“Was the house in the Rue de la Tour d’Auvergne?” broke in Mascarin.
“You are right, sir,” returned the man, taken a little aback. “It seems, sir, that you are better informed than I am.”
Mascarin did not notice the man’s surprise, but he was struck with the strange persistency with which this young man seemed to cross his plans, for he found that the acquaintance of Rose and the lover of Mademoiselle de Mussidan were one and the same person, and he had a presentiment that he would in some way prove a hindrance to his plans.
The astute Mascarin concentrated all his attention upon Andre.
The latter said something to Modeste, which caused that young woman to raise her hands to heaven, as though in alarm.
“But who is the other?” asked he,—“the fellow that looks like an Englishman?”
“Do you not know?” returned the lackey. “Why, that is M. de Breulh-Faverlay.”
“What, the man who was to marry Sabine?”
Mascarin was not easily disconcerted, but this time a blasphemous oath burst from his lips.
“Do you mean,” said he, “that De Breulh and this painter are friends?”
“That is more than I can tell. You seem to want to know a lot,” answered Florestan, sulkily.
Modeste had now left the young men, who walked arm in arm in the direction of the Avenue de l’Imperatrice.
“M. de Breulh takes his dismissal easily enough,” observed Mascarin.
“He was not dismissed; it was he that wrote and broke off the engagement.”
This time Mascarin contrived to conceal the terrible blow that this information caused to him, and even made some jesting remark as he took leave of Florestan; but he was in truth completely staggered, for after thoroughly believing that the game was won, he saw that, though perhaps not lost, his victory was postponed for an indefinite period.
“What!” said he, as he clenched his hand firmly, “shall the headstrong passion of this foolish boy mar my plans? Let him take care of himself; for if he walks in my path, he will find it a road that leads to his own destruction.”
AN ACADEMY OF MUSIC.
Dr. Hortebise had for some time back given up arguing with Mascarin as to the advice the latter gave him. He had been ordered not to let Paul out of his sight, and he obeyed this command literally. He had taken him to dine at M. Martin Rigal’s, though the host himself was absent; from there he took Paul to his club, and finally wound up by forcing the young man to accept a bed at his house. They both slept late, and were sitting down to a luxurious breakfast, when the servant announced M. Tantaine, and that worthy man made his appearance with the same smile upon his face which Paul remembered so well in the Hotel de Perou. The sight of him threw the young man into a state of fury. “At last we meet,” cried he. “I have an account to settle with you.”