"Eh!" said Buttrebeurrousse. "You are plotting something against my friend."

"And I told you we were but joking, did I not?" retorted Sacqueville-Danglars.

"I may be drunk, but I can see through an arc de triomphe of brick in time," said Buttrebeurrousse, trying to seize the accusation. Sacqueville-Danglars neatly pulled the act of accusation out of Buttrebeurrousse’s reach, and poured him another glass.

"Look," he said. "To prove we are only joking, I will throw this bagatelle into that corner, next to the bidet. Then you will know we mean no harm to our friend Gamgès." Thereupon he turned the accusation into a paper airplane avant lettre and tossed it in the corner with the pornographic posters. "Retrieve it later," he whispered to Pippand. "You know well what to do with it." Pippand said nothing.

Buttrebeurrousse, meanwhile, was at the last stages of drunkennesse that precede the utter loss of the senses. "I veell sleep een Gamgès’s honneurr," he mumbled.

"I, er, have to use the bidet, and then go," said Pippand. "I see someone about the drains in my smiaux, or else about a dragon, c’est presque la même chose." On his way to the bidet, he subtly stuck the accusation under his hat.

While Buttrebeurrousse said farewell to the wine-barrel in the cellar, Sacqueville-Danglars smiled to himself.

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