The Nabob eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 527 pages of information about The Nabob.

“You are an infamous liar!” said M. Noel, beside himself with rage—­“a thief and a liar like your master.  Jansoulet has never been in Paris before now.”

Francis was seated a little outside our circle engaged in sipping something sweet, because champagne has a bad effect on his nerves and because, too, it is not a sufficiently distinguished beverage for him.  He rose gravely, without putting down his glass, and, advancing towards M. Noel, said to him very quietly: 

“You are wanting in manners, mon cher.  The other evening I found your tone coarse and unseemly.  To insult people serves no good purpose, especially in this case, since I happen to have been an assistant to a fencing-master, and, if matters were carried further between us, could put a couple of inches of steel into whatever part of your body I might choose.  But I am good-natured.  Instead of a sword-thrust, I prefer to give you a piece of advice, which your master will do well to follow.  This is what I should do in your place:  I should go and find Moessard, and I should buy him, without quibbling about price.  Hemerlingue has given him twenty thousand francs to speak; I would offer him thirty thousand to hold his tongue.”

“Never! never!” vociferated M. Noel.  “I should rather go and knock the rascally brigand’s head off.”

“You will do nothing of the kind.  Whether the calumny be true or false, you have seen the effect of it this evening.  This is a sample of the pleasures in store for you.  What can you expect, mon cher?  You have thrown away your crutches too soon, and thought to walk by yourselves.  That is all very well when one is well set up and firm on the legs; but when one had not a very solid footing, and has also the misfortune to feel Hemerlingue at his heels, it is a bad business.  Besides, your master is beginning to be short of money; he has given notes of hand to old Schwalbach—­and don’t talk to me of a Nabob who gives notes of hand.  I know well that you have millions over yonder, but your election must be declared valid before you can touch them; a few more articles like to-day’s, and I answer for it that you will not secure that declaration.  You set yourselves up to struggle against Paris, mon bon, but you are not big enough for such a match; you know nothing about it.  Here we are not in the East, and if we do not wring the necks of people who displease us, if we do not throw them into the water in a sack, we have other methods of effecting their disappearance.  Noel, let your master take care.  One of these mornings Paris will swallow him as I swallow this plum, without spitting out either the stone or skin.”

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The Nabob from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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