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Colonel Chabert
Honore de Balzac

Page 1 of 139


COLONEL CHABERT 

"HULLO! There is that old Box-coat again!" 

This exclamation was made by a lawyer's clerk of the class called in
French offices a gutter-jumper--a messenger in fact--who at this
moment was eating a piece of dry bread with a hearty appetite.  He
pulled off a morsel of crumb to make into a bullet, and fired it
gleefully through the open pane of the window against which he was
leaning.  The pellet, well aimed, rebounded almost as high as the
window, after hitting the hat of a stranger who was crossing the
courtyard of a house in the Rue Vivienne, where dwelt Maitre Derville,
attorney-at-law. 

"Come, Simonnin, don't play tricks on people, or I will turn you out
of doors.  However poor a client may be, he is still a man, hang it
all!" said the head clerk, pausing in the addition of a bill of costs. 

The lawyer's messenger is commonly, as was Simonnin, a lad of thirteen

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