“Professeur—you know,—” said a stranger, “daz Sylvestre Grandissime.”
Frowenfeld rather spoke to himself than answered:
“If I had not known that, I should have—” He checked himself and left the place.
* * * * *
While the apothecary was gathering these experiences, the free spirit of Raoul Innerarity was chafing in the shop like an eagle in a hen-coop. One moment after another brought him straggling evidences, now of one sort, now of another, of the “never more peaceable” state of affairs without. If only some pretext could be conjured up, plausible or flimsy, no matter; if only some man would pass with a gun on his shoulder, were it only a blow-gun; or if his employer were any one but his beloved Frowenfeld, he would clap up the shutters as quickly as he had already done once to-day, and be off to the wars. He was just trying to hear imaginary pistol-shots down toward the Place d’Armes, when the apothecary returned.
“D’ you fin’ him?”
“I found Sylvestre.”
“’E took de lett’?”
“I did not offer it.” Frowenfeld, in a few compact sentences, told his adventure.
Raoul was ablaze with indignation.
“‘Sieur Frowenfel’, gimmy dat lett’!” He extended his pretty hand.
“Gimmy ‘er!” persisted the artist; “befo’ I lose de sight from dat lett’ she goin’ to be hanswer by Sylvestre Grandissime, an’ ‘e goin’ to wrat you one appo-logie! Oh! I goin’ mek ‘im crah fo’ shem!”
“If I could know you would do only as I—”
“I do it!” cried Raoul, and sprang for his hat; and in the end Frowenfeld let him have his way.
“I had intended seeing him—” the apothecary said.
“Nevvamine to see; I goin’ tell him!” cried Raoul, as he crowded his hat fiercely down over his curls and plunged out.
TO COME TO THE POINT
It was equally a part of Honore Grandissime’s nature and of his art as a merchant to wear a look of serene leisure. With this look on his face he reentered his counting-room after his morning visit to Frowenfeld’s shop. He paused a moment outside the rail, gave the weak-eyed gentleman who presided there a quiet glance equivalent to a beckon, and, as that person came near, communicated two or three items of intelligence or instruction concerning office details, by which that invaluable diviner of business meanings understood that he wished to be let alone for an hour. Then M. Grandissime passed on into his private office, and, shutting the door behind him, walked briskly to his desk and sat down.