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The Patron
by [?]

He stopped and asked:

“Your name, if you please?”

“L’Abbe Ceinture.”

“M. l’Abbe Ceinture, who needs your good office in a little matter which he will communicate to you.

“I am pleased at this incident which gives me an opportunity, my dear colleague—-“

And he finished with the usual compliments.

When he had written the three letters he handed them to his protege, who took his departure with many protestations of gratitude.

M. Marin attended to some business and then went home, passed the day quietly, slept well, woke in a good humor and sent for his newspapers.

The first he opened was a radical sheet. He read:


“We shall never make an end of enumerating the misdeeds of the clergy. A certain priest, named Ceinture, convicted of conspiracy against the present government, accused of base actions to which we will not even allude, suspected besides of being a former Jesuit, metamorphosed into a simple priest, suspended by a bishop for causes that are said to be unmentionable and summoned to Paris to give an explanation of his conduct, has found an ardent defender in the man named Marin, a councillor of state, who was not afraid to give this frocked malefactor the warmest letters of recommendation to all the republican officials, his colleagues.

“We call the, attention of the ministry to the unheard of attitude of this councillor of state—-“

M. Marin bounded out of bed, dressed himself and hastened to his colleague, Petitpas, who said to him:

“How now? You were crazy to recommend to me that old conspirator!”

M. Marin, bewildered, stammered out:

“Why no–you see–I was deceived. He looked such an honest man. He played me a trick–a disgraceful trick! I beg that you will sentence him severely, very severely. I am going to write. Tell me to whom I should write about having him punished. I will go and see the attorney-general and the archbishop of Paris–yes, the archbishop.”

And seating himself abruptly at M. Petitpas’ desk, he wrote:

“Monseigneur, I have the honor to bring to your grace’s notice the fact that I have recently been made a victim of the intrigues and lies of a certain Abbe Ceinture, who imposed on my kind-heartedness.

“Deceived by the representations of this ecclesiastic, I was led—-“

Then, having signed and sealed his letter, he turned to his colleague and exclaimed:

“See here; my dear friend, let this be a warning to you never to recommend any one again.”