"It is easy enough to understand. You see the consequences of your plot. Although a multitude of laws are directed against me I have managed to elude the greater number of them. Some, however, have struck me. These vindictive men have closed my laboratories and my shops, and confiscated my bottles, my stills, and my retorts. They have put seals on my doors and now I am compelled to go in through the window. I am barely able to extract in secret and from time to time the juice of a few plants and that with an apparatus which the humblest labourer would despise."
"You suffer from the persecution," said Agaric. "It strikes us all."
The monk of Conils passed his hand over his afflicted brow:
"I told you so, Brother Agaric; I told you that your enterprise would turn against ourselves."
"Our defeat is only momentary," replied Agaric eagerly. "It is due to purely accidental causes; it results from mere contingencies. Chatillon was a fool; he has drowned himself in his own ineptitude. Listen to me, Brother Cornemuse. We have not a moment to lose. We must free the Penguin people, we must deliver them from their tyrants, save them from themselves, restore the Dragon's crest, reestablish the ancient State, the good State, for the honour of religion and the exaltation of the Catholic faith. Chatillon was a bad instrument; he broke in our hands. Let us take a better instrument to replace him. I have the man who will destroy this impious democracy. He is a civil official; his name is Gomoru. The Penguins worship him, He has already betrayed his party for a plate of rice. There's the man we want!"
At the beginning of this speech the monk of Conils had climbed into his window and pulled up the ladder.
"I foresee," answered he, with his nose through the sash, "that you will not stop until you have us all expelled from this pleasant, agreeable, and sweet land of Penguinia. Good night; God keep you!"
Agaric, standing before the wall, entreated his dearest brother to listen to him for a moment:
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