"Not so jolly, Ben Zoof, as you fancy," said his master; "the cowards would be too heavy to run away."
Ben Zoof ventured the remark that, as the smallness of Gallia secured to its inhabitants such an increase of strength and agility, he was almost sorry that it had not been a little smaller still.
"Though it could not anyhow have been very much smaller," he added, looking slyly at the professor.
"Idiot!" exclaimed Rosette. "Your head is too light already; a puff of wind would blow it away."
"I must take care of my head, then, and hold it on," replied the irrepressible orderly.
Unable to get the last word, the professor was about to retire, when Servadac detained him.
"Permit me to ask you one more question," he said. "Can you tell me what is the nature of the soil of Gallia?"
"Yes, I can answer that. And in this matter I do not think your impertinent orderly will venture to put Montmartre into the comparison. This soil is of a substance not unknown upon the earth." And speaking very slowly, the professor said: "It contains 70 per cent. of tellurium, and 30 per cent. of gold."