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      ST. SAUVEUR is the patron saint of Petit Andelys, and its little church is the church of St. Sauveur.

      Each year Petit Andelys, as do most of the towns of France, celebrates the fête-day of its patron, and does it so well that the lustre of the fête has spread far and wide, bringing many visitors, which pleases the good folk of the little town, for they are proud of it and everything connected therewith.

      The fête-day of St. Sauveur has no connection whatever with Petit Andelys’ big twin town of Grand Andelys, which has its own fête, but nothing like so grand. There is some little jealousy between the two Andelys. The size and importance of Grand Andelys throws the other quite in the shade, but Petit Andelys has the river, and the people of Grand Andelys have to walk a dusty mile before they reach it, and that is one reason that visitors like the Belle Etoile.

      So Petit Andelys arranges its own fête. The mayor and its leading citizens organize committees, and great preparations go on for weeks beforehand.

      One day the children running out of school at the noon hour saw, in the square in front of the church, many wagons with poles, and flapping canvas strewn about. These were the booths for the fair, which were being put up.

      The great attraction of every fête is its fair, and these foires, as the French also call them, move about the country from town to town in wagons like an old-fashioned circus, planning to reach an important town for some special occasion — such as its fête-day.

      The participants in these fairs live in their lumbering wagons very much as do gipsies, selling all sorts of knick-knacks, and performing little plays, or feats of agility or strength.

      In a few days the little town was dressed out with flags and wreaths, gay streamers and paper lanterns.

      Marie and Germaine, who were staying at their Uncle Daboll’s for the fête, were awakened at five o’clock on the opening day by a succession of terrific noises, which were set forth on the official programme as a “Salvo of Artillery.”

      They were soon dressed and out, but even at that early hour the whole town was astir. Later on the booths in the square opened up for business. 

      There was a merry-go-round, “ flying horses” the children call them, with big pink pigs to ride on, and swings in the shape of boats, and a marvellous “wheel of fortune” for those who wanted to try their luck. 

     Germaine never tired of admiring what seemed to her the most beautiful things set out for sale.

      Jean’s great ambition was to hit some of the pipes in the shooting-gallery, and win a wonderful knife that contained everything from a corkscrew to a file. 

     The real gaiety, however, only began in the evening, when a torchlight procession marched up and down the main streets.

      First came the “Salvo of Artillery” again, which, after all, was a very simple affair. A cartridge was placed on a paving-stone and struck with a big hammer. It made a tremendous noise, however, and everybody jumped, and Germaine put her fingers in her ears when she saw the hammer coming down.

      Behind came men and boys carrying lighted paper lanterns, and then the band of the pornpiers (the village fire department), and then more people, while all along the route was burned red and green fire. Lanterns and fairy lamps in front of the houses and around the square were lighted, and the band played on a platform near the booths for the young people to dance.

      Jean rode on one of the pink pigs on the merry-go-round, but Marie and Germaine preferred the chairs shaped like swans, for they were afraid of slipping off the round pigs. The only trouble was that the man who had charge of these wonderful beasts cut the rides rather short.

      Uncle Daboll and M. Lafond broke several of the pipes in the shooting-gallery, and Germaine’s papa even hit one of the funny paper ducks that kept bobbing up, and got a walking-stick for his pains, but no one succeeded in hitting the white ball that swung at the end of a string. 

     Germaine’s mamma bought her a little toy laiterie, which looked just like the one at their farm. There was a little cow on one side, and in the other the milk-pans and churn — all true to life.

      Perhaps the booth which had the most custom was the one with the gingerbread, which is a very popular variety of cake throughout France. Our little friends were soon there buying quite a menagerie of animals made of gingerbread. Jean chose a horse, Marie an elephant, and Germaine a cat, which, strange to say, was as big as Marie’s elephant.

      Then they all crowded into the little theatre; the funniest one you ever saw. The stage was made up out of a wagon, and the audience sat under an awning in front. There was no scenery, but a piece of cloth with a queer-looking picture painted on it, and the actors never changed their costumes once, but every one laughed and enjoyed it as much as if it had been the big theatre in Grand Andelys.

      It was late when everybody got home, that is, it was ten o’clock, which is a very late hour for a French village, where every one is usually sound asleep by half-past eight or nine. The fête was to last a week, and every day had something new to offer.

      The next day Jean announced, “There is a circus down on the quay,” as he burst into the kitchen where the family were gathered for breakfast. “The baker’s boy told me he could see them from the bakery. They came late last night, and are waiting to get permission from the mayor to put up their tents in the town.”

      “Oh, let’s go and see them at once!” said Marie and Germaine in the same breath. Jean quickly disposed of his breakfast by taking a slice of bread and eating it as he went.

      The quay presented a lively appearance indeed. There were nearly a dozen gaudily painted wagons, while near by were tethered the horses. The women were preparing the morning meal outside the wagons, which served for houses, while the men fed the horses or fished in the river, and the children played about, or followed the visitors with outstretched hands asking for pennies. 

     “I should like to give them something,” said Marie, “but you know they are not allowed to beg while they are in the village, and we should not encourage them to break the law. I will go back, though, and ask aunty to give me some cakes for them,” and the kind-hearted girl ran back to Madame Daboll’s.

      Meanwhile Jean was wondering what was inside the wagons with CIRQUE painted in big black letters on their sides. Near a bright yellow van were tethered two goats which were carried for their milk. Goat’s milk is much used in France among the poorer classes, especially in the southern part of the country, and the white goat’s milk cheeses are rather good, when one gets used to the peculiar flavour. 

     Germaine was getting acquainted with a lot of dark-skinned little children, who looked chubby and well taken care of in their neat cotton dresses.

      Their mother was a gipsy-like woman who had fancy baskets for sale, and she told Germaine she had nine children, which set Germaine to wondering how they all stowed themselves away in the one wagon. It was a big one, to be sure, divided into two rooms, and wonderfully compact, and as they sat and  out-of-doors on the ground or the steps of their wagons, they could easily get on without tables and chairs.

      Here Marie came running up with her cakes, which she divided among the little ones who gathered about her.

      By this time they had got the desired permission to open up the circus on the square, and that afternoon our three little friends had the pleasure of seeing the horse that could find a hidden handkerchief, the performing dogs, and all the other wonders of the show.  

      The grand events of the fête were saved up for the last day. There were to be the sports in the afternoon, and a grand illumination and display of fireworks in the evening. The sports, in which the young boys were to take part, were held in the square. Jean was to participate in one of these, and was one of the first to be at the roped-in enclosure in the middle of which stood two high poles. Between these poles were hung a dozen or more tin buckets all filled with water, except the middle one. In this was a new five-franc piece. To each bucket was attached a string, and when a boy was blindfolded, and an enormous grotesque mask put over his head, it was a somewhat difficult task to walk up and to pull the string of the bucket which held the five-franc piece. Should he pull any of the others, down would tumble a pail full of water all over him, amid the laughter and jeers of the bystanders. Jean had talked for weeks beforehand how he would spend the five francs if he were fortunate enough to win it. He had in imagination bought most of the things in M. Carré’s shop. Five francs, which is equal to one American dollar, was a big sum to a little French boy such as Jean.

      “I do hope you will get it, Jean!” whispered Germaine; “remember to try and walk straight.” Jean was so excited as he groped his way along he could not have told whether he was going backwards or forwards. “Oh, he will get it! Keep where you are! You’re in the right place!” shouted Jean’s friends, as they watched his hand touch the strings with indecision. Little Germaine held her breath. “Oh, he has done it!” she cried, jumping up and down and clapping her hands. “Marie, he has it!” as the bag with the five franc piece tumbled on top of his head.

      Jean was the hero of the hour among the children, and some of his prize was soon spent at one of the booths on sucre du pomme, which was distributed lavishly among his admiring friends. Sucre du pomme, by the by, is a very nice candy made in sticks of various sizes from sugar and the drippings of the cider apples. Each stick is carefully wrapped in a pretty paper, and tied together, in bundles of six or a dozen, with bright ribbons.

      Jean’s father and M. Lafond took part in the men’s sports on the river-front, but neither had Jean’s luck. One feat was quite difficult. It was something like what children elsewhere know as “climbing the greasy pole,” but in this case it was a bar that extended over the river, in which at regular intervals were placed, hanging downward, wooden pegs. These pegs were well greased, and one had to swing himself by his hands from one of these pegs to another in order to reach the extreme end of the bar, where was fastened a small bag of money. Well, you may imagine this was not easy to do, and generally about the third or fourth peg the participant would drop into the water with a splash, and be picked up by a waiting boat, to the intense amusement of the lookers-on, who thronged the banks of the river. After many trials, one venturesome fellow grabbed the bag just before he slipped off, taking it with him, however, into the water.

      After this came the diving matches and the swimming contests, and then everybody got ready for the evening’s grand wind-up. In the Belle Etoile all was bustle and confusion; the maids were flying about, for there were many visitors who had come in for the usual apéritif The café was full, the gardens were filled up with extra tables, and M. Auguste was quite distracted in his endeavours to be polite and attentive to every one, besides stopping to take a glass with his friends, as was his custom. He had barely a moment to pat Germaine on the cheek, and to hear the story of Jean’s success.

      Mr. Carter, with the help of the young lady artists, was hanging lanterns in the front windows, and getting ready a big lot of Roman candles as the contribution of the visitors of the Belle Etoile to the evening’s gaieties, while Mimi, the white cat, sat in the doorway regarding things with her usual lofty air of superiority.

      As it grew dark, our two parties found themselves once more on the quay, amid a great throng of tourists, country folk, visitors in automobiles and farm carts, on bicycles, and in lumbering ‘buses from out-of-the-way villages.

      The prosaic little neighbourhood was changed for the night into a gorgeous panorama of light and colour. The river banks burned with red, green, and white Bengal fires. Queer boats rigged with golden lamps, and sails of coloured lanterns, floated down the stream, and into the sky burst showers of gold and silver stars.

      Suddenly there was heard a great boom, and from the top of Château Gaillard rose a red cloud of fire, and the old walls and turrets stood out red against the dark blue sky, a beacon for miles of country roundabout. It was a mimic reproduction of the destruction of the grand old castle many hundreds of years ago.

      Germaine caught Marie’s hand, it seemed so real. It seemed as if her cherished playground were crumbling away, and that never again could she picture the great king and his knights riding out of its massive gateway to do battle against its foes.

      “Ah! Messieurs and Mesdames, is it not a wonderful sight; a grand occasion for our city?” The voice brought Germaine back to earth again. It was the indefatigable little sous-Commissaire, the one policeman of the village, speaking to them. The little man had come unwearied and triumphant through the excitements of the great day. Ah! it was he who had managed it all so successfully! It was he who had kept order among the vast throng. No other sous-Commissaire in all France could have done better, and the little man swelled with pride.

      The light had faded off the château; the last rocket had been fired; the band of the pompiers played the “Marseillaise,” — the national air, — and the great event of the year for Petit Andelys was over.

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