Very early in the morning Banker was in front of the Hotel Grenade. He did not loiter there; he did not wander up and down like a vagrant, or stand about like a spy. It was part of his business to be able to be present in various places almost at the same time, and not to attract notice in any of them. It was not until after ten o’clock that he saw anything worthy of his observation, and then a carriage drove up to the front entrance, and on the seat beside the driver sat Cheditafa, erect, solemn, and respectable. Presently the negro got down and opened the door of the carriage. In a few moments a lady, a beautiful lady, handsomely dressed, came out of the hotel and entered the carriage. Then Cheditafa shut the door and got up beside the driver again. It was a fine thing to have such a footman as this one, so utterly different from the ordinary groom or footman, so extremely distingue!
As the carriage rolled off, Banker walked after it, but not in such a way as to attract attention, and then he entered a cab and told the cocher to drive to the Bon Marche. Of course, he did not know where the lady was going to, but at present she was driving in the direction of that celebrated mart, and he kept his eye upon her carriage, and if she had turned out of the Boulevard and away from the Seine, he would have ordered his driver to turn also and go somewhere else. He did not dare to tell the man to follow the carriage. He was shaved, and his clothes had been put in as good order as possible, but he knew that he did not look like a man respectable enough to give such an order without exciting suspicion.
But the carriage did go to the Bon Marche, and there also went the cab, the two vehicles arriving at almost the same time. Banker paid his fare with great promptness, and was on the pavement in time to see the handsomely dressed lady descend and enter the establishment. As she went in, he took one look at the back of her bonnet. It had a little green feather in it. Then he turned quickly upon Cheditafa, who had shut the carriage door and was going around behind it in order to get up on the other side.
“Look here,” whispered Banker, seizing the clerical butler by the shoulder, “who is that lady? Quick, or I’ll put a knife in you.”
At these words Cheditafa’s heart almost stopped beating, and as he quickly turned he saw that he looked into the face of a man, an awfully wicked man, who had once helped to grind the soul out of him, in that dreadful cave by the sea. The poor negro was so frightened that he scarcely knew whether he was in Paris or Peru.