Thither, about a mile south of my destination, and
on the other side of a respectable summit, had these confused roads and
treacherous peasantry conducted me. My shoulder was cut, so that it hurt
sharply; my arm ached like toothache from perpetual beating; I gave up
the lake and my design to camp, and asked for the auberge.
I HAVE A GOAD
The auberge of Bouchet St. Nicolas was among the least pretentious I have
ever visited; but I saw many more of the like upon my journey. Indeed,
it was typical of these French highlands. Imagine a cottage of two
stories, with a bench before the door; the stable and kitchen in a suite,
so that Modestine and I could hear each other dining; furniture of the
plainest, earthern floors, a single bedchamber for travellers, and that
without any convenience but beds. In the kitchen cooking and eating go
forward side by side, and the family sleep at night. Any one who has a
fancy to wash must do so in public at the common table. The food is
sometimes spare; hard fish and omelette have been my portion more than
once; the wine is of the smallest, the brandy abominable to man; and the
visit of a fat sow, grouting under the table and rubbing against your
legs, is no impossible accompaniment to dinner.
But the people of the inn, in nine cases out of ten, show themselves
friendly and considerate.
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