"Merlusse" is French schoolboy slang for codfish, and M. Blanchard, a professor at a certain lycÃ©e, was known to his victims by that name. On Christmas eve, when some twenty of the studentsâorphans, foreigners or just plain "unwanteds"âhad to remain in the boarding school, Merlusse is placed in charge. His glass eye glares at them stonily, his good one with no less severity. He sets them to tasks, marches like a proctor up and down the aisles, exacts to the utmost the last measure of discipline. But when the youngsters awake in the morning, there are toys by each bed in the dormitory and M. Blanchard, no longer to be called Merlusse, is exposed for the softhearted fraud he is.