(...) We were up at dawn, and after mass we started. In the hall we met the master of the house, "who was grieved, good man, to see Joan going breakfastless to such a day's work, and begged her to wait and eat, but she couldn't afford the time— that is to say, she couldn't afford the patience, she being in such a blaze of anxiety to get at that last remaining bastille which stood between her and the completion of the first great step in the rescue and redemption of France. Boucher put in another plea:
'But think—we poor beleaguered citizens who have hardly known the flavour of fish for these many months, have spoil of that sort again, and we owe it to you. There's a noble shad for breakfast; wait—be persuaded.'
'Oh, there's going to be fish in plenty; when this day's work is done the whole river-front will be yours to do as you please with.'
'Ah, your Excellency will do well, that I know; but we don't require quite that much, even of you ; you shall have a month for it in place of a day. Now be beguiled—wait and eat. There's a saying that he that would cross a river twice in the same day in a boat, will do well to eat fish for luck, lest he have an accident.'
'That doesn't fit my case, for to-day I cross but once in a boat.'
'Oh, don't say that. Aren't you coming back to us?'
'Yes, but not in a boat.'
'By the bridge.'
'Listen to that—by the bridge! Now stop this jesting, dear General, and do as I would have you. It's a noble fish.'
'Be good, then, and save me some for supper; and I will bring one of those Englishmen with me and he shall have his share.'
'Ah, well, have your way if you must. But he that fasts must attempt but little and stop early. When shall you be back?'