Down and Out in Paris and London

CHARLIE told us a good story one Saturday night in the bistro. Try and picture him--drunk, but sober enough to talk consecutively. He bangs on the zinc bar and yells for silence:

'Silence, messieurs et dames--silence, I implore you! Listen to this story, that I am about to tell you. A memorable story, an instructive story, one of the souvenirs of a refined and civilized life. Silence, messieurs et dames!

'It happened at a time when I was hard up. You know what that is like --how damnable, that a man of refinement should ever be in such a condition. My money had not come from home; I had pawned everything, and there was nothing open to me except to work, which is a thing I will not do. I was living with a girl at the time--Yvonne her name was--a great half-witted peasant girl like Azaya there, with yellow hair and fat legs. The two of us had eaten nothing in three days.

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