The Age of Innocence Chapter 25
Archer feels relived as he says good-bye to Ellen. He believes that they have found a solution that is the perfect balance between protecting their families and being true to their love. Ellen will remain in Washington to be near Archer as long as he does not ask her to live any closer (to protect the reputation of their family).
At the New York train station the next morning, he runs into M. Rivière. Archer invites him to visit the law office. He soon learns that the Frenchman is actually Count Olenski's messenger. Now that his official mission is over and Ellen has refused the Count's offer, M. Rivière gives his own honest opinion. He tells Archer that, at first, he believed that Ellen should return. After seeing her in Boston, though, he knows that she should stay in America.
When M. Rivière tells Archer that he has talked to the Mingott family, and that they all believe Ellen should return to her husband, Archer realizes that they have excluded him from their conversations about Ellen. He guesses that Ellen's family, including May, suspects that he would disagree with them.
M. Rivière begs Archer to do all he can to keep Ellen from returning to her unhappy life with the Count. Before he leaves Archer's office, M. Rivière tells him that he was the secretary who helped Ellen escape from her husband.