When Vandeloup finished the song he dashed into a riotous student song which he had heard many a time in midnight Paris, and finally ended with singing Alfred de Musset’s merry little chanson, which he thought especially appropriate to Kitty:—
Bonjour, Suzon, ma fleur des bois, Es-tu toujours la plus jolie, Je reviens, tel que tu me vois,
D’un grand votage en Italie.
Altogether Kitty had enjoyed her evening immensely, and was quite sorry when Brown came to take her home. Madame wrapped her up well and put her in the buggy, but was rather startled to see her flushed cheeks, bright eyes, and the sudden glances she stole at Vandeloup, who stood handsome and debonair in the moonlight.
‘I’m afraid I’ve made a mistake,’ she said to herself as the buggy drove off.
She had, for Kitty had fallen in love with the Frenchman.
He walked back to the house beside Madame, thinking of Kitty, and humming the gay refrain of the song he had been singing—
‘Je passe devant ta maison Ouvre ta porte, Bonjour, Suzon.’
Decidedly it was a case of love at first sight on both sides.
MR VILLIERS PAYS A VISIT
Slivers and his friend Villiers were by no means pleased with the existing state of things. In sending Vandeloup to the Pactolus claim, they had thought to compromise Madame Midas by placing her in the society of a young and handsome man, and counting on one of two things happening—either that Madame would fall in love with the attractive Frenchman, and seek for a divorce in order to marry him— which divorce Villiers would of course resist, unless she bribed him by giving him an interest in the Pactolus—or that Villiers could assume an injured tone and accuse Vandeloup of being his wife’s lover, and threaten to divorce her unless she made him her partner in the claim. But they had both reckoned wrongly, for neither of these things happened, as Madame was not in love with Vandeloup, and acted with too much circumspection to give any opportunity for scandal. Consequently, Slivers and Co., not finding matters going to their satisfaction, met one day at the office of the senior partner for the purpose of discussing the affair, and seeing what could be done towards bringing Madame Midas to their way of thinking.
Villiers was lounging in one of the chairs, dressed in a white linen suit, and looked rather respectable, though his inflamed face and watery eyes showed what a drunkard he was. He was sipping a glass of whisky and water and smoking his pipe, while he watched Slivers stumping up and down the office, swinging his cork arm vehemently to and fro as was his custom when excited. Billy sat on the table and eyed his master with a steady stare, or else hopped about among the papers talking to himself.
’You thought you were going to do big things when you sent that jackadandy out to the Pactolus,’ said Villiers, after a pause.