“My little cousin,” said he, “you are a very wide-awake little fellow. You will get along. But you are playing a naughty game with me; and if I wasn`t afraid of making trouble for my cousin, Mateo, the devil take me, but I would carry you off with me.”
“But when my cousin comes back I shall tell him about this, and he will whip you till the blood comes for having told such lies.”
“You don`t say so!”
“You will see. But hold on!—be a good boy and I will give you something.”
“Cousin, let me give you some advice: if you wait much longer Gianetto will be in the maquis and it will take a smarter man than you to follow him.”
The Adjutant took from his pocket a silver watch worth about ten crowns, and noticing that Fortunato`s eyes sparkled at the sight of it, said, holding the watch by the end of its steel chain:
Look at my watch
“Rascal! you would like to have such a watch as that hung around your neck, wouldn`t you, and to walk in the streets of Porto-Vecchio proud as a peacock? People would ask you what time it was, and you would say: `Look at my watch.` ”
“When I am grown up, my uncle, the Caporal, will give me a watch.”
“Yes; but your uncle`s little boy has one already; not so fine as this either. But then, he is younger than you.”
The child sighed.
“Well! Would you like this watch, little cousin?”
Fortunato, casting sidelong glances at the watch, resembled a cat that has been given a whole chicken. It feels that it is being made sport of, and does not dare to use its claws; from time to time it turns its eyes away so as not to be tempted, licking its jaws all the while, and has the appearance of saying to its master, “How cruel your joke is!” How ever, the Adjutant seemed in earnest in offering his watch. For tunato did not reach out his hand for it, but said with a bitter smile: “Why do you make fun of me?”
“Good God! I am not making fun of you. Only tell me where Gianetto is and the watch is yours.”
Fortunato smiled incredulously, and fixing his black eyes on those of the Adjutant tried to read there the faith he ought to have had in his words.
Read More about Victory over the Turks part 33