The idle ramblings of a Jack of some trades, Master of none

Philippe Claudel has penned an absolute marvel of a novel in his Brodeck's Report, from which I excerpt this bit:
"Well what?" 
"What did he say?" 
"He said he wanted a 'collation'." 
"A 'collation'? What's that?" 
"A light meal, he said." 
"What are you going to do?" 
"What he's asked me to do!" 
Everyone was curious to see what a 'collation' looked like. Most of the crowd followed Schloss into his kitchen and watched as he prepared a large tray on which he put three thick slices of bacon, a sausage, some marinated gherkins, a bowl of cooked cream pudding, a loaf of brown bread, some sweet and sour cabbage and a large piece of goat's cheese, together with a jug of wine and a mug of beer. As he passed through the crowd of his customers, he carried the tray reverently, and everyone made way for him in silence, as though for the passage of a holy relic.


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