“Succulent, my dear madame, and excellent.”
“Oh! I am glad of it. Shall we soon see you again?”
“I hope so. But could you tell me where is the nearest post-office?”
“Turn to the left, the third house, at the grocer’s.”
“A thousand thanks.”
“I wager it’s a love letter for your sweetheart,” said Mother Arsene, enlivened probably by Rose Pompon’s and Ninny Moulin’s proximity.
“Ha! ha! ha! the good lady!” said Rodin, with a titter. Then, suddenly resuming his serious aspect, he made a low bow to the greengrocer, adding: “Your most obedient humble servant!” and walked out into the street.
We now usher the reader into Dr. Baleinier’s
asylum, in which Mdlle. de
Cardoville was confined.
Adrienne de Cardoville had been still more strictly confined in Dr. Baleinier’s house, since the double nocturnal attempt of Agricola and Dagobert, in which the soldier, though severely wounded, had succeeded, thanks to the intrepid devotion of his son, seconded by the heroic Spoil sport, in gaining the little garden gate of the convent, and escaping by way of the boulevard, along with the young smith. Four o’clock had just struck. Adrienne, since the previous day, had been removed to a chamber on the second story of the asylum. The grated window, with closed shutters, only admitted a faint light to this apartment. The young lady, since her interview with Mother Bunch, expected to be delivered any day by the intervention of her friends. But she felt painful uneasiness on the subject of Agricola and Dagobert, being absolutely ignorant of the issue of the struggle in which her intended liberators had been engaged with the people of the asylum and convent. She had in vain questioned her keepers on the subject; they had remained perfectly mute. These new incidents had augmented the bitter resentment of Adrienne against the Princess de Saint Dizier, Father d’Aigrigny, and their creatures. The slight paleness of Mdlle. de Cardoville’s charming face, and her fine eyes a little drooping, betrayed her recent sufferings; seated before a little table, with her forehead resting upon one of her hands, half veiled by the long curls of her golden hair, she was turning over the leaves of a book. Suddenly, the door opened, and M. Baleinier entered. The doctor, a Jesuit, in lay attire, a docile and passive instrument of the will of his Order, was only half in the confidence of Father d’Aigrigny and the Princess de Saint-Dizier. He was ignorant of the object of the imprisonment of Mdlle. de Cardoville; he was ignorant also of the sudden change which had taken place in the relative position of Father d’Aigrigny and Rodin, after the reading of the testament of Marius de Rennepont. The doctor had, only the day before, received orders from Father d’Aigrigny (now acting under the directions of Rodin) to confine Mdlle.