“‘I thought I had told you so,’ replied he with a melancholy smile, and he hastened to speak of a ballet that he had seen the evening before at the opera, and with which he was only half pleased.
“You can readily believe that when he pronounced the words, ’I thought I had told you so,’ I was on the point of falling on his neck; I was so happy, that I was afraid he would read in my eyes my joy, astonishment, and profound gratitude. I think that he is very keen, and that he has conjectured for some time the mistrust with which he inspired me. If he wanted to mock me a little, I will pardon him; a good man unjustly suspected has a perfect right to revenge himself by a little irony. I ordered the horses to be put to my carriage to take him over to the railroad, and the abbe and I accompanied him as far as the station. There cannot be too much regard shown to honest people who have been abused by fortune.
“Well! what do you say, my dear friend? Was I wrong in claiming that M. Larinski is a delightful man? He will leave before the end of a week, and he is married, unhappily married, I fear, for his smile was melancholy. You see he may have married out of gratitude some grisette, some little working-woman, who nursed him through illness, one of those women who are not presentable; that would be thoroughly in character. Happily, in law there are no good or bad marriages; this one I hold to be unimpeachable.
“The reaction was violent: I am so rejoiced that I feel tempted to illuminate Cormeilles and Maisons Lafitte. In what way will your undeceive our dreamer? In your place I would use some precautions. Be prudent; go bridle in hand; and in the future, believe me, climb no more among the rocks; you see what it may lead to.
“Once more, do not hasten your departure. We have had for some days stifling heat; we literally suffocate. You need to spend a fortnight longer amid the shade of the pine-trees, and four thousand feet above the level of the sea.
“Adieu, my dear professor! I am interrupted in my writing by the incredulous, the sceptical, the suspicious, the absurd, the ridiculous Camille, who respectfully recommends himself to your indulgent friendship.”
In reading the fourth letter of Mme. de Lorcy, M. Moriaz experienced a feeling of satisfaction and deliverance, over which he was not master. His daughter had gone to pay a visit in the neighbourhood, and he was alone with Mlle. Moiseney, who said to him, “You have received good news, monsieur?”
“It is excellent,” he replied; then, promptly correcting himself, he added: “Excellent, or to be regretted, or vexatious; I leave that to our powers of discernment.”