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Emerson Hough
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 277 pages of information about The Mississippi Bubble.

“Eh—­ah—­which?  As you know—­”

“Ah!  Perhaps for La Parabere.  Richly enough she deserves it.”

“Ah, Monsieur L’as, even your mind is at fault now,” cried the regent, shaking his finger exultingly.  “I covet this new stone, not for Parabere nor for any one of those dear friends whom you might name, and whom you may upon occasion have met at some of my little suppers.  It is for another, whose name or nature you can not guess.”

“Not that mysterious beauty of whom rumor goes about this week, the woman rated surpassing fair, who has lately come into the acquaintance of your Grace, and whom your Grace has concealed as jealously as though he feared to lose her by some highway robbery?”

“It is the same, I must admit!”

Law remained thoughtful for a time.  “I make no doubt that the Hebrew would take two million francs for this stone,” said he.

“Perhaps, but two millions is the same as three millions,” said Philippe.  “The question is, where to get two millions.”

“As your Grace has said, I have been somewhat fortunate at play,” replied Law, “but I must say that this sum is beyond me, and that both the diamond and the bank I can not compass.  Yet, your Grace has at disposal the crown jewels of France.  Now, beauty is the sovereign of all sovereigns, as Philippe of Orleans must own.  To beauty belongs the use of these crown jewels.  Place them as security, and borrow the two millions.  For myself, I shall take pride in advancing the interest on the sum for a certain time, until such occasion as the treasury may afford the price of this trinket.  In a short time it will be able to do so, I promise your Grace; indeed able to buy a dozen such stones, and take no thought of the matter.”

“Monsieur L’as, do you actually believe these things?”

“I know them.”

“And you can secure for me this gem?”

“Assuredly.  We shall have it.  Let it be called the ‘Regent’s Diamond,’ after your Grace of Orleans.  And when the king shall one day wear it, let us hope that he will place it as fitly as I am sure your Grace will do, on the brow of beauty—­even though it be beauty unknown, and kept concealed under princely prerogative!”

“Ah!  You are too keen, Monsieur L’as, too keen to see my new discovery.  Not for a little time shall I take the risk of introducing this fair friend to one so dangerous as yourself; but one of these times, my very good friend, if you can secure for me this diamond, you shall come to a very little supper, and see where for a time I shall place this gem, as you say, on the brow of beauty.  For the sake of Monsieur L’as, head magician of France my mysterious alien shall then unmask.”

“And then I am to have my bank?”

“Good God, yes, a thousand banks!”

“It is agreed?”

“It is agreed.”

CHAPTER V

A DAY OF MIRACLES

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