The people of the small town had found it very peculiar that the Baron announced a few days after the siege began that he would cook a magnificent feast for them in a week's time. All he had asked for were the town's strongest young men to aid him in his cooking. After a week had gone by, the Baron invited the most prestigious of the town's citizens to join him in a tasting session of the feast. The citizens came out of the castle, their bellies full, and assured the town that there was enough food for all of them. "However," Madame Agen said to the people, "I find that there is one flaw in Baron Vanier's cooking." The people raised their heads in curiosity. "There is no meat in the stew! I cannot find a dish complete without meat." The people shook their heads. They could do without meat, but of course the chunky Madame Agen could not. The Baron, who was standing next to Madame Agen during her speech, explained that even though the English had slaughtered their cows and pigs and chickens that he would make a dish that would do without meat.
Nevertheless, the people of the town had their bellies filled for that night.
It wasn't long until the beggars and lowlifes of the town began to rob people for money once more, and when the Baron saw that, he knew that he had to do something. And so he began preparations for another feast. He spent night upon night trying to think of something that would substitute for meat in the dish, and he finally decided that cabbages would do a decent job of satisfying the flaw that Madame Agen pointed out. Once again, he invited the prestige of the town for a small tasting session. They came out once again with their bellies full, and once again told the town that there was enough food for all of them. But Madame Agen's carnivorous appetite was not satiated. "The cabbage has the texture of meat, but not the... feel, of meat!"
The Baron, at this point, was slightly irritated at Madame Agen's impossible demands. "And how exactly will one put that 'feel' of meat into a dish without meat, Mademoiselle Agen?"
She chuckled a bit, and whispered to the Baron, "Why, with meat, of course!"
Nevertheless, the people of the town had their bellies filled for the night.
But the English did not let up on their siege. Raids into the town became more common, and the Baron once again saw the need for another feast.
And so he put his best minds of the castle together to create a mixture of some sort that, when cooked, would resemble meat. Eventually, they came up with the mixture, and the Baron went to work on the feast yet again.
Afraid of Madame Agen's scoldings, he invited the prestige for an early tasting session, to see if the meat substitute would satisfy a hungry man's taste for meat.
But Madame Agen still wanted more.
"Have you tasted meat, Baron Vanier? It simply cannot be recreated in a bottle of liquid! One must have the meat in his hands to create a dish with meat."
"Madame Agen!" The Baron shouted. "I simply do not have meat!"
"Then find some," she replied.
And at that moment the Baron knew what he had to do.
"Madame Agen... a moment, please?"
When the prestige came out, the crowd did not notice Madame Agen to be missing. They did not notice the lack of her scoldings of the Baron's cooking.
Nevertheless, the people of the town had their bellies filled for the night, and had the gnawing question of how the Baron got his hands on some of the finest meat they had ever tasted.
Written by 41488p