The ingenuous southerner thus poured out his projects into the night with many expressive gestures, and from time to time, as they walked rapidly to and fro in the vast and deserted square, majestically surrounded by its silent and closed palaces, he raised his head towards the man of bronze on the column, as though taking to witness that great upstart whose presence in the midst of Paris authorizes all ambitions, endows every chimera with probability.
There is in young people a warmth of heart, a need of enthusiasm which is awakened by the least touch. As the Nabob talked, de Gery felt his suspicion take wing and all his sympathy return, together with a shade of pity. No, very certainly this man was not a rascal, but a poor, illuded being whose fortune had gone to his head like a wine too heavy for a stomach long accustomed to water. Alone in the midst of Paris, surrounded by enemies and people ready to take advantage of him, Jansoulet made upon him the impression of a man on foot laden with gold passing through some evil-haunted wood, in the dark and unarmed. And he reflected that it would be well for the protege to watch, without seeming to do so, over the protector, to become the discerning Telemachus of the blind Mentor, to point out to him the quagmires, to defend him against the highwaymen, to aid him, in a word, in his combats amid all that swarm of nocturnal ambuscades which he felt were prowling ferociously around the Nabob and his millions.
Every morning of the year, at exactly eight o’clock, a new and almost tenantless house in a remote quarter of Paris, echoed to cries, calls, merry laughter, ringing clear in the desert of the staircase:
“Father, don’t forget my music.”
“Father, my crochet wool.”
“Father, bring us some rolls.”
And the voice of the father calling from below: