Head of the Patron-Minette (novel)
Babet is one of four heads of a crime organization called Patron-Minette.
Babet was thin and learned. He was transparent but impenetrable. Daylight was visible through his bones, but nothing through his eyes. He declared that he was a chemist. He had been a jack of all trades. He had played in vaudeville at Saint-Mihiel. He was a man of purpose, a fine talker, who underlined his smiles and accentuated his gestures. He extracted teeth. He had exhibited phenomena at fairs, and he had owned a booth with a trumpet and this poster: ‘Babet, Dental Artist, Member of the Academies, makes physical experiments on metals and metalloids, extracts teeth, undertakes stumps abandoned by his brother practitioners. Price: one tooth, one franc, fifty centimes; two teeth, two francs; three teeth, two francs, fifty. Take advantage of this opportunity.’ This Take advantage of this opportunity meant: Have as many teeth extracted as possible.
He had been married and had had children, but he did not know what had become of his wife and children for he had lost them as one loses his handkerchief.