would come. I said he was St. Francis of Assizi in a new dransmigration produced, und he laughed und said he haf never preach to der fishes. He sold dem for tripang—béche-de-mer.

‘Und dot man, who was king of beasts-tamer men, he had in der house shust such anoder as dot devil- animal in der cage—a great orang-outang dot thought he was a man. He haf found him when he was a child—der orang-outang—und he was child und brother und opera comique all round to Bertran. He had his room in dot house—not a cage, but a room—mit a bed und sheets, und he would go to bed und get up in der morning und smoke his cigar und eat his dinner mit Bertran, und walk mit him hand in hand, which was most horrible. Herr Gott! I haf seen dot beast throw himself back in his chair und laugh when Bertran haf made fun of me. He was not a beast; he was a man, und he talked to Bertran, und Bertran comprehend, for I have seen dem. Und he was always politeful to me except when I talk too long to Bertran und say nodings at all to him. Den he would pull me away—dis great, dark devil, mit his enormous paws—shust as if I was a child. He was not a beast; he was a man. Dis I saw pefore I know him three months, und Bertran he haf saw the same; and Bimi, der orang-outang, haf understood us both, mit his cigar between his big dog-teeth und der blue gum.

‘I was dere a year, dere und at dere oder islands—somedimes for monkeys und somedimes for butterflies und orchits. One time Bertran says to me dot he will be married, because he haf found a girl dot was goot, und he enquire if this marrying idee was right. I would not say, pecause it was not me dot was going to be married. Den he go off courting der girl—she was a halfcaste French girl—very pretty. Haf you got a new light for my cigar? Ouf! Very pretty. Only I say, “Haf you thought of Bimi? If he pull me away when I talk to you, what will he do to your wife? He will pull her in pieces. If I was you, Bertran, I would gif my wife for wedding-present der stuff figure of Bimi.” By dot time I had learned some dings about der monkey peoples. “Shoot him?” says Bertran. “He is your beast,” I said; “if he was mine he would be shot now!”

‘Den I felt at der back of my neck der fingers of Bimi. Mein Gott! I tell you dot he talked through dose fingers. It was der deaf-and-dumb alphabet all gomplete. He slide his hairy arm round my neck, und he tilt up my chin und look into my face, shust to see if I understood his talk so well as he understood mine.

‘ “See now dere!” says Bertran, “und you would shoot him while he is cuddlin’ you? Dot is der Teuton ingrate!”

‘But I knew dot I had made Bimi a life’s-enemy, pecause his fingers haf talk murder through the back of my neck. Next dime I see Bimi dere was a pistol in my belt, und he touch it once, und I open der breech to show him it was loaded. He haf seen der liddle monkeys killed in der woods: he understood.

‘So Bertran he was married, and he forgot clean about Bimi dot was skippin’ alone on der beach mit der half of a human soul in his belly. I was see him skip, und he took a big bough und thrash der sand till he haf made a great hole like a grave. So I says to Bertran, “For any sakes, kill Bimi. He is mad mit der jealousy.”

‘Bertran haf said “He is not mad at all. He haf obey und lofe my wife, und if she speak he will get her slippers,” und he looked at his wife agross der room. She was a very pretty girl.

‘Den I said to him, “Dost dou pretend to know monkeys und dis beast dot is lashing himself mad upon der sands, pecause you do not talk to him? Shoot him when he comes to der house, for he haf der light in his eye dot means killing—und killing.” Bimi come to der house, but dere was no light in his eye. It was all put away, cunning—so cunning—und he fetch der girl her slippers, und Bertran turn to me und say, “Dost dou know him in nine months more dan I haf known him in twelve years? Shall a child stab his fader? I haf fed him, und he was my child. Do not speak this nonsense to my wife or to me any more.”

  By PanEris using Melati.

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