Europe Revised By Irvin S. Cobb

 -   A
person in France desirous of making a really ostentatious display
of his affluence, on finding a pearl in an - Page 100
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A Person In France Desirous Of Making A Really Ostentatious Display Of His Affluence, On Finding A Pearl In An Oyster, Would Swallow The Pearl And Wear The Oyster On His Shirtfront.

That would stamp him as a person of wealth.

However, I am not claiming that all French cookery is ultra-exorbitant in price or of excessively low grade. We had one of the surprises of our lives when, by direction of a friend who knew Paris, we went to a little obscure cafe that was off the tourist route and therefore - as yet - unspoiled and uncommercialized. This place was up a back street near one of the markets; a small and smellsome place it was, decorated most atrociously. In the front window, in close juxtaposition, were a platter of French snails and a platter of sticky confections full of dark spots. There was no mistaking the snails for anything except snails; but the other articles were either currant buns or plain buns that had been made in an unscreened kitchen.

Within were marble-topped tables of the Louie-Quince period and stuffy wall-seats of faded, dusty red velvet; and a waiter in his shirtsleeves was wandering about with a sheaf of those long French loaves tucked under his arm like golf sticks, distributing his loaves among the diners. But somewhere in its mysterious and odorous depths that little bourgeois cafe harbored an honest-to-goodness cook. He knew a few things about grilling a pig's knuckle - that worthy person.

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