But then it was, just at that point, I came to myself and looking up recognized my friend the philosopher. Years seemed to have passed—two separate life times—and startled at finding myself seated in the same chair and wearing the same clothes, I demanded of you what day it was. And you answered Friday the fifteenth. How can such a thing be possible?
To think that you, a watchmaker and a petit bourgeois, should experience what many a saint has died without realizing! I salute you, mystic, descendent of prophets and seers!
But what was it then?
What was it? A mystical experience, an experience of the highest order, like unto Saint Therese, though in symbols of mundane things. But that is the fault of the age more than yourself. With more practise your mind will exhibit even greater power. You must continue in the path. Who knows what you could do after years of self-denial, when a mere two weeks without cigarettes have brought you this vision?
And without coffee. Don’t forget the cafe! And now that I am rich I shall never go without it again. No, on the contrary, I shall have at least two, and on a silver tray.
Do you mean to say you really believe?—But it doesn’t matter. Whether or not the telegram came, the important fact is that you had the vision. It is for this you must be grateful.
Can a philosopher really be such a fool? Of course the telegram came! And I am grateful!
No. You are the most ungrateful of men. But why mention the telegram? What matters is whether your vision arose from seeing the telegram or seeing the telegraph boy? The philosophic truth is the same.
Mon dieu! What difference does it make? But I swear I have the telegram, and it reads just as I told you!
But no! You are ungrateful, and for that I despise you!
But yes! And after reading it four times I locked it in my safe. Do I not know I entered my shop and locked it up?
Yes, and do you not know also that you moved to the Rue de la Paix?
Oh! Could it have been—Then I am ruined, and my brother is the most selfish of men!