“Three or four months, I suppose.”
“I should think not.”
“Oh! very good!” said Rose-Pompon. Then, turning towards the greengrocer, she said to her, after a moment’s reflection: “Mother Arsene, if Philemon should come home, you will tell him I have gone out—on business.”
“And that he must not forget to feed my pigeons, which are in his study.”
“Good-bye, Mother Arsene.”
“Good-bye, mademoiselle.” And Rose-Pompon entered the carriage in triumph, along with Ninny Moulin.
“The devil take me if I know what is to come
of all this,” said Jacques
Dumoulin to himself, as the carriage drove rapidly down the Rue Clovis.
“I have repaired my error—and now I laugh at the rest.”
The following scene took place a few days after the abduction of Rose Pompon by Ninny Moulin. Mdlle. de Cardoville was seated in a dreamy mood, in her cabinet, which was hung with green silk, and furnished with an ebony library, ornamented with large bronze caryatides. By some significant signs, one could perceive that Mdlle. de Cardoville had sought in the fine airs some relief from sad and serious thoughts. Near an open piano, was a harp, placed before a music-stand. A little further, on a table covered with boxes of oil and water-color, were several brilliant sketches. Most of them represented Asiatic scenes, lighted by the fires of an oriental sun. Faithful to her fancy of dressing herself at home in a picturesque style, Mademoiselle de Cardoville resembled that day one of those proud portraits of Velasquez, with stern and noble aspect. Her gown was of black moire, with wide swelling petticoat, long waist, and sleeve slashed with rose-colored satin, fastened together with jet bugles. A very stiff, Spanish ruff reached almost to her chin, and was secured round her neck by a broad rose-colored ribbon. This frill, slightly heaving, sloped down as far as the graceful swell of the rose-colored stomacher, laced with strings of jet beads, and terminating in a point at the waist. It is impossible to express how well this black garment, with its ample and shining folds, relieved with rose-color and brilliant jet, skin, harmonized with the shining whiteness of Adrienne’s and the golden flood of her beautiful hair, whose long, silky ringlets descended to her bosom.
The young lady was in a half-recumbent posture, with her elbow resting on a couch covered with green silk. The back of this piece of furniture, which was pretty high towards the fireplace, sloped down insensibly towards the foot. A sort of light, semicircular trellis-work, in gilded bronze, raised about five feet from the ground, covered with flowering plants (the admirable passiflores quadrangulatoe, planted in a deep ebony box, from the centre of which rose