y copo tras copo bajaron del aire nocturno y negro, silencio, tortuoso, interminable.

To poor people, looking up under moist eyebrows, it seemed a wonder where it all came from.

Master Francis Villon had propounded an alternative that afternoon, at a tavern window: was it only pagan Jupiter plucking geese upon Olympus? or were the holy angels moulting?.

He was only a poor Master of Arts, he went on; and as the question somewhat touched upon divinity, he durst not venture to conclude.

A silly old priest from Montargis, who was among the company, treated the young rascal to a bottle of wine in honor of the jest and grimaces with which it was accompanied, and swore on his own white beard that he had been just such another irreverent dog when he was Villon's age.


The air was raw and pointed, but not far below freezing; and the flakes were large, damp, and adhesive.

The whole city was sheeted up.

An army might have marched from end to end and not a footfall given the alarm.

If there were any belated birds in heaven, they saw the island like a large white patch, and the bridges like slim white spars, on the black ground of the river.

High up overhead the snow settled among the tracery of the cathedral towers.

Many a niche was drifted full; many a statue wore a long white bonnet on its grotesque or sainted head.

The gargoyles had been transformed into great false noses, drooping toward the point. The crockets were like upright pillows swollen on one side.

In the intervals of the wind there was a dull sound dripping about the precincts of the church.

The cemetery of St John had taken its own share of the snow.

All the graves were decently covered; tall white housetops stood around in grave array; worthy burghers were long ago in bed, benighted capped like their domiciles; there was no light in all the neighborhood but a little peep from a lamp that hung swinging in the church choir, and tossed the shadows to and fro in time to its oscillations.

The clock was hard on ten when the patrol went by with halberds and a lantern, beating their hands; and they saw nothing suspicious about the cemetery of St John.


Yet there was a small house, backed up against the cemetery wall, which was still awake, and awake to evil purpose, in that snoring district.

There was not much to betray it from without; only a stream of warm vapour from the chimney-top, a patch where the snow melted on the roof, and a few half-obliterated footprints at the door.

But within, behind the shuttered windows, Master Francis Villon the poet, and some of the thievish crew with whom he consorted, were keeping the night alive and passing round the bottle.


A great pile of living embers diffused a strong and ruddy glow from the arched chimney. Before this straddled Dom Nicolas, the Picardy monk, with his skirts picked up and his fat legs bared to the comfortable warmth.

His dilated shadow cut the room in half; and the firelight only escaped on either side of his broad person, and in a little pool between his outspread feet.

His face had the beery, bruised appearance of the continual drinker's; it was covered with a network of congested veins, purple in ordinary circumstances, but now pale violet, for even with his back to the fire the cold pinched him on the other side.
His cowl had half fallen back, and made a strange excrescence on either side of his bull neck.
So he straddled, grumbling, and cut the room in half with the shadow of his portly frame.

On the right, Villon and Guy Tabary were huddled together over a scrap of parchment; Villon making a ballade which he was to call the "Ballade of Roast Fish," and Tabary sputtering admiration at his shoulder.

The poet was a rag of a man, dark, little, and lean, with hollow cheeks and thin black locks.

He carried his four and twenty years with feverish animation.

Greed had made folds about his eyes, evil smiles had puckered his mouth.

The wolf and pig struggled together in his face. It was an eloquent, sharp, ugly, earthly countenance.

His hands were small and prehensile, with fingers knotted like a cord; and they were continually flickering in front of him in violent and expressive pantomime.

As for Tabary, a broad, complacent, admiring imbecility breathed from his squash nose and slobbering lips: he had become a thief, just as he might have become the most decent of burgesses, by the imperious chance that rules the lives of human geese and human donkeys.


At the monk's other hand, Montigny and Thevenin Pensete played a game of chance.

About the first there clung some flavour of good birth and training, as about a fallen angel; something long, lithe, and courtly in the person; something aquiline and darkling in the face.

Thevenin, poor soul, was in great feather: he had done a good stroke of knavery that afternoon in the Faubourg St Jacques, and all night he had been gaining from Montigny.

A flat smile illuminated his face; his bald head shone rosily in a garland of red curls; his little protuberant stomach shook with silent chucklings as he swept in his gains.


"Doubles or quits?" said Thevenin.

Montigny nodded grimly.

« Some may prefer to dine in state," wrote Villon, "on bread and cheese on silver plate.

Or -- or -— help me out, Guido! ».

Tabary giggled. " Or parsley on a golden dish," scribbled the poet.

The wind was freshening without; it drove the snow before it, and sometimes raised its voice in a victorious whoop, and made sepulchral grumblings in the chimney.

The cold was growing sharper as the night went on.

Villon, protruding his lips, imitated the gust with something between a whistle and a groan.

It was an eerie, uncomfortable talent of the poet's, much detested by the Picardy monk.

"Can't you hear it rattle in the gibbet?" said Villon.

"They are all dancing the devil's jig on nothing, up there.

You may dance, my gallants, you'll be none the warmer! Whew! what a gust! Down went somebody just now! A medlar the fewer on the three-legged medlar-tree! — I say, Dom Nicolas, it'll be cold to-night on the St Denis Road?" he asked.


Dom Nicholas winked both his big eyes, and seemed to choke upon his Adam's apple.

Montfaucon, the great grisly Paris gibbet, stood hard by the St. Denis Road, and the pleasantry touched him on the raw.
As for Tabary, he laughed immoderately over the medlars; he had never heard anything more light-hearted; and he held his sides and crowed.

Villon fetched him a fillip on the nose, which turned his mirth into an attack of coughing.

"Oh, stop that row," said Villon, "and think of rhymes to ‘fish’!".

"Doubles or quits? Said Montigny, doggedly.

"With all my heart," quoth Thevenin.

"Is there any more in that bottle?" asked the monk.

"Open another," said Villon.

"How do you ever hope to fill that big hogshead, your body, with little things like bottles? And how do you expect to get to heaven? How many angels, do you fancy, can be spared to carry up a single monk from Picardy? Or do you think yourself another Elias -— and they'll send the coach for you? ».

"Hominibus impossible," replied the monk, as he filled his glass.

Tabary was in ecstasies.

Villon filliped his nose again.

"Laugh at my jokes, if you like," he said.

Villon made a face at him.

"Think of rhymes to 'fish,'" he said.

"What have you to do with Latin? You'll wish you knew none of it at the great assizes, when the devil calls for Guido Tabary, clericus —- the devil with the humpback and red-hot fingernails.

Talking of the devil," he added, in a whisper, "look at Montigny! ».


All three peered covertly at the gamester.
He did not seem to be enjoying his luck.
His mouth was a little to a side; one nostril nearly shut, and the other much inflated.

The black dog was on his back, as people say, in terrifying nursery metaphor; and he breathed hard under the gruesome burden.


"He looks as if he could knife him," whispered Tabary, with round eyes.

The monk shuddered, and turned his face and spread his open hands to the red embers. It was the cold that thus affected Dom Nicolas, and not any excess of moral sensibility.

"Come now," said Villon — "about this ballade.

How does it run so far?" And beating time with his hand, he read it aloud to Tabary.

They were interrupted at the fourth rhyme by a brief and fatal movement among the gamesters.

The round was completed, and Thevenin was just opening his mouth to claim another victory, when Montigny leaped up, swift as an adder, and stabbed him to the heart.

The blow took effect before he had time to utter a cry, before he had time to move.

A tremor or two convulsed his frame; his hands opened and shut, his heels rattled on the floor; then his head rolled backward over one shoulder, with eyes wide open; and Thevenin Pensete's spirit had returned to Him who made it.

Every one sprang to his feet; but the business was over in two twos.

The four living fellows looked at each other in rather a ghastly fashion, the dead man contemplating a corner of the roof with a singular and ugly leer.


"My God!" said Tabary, and he began to pray in Latin.

Villon broke out into hysterical laughter.

He came a step forward and ducked a ridiculous bow at Thevenin, and laughed still louder.

Then he sat down suddenly, all of a heap, upon a stool, and continued laughing bitterly, as though he would shake himself to pieces.


Montigny recovered his composure first.


"Let's see what he has about him," he remarked; and he picked the dead man's pockets with a practised hand, and divided the money into four equal portions on the table.

"There's for you," he said.


The monk received his share with a deep sigh, and a single stealthy glance at the dead Thevenin, who was beginning to sink into himself and topple sideways off the chair.


"We're all in for it," cried Villon, swallowing his mirth.

"It's a hanging job for every man Jack of us that's here—not to speak of those who aren’t. " He made a shocking gesture in the air with his raised right hand, and put out his tongue and threw his head on one side, so as to counterfeit the appearance of one who has been hanged.

Then he pocketed his share of the spoil, and executed a shuffle with his feet as if to restore the circulation.

Tabary was the last to help himself; he made a dash at the money, and retired to the other end of the apartment.

Montigny stuck Thevenin upright in the chair, and drew out the dagger, which was followed by a jet of blood.

"You fellows had better be moving," he said, as he wiped the blade on his victim's doublet.

"I think we had," returned Villon, with a gulp. " Damn his fat head!" he broke out.

"It sticks in my throat like phlegm. What right has a man to have red hair when he is dead? ».

And he fell all of a heap again upon the stool, and fairly covered his face with his hands.

Montigny and Dom Nicolas laughed aloud, even Tabary feebly chiming in.
"Cry-baby!" said the monk.

"I always said he was a woman," added Montigny, with a sneer.

"Sit up, can't you?" he went on, giving another shake to the murdered body.

"Tread out that fire, Nick! ».


But Nick was better employed; he was quietly taking Villon's purse, as the poet sat, limp and trembling, on the stool where he had been making a ballade not three minutes before.

Montigny and Tabary dumbly demanded a share of the booty, which the monk silently promised as he passed the little bag into the bosom of his gown.

In many ways an artistic nature unfits a man for practical existence.


No sooner had the theft been accomplished than Villon shook himself, jumped to his feet, and began helping to scatter and extinguish the embers.

Meanwhile Montigny opened the door and cautiously peered into the street.

The coast was clear; there was no meddlesome patrol in sight.


Still it was judged wiser to slip out severally; and as Villon was himself in a hurry to escape from the neighborhood of the dead Thevenin, and the rest were in a still greater hurry to get rid of him before he should discover the loss of his money, he was the first by general consent to issue forth into the street.


The wind had triumphed and swept all the clouds from heaven.

Only a few vapours, as thin as moonlight, fleeted rapidly across the stars.

It was bitter cold; and, by a common optical effect, things seemed almost more definite than in the broadest daylight.

The sleeping city was absolutely still; a company of white hoods, a field full of little alps, below the twinkling stars.

Villon cursed his fortune. Would it were still snowing! Now, wherever he went, he left an indelible trail behind him on the glittering streets; wherever he went, he was still tethered to the house by the cemetery of St John; wherever he went, he must weave, with his own plodding feet, the rope that bound him to the crime and would bind him to the gallows.

The leer of the dead man came back to him with new significance. He snapped his fingers as if to pluck up his own spirits, and, choosing a street at random, stepped boldly forward in the snow.
unit 1
A LODGING FOR THE NIGHT BY ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON (1877) - Partie I.
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unit 2
It was late in November 1456.
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unit 6
or were the holy angels moulting?.
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The whole city was sheeted up.
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unit 16
The crockets were like upright pillows swollen on one side.
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unit 18
The cemetery of St John had taken its own share of the snow.
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unit 32
He carried his four and twenty years with feverish animation.
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Greed had made folds about his eyes, evil smiles had puckered his mouth.
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unit 34
The wolf and pig struggled together in his face.
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unit 35
It was an eloquent, sharp, ugly, earthly countenance.
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unit 42
"Doubles or quits?"
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unit 43
said Thevenin.
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Montigny nodded grimly.
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Or -- or -— help me out, Guido!
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».
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unit 48
Tabary giggled. "
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unit 49
Or parsley on a golden dish," scribbled the poet.
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unit 51
The cold was growing sharper as the night went on.
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unit 54
"Can't you hear it rattle in the gibbet?"
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unit 55
said Villon.
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unit 56
"They are all dancing the devil's jig on nothing, up there.
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unit 57
You may dance, my gallants, you'll be none the warmer!
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unit 58
Whew!
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unit 59
what a gust!
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Down went somebody just now!
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A medlar the fewer on the three-legged medlar-tree!
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— I say, Dom Nicolas, it'll be cold to-night on the St Denis Road?"
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he asked.
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"Oh, stop that row," said Villon, "and think of rhymes to ‘fish’!".
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"Doubles or quits?
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Said Montigny, doggedly.
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"With all my heart," quoth Thevenin.
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"Is there any more in that bottle?"
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asked the monk.
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"Open another," said Villon.
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And how do you expect to get to heaven?
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».
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"Hominibus impossible," replied the monk, as he filled his glass.
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unit 81
Tabary was in ecstasies.
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Villon filliped his nose again.
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"Laugh at my jokes, if you like," he said.
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Villon made a face at him.
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"Think of rhymes to 'fish,'" he said.
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"What have you to do with Latin?
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Talking of the devil," he added, in a whisper, "look at Montigny!
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».
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unit 90
All three peered covertly at the gamester.
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He did not seem to be enjoying his luck.
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"He looks as if he could knife him," whispered Tabary, with round eyes.
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"Come now," said Villon — "about this ballade.
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How does it run so far?"
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And beating time with his hand, he read it aloud to Tabary.
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Every one sprang to his feet; but the business was over in two twos.
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"My God!"
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said Tabary, and he began to pray in Latin.
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unit 108
Villon broke out into hysterical laughter.
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Montigny recovered his composure first.
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"There's for you," he said.
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"We're all in for it," cried Villon, swallowing his mirth.
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"I think we had," returned Villon, with a gulp. "
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unit 123
Damn his fat head!"
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he broke out.
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unit 125
"It sticks in my throat like phlegm.
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unit 126
What right has a man to have red hair when he is dead?
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».
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Montigny and Dom Nicolas laughed aloud, even Tabary feebly chiming in.
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"Cry-baby!"
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said the monk.
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"I always said he was a woman," added Montigny, with a sneer.
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"Sit up, can't you?"
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he went on, giving another shake to the murdered body.
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"Tread out that fire, Nick!
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».
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unit 139
In many ways an artistic nature unfits a man for practical existence.
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unit 142
The coast was clear; there was no meddlesome patrol in sight.
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The wind had triumphed and swept all the clouds from heaven.
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unit 148
Villon cursed his fortune.
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unit 149
Would it were still snowing!
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unit 151
The leer of the dead man came back to him with new significance.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None

A LODGING FOR THE NIGHT
BY ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON (1877) - Partie I.


It was late in November 1456. The snow fell over Paris with rigorous, relentless persistence; sometimes the wind made a sally and scattered it in flying vortices; sometimes there was a lull, and flake after flake descended out of the black night air, silent, circuitous, interminable.

To poor people, looking up under moist eyebrows, it seemed a wonder where it all came from.

Master Francis Villon had propounded an alternative that afternoon, at a tavern window: was it only pagan Jupiter plucking geese upon Olympus? or were the holy angels moulting?.

He was only a poor Master of Arts, he went on; and as the question somewhat touched upon divinity, he durst not venture to conclude.

A silly old priest from Montargis, who was among the company, treated the young rascal to a bottle of wine in honor of the jest and grimaces with which it was accompanied, and swore on his own white beard that he had been just such another irreverent dog when he was Villon's age.

The air was raw and pointed, but not far below freezing; and the flakes were large, damp, and adhesive.

The whole city was sheeted up.

An army might have marched from end to end and not a footfall given the alarm.

If there were any belated birds in heaven, they saw the island like a large white patch, and the bridges like slim white spars, on the black ground of the river.

High up overhead the snow settled among the tracery of the cathedral towers.

Many a niche was drifted full; many a statue wore a long white bonnet on its grotesque or sainted head.

The gargoyles had been transformed into great false noses, drooping toward the point. The crockets were like upright pillows swollen on one side.

In the intervals of the wind there was a dull sound dripping about the precincts of the church.

The cemetery of St John had taken its own share of the snow.

All the graves were decently covered; tall white housetops stood around in grave array; worthy burghers were long ago in bed, benighted capped like their domiciles; there was no light in all the neighborhood but a little peep from a lamp that hung swinging in the church choir, and tossed the shadows to and fro in time to its oscillations.

The clock was hard on ten when the patrol went by with halberds and a lantern, beating their hands; and they saw nothing suspicious about the cemetery of St John.

Yet there was a small house, backed up against the cemetery wall, which was still awake, and awake to evil purpose, in that snoring district.

There was not much to betray it from without; only a stream of warm vapour from the chimney-top, a patch where the snow melted on the roof, and a few half-obliterated footprints at the door.

But within, behind the shuttered windows, Master Francis Villon the poet, and some of the thievish crew with whom he consorted, were keeping the night alive and passing round the bottle.

A great pile of living embers diffused a strong and ruddy glow from the arched chimney. Before this straddled Dom Nicolas, the Picardy monk, with his skirts picked up and his fat legs bared to the comfortable warmth.

His dilated shadow cut the room in half; and the firelight only escaped on either side of his broad person, and in a little pool between his outspread feet.

His face had the beery, bruised appearance of the continual drinker's; it was covered with a network of congested veins, purple in ordinary circumstances, but now pale violet, for even with his back to the fire the cold pinched him on the other side.
His cowl had half fallen back, and made a strange excrescence on either side of his bull neck.
So he straddled, grumbling, and cut the room in half with the shadow of his portly frame.

On the right, Villon and Guy Tabary were huddled together over a scrap of parchment; Villon making a ballade which he was to call the "Ballade of Roast Fish," and Tabary sputtering admiration at his shoulder.

The poet was a rag of a man, dark, little, and lean, with hollow cheeks and thin black locks.

He carried his four and twenty years with feverish animation.

Greed had made folds about his eyes, evil smiles had puckered his mouth.

The wolf and pig struggled together in his face. It was an eloquent, sharp, ugly, earthly countenance.

His hands were small and prehensile, with fingers knotted like a cord; and they were continually flickering in front of him in violent and expressive pantomime.

As for Tabary, a broad, complacent, admiring imbecility breathed from his squash nose and slobbering lips: he had become a thief, just as he might have become the most decent of burgesses, by the imperious chance that rules the lives of human geese and human donkeys.

At the monk's other hand, Montigny and Thevenin Pensete played a game of chance.

About the first there clung some flavour of good birth and training, as about a fallen angel; something long, lithe, and courtly in the person; something aquiline and darkling in the face.

Thevenin, poor soul, was in great feather: he had done a good stroke of knavery that afternoon in the Faubourg St Jacques, and all night he had been gaining from Montigny.

A flat smile illuminated his face; his bald head shone rosily in a garland of red curls; his little protuberant stomach shook with silent chucklings as he swept in his gains.

"Doubles or quits?" said Thevenin.

Montigny nodded grimly.

« Some may prefer to dine in state," wrote Villon, "on bread and cheese on silver plate.

Or -- or -— help me out, Guido! ».

Tabary giggled.

" Or parsley on a golden dish," scribbled the poet.

The wind was freshening without; it drove the snow before it, and sometimes raised its voice in a victorious whoop, and made sepulchral grumblings in the chimney.

The cold was growing sharper as the night went on.

Villon, protruding his lips, imitated the gust with something between a whistle and a groan.

It was an eerie, uncomfortable talent of the poet's, much detested by the Picardy monk.

"Can't you hear it rattle in the gibbet?" said Villon.

"They are all dancing the devil's jig on nothing, up there.

You may dance, my gallants, you'll be none the warmer! Whew! what a gust! Down went somebody just now! A medlar the fewer on the three-legged medlar-tree! — I say, Dom Nicolas, it'll be cold to-night on the St Denis Road?" he asked.

Dom Nicholas winked both his big eyes, and seemed to choke upon his Adam's apple.

Montfaucon, the great grisly Paris gibbet, stood hard by the St. Denis Road, and the pleasantry touched him on the raw.
As for Tabary, he laughed immoderately over the medlars; he had never heard anything more light-hearted; and he held his sides and crowed.

Villon fetched him a fillip on the nose, which turned his mirth into an attack of coughing.

"Oh, stop that row," said Villon, "and think of rhymes to ‘fish’!".

"Doubles or quits? Said Montigny, doggedly.

"With all my heart," quoth Thevenin.

"Is there any more in that bottle?" asked the monk.

"Open another," said Villon.

"How do you ever hope to fill that big hogshead, your body, with little things like bottles? And how do you expect to get to heaven? How many angels, do you fancy, can be spared to carry up a single monk from Picardy? Or do you think yourself another Elias -— and they'll send the coach for you? ».

"Hominibus impossible," replied the monk, as he filled his glass.

Tabary was in ecstasies.

Villon filliped his nose again.

"Laugh at my jokes, if you like," he said.

Villon made a face at him.

"Think of rhymes to 'fish,'" he said.

"What have you to do with Latin? You'll wish you knew none of it at the great assizes, when the devil calls for Guido Tabary, clericus —- the devil with the humpback and red-hot fingernails.

Talking of the devil," he added, in a whisper, "look at Montigny! ».

All three peered covertly at the gamester.
He did not seem to be enjoying his luck.
His mouth was a little to a side; one nostril nearly shut, and the other much inflated.

The black dog was on his back, as people say, in terrifying nursery metaphor; and he breathed hard under the gruesome burden.

"He looks as if he could knife him," whispered Tabary, with round eyes.

The monk shuddered, and turned his face and spread his open hands to the red embers. It was the cold that thus affected Dom Nicolas, and not any excess of moral sensibility.

"Come now," said Villon — "about this ballade.

How does it run so far?" And beating time with his hand, he read it aloud to Tabary.

They were interrupted at the fourth rhyme by a brief and fatal movement among the gamesters.

The round was completed, and Thevenin was just opening his mouth to claim another victory, when Montigny leaped up, swift as an adder, and stabbed him to the heart.

The blow took effect before he had time to utter a cry, before he had time to move.

A tremor or two convulsed his frame; his hands opened and shut, his heels rattled on the floor; then his head rolled backward over one shoulder, with eyes wide open; and Thevenin Pensete's spirit had returned to Him who made it.

Every one sprang to his feet; but the business was over in two twos.

The four living fellows looked at each other in rather a ghastly fashion, the dead man contemplating a corner of the roof with a singular and ugly leer.

"My God!" said Tabary, and he began to pray in Latin.

Villon broke out into hysterical laughter.

He came a step forward and ducked a ridiculous bow at Thevenin, and laughed still louder.

Then he sat down suddenly, all of a heap, upon a stool, and continued laughing bitterly, as though he would shake himself to pieces.

Montigny recovered his composure first.

"Let's see what he has about him," he remarked; and he picked the dead man's pockets with a practised hand, and divided the money into four equal portions on the table.

"There's for you," he said.

The monk received his share with a deep sigh, and a single stealthy glance at the dead Thevenin, who was beginning to sink into himself and topple sideways off the chair.

"We're all in for it," cried Villon, swallowing his mirth.

"It's a hanging job for every man Jack of us that's here—not to speak of those who aren’t.

" He made a shocking gesture in the air with his raised right hand, and put out his tongue and threw his head on one side, so as to counterfeit the appearance of one who has been hanged.

Then he pocketed his share of the spoil, and executed a shuffle with his feet as if to restore the circulation.

Tabary was the last to help himself; he made a dash at the money, and retired to the other end of the apartment.

Montigny stuck Thevenin upright in the chair, and drew out the dagger, which was followed by a jet of blood.

"You fellows had better be moving," he said, as he wiped the blade on his victim's doublet.

"I think we had," returned Villon, with a gulp.

" Damn his fat head!" he broke out.

"It sticks in my throat like phlegm. What right has a man to have red hair when he is dead? ».

And he fell all of a heap again upon the stool, and fairly covered his face with his hands.

Montigny and Dom Nicolas laughed aloud, even Tabary feebly chiming in.
"Cry-baby!" said the monk.

"I always said he was a woman," added Montigny, with a sneer.

"Sit up, can't you?" he went on, giving another shake to the murdered body.

"Tread out that fire, Nick! ».

But Nick was better employed; he was quietly taking Villon's purse, as the poet sat, limp and trembling, on the stool where he had been making a ballade not three minutes before.

Montigny and Tabary dumbly demanded a share of the booty, which the monk silently promised as he passed the little bag into the bosom of his gown.

In many ways an artistic nature unfits a man for practical existence.

No sooner had the theft been accomplished than Villon shook himself, jumped to his feet, and began helping to scatter and extinguish the embers.

Meanwhile Montigny opened the door and cautiously peered into the street.

The coast was clear; there was no meddlesome patrol in sight.

Still it was judged wiser to slip out severally; and as Villon was himself in a hurry to escape from the neighborhood of the dead Thevenin, and the rest were in a still greater hurry to get rid of him before he should discover the loss of his money, he was the first by general consent to issue forth into the street.

The wind had triumphed and swept all the clouds from heaven.

Only a few vapours, as thin as moonlight, fleeted rapidly across the stars.

It was bitter cold; and, by a common optical effect, things seemed almost more definite than in the broadest daylight.

The sleeping city was absolutely still; a company of white hoods, a field full of little alps, below the twinkling stars.

Villon cursed his fortune. Would it were still snowing! Now, wherever he went, he left an indelible trail behind him on the glittering streets; wherever he went, he was still tethered to the house by the cemetery of St John; wherever he went, he must weave, with his own plodding feet, the rope that bound him to the crime and would bind him to the gallows.

The leer of the dead man came back to him with new significance. He snapped his fingers as if to pluck up his own spirits, and, choosing a street at random, stepped boldly forward in the snow.