The clerk who had before acted as usher came in and handed him a slip of paper with a name written on it. M. Grandissime folded it twice, gazed out the window, and finally nodded. The clerk disappeared, and Joseph Frowenfeld paused an instant in the door and then advanced, with a buoyant good-morning.
“Good-morning,” responded M. Grandissime.
He smiled and extended his hand, yet there was a mechanical and preoccupied air that was not what Joseph felt justified in expecting.
“How can I serve you, Mr. Frhowenfeld?” asked the merchant, glancing through into the counting-room. His coldness was almost all in Joseph’s imagination, but to the apothecary it seemed such that he was nearly induced to walk away without answering. However, he replied:
“A young man whom I have employed refers to you to recommend him.”
“Yes, sir? Prhay, who is that?”
“Your cousin, I believe, Mr. Raoul Innerarity.”
M. Grandissime gave a low, short laugh, and took two steps toward his desk.
“Rhaoul? Oh yes, I rhecommend Rhaoul to you. As an assistant in yo’ sto’?—the best man you could find.”
“Thank you, sir,” said Joseph, coldly. “Good-morning!” he added turning to go.
“Mr. Frhowenfeld,” said the other, “do you evva rhide?”
“I used to ride,” replied the apothecary, turning, hat in hand, and wondering what such a question could mean.
“If I send a saddle-hoss to yo’ do’ on day aftah to-morrhow evening at fo’ o’clock, will you rhide out with me for-h about a hour-h and a half—just for a little pleasu’e?”
Joseph was yet more astonished than before. He hesitated, accepted the invitation, and once more said good-morning.
DOCTOR KEENE RECOVERS HIS BULLET
It early attracted the apothecary’s notice, in observing the civilization around him, that it kept the flimsy false bottoms in its social errors only by incessant reiteration. As he re-entered the shop, dissatisfied with himself for accepting M. Grandissime’s invitation to ride, he knew by the fervent words which he overheard from the lips of his employee that the f.m.c. had been making one of his reconnoisances, and possibly had ventured in to inquire for his tenant.
“I t’ink, me, dat hanny w’ite man is a gen’leman; but I don’t care if a man are good like a h-angel, if ’e har not pu’e w’ite ’ow can ’e be a gen’leman?”
Raoul’s words were addressed to a man who, as he rose up and handed Frowenfeld a note, ratified the Creole’s sentiment by a spurt of tobacco juice and an affirmative “Hm-m.”
The note was a lead-pencil scrawl, without date.
DEAR JOE: Come
and see me some time this evening.
I am on my back in bed. Want your help in a little
matter. Yours, Keene.
I have found out who —— ——”