“Whosoever offends you, offends me; you know it,” said D’Aigrigny, “my hatreds are yours.”
“And you yourself!” said the princess, “how many times have you been the butt of her poignant irony!”
“My instincts seldom deceive me. I am certain that this young girl may become a dangerous enemy for us,” said the marquis, with a voice painfully broken into short monosyllables.
“And, therefore, it is necessary that she may be rendered incapable of exciting further fear,” responded Madame de Saint-Dizier, fixedly regarding the marquis.
“Have you seen Dr. Baleinier, and the sub-guardian, M. Tripeaud?” asked he.
“They will be here this morning. I have informed them of everything.”
“Did you find them well disposed to act against her?”
“Perfectly so—and the best is, Adrienne does not at all suspect the doctor, who has known how, up to a certain point, to preserve her confidence. Moreover, a circumstance which appears to me inexplicable has come to our aid.”
“What do you allude to?”
“This morning, Mrs. Grivois went, according to my orders, to remind Adrienne that I expected her at noon, upon important business. As she approached the pavilion, Mrs. Grivois saw, or thought she saw, Adrienne come in by the little garden-gate.”
“What do you tell me? Is it possible? Is there any positive proof of it?” cried the marquis.
“Till now, there is no other proof than the spontaneous declaration of Mrs. Grivois: but whilst I think of it,” said the Princess, taking up a paper that lay before her, “here is the report, which, every day, one of Adrienne’s women makes to me.”
“The one that Rodin succeeded in introducing into your niece’s service?”
“The same; as this creature is entirely in Rodin’s hands, she has hitherto answered our purpose very well. In this report, we shall perhaps find the confirmation of what Mrs. Grivois affirms she saw.”
Hardly had the Princess glanced at the note, than she exclaimed almost in terror: “What do I see? Why, Adrienne is a very demon!”
“The bailiff at Cardoville, having written to my niece to ask her recommendation, informed her at the same time of the stay of the Indian prince at the castle. She knows that he is her relation, and has just written to her old drawing-master, Norval, to set out post with Eastern dresses, and bring Prince Djalma hither—the man that must be kept away from Paris at any cost.”
The marquis grew pale, and said to Mme. de Saint-Dizier: “If this be not merely one of her whims, the eagerness she displays in sending for this relation hither, proves that she knows more than you even suspected. She is ‘posted’ on the affair of the medals. Have a care—she may ruin all.”
“In that case,” said the princess, resolutely, “there is no room to hesitate. We must carry things further than we thought, and make an end this very morning.”