Parisian Points of View eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 114 pages of information about Parisian Points of View.

“Another more important point.  Let us mention the essential things first.  My father is very rich.”

“I know, I know that too.”

“Good, then, very good.  I continue.  I left Paris this morning, and I have here in my pocket a ticket for cabin No. 27 on the Traonaddy, which leaves to-morrow at four o’clock from the Bay of Joliette for Suez, Aden, Colombo, and Singapore, and I shall go on board to-morrow at four o’clock if you don’t let me hope to become your son-in-law.”

“Sir!”

“Don’t move, madam, don’t move.  Mlle. Martha is pretending to sleep, but she isn’t sleeping; she is watching us, and I haven’t said all yet.  I am but just beginning.  You are going to answer me—­oh, I know it—­that you don’t know me, that Mlle. Martha doesn’t know me.  Allow me to tell you that Mlle. Martha and myself know each other better than three-fourths of engaged couples on the day of their marriage.  You know how it is usually done.  A rapid glance from afar in a theatre—­one brings good lorgnettes, one examines.  ‘How do you like him?’ ‘Fairly, fairly.’  Then, several days later, at a ball, in the midst of the figures of the quadrille, several gasping, breathless phrases are exchanged.  Then a meeting in a picture-gallery.  There, there is more intimacy, because it takes place in a small room.  It happened to me with a young provincial.  I had pegged away that morning at the Joanne guide, so as to be able to find something to say about the Raphaels and the Murillos.  And at the end of several interviews of that sort it is over, one has made acquaintance, one suits the other, and the marriage is decided.  Mlle. Martha and I are already old comrades.  In the first place, to begin with, this morning at half-past eleven she fell into my arms.”

“My daughter in your arms!”

“Don’t jump, madam; Mlle. Martha will see you jump.”

Martha had, in fact, closely followed the scene with half-shut eyes, and said to herself, “Good gracious! what is he telling mamma?  She is obliged to hold on to the arms of her seat to keep herself from jumping up.”

“Yes, madam, in my arms; by the greatest, by the most fortunate of accidents, we stumbled over each other on one of the platforms of the train.  And since I have seen her, not in the false light of a theatre or a gallery, but in the full glare of sunlight.  I have seen her at lunch, munching nuts with the prettiest teeth there are in the world; I have seen her, just now, in the moonlight; and I know that she skates, and I know that she swims, and I know she would like to have a pearl-gray coupe, and she ought to have it.  And now I admire her in the semi-obscurity.  Ravishing! isn’t she ravishing?”

“Sir, never has a mother found herself—­”

“In such a situation?  I acknowledge it, madam, and for that very reason you must get out of the situation quickly; it’s evident that it can’t be prolonged.”

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Parisian Points of View from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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