To make Delacroix leave his cell for the guards to rehearse his execution, Brutal takes Delacroix and Mr. Jingles to perform their tricks in front of a group of prison staff. Delighted at the idea of showing off his mouse’s feats, Delacroix believes himself to be in charge of a circus. After he leaves, excited at the prospect of the show, Paul gets the guards ready for rehearsal. When Toot-Toot, as usual, begins to narrate everything he is doing, saying “I’m sittin down, I’m sittin down, I’m sittin down,” Paul feels for a second that what they do in this prison is, more than Mr. Jingles’s tricks, a real circus.
Delacroix’s excitement at being in charge of a circus contrasts ironically with the true reason he is made to do this: to distract from the fact that the guards are preparing for his execution. Paul’s feeling that he himself is involved in a circus act signals his frustration with having to kill yet another prisoner—a sobering act that Toot-Toot does not take seriously. Paul’s discomfort suggests that he has deep reservations about the very action he is getting ready to perform.