La Constantin eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 75 pages of information about La Constantin.

“The gratitude that is simulated is not difficult to bear, but genuine, sincere gratitude, such as I feel, is a heavy burden, as I can assure you.  It is much easier to give than to receive.  Promise me, then, that from now till the year is up there shall be no more reference between us to this money, and that we shall go on being good friends as before.  Leave it to me to make arrangements to acquit myself honourably of my obligations towards you.  I need say no more; till a year’s up, mum’s the word.”

“It shall be as you desire, Maitre Quennebert,” answered Madame Rapally, her eyes shining with delight.  “It was never my intention to lay you under embarrassing obligations, and I leave it all to you.  Do you know that I am beginning to believe in presentiments?”

“You becoming superstitious!  Why, may I ask?”

“I refused to do a nice little piece of ready-money business this morning.”

“Did you?”

“Yes, because I had a sort of feeling that made me resist all temptation to leave myself without cash.  Imagine!  I received a visit to-day from a great lady who lives in this house—­in the suite of apartments next to mine.”

“What is her name?”

“Mademoiselle de Guerchi.”

“And what did she want with you?”

“She called in order to ask me to buy, for four hundred livres, some of her jewels which are well worth six hundred, for I understand such things; or should I prefer it to lend her that sum and keep the jewels as security?  It appears that mademoiselle is in great straits.  De Guerchi—­do you know the name?”

“I think I have heard it.”

“They say she has had a stormy past, and has been greatly talked of; but then half of what one hears is lies.  Since she came to live here she has been very quiet.  No visitors except one—­a nobleman, a duke—­wait a moment!  What’s his name?  The Duc-Duc de Vitry; and for over three weeks even he hasn’t been near her.  I imagine from this absence that they have fallen out, and that she is beginning to feel the want of money.”

“You seem to be intimately acquainted with this young woman’s affairs.”

“Indeed I am, and yet I never spoke to her till this morning.”

“How did you get your information, then?”

“By chance.  The room adjoining this and one of those she occupies were formerly one large room, which is now divided into two by a partition wall covered with tapestry; but in the two corners the plaster has crumbled away with time, and one can see into the room through slits in the tapestry without being seen oneself.  Are you inquisitive?”

“Not more than you, Madame Rapally.”

“Come with me.  Someone knocked at the street door a few moments ago; there’s no one else in the douse likely to have visitors at this hour.  Perhaps her admirer has come back.”

“If so, we are going to witness a scene of recrimination or reconciliation.  How delightful!”

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Project Gutenberg
La Constantin from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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