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Émile Gaboriau
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 303 pages of information about Caught in the Net.

“So you did not hear what they said?”

“Do you take me for a flat?  The gal said, ’Do you understand?—­to-morrow.’  Then the swell chap, says he, ‘Do you promise?’ and the gal, she answers back, ‘Yes, at noon.’  Then they parted.  She went off to the Rue Hachette, and the masher tumbled into his wheelbox.  The jarvey cracked his whip, and off they went in a brace of shakes.  Now hand over them five francs.”

Daddy Tantaine did not seem surprised at this request, and he gave over the money to the young loafer, with the words, “When I promise, I pay down on the nail; but remember Toto Chupin, you’ll come to grief one day.  Good-night.  Our ways lie in different directions.”

The old man, however, lingered until he had seen the lad go off toward the Jardin des Plantes, and then, turning round, went back by the way he had come.  “I have not lost my day,” murmured he.  “All the improbabilities have turned out certainties, and matters are going straight.  Won’t Flavia be awfully pleased?”

CHAPTER II.

A registry office.

The establishment of the influential friend of Daddy Tantaine was situated in the Rue Montorgeuil, not far from the Passage de la Reine Hortense.  M. B. Mascarin has a registry office for the engagement of both male and female servants.  Two boards fastened upon each side of the door announce the hours of opening and closing, and give a list of those whose names are on the books; they further inform the public that the establishment was founded in 1844, and is still in the same hands.  It was the long existence of M. Mascarin in a business which is usually very short-lived that had obtained for him a great amount of confidence, not only in the quarter in which he resided, but throughout the whole of Paris.  Employers say that he sends them the best of servants, and the domestics in their turn assert that he only despatches them to good places.  But M. Mascarin has still further claims on the public esteem; for it was he who, in 1845, founded and carried out a project which had for its aim and end the securing of a shelter for servants out of place.  The better to carry out this, Mascarin took a partner, and gave him the charge of a furnished house close to the office.  Worthy as these projects were, Mascarin contrived to draw considerable profit from them, and was the owner of the house before which, in the noon of the day following the events we have described, Paul Violaine might have been seen standing.  The five hundred francs of old Tantaine, or at any rate a portion of them, had been well spent, and his clothes did credit to his own taste and the skill of his tailor.  Indeed, in his fine feathers he looked so handsome, that many women turned to gaze after him.  He however took but little notice of this, for he was too full of anxiety, having grave doubts as to the power of the man whom Tantaine had asserted could, if he liked,

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