Ball of Fat 39
The faces of his neighbors clouded; the popular air evidently did not find favor
with them; they grew nervous and irritable, and seemed ready to howl as a dog
does at the sound of a barrel-organ. Cornudet saw the discomfort he was
creating, and whistled the louder; sometimes he even hummed the words:
Amour sacre de la patrie,
Conduis, soutiens, nos bras vengeurs,
Liberte, liberte cherie,
Combats avec tes defenseurs!
The coach progressed more swiftly, the snow being harder now; and all the way to Dieppe, during the long, dreary hours of the journey, first in the gathering dusk, then in the thick darkness, raising his voice above the rumbling of the vehicle, Cornudet continued with fierce obstinacy his vengeful and monotonous whistling, forcing his weary and exasperated-hearers to follow the song from end to end, to recall every word of every line, as each was repeated over and over again with untiring persistency.
And Ball of Fat still wept, and sometimes a sob she could not restrain was heard in the darkness between two verses of the song.
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