The excerpt represents the core issue or deciding factor on which you must meditate, and is drawn from The Chouans by Honore de Balzac:|
the long winter nights. The Chouan raised his thumb and made a hollow
in the palm of his hand, after the manner in which an "Invalide" takes
his tobacco; then he shook the horn, the small end of which Pille-
Miche had unscrewed. A fine powder fell slowly from the little hole
pierced in the point of this Breton utensil. Marche-a-Terre went
through the same process seven or eight times silently, as if the
powder had power to change the current of his thoughts. Suddenly he
flung the horn to Pille-Miche with a gesture of despair, and caught up
a gun which was hidden in the straw.
"Seven or eight shakes at once! I suppose you think that costs
nothing!" said the stingy Pille-Miche.