“It seems to me, though,” interrupted M. Daburon, smiling, “that our assassin is not such a bungler.”
“He, sir, is an exception; and I shall have greater delight in tracking him. I will do everything for that, I will even compromise myself if necessary. For I ought to confess, M. Daburon,” added he, slightly embarrassed, “that I do not boast to my friends of my exploits; I even conceal them as carefully as possible. They would perhaps shake hands with me less warmly did they know that Tirauclair and Tabaret were one and the same.”
Insensibly the crime became again the subject of conversation. It was agreed, that, the first thing in the morning, M. Tabaret should install himself at Bougival. He boasted that in eight days he should examine all the people round about. On his side M. Daburon promised to keep him advised of the least evidence that transpired, and recall him, if by any chance he should procure the papers of Widow Lerouge.
“To you, M. Tabaret,” said the magistrate in conclusion, “I shall be always at home. If you have any occasion to speak to me, do not hesitate to come at night as well as during the day. I rarely go out, and you will always find me either at my home, Rue Jacob, or in my office at the Palais de Justice. I will give orders for your admittance whenever you present yourself.”
The train entered the station at this moment. M. Daburon, having called a cab, offered a seat to M. Tabaret. The old fellow declined.
“It is not worth while,” he replied, “for I live, as I have had the honour of telling you, in the Rue St. Lazare, only a few steps from here.”
“Till to-morrow, then!” said M. Daburon.
“Till to-morrow,” replied old Tabaret; and he added, “We shall succeed.”
M. Tabaret’s house was in fact not more than four minutes’ walk from the railway terminus of St. Lazare. It was a fine building carefully kept, and which probably yielded a fine income though the rents were not too high. The old fellow found plenty of room in it. He occupied on the first floor, overlooking the street, some handsome apartments, well arranged and comfortably furnished, the principal of which was his collection of books. He lived very simply from taste, as well as habit, waited on by an old servant, to whom on great occasions the concierge lent a helping hand.