Suddenly she rushed back to Fanferlot and said:
“Everything will be ready to start in a few minutes, but where am I to go?”
“Did not M. Bertomy say, my dear lady, to the other end of Paris? To a hotel, or furnished apartments.”
“But I don’t know where to find any.”
Fanferlot seemed to be reflecting; but he had great difficulty in concealing his delight at a sudden idea that flashed upon him; his little black eyes fairly danced with joy.
“I know of a hotel,” he said at last, “but it might not suit you. It is not elegantly furnished like this room.”
“Would I be comfortable there?”
“Upon my recommendation you would be treated like a queen, and, above all, concealed.”
“Where is it?”
“On the other side of the river, Quai Saint Michel, the Archangel, kept by Mme. Alexandre.”
Mme. Nina was never long making up her mind.
“Here are pen and paper; write your recommendation.”
He rapidly wrote, and handed her the letter.
“With these three lines, madame, you can make Mme. Alexandre do anything you wish.”
“Very good. Now, how am I to let Cavaillon know my address? It was he who should have brought me Prosper’s letter.”
“He was unable to come, madame,” interrupted the detective, “but I will give him your address.”
Mme. Gypsy was about to send for a carriage, but Fanferlot said he was in a hurry, and would send her one. He seemed to be in luck that day; for a cab was passing the door, and he hailed it.
“Wait here,” he said to the driver, after telling him that he was a detective, “for a little brunette who is coming down with some trunks. If she tells you to drive her to Quai Saint Michel, crack your whip; if she gives you any other address, get down from your seat, and arrange your harness. I will keep in sight.”
He stepped across the street, and stood in the door of a wine-store. He had not long to wait. In a few minutes the loud cracking of a whip apprised him that Mme. Nina had started for the Archangel.
“Aha,” said he, gayly, “I told her, at any rate.”
At the same hour that Mme. Nina Gypsy was seeking refuge at the Archangel, so highly recommended by Fanferlot the Squirrel, Prosper Bertomy was being entered on the jailer’s book at the police office.
Since the moment when he had resumed his habitual composure, he had not faltered.
Vainly did the people around him watch for a suspicious expression, or any sign of giving way under the danger of his situation.
His face was like marble.
One would have supposed him insensible to the horrors of his condition, had not his heavy breathing, and the beads of perspiration standing on his brow, betrayed the intense agony he was suffering.