“There is no need to thank me; money was made for others as well as ourselves.”
Here, without, the noise recommenced more furiously than ever, and Ninny Moulin’s rattle sent forth the most doleful sounds.
“Cephyse,” said Sleepinbuff, “they will break everything to pieces, if you do not return to them, and I have nothing left to pay for the damage. Excuse us,” added he, laughing, “but you see that royalty has its duties.”
Cephyse deeply moved, extended her arms to Mother Bunch, who threw herself into them, shedding sweet tears.
“And now,” said she, to her sister, “when shall I see you again?”
“Soon—though nothing grieves me more than to see you in want, out of which I am not allowed to help you.”
“You will come, then, to see me? It is a promise?”
“I promise you in her name,” said Jacques; “we will pay a visit to you and your neighbor Agricola.”
“Return to the company, Cephyse, and amuse yourself with a light heart, for M. Jacques has made a whole family happy.”
So saying, and after Sleepinbuff had ascertained that she could go down without being seen by his noisy and joyous companions, Mother Bunch quietly withdrew, eager to carry one piece of good news at least to Dagobert; but intending, first of all, to go to the Rue de Babylone, to the garden-house formerly occupied by Adrienne de Cardoville. We shall explain hereafter the cause of this determination.
As the girl quitted the eating-house, three men plainly and comfortably dressed, were watching before it, and talking in a low voice. Soon after, they were joined by a fourth person, who rapidly descended the stairs of the tavern.
“Well?” said the three first, with anxiety.
“He is there.”
“Are you sure of it?”
“Are there two Sleepers-in-buff on earth?” replied the other. “I have just seen him; he is togged out like one of the swell mob. They will be at table for three hours at least.”
“Then wait for me, you others. Keep as quiet as possible. I will go and fetch the captain, and the game is bagged.” So saying, one of the three men walked off quickly, and disappeared in a street leading from the square.
At this same instant the Bacchanal Queen entered the banqueting-room, accompanied by Jacques, and was received with the most frenzied acclamations from all sides.
“Now then,” cried Cephyse, with a sort of feverish excitement, as if she wished to stun herself; “now then, friends—noise and tumult, hurricane and tempest, thunder and earthquake—as much as you please!” Then, holding out her glass to Ninny Moulin, she added: “Pour out! pour out!”
“Long live the Queen!” cried they all, with one voice.
The Bacchanal Queen, having Sleepinbuff and Rose-Pompon opposite her, and Ninny Moulin on her right hand, presided at the repast, called a reveille-matin (wake-morning), generously offered by Jacques to his companions in pleasure.