"What can I do for you, sir?" asked he with great politeness.
"In Count de Mussidan's service, I believe?"
"Just so; I have an appointment with him here."
"He is downstairs in the band-room," replied the landlord. "I will send for him."
"Don't trouble; I will go down," and, without waiting for permission, Mascarin descended some steps that apparently led to a cellar.
"It appears to me," murmured Father Canon, "that I have seen this cove's face before."
Mascarin pushed open a door at the bottom of the flight of stairs, and a strange and appalling noise issued from within (but this neither surprised nor alarmed him), and entered a vaulted room arranged like a /café/, with seats and tables, filled with customers. In the centre, two men, in their shirt sleeves, with crimson faces, were performing upon horns; while an old man, with leather gaiters, buttoning to the knee, and a broad leather belt, was whistling the air the hornplayers were executing. As Mascarin politely took off his hat, the performers ceased, and the old man discontinued his whistling, while a well-built young fellow, with pumps and stockings, and wearing a fashionable mustache, exclaimed,--
"Aha, it is that good old Mascarin. I was expecting you; will you drink?"