Cousin Betty | Honoré de Balzac | Literary Fiction | Audiobook | English | 4/5



chapter xxviii of cousin Betty by honoré de Balzac translated by James wearing this LibriVox recording is in the public domain recording by bruce pirie chapter 28 lee's bet to all appearance at war with madame moneth had taken up her abode with marshal uno ten days after these events the banns of marriage were published between the old maid and the distinguished old officer to whom to win his consent Adaline had related the financial disaster that had befallen her act or begging him never to mention it to the baron who was as she said much said and quite depressed and crushed alas he is as old as his years she added so Lee's bet had triumphed she was achieving the object of her ambition she would see the success of her scheme and her hatred gratified she delighted in the anticipated joy of reigning supreme over the family who had so long looked down upon her yes she would patronize her patrons she would be the rescuing angel who would duel out a livelihood to the ruined family she addressed herself as Madame la Comtesse and Madame Lamar a Chou curtseying in front of a glass Adaline and or toast should end their days in struggling with poverty while she a visitor at the Tuileries would lord it in the fashionable world a terrible disaster overthrew the old maid from the social heights where she so proudly enthroned herself on the very day when the bans were first published the baron received a second message from africa another Alsatian arrived handed him a letter after assuring himself that he spoke to baron who know and after giving the baron the address of his lodgings bowed himself out leaving the great man stricken by the opening lines of this letter nephew you will receive this letter by my calculations on the 7th of August supposing it takes you three days to send us the help we need and that it is a fortnight on the way here that brings us to the 1st of September if you can act decisively within that time you will have saved the honor and the life of your sincerely your hand Fisher this is what I am required to demand by the clerk you have made my accomplice for I am amenable it would seem to the law at the Assizes or before a council of war of course you understand that Johann Fisher will never be brought to the bar of any tribunal he will go of his own act to appear at that of God your Clerk seems to me a bad lot quite capable of getting you into hot water but he is as clever as any rogue he says the line for you to take is to call out louder than anyone and to send out an inspector a special Commissioner to discover who is really guilty rake up abuses and make a fuss in short but if we stir up the struggle who will stand between us and the law if your Commissioner arrives here by the 1st of September and you have given him your orders sending by him two hundred thousand francs to place in our storehouses the supplies we profess to have secured in remote country places we shall be absolutely solvent and regarded as blameless you can trust the soldier who is the bearer of this letter with a draft in my name on a house in Algiers he is a trustworthy fellow a relation of mine incapable of trying to find out what he is the bearer of I have taken measures to guarantee the fellow safe return if you can do nothing I am ready and willing to die for the man to whom we owe our Adaline's happiness the anguish and raptures of passion and the catastrophe which had checked his career of profligacy had prevented baron who knows every thinking of poor johann fisher though his first letter had given warning of the danger now become so pressing the baron went out of the dining room in such agitation that he literally dropped onto a sofa in the drawing-room he was stunned sunk in the dull numbness of a heavy fall he stared at a flower on the carpet quite unconscious that he still held in his hand johan's fatal letter Adaline in her room heard her husband throw himself on the sofa like a lifeless mass the noise was so peculiar that she fancied he had an apoplectic attack she looked through the door at the mirror in such dread as stops the breath and Hindus motion and she saw her act or in the attitude of a man crushed the Baroness still in on tiptoe Hector heard nothing she went close up to him saw the letter took it read it trembling in every limb she went through one of those violent nervous sharks that leave their traces forever on the sufferer within a few days she became subject to a constant trembling for after the first instant the need for action gave her such strength as can only be drawn from the very well spring of the vital powers Akhtar come into my room said she in a voice that was no more than a breath do not let your daughter see you in this state come my dear come 200,000 francs where can I find them I can get close vino sent out there as a commissioner he is a clever intelligent fellow that is a matter of a couple of days but two hundred thousand francs my son has not so much his house is loaded with mortgages for three hundred thousand my brother has saved 30 thousand francs at most new singen would simply laugh at me fo venae she was not very ready to lend me the 10,000 francs I wanted to make up the sum for that villain Mar Ness boy no it is all up with me I must throw myself at the princes feet confess how matters stand here myself told that I am a low scoundrel and take his broad side so as to go decently to the bottom but act or this is not merely ruin it is disgrace said Adaline my poor uncle will kill himself only kill us yourself and me you have a right to do that but do not be a murderer come take courage there must be some way out of it not one said it oh no one in the government could find 200,000 francs not if it were to save an administration Oh Napoleon where art thou my uncle poor man actor he must not be allowed to kill himself in disgrace there is one more chance said he but a very remote one yes crevel is that daggers drawn with his daughter he has plenty of money he alone could miss the nectar it will be better for your wife to perish than to leave our uncle to perish and your brother the honour of the family cried the Baroness struck by a flash of light yes I can save you all good god what a degrading thought how could it have occurred to me she clasped her hands dropped on her knees and put up a prayer on rising she saw such a crazy expression of joy on her husband's face that the diabolical suggestion returned and then Adaline thanked into a sort of idiotic melancholy go my dear at once to the War Office said she rousing herself from this tarpor try to send out a commission it must be done get around the marshal and on your return at five o'clock you will find perhaps yes you shall find two hundred thousand francs your family your honor as a man as a state official a counsellor of state your honesty your son all shall be saved but your Adaline will be lost and you will see her no more Akhtar My dear said she kneeling before him clasping and kissing his hand give me your blessing say farewell it was so heart rending that who lo put his arms round his wife raised her and kissed her saying I do not understand if you did said she I should die of shame or I should not have the strength to carry out this last sacrifice breakfast is served said Mariette or toast came in to wish her parents good morning they had to go to breakfast and assume a false face begin without me I will join you said the Baroness she sat down to her desk and wrote as follows My dear Monsieur crevel I have to ask a service of you I shall expect you this morning and I count on your gallantry which is well known to me to save me from having too long to wait for you your faithful servant and allene rule Oh Louise said she to her daughter's maid who waited on her take this note down to the porter and desire him to carry it at once to this address and wait for an answer the Baron who was reading the news held out a Republican paper to his wife pointing to an article and saying is there time this was the paragraph one of the terrible notes with which the papers spice their political bread and butter a correspondent in Algiers writes that such abuses have been discovered in the commissariat transactions of the province of Iran that the law is making inquiries the peculation is self-evident and the guilty persons are known if severe measures are not taken we shall continue to lose more men through the extortion that limits their rations then by Arab steel or the fierce heat of the climate we await further information before enlarging on this deplorable business we need no longer wonder at the terror caused by the establishment of the press in Africa as it was contemplated by the charter of 1830 I will dress and go to the minister said the Baron as they rose from the table time is precious a man's life hangs on every minute oh mama there is no hope for me cried or tones and unable to check her tears she handed to her mother a number of the review the Bulls are animal oohs I fell on a print of the group of Delilah by count Steinbach under which were the words the property of Madame Maher Neph the very first lines of the article signed v showed the talent and friendliness of bowed Vignon poor child said the Baroness alarmed by her mother's tone of indifference or tall's looked up saw the expression of a sorrow before which her own paled and rose to kiss her mother saying what is the matter mama what is happening can we be more wretched than we are already my child it seems to me that in what I am going through today my past dreadful sorrows are as nothing when shall I have ceased to suffer in heaven mother said or toss solemnly come my angel helped me to dress no no I will not have you helped me in this send me Louise Adaline in her room went to study herself in the glass she looked at herself closely and sadly wondering to herself am I still handsome can i still be desirable am I not wrinkled she lifted up her fine golden hair uncovering her temples they were as fresh as a girl's she went further she uncovered her shoulders and was satisfied nay she had a little feeling of pride the beauty of really handsome shoulders is one of the last charms a woman loses especially if she has lived chastely and allene chose her dress carefully but the pious and blameless woman is decent to the end in spite of her little coquettish graces of what use were brand new gray silk stockings and high-heeled satin shoes when she was absolutely ignorant of the art of displaying a pretty foot at the critical moment by obtrude an inch or two beyond a half lifted skirt opening horizons to desire she put on indeed her prettiest flowered muslin dress with a low body and short sleeves but horrified at so much bareness she covered her fine arms with clear gauze sleeves and hid her shoulders under an embroidered cape her curls a long lens struck her as to fly away she subdued their Airy lightness by putting on a very pretty cap but with or without the cap would she have known how to twist the golden ringlets so as to show off her taper fingers to admiration as to Rouge the consciousness of guilt the preparations for a deliberate fall through this saintly woman into a state of high fever which for the time revived the brilliant coloring of youth her eyes were bright her cheeks glowed instead of assuming a seductive air she saw in herself a look of barefaced audacity which shocked her these met at a Vadim's request had told her all the circumstances of ventsislav infidelity and the Baroness had learned to her utter amazement that in one evening in one moment Madame Marne F had made herself the mistress of the bewitched artist how do these women do it the Baroness had asked Lizbeth there is no curiosity so great as that of virtuous women on such subjects they would like to know the arts of Vice and remain immaculate why they are seductive it is their business said cousin Betty Valerie that evening my dear was I declare enough to bring an angel to Perdition but tell me how she set to work there is no principle only practice in that walk of life said Lee's bet and ironically the Baroness recalling this conversation would have liked to consult cousin Betty but there was no time for that poor Abilene incapable of imagining a patch of pinning a rosebud in the very middle of her bosom of devising the tricks of the toilet intended to resuscitate the ardors of exhausted nature was merely well dressed a woman is not a courtesan for the wishing woman is soup for man as Molly heir says by the mouth of the judicious girl Renee this comparison suggests a sort of culinary art in love then the virtuous wife would be a Homeric meal flesh laid on hot cinders the courtesan on the contrary is the dish by Callum with its condiments spices and elegant arrangement the Baroness could not did not know how to serve up her fair bosom in a lordly dish of lys after the manner of madame Mar Neff she knew nothing of the secrets of certain attitudes this high-souled woman might have turned round and round a hundred times and she would have betrayed nothing to the keen glance of a profligate to be a good woman and a prude to all the world and a courtesan to her husband is the gift of a woman of genius and they are few this is the secret of long fidelity inexplicable to the women who are not blessed with the double and splendid faculty imagine madame Mar Neph virtuous and you have the Marchesa deepest Kara but such lofty and illustrious women beautiful as the end of poitiers but virtuous may be easily counted so the scene with which this serious and terrible drama of Paris manors opened was about to be repeated with this singular difference that the calamities prophesied then by the captain of the municipal militia had reversed the parts Madame who lo was awaiting crevalle with the same intentions as had brought him to her smiling down at the Paris crowd from his milord three years ago and strangest thing of all the Baroness was true to herself and to her love while preparing to yield to the grossest infidelity such as the storm of passion even does not justify in the eyes of some judges what can I do to become a madam Mar Neff she asked herself as she heard the doorbell she restrained her tears fever gave brilliancy to her face and she meant to be quite the courtesan poor noble soul what the devil can that rhythm Avalon uno want of me Creve l wondered as he mounted the stairs she is going to discuss my quarrel with sale Athena and Victoria no doubt but I will not give way as he went into the drawing-room shown in by Louise he said to himself as he noted the bareness over the place Creve elsword poor woman she lives here like some fine picture stowed in a loft by a man who knows nothing of painting crevel fiing comped Peppino the Minister of Commerce buy pictures and statues wanted also to figure as a my thenis of Paris whose love of art consists in making good investments Adaline smiled graciously at crevalle pointing to a chair facing her Here I am fair lady at your command said crevalle Monsieur the mayor a political personage now wore black broadcloth his face at the top of this solemn suit Shon like a full moon rising above a mass of dark clouds his shirt buttoned with three large pearls worth 500 francs apiece gave a great idea of his thoracic capacity and he was apt to say in me you see the coming athlete of the Tribune his enormous vulgar hands were encased in yellow gloves even in the morning his patent leather boots spoke of the chocolate colored coupe with one horse in which he drove in the course of three years ambition had altered Ravel's pretensions like all great artists he had come to his second manor in the great world when he went to the Prince de visum Borges to the prefecture to come to poppy nose and the like he held his hat in his hand in an eerie manner caught him by valeriy and he inserted the thumb of the other hand in the armhole of his waistcoat with the knowing air and a simpering face and expression this new grace of attitude was due to the satirical inventiveness of Valerie who under pretence of rejuvenating her mayor had given him an added touch of the ridiculous I begged you to come my dear kind Monsieur crevel said the Baroness in a husky voice on a matter of the greatest importance I can guess what it is Madame sake Ravel with a knowing air but what you would ask is impossible oh I am NOT a brutal father a man to use Napoleon's words said hard and fast on sheer avarice listen to me fair lady if my children were ruining themselves for their own benefit I would help them out of the scrape but as for backing your husband Madame it is like trying to fill the VAT of the Denis at ease their house is mortgaged for three hundred thousand francs for an incorrigible father why they have nothing left poor wretches and they have no fun for their money all they have to live upon is what victory may make in court he must wag his tongue more must Monsieur your son and he was to have been a minister that learn had youth our hope and pride a pretty pilot who runs a ground like a landlubber for if he had borrowed to enable him to get on if he had run into debt for feasting deputies winning votes and increasing his influence I should be the first to say here is my purse dip your hand in my friend but when it comes of paying for Papa's folly folly I warned you of his father has deprived him of every chance of power it is I who shall be Minister alas my dear crevalle it has nothing to do with the children poor devoted souls if your heart is closed to Victoria and Philistine I shall love them so much that perhaps I may soften the bitterness of their souls caused by your anger you are punishing your children for a good action yes for a good action badly done that is half a crime said crevalle much pleased with his epigram doing good my dear crevalle does not mean sparing money out of a purse that is bursting with it it means enduring privations to be generous suffering for liberality it is being prepared for ingratitude heaven does not see the charity that costs us nothing Saints Madame may if they please go to the workhouse they know that it is for them the door of heaven for my part I am worldly minded I fear God but yet more I fear the hell of poverty to be destitute is the last depth of misfortune in society has now constituted I am a man of my time I respect money and you are right said ethylene from the worldly point of view she was a thousand miles from her point and she felt herself on a gridiron like st. Lawrence as she thought of her uncle for she could see him blowing his brains out she looked down then she raised her eyes to gaze at crevalle with angelic sweetness not with the inviting suggestiveness which was part of Valerie's wit three years ago she could have bewitched crevel by that beautiful look I have known the time said she when you were more generous you used to talk of 300,000 francs like a grand gentleman crevalle looked at madam Lulu he beheld her like a lily in the last of its bloom vague sensations rose within him but he felt such respect for this saintly creature that he spurned all suspicions and buried them in the most profligate corner of his heart i madam am still the same but her retired merchant if he is a grand gentleman please and must play the part with method and economy he carries his ideas of order into everything he opens an account for his little amusements and devotes certain profits to that hand of expenditure but as to touching his capital it would be folly my children will have their fortune intact mine and my whites but I do not suppose that they wish their father to be though a monkey no money my life is a very jolly one I float gaily down the stream I fulfill all the duties imposed on me by law by my affections and my family ties just as I always used to be punctual in paying my bills when they fell due if only my children conduct themselves and their domestic life as I do I shall be satisfied and for the present so long as my Fawley's for I have committed Follies are no loss to anyone but the gulls excuse me you do not perhaps understand the slang word they will have nothing to blame me for and we'll find the tidy little sum still left when I die your children cannot say as much of their father who is ruining his son and my daughter by his pranks the Baroness was getting further from her object as he went on you are very unkind about my husband my dear crevalle and yet if you had found his wife obliging you would have been his best friend she shot a burning glance at provel but like Du Bois who gave the reagent three kicks she affected too much and the rakish perfumers thoughts jumped at such profligate suggestions that he said to himself does she want to turn the tables on who lo does she think me more attractive as a mayor event as a National Guardsman women are strange creatures and he assumed the position of his second Manor looking at the Baroness with his Regency beer I could almost fancy she went on that you want to visit on him your resentment against the virtue that resisted you in a woman whom you loved well enough to to buy her she added in a low voice in a divine woman crevel replied with a meaning smile at the Baroness who looked down while tears rose to her eyes for you have swallowed not a few bitter pills in these three years hey my beauty do not talk of my troubles dear crevalle they are too much for the endurance of a mere human being if you still love me you may drag me out of the pit in which I lie yes I am in hell torment the Regicides who were racked and nipped and torn into quarters by four horses were on roses compared with me for their bodies only were dismembered and my heart is torn in quarters cripples thumb moved from his arm hole he placed his hand on the work table he abandoned his attitude he smiled the smile was so vacuous that it misled the Baroness she took it for an expression of kindness you see a woman not indeed in despair but with her honor at the point of death and prepared for everything my dear friend to hinder a crime fearing that or tolls might come in she bolted the door then with equal impetuosity she fell at cripples feet took his hand and kissed it be my deliverer she cried she thought there was some generous fiber in this mercantile soul and full a sudden hope that she might get the two hundred thousand francs without degrading herself by a soul you were once ready to by virtue she went on with a frenzied gaze trust to my honesty as a woman to my honor of which you know the worth be my friend save a whole family from ruin shame despair keep it from falling into a bog where the quick sins are mingled with blood o ask for no explanations she exclaimed at a movement honk Ravel's part who was about to speak above all do not say to me I told you so like a friend who is glad at a misfortune come now yield to her whom you used to love to the woman whose humiliation at your feet is perhaps the crowning moment of her glory ask nothing of her expect what you will from her gratitude no no give me nothing but lend lend to me whom you used to call and allene at this point her tears flowed so fast Abilene was sobbing so passionately that Cravens gloves were wet the words I need two hundred thousand francs were scarcely articulate in the torrent of weeping as stones however large are invisible in Alpine catcher it's swollen by the melting of the snows this is the inexperience of virtue Vice asks for nothing as we have seen in madam our Neph it gets everything offered to it women of that stamp are never exacting till they have made themselves indispensable or when a man has to be worked as a quarry is worked where the lime is rather scarce going to ruin has the quarry men say on hearing these words two hundred thousand francs crevel understood all he cheerfully raised the Baroness saying insolently come come bear up mother which Adaline in her distraction failed to hear the scene was changing its character crevalle was becoming master of the situation to use his own words end of chapter 28 chapter 20 cousin Betty by honoré de Balzac translated by James wearing this LibriVox recording is in the public domain recording by bruce pirie chapter 29 the vastness of the some startled crevel so greatly that his emotion at seeing this handsome woman in tears at his feet was forgotten besides however Angelica land think Lee a woman may be when she is crying bitterly her beauty disappears a Madame Marne fs has been seen whimpers now and then a tear trickles down her cheek but as to melting into tears and making her eyes and nose read never would she commit such a blunder come child compose yourself deuce take it crevel went on taking Madame Lulu's hands in his own and patting them why do you apply to me for two hundred thousand francs what do you want with them whom are they for do not said she insist on any explanations give me the money you will save three lives and the honor of our children and do you suppose my good mother that in all Paris you will find a man who had a word from a half crazy woman will go off he cat nunc and bring out of some drawer or heaven knows where two hundred thousand francs that have been lying simmering there till she is pleased to scoop them up is that all you know of life and of business my beauty your folks are in a bad way you may send them the last sacraments for no one in Paris but her divine highness Madame labonne or the great new sanghun or some miserable miser who is in love with gold as we other folks are with the woman could produce such a miracle the Civil List civil as it may be would beg you to call a game tomorrow everyone invests his money and turns it over to the best of his powers you are quite mistaken my angel if you suppose that King Louie Philippe rules us he himself knows better than that he knows as well as we do that supreme above the Charter reigns the holy venerated substantial delightful obliging beautiful noble ever youthful and all-powerful five franc peace but money my beauty insists on interest and is always engaged in seeking it god of the Jews thou art supreme says Athene the perennial parable of the golden calf you see in the days of Moses there was stock jobbing in the desert we have reverted to biblical traditions the golden calf was the first state ledger he went on you my Adaline have not gone beyond the ruku may the egyptians had lent enormous sums to the Hebrews and what they ran after was not god's people but their capital he looked at the Baroness with an expression which said how clever I am you know nothing of the devotion of every city man to his sacred horde he went on after a pause excuse me listen to me get this well into your head you want two hundred thousand francs no one can produce the sum without selling some security now consider to have two hundred thousand francs in hard cash it would be needful to sell about seven hundred thousand francs worth of stock at three percent well and then you would only get the money on the third day that is the quickest way to persuade a man to part with a fortune for two hundred thousand francs is the whole fortune of many a man he ought at least to know where it is all going to and for what purpose it is going my dear kind crevalle to save the lives of two men one of whom will die of grief and the other will kill himself and to save me too from going mad am I not a little mad already not so mad said he taking the damn fool around the knees old criminal has his price since you thought of applying to him my angel they submit to have a man's arms around their knees it would seem thought the saintly woman covering her face with her hands once you offered me a fortune said she turning red my mother but that was three years ago replied crevalle well you are handsomer now than ever I saw you he went on taking the Baroness's arm and pressing it to his heart you have a good memory my dear by Jove and now you see how wrong you were to be so prudish for those three hundred thousand francs that you refused so magnanimously are in another woman's pocket I loved you then I love you still but just look back these three years when I said to you you shall be mine what object had I in view I meant to be revenged on that rascal you know but your husband my beauty found himself a mistress a jewel of a woman a pearl a cunning hussy then aged three and 24 she is 6 and 20 now it struck me as more amusing more complete more Louie the 15th more Marichal DeRusha knew more first-class all together to Filch away that charmer who in quite a fact never cared for who Lo and who for these 3 years has been madly in love with your humble servant as he spoke crevalle from whose hands the Baroness had released her own had resumed his favorite attitude both thumbs were stuck into his arm holes and he was patting his ribs with his fingers like two flapping wings fancying that he was thus making himself very attractive and charming It was as much as to say and this is the man you would have nothing to say to there you are my dear I had my revenge and your husband knows it I proved to him clearly that he was basketed just where he was before as we say Madame marna is my mistress and when her precious Marne f kicks the bucket she will be my wife Madame allo stared at crevel with a fixed and almost teeth look act or knew it she said and went back to her replied crevalle and I allowed it because Valeria wished to be the wife of a head Clerk but she promised me that she would manage things so that our baron should be so effectually bowled over that he can never interfere anymore and my little Duchess for that woman is a born Duchess on my soul kept her word she restores you your act or madam virtuous in perpetuity as she says she is so witty he has had a good lesson I can tell you the Baron has had some hard knocks he will help no more actresses or fine ladies he is radically cured cleaned out like a beer of glass if you had listened to Carvel in the first instance instead of scorning him and turning him out of the house you might have had four hundred thousand francs for my revenge has cost me all of that but I shall get my change back and I hope when Marr Neff dies I have invested in a wife you see that is the secret of my extravagance I have solved the problem of playing the Lord on easy terms would you give your daughter such a mother-in-law cried Madame lo you do not know Valeria Madame replied crevalle gravely striking the attitude of his first manor she is a woman with good blood in her veins a lady and a woman who enjoys the highest consideration why only yesterday The Vicar of the parish was dining with her she is pious and we have presented a splendid monstrance to the church no she is clever she is witty she is delightful well-informed she has everything in her favour for my part My dear Adaline I owe everything to that charming woman she has opened my mind polished my speech as you may have noticed she corrects my impetuosity and gives me words ideas I never say anything now that I ought not I have greatly improved you must have noticed it and then she has encouraged my ambition I shall be a deputy and I shall make no blunders for I shall consult my Egeria every great politician from nuuma to our present Prime Minister has had his civil of the fountain a score of Deputies visit Valerie she is acquiring considerable influence and now that she is about to be established in a charming house with the carriage she will be one of the occult rulers of Paris a fine look emotive that is what such a woman is oh I have blessed you many a time for your stern virtue it is enough to make one doubt the goodness of God cried Adaline whose indignation had dried her tears but no divine justice must be hanging over her head you know nothing of the world my beauty said the great politician deeply offended the world my ethylene loves success say now has it come to seek out your sublime virtue priced at two hundred thousand francs the words made Madame Hulu shudder the nervous trembling attacked her once more she saw that the ex perfumer was taking a mean revenge on her as he had on you lo she felt sick with disgust and a spasm rose to her throat hindering speech money she said at last always money you touched me deeply said crevalle reminded by these words of the woman's humiliation when I beheld you there weeping at my feet you perhaps will not believe me but if I had my pocketbook about me it would have been yours come do you really want such a sum as she heard this question big with two hundred thousand francs Adaline forgot the odious insults heaped on her by this cheap jack fine gentleman before the tempting picture of success described by Machiavelli crevalle who only wanted to find out her secrets and laugh over them with Valerie oh I will do anything everything cried the unhappy woman Monsieur I will sell myself I will be a Valerie if I must you will find that difficult replied crevel Valerie is a masterpiece in her way my good mother 25 years of virtue are always repellent like a badly treated disease and your virtue has grown very moldy My dear child but you shall see how much I love you I will manage to get you your 200,000 francs Adaline incapable of uttering a word seized his hand and laid it on her heart a tear of joy trembled in her eyes oh don't be in a hurry there will be some hard pulling and I am a jolly good fellow a good soul with no prejudices and I will put things plainly to you you want to do as Valerie does very good but that is not all you must have a goal a stockholder and you know well I know a retired tradesman in fact a hozier he is heavy dull has not an idea I am licking him into shape but I don't know when he will do me credit my man is a deputy stupid and conceited the tyranny of a turbaned wife in the depths of the country has preserved him in a state of utter virginity as to the luxury and pleasures of Paris but both Asajj his name is beau visage is a millionaire and like me my dear three years ago he will give a hundred thousand crowns to be the lover of a real lady yes you see he went on misunderstanding a gesture on ethylenes part he is jealous of me you understand jealous of my happiness with madam our Neph and he is a fellow quite capable of selling an estate to purchase a enough Monsieur crevel said madam Liew yo no longer controlling her disgust and showing all her shame in her face I am punished beyond my deserts my conscience so sternly repressed by the iron hand of necessity tells me at this final insult that such sacrifices are impossible my pride is gone I do not say now as I did the first time go after receiving this mortal thrust I have lost the right to do so I have flung myself before you like a prostitute yes she went on and replied to a negative on Carvel's part I have fouled my life till now so pure by a degrading thought and I am inexcusable I know it I deserve every insult you can offer me God's will be done if indeed he desires the death of two creatures worthy to appear before him they must die I shall mourn them and pray for them if it is his will that my family should be humbled to the dust we must bow to his avenging sword nay and kiss it since we are Christians I know how to expiate this disgrace which will be the torment of all my remaining days I who speak to you Monsieur AM NOT madam Liu but her wretched humble thinner a Christian whose heart henceforth will know but one feeling and that is repentance all my time given up to prayer and charity with such a sin on my soul I am the last of women first only of penitence you have been the means of bringing me to a right mind I can hear the voice of God speaking within me and I can thank you she was shaking with the nervous trembling which from that hour never left her her low sweet tones were quite unlike the fevered accents of the woman who was ready for dishonor to save her family the blood faded from her cheeks her face was colorless and her eyes were dry and I played my part very badly did I not she went on looking at crevel with the sweetness that martyrs must have shown in their eyes as they looked up at the proconsul true love the sacred love of a devoted woman gives other pleasures no doubt than those that are bought in the open market but why so many words said she suddenly be thinking herself and advancing a step further in the way to perfection they sound like irony but I am NOT ironical forgive me besides Monsieur I did not want to hurt anyone but myself the dignity of virtue and its holy flame had expelled the transient impurity of the woman who splendid in her own peculiar beauty looked taller in crevalle eyes Adaline had at this moment the majesty of the figures of religion clinging to the cross as painted by the old Venetians but she expressed to the immensity of her love and the grandeur of the Catholic Church to which she flew like a wounded dove crevel was dazzled astounded but am I am your slave without conditions said he in an inspiration of generosity we will look into this matter and whatever you want the impossible even I will do I will pledge my securities at the bank and in two hours you shall have the money good God a miracle said poor Adaline falling on her knees she prayed to heaven with such fervor as touched crevalle deeply mademou lo saw that he had tears in his eyes when having ended her prayer she rose to her feet be a friend to me Monsieur said she your heart is better than your words and conduct God gave you your soul your passions and the world have given you your ideas oh I will love you truly she exclaimed with an angelic tenderness in strange contrast with her attempts at coquettish trickery but ceased to tremble so said crevalle am i trembling said the Baroness unconscious of the infirmity that had so suddenly come upon her yes why look said crevalle taking at a lien by the arm and showing her that she was shaking with nervousness come Madame he added respectfully compose yourself I am going to the bank at once and come back quickly remember she added betraying all her secrets that the first point is to prevent the suicide of our poor uncle Fisher involved by my husband for I trust you now and I am telling you everything oh if we should not be on time I know my brother-in-law the marshal and he has such a delicate soul that he would die of it in a few days I am off then said crevalle kissing the Baroness's hand but what has that unhappy load done he has swindled the government good heavens I fly Madame I understand I admire you crevel bent one knee kissed madame roola skirt and vanished saying you will see me soon unluckily on his way from the room a to his own house to fetch the Securities crevel went along the roof I know and he could not resist going in to see his little Duchess his face still wore an agitated expression he went straight into Valerie's room who was having her hair dressed she looked at crevel in her glass and like every woman of that sort was annoyed before she knew anything about it to see that he was moved by some strong feeling of which she was not the cause what is the matter my dear said she is that a face to bring into your little Duchess I will not be your Duchess anymore Monsieur and no more than I will be your little duck you old monster crevalle replied by a melancholy smile and the glance at the maid French aunt that will do for today I can finish my hair myself give me my Chinese wrapper my gentleman seems to me out of sorts errand whose face was pitted like a colander and who seemed to have been made on purpose to wait on Valerie smiled meaningly in reply and brought to the dressing gown Valerie took off her combing wrapper she was in her shift and she wriggled into the dressing gown like a snake into a clump of grass Madame is not at home what a question said Valerie come tell me my big puss have reeve gauche gone down no they have raised the price of the house no you fancy that you are not the father of our little crevel What nonsense replied he sure of his paternity on my honour I give it up said Madame our Neph if I am expected to extract my friends woes as you pull the cork out of a bottle of Bordeaux I let it alone go away you bore me it is nothing said crevalle I must find two hundred thousand francs in two hours oh you can easily get them I have not spent the fifty thousand francs we got her to feel low for that report and I can ask all three for fifty thousand all read mrs. always already exclaimed crevalle and do you suppose you great baby of a Machiavelli that I will cast off only with France disarm her fleet only why he is a dagger in a sheath hanging on a nail that boy serves as a whether glass to show me if you love me and you don't love me this morning I don't love you Valerie cried crevalle I love you as much as a million that is not nearly enough cried she jumping onto corbels knee and throwing both arms round his neck as if it were a peg to hang on by I want to be loved as much as ten millions as much as all the gold in the world and more to that all we would never wait a minute before telling me all he had on his mind what is it my great pet have a toad make a clean breast of it to your own little duck and she swept her hair over crow Val's face while she justing Li pulled his nose can a man with a nose like that she went on have any secrets from his Vava Lele RiRi and that the father she tweaked his nose to the right Lily it went to the left at RiRi she nipped it straight again well I have just seen kerfell stopped and looked at madame Mar Neff Valerie my treasure promised me on your honor hours you know not to repeat a single word of what I tell you of course mayor we know all about that one hand up so and one foot so and she put herself in an attitude which to use rabble ease phrase stripped crevalle bare from his brain to his heels so quaint and delicious was the nudity revealed through the late film of lon and I have just seen virtue in despair can despair possess virtue said she not in gravely and crossing her arms like Napoleon it is pure Madame Lulu she wants two hundred thousand francs or else Marshall no and old Johann Fischer will blow their brains out and as you my little Duchess are partly at the bottom of the mischief I am going to patch matters up she is a saintly creature I know her well she will repay you every penny at the name of Allah at the words 200,000 francs a gleam from Valerie's eyes flashed from between her long eyelids like the flame of a cannon through the smoke what did the old thing do to move you to compassion did she show you what her her religion do not make game of her sweetheart she is a very think Lea a very noble and pious woman worthy of all respect am I not worthy of respect then Hey answered Valerie with a threatening gaze at crevel I never said so replied he understanding that the praise of virtue might not be gratifying to madam or Neph I am pious too Valerie went on and taking her seat in an armchair but I do not make a trade of my religion I go to church in secret she sat in silence and paid no further heed to crevalle he extremely ility he's came to stand in front of the chair into which Valerie had thrown herself and saw her lost in the reflections he had been so foolish as to suggest Valerie my little angel at her silence a highly problematical tear was furtively dashed away one word my little duck Monsieur what are you thinking of my darling Oh Monsieur crevel I was thinking of the day of my first communion how pretty I was how pure how saintly immaculate oh if anyone had come to my mother and said your daughter will be a hussy and unfaithful to her husband one day a police officer will find her in a disreputable house she will sell herself to a crevalle to cheat a new low to horrible old men poof horrible she would have died before the end of the sentence she was so fond of me poor dear nay become you cannot think how well a woman must love a man before she can silence the remorse that gnaws at the heart of an adulterous wife I am quite sorry that Renan is not here she would have told you that she found me this morning praying with tears in my eyes I Monsieur crevel from my part do not make a mockery of religion have you ever heard me say a word I ought not on such a subject crevalle shook his head in negation I will never allow it to be mentioned in my presence I can make fun of anything under the Sun Kings politics finance everything that is sacred in the eyes of the world judges matrimony and love old men and maidens but the church and God there I draw the line I know I am wicked I am sacrificing my future life to you and you have no conception of the immensity of my loves crevalle clasped his hands no unless you could see into my heart and fathom the depth of my conviction so as to know the extent of my sacrifice I feel in me the making of a Magdalene and see how respectfully I treat the priests think of the gifts I make to the church my mother brought me up in the Catholic faith and I know what is meant by God it is to sinners like us that his voice is most awful Valery wiped away to tears that trickled down her cheeks crevel was in dismay that mr Neff stood up in her excitement become my darling you alarm me but am mine f fell on her knees dear heaven I am not bad all through she cried clasping her hands vouchsafe to rescue thy wandering lamb strike her crush her snatch her from foul and adulterous hands and how gladly she will nestled on thy show how willingly she will return to the fold she got up and looked at crevalle her colorless eyes frightened him yes crevalle and do you know I too am frightened sometimes the Justice of God is exerted in this netherworld as well as in the next what mercy can I expect at God's hands his vengeance overtakes the guilty in many ways it assumes every aspect of disaster that is what my mother told me on her deathbed speaking of her own old age but if I should lose you she added hugging crevel with a sort of savage frenzy oh I should die madam our Neph released crevalle knelt down again at the armchair folded her hands and in what a bewitching attitude and with incredible fervour poured out the following prayer and thou st. Valerie my patron saint why does thou so rarely visit the pillow of her who was entrusted to thy care o come this evening as thou didst this morning to inspire me with holy thoughts and I will quit the path of sin like the Magdalene I will give up deluding Joy's and the false glitter of the world even the man I loved so well my precious dark no more of the precious duc Monsieur said she turning round like a virtuous wife her eyes full of tears but dignified cold and indifferent believe me she went on pushing him from her what is my duty to belong wholly to my husband he is a dying man and what am i doing deceiving him on the edge of the grave he believes your child to be his I will tell him the truth and begin by securing his pardon before I ask for God's we must part goodbye Monsieur crevel and she stood up to offer him an icy cold hand goodbye my friend we shall meet no more till we meet in a better world you have to thank me for some enjoyment criminal indeed now I want oh yes I shall have your esteem crevel was weeping bitter tears yahoo great pumpkin she exclaimed with an infernal peal of laughter that is how your pious women go about it to drag from you a plum of two hundred thousand francs and you who talk of the matter shall de richelieu the prototype of loveless you could be taken in by such a stale trick as that I could get hundreds of thousands of francs out of you any day if I chose you old ninny keep your money if you have more than you know what to do with it is mine if you give to su to that respectable woman who is pious forsooth because she is 56 years of age we shall never meet again and you may take her for your mistress you could come back to me next day bruised all over from her bony caresses and thought and with her tears and thick of her little barmaids cap sent her whimpering which must turn her favors into showers in point of fact said crevalle two hundred thousand francs is around sum of money they have fine appetites have the goody sort by the poker they sell their sermons dearer than we sell the rarest and realest thing on earth pleasure and they can spin a yarn there I know them I have seen plenty in my mother's house they think everything is allowable for the church and for really my dear love you ought to be ashamed of yourself for you are not so open-handed you have not given me two hundred thousand francs all told oh yes said cripple your niffle house will cost as much as that then you have four hundred thousand francs said she thoughtfully no then sir you meant to lend that old horror the two hundred thousand francs do from hotel what Akram was high treason only listen to me if you were giving the money to some idiotic philanthropic scheme you would be regarded as a coming man she went on with increasing eagerness and I should be the first to advise it free you are too simple to write a big political book that might make you famous as for style you have not enough to butter a pamphlet but you might do as other men do who are in your predicament and who get a halo of glory above their name by putting it at the top of some social or moral or general or national enterprise benevolence is out of date quite vulgar providing for old offenders and making them more comfortable than the poor devils who are honest is played out what I should like to see is some invention of your own with an endowment of two hundred thousand francs something difficult and really useful then you would be talked about as a man of mark a monkey owned and I should be very proud of you but as to throwing two hundred thousand francs into a holy water shell or lending them to a bigot cast off by her husband and who knows why there is only some reason does anyone cast me off I ask you is a piece of idiocy which an hour days could only come into the head of a retired perfumer it reeks of the counter you would not dare to look at yourself in the glass two days after go and pay the money in where it will be safe run fly I will not admit you again without the receipt in your hand go thus fast and soon as you can she pushed crevalle out of the room by the shoulders seeing avarice blossoming in his face once more when she heard the outer door shut she exclaimed then Liesbeth is revenged over and over again what a pity that she is at her old marshals now we would have had a good laugh so that old woman wants to take the bread out of my mouth I will startle her a little end of chapter 29 thirty of cousin Betty by honoré de Balzac translated by James wearing this LibriVox recording is in the public domain recording by bruce pirie chapter 30 marshal uno being obliged to live in a style suited to the highest military rank had taken a handsome house in the rue du Montparnasse where there are three or four princely residences though he rented the whole house he inhabited only the ground-floor when Lee's bet went to keep house for him she at once wished to let the first floor which as she said would pay the whole rent so that the count would live almost rent-free but the old soldier would not hear of it for some months past the marshal had had many sad thoughts he had guessed how miserably poor his sister-in-law was and suspected her griefs without understanding their cause the old man so cheerful in his deafness became taciturn he could not help thinking that his house would one day be a refuge for the Baroness and her daughter and it was for them that he kept the first floor the smallness of his fortune was so well-known at headquarters that the war Minister the Prince Davison blergh begged his old comrade to accept the sum of money for his household expenses this sum the marshal spent in furnishing the ground floor which was in every way suitable for as he said he would not accept the marshals baton to walk the streets with the house had belonged to a senator under the Empire and the ground floor drawing rooms had been very magnificently fitted with carved wood white and gold still in very good preservation the marshal had found some good old furniture in the same style in the Coach House he had a carriage with two batons Insull tire on the panels and when he was expected to appear in full fig at the ministers at the Tuileries for some ceremony or high festival he hired horses for the job his servant for more than thirty years was an old soldier of sixty whose sister was the cook so he had saved ten thousand francs adding it by degrees to a little hoard he intended for or toss every day the old man walked along the boulevard from the rue de Montparnasse to the Rue Cler may and every pensioner as he passed stood at attention without fail to salute him then the marshal rewarded the veteran with a smile who is the man you always stand at attention to salute said a young workman one day to an old captain and pensioner I will tell you boy replied the officer the boy stood resigned as a man does to listen to an old gossip in 1809 said the captain we were covering the flank of the main army marching on Vienna under the Emperor's command we came to a bridge defended by three batteries of cannon one above another on a sort of cliff three redoubts like three shelves and commanding the bridge we were under marshal Messina that man whom you see there was Colonel of the Grenadier Guards and I was one of them our columns held one bank of the river the batteries were on the other three times they tried for the bridge and three times they were driven back go and find oolo said the marshal nobody but he and his men can bolt that morsel so we came the general who was just retiring from the bridge stopped do no under fire to tell him how to do it and he was in the way I don't want advice but room to pass said our general coolly marching across at the head of his men and then rattle 30 guns waking us at once by heaven cried the work man that accounts for some of these crutches and if you like me my boy had heard those words so quietly spoken you would bow before that man down to the ground it is not so famous as our coil but perhaps it was finer we followed who low at the double right up to those batteries all honor to those we left there and the old man lifted his hat the Austrians were amazed at the dash of it the emperor made the man you saw a count he honored us all by honouring our leader and the king of today was very right to make him a marshal hurrah for the marshal cried the workmen oho you may shout shout away the marshal is as deaf as a post from the roar of cannon this anecdote may give some idea of the respect with which they have a lead regarded marshal you know who's Republican proclivities secured him the popular sympathy of the whole quarter of the town sorrow taking hold on a spirit so calm and strict and Noble was a heartbreaking spectacle the Baroness could only tell lies with a woman's ingenuity to conceal the whole dreadful truth from her brother-in-law in the course of this miserable morning the marshal who like all old men slept but little had extracted from Lees bet full particular zazz to his brother's situation promising to marry her as the reward of her revelations any one can imagine with what be the old maid allowed the secrets to be dragged from her which she had been dying to tell ever since she had come into the house for by this means she made her marriage more certain your brother is incorrigible these bets shouted into the Marshalls best ear her strong clear tones enabled her to talk to him but she wore out her lungs so anxious was she to prove to her future husband that to her he would never be deaf he has had three mistresses said the old man and his wife was an Adaline poor Adaline if you will take my advice shriek Lizbeth you will use your influence with the Prince to visum Berg to secure her some suitable appointment she will need it for the Barons pay is pledged for three years I will go to the war office said he and see the Prince to find out what he thinks of my brother and asked for his interest to help my sister think of someplace that his fit for her the charitable ladies of Paris in concert with the archbishop have formed various beneficent associations they employ superintendents very decently paid whose business it is to seek out cases of real want such an occupation would exactly suit dear and allene it would be work after her own heart send to order the horses said the marshal and I will go into dress I will drive to New Year necessary how fond he is of her she will always cross my path wherever I turn said Lee's bet to herself Lee's bet was already supreme in the house but not with the marshals cognizance she had struck terror into the three servants for she had allowed herself a housemaid and she exerted her old maid ish energy in taking stock of everything examining everything and arranging in every respect for the comfort of her dear marshal Lee's bet quite as Republican as he could be pleased him by her democratic opinions and she flattered him with amazing dexterity for the last fortnight the old man whose house was better kept and who was cared for as a child by its mother had begun to regard Lisbeth as a part of what he had dreamed of my dear Marshall she shouted following him out onto the steps pull up the windows do not sit in a draught to oblige me the marshal who had never been so cosseted in his life went off smiling at least met though his heart was aching the same our baron Lulu was quitting the War Office to call on his chief marshal the Prince Davison Berg who had sent for him though there was nothing extraordinary in one of the generals on the board being sent for Boulos conscience was so uneasy that he fancied he saw a cold and sinister expression in me to Flav's face me to flay how is the prince he asked locking the door of his private room and following the messenger who led the way he must have a crow to pluck with you Monsieur Le Baron replied the man for his face is set at star me Lulu turned pale and said no more he crossed the anteroom and reception rooms and with a violently beating heart found himself at the door of the prince's private study the chief at this time seventy years old with perfectly white hair and the tanned complexion of a soldier of that age commanded attention by a brow so vast that imagination saw in it a field of battle under this dome crowned with snow sparkled a pair of eyes of the Napoleon blue usually sad-looking and full of bitter thoughts and regrets their fire overshadowed by the penthouse of the strongly projecting brow this man bernadotte's rival had hoped to find his seat on a throne but those eyes could flash formidable lightnings when they expressed strong feelings then his voice always somewhat hollow rang with strident tones when he was angry the prince was a soldier once more he spoke the language of lieutenant Cota he spared nothing nobody below Darvey he found the old lion his hair shaggy like a mane standing by the fireplace his brows knit his back against the mantelshelf and his eyes apparently fixed on vacancy here Ashur orders Prince said who lo effecting a graceful ease of manner the marshal looked hard at the Baron without saying a word during the time it took him to come from the door to within a few steps of where the chief stood this leaden stare was like the eye of God who no could not meet it he looked down in confusion he knows everything said he to himself does your conscience tell you nothing asked the marshal in his deep hollow tones it tells me sir that I have been wronged no doubt in ordering Razia's in Algeria without referring the matter to you at my age and with my tastes after 45 years of service I have no fortune you know the principles of the four hundred elect representatives of France those gentlemen are envious of every distinction they have pared down even the minister's pay that says everything ask them for money for an old servant what can you expect of men who pay a whole class so badly as they pay the government legal officials who give 30 sous a day to the laborers on the works at too long when it is a physical impossibility to live there and keep a family on less than 40 sous who never think of the atrocity of giving salaries of 600 francs up to a thousand or 1,200 perhaps two clerks living in Paris and who want to secure our places for themselves as soon as the pay rises to forty thousand who finally refused to restore to the crown a piece of crown property confiscated from the crown in 1830 property acquired to by louis xvi out of his Privy Purse if you had no private fortune Prince you would be left high and dry like my brother with your pay and not another sous and no thought of your having saved to the army and me with it in the boggy plains of Poland you have robbed the state you have made yourself liable to be brought before the bench at Assizes said the marshal like that clerk of the Treasury and you take this Monsieur with such levity but there is a great difference Molson air cried the baron have I dipped my hands into a cashbox entrusted to my care when a man of your rank commits such an infamous crime said the marshal he is doubly guilty if he does it clumsily you have compromised the honor of our official administration which hitherto has been the purest in Europe and all for two hundred thousand francs and a hussy said the marshal in a terrible voice you are a counsellor of state and a private soldier who sells anything belonging to his regiment is punished with death here is a story told to me one day by Colonel Parra of the 2nd Lancers a severe one of his men fell in love with a little Alsatian girl who had a fancy for a shawl the Jade teased this poor devil of a Lancer so effectually that though he could show twenty years service and was about to be promoted to be quartermaster the pride of the regiment to buy this shawl he sold some of his company's kit do you know what this Lancer did Baron Devi he swallowed some window glass after pounding it down and died in 11 hours of an illness in hospital try if you please to die of apoplexy that we may not see you dishonored lulo looked with Haggard eyes at the old warrior and the Prince reading the look which betrayed the coward felt a flush rise to his cheeks his eyes flamed will you sir abandon me you know stammered marshal allow hearing that only his brother was with the minister ventured at this juncture to come in and like all deaf people went straight up to the prince Oh cried the hero of Poland I know what you are here for my old friend but we can do nothing do nothing echoed marshal you lo who had heard only the last word nothing you have come to intercede for your brother but do you know what your brother is my brother asked the deaf man yes he is a damned infernal Blackard and unworthy of you the marshal in his rage shot from his eyes those fulminating fires which like Napoleon's broke a man's will and judgment you like OTA said marshal who know turning white throw down your baton as I throw mine I am ready the prince went up to his old comrade looked him in the face and shouted in his ear as he grasped his hand are you a man you will see that I am well then pull yourself together you must face the worst misfortune that can befall you the Prince turned round took some papers from the table and placed them in the marshals hands saying read that the Comte de forzheim read the following letter which lay uppermost to his Excellency the president of the council private and confidential Algiers My dear Prince we have a very ugly business on our hands as you will see by the accompanying documents the story briefly told is this Baron Hulot IV sent out to the province of Oran an uncle of his as a broker in grain and forage and gave him an accomplice in the person of a storekeeper this storekeeper to curry favor has made a confession and finally made his escape the public prosecutor took the matter up very thoroughly seeing as he supposed that only two inferior agents were implicated but Johann Fischer uncle to your chief of the commissariat department finding that he was to be brought up at the Assizes stabbed himself in prison with a nail that would have been the end of the matter if this worthy and honest man deceived it would seem by his agent and by his nephew had not thought proper to write to Baron who lo this letter seized as a document so greatly surprised the public prosecutor that he came to see me now the arrest and trial of a counselor of state would be such a terrible thing of a man hi in office – who has a good record for loyal service for after the Berezina it was he who saved us all by reorganizing the administration that I desired to have all the papers sent to me is the matter to take its course now that the principal agent is dead will it not be better to smother up the affair and sentence the storekeeper in default the public prosecutor has consented to my forwarding the documents for your perusal the Baron allowed RVE being resident in Paris the proceedings will lie with your Supreme Court we have hit on this rather shabby way of ridding ourselves of the difficulty for the moment only my dear marshal decide quickly this miserable business is too much talked about already and it will do as much harm to us as to you all if the name of the principal culprit known at present only to the public prosecutor the examining judge and myself should happen to leak out at this point the letter fell from marshal ulos hands he looked at his brother he saw that there was no need to examine the evidence but he looked for your hands Fischer's letter and after reading it at a glance held it out – at door from the prison at Oran dear nephew when you read this letter I shall have ceased to live be quite easy no proof can be found to incriminate you when I am dead and George Jesuit of a shard a fled the trial must collapse the face of our Adaline made so happy by you makes death easy to me now you need not send the two hundred thousand francs goodbye this letter will be delivered by a prisoner for a short term whom I can trust I believe Johann Fischer beg your pardon said Marshall who lo to the prince divisive work with pathetic pride come come say to not the formal vous replied the minister clasping his old friend's hand the poor Lancer killed no one but himself he added with a thunderous look at you load RV how much have you had said the Comte de Fort sign to his brother two hundred thousand francs my dear friend said the count addressing the minister you shall have the two hundred thousand francs within 48 hours it shall never be said that a man bearing the name of who lo has wronged to the public treasury of a single sue what's nonsense said the prince I know where the money is and I can get it back send in your resignation and ask for your pension he went on sending a double sheet of foolscap flying across to where the Council of State had sat down by the table for his legs gave way under him to bring you to trial would disgrace us all I have already obtained from the superior board their sanction to this line of action since you can accept life with dishonor in my opinion the last degradation you will get the pension you have earned and only take care to be forgotten the minister rang is mine F the head clerk out there yes Monseigneur show him in you said the minister as Marne f camión you and your wife have wittingly and intentionally ruined the baron devi whom you see monsieur le ministre i beg your pardon we are very poor I have nothing to live on but my pay and I have two children and the one that is coming will have been brought into the family by Monsieur Le Baron what a villain he looks said the prince pointing to Marne F and addressing martially lo no more of ganar el speeches he went on you will disgorge two hundred thousand francs or be packed off to Algiers but monsieur le ministre you do not know my wife she has spent it all Monsieur Laval asked six persons to dinner every evening 50,000 francs a year are spent in my house leave the room said the minister in the formidable tones that had given the word to charge in battle you will have notice of your transfer within two hours go I prefer to send in my resignation said my nephew insolently for it is too much to be what I am already and thrashed into the bargain that would not satisfy me at all and he left the room what an impudent scoundrel said the prince marshal you know who had stood up throughout this scene as pale as a corpse studying his brother out of the corner of his eye went up to the prince and took his hand repeating in 48 hours the pecuniary mischief shall be repaired but honor goodbye marshal it is the last shot that kills yes I shall die of it he said in his ear what the devil brought you here this morning said the Prince much moved I came to see what can be done for his wife replied the count pointing to his brother she is wanting bread especially now he has his pension it is pledged the devil must possess such a man said the prince with a shrug what filter do those baggages give you to rob you of your wits he went on to who no Devi how could you you who know the precise details with which in French offices everything is written down at full length consuming reams of paper to certify to the receipt or outlay of a few song teams you who have so often complained that a hundred signatures are needed for a mere trifle to discharge a soldier to buy a curry comb how could you hope to conceal a theft for any length of time to say nothing of the newspapers and the envious and people who would like to steal those women must rob you of your common sense do they cover your eyes with walnut shells where are you yourself made of different stuff from us you ought to have left the office as soon as you found that you are no longer a man but a temperament if you have complicated your crime with such gross folly you will end I will not say where promise me coat and that you will do what you can for her said the marshal who heard nothing and was still thinking of his sister-in-law depend on me said the minister thank you and goodbye then come Monsieur he said to his brother the Prince looked with apparent calmness at the two brothers so different in their demeanor conduct and character the brave man and the coward the aesthetic and the profligate the honest man and the Pecha later and he said to himself that mean creature will not have courage to die and my poor who lo such an honest fellow has death in his knapsack I know he sat down again in his big chair and went on reading the dispatches from Africa with a look characteristic at once of the coolness of a leader and of the pity roused by the sight of a battlefield for in reality no one is so humane as a soldier Stern as he may seem in the icy determination acquired by the habit of fighting and so absolutely essentially in the battlefield next morning some of the newspapers contain under various headings the following paragraphs Monsieur Le Baron who no Devi has applied for his retiring pension the unsatisfactory state of the Algerian Exchequer which has come out in consequence of the death and disappearance of two employees has had some share in this distinguished officials decision on hearing of the delinquencies of the agents whom he had unfortunately trusted Monsieur LaBelle all who know had a paralytic stroke in the war Minister's private room Monsieur uno Davi brother to the Marshall Court before time has been 45 years in the service his determination has been vainly opposed and is greatly regretted by all who know Monsieur uno whose private virtues are as conspicuous as his administrative capacity no one can have forgotten the devoted conduct of the commissary General of the Imperial Guard at Warsaw or the marvelous promptitude with which he organized supplies for the various sections of the army so suddenly required by Napoleon in 1815 one more of the heroes of the empire is retiring from the stage Monsieur LaBelle who know has never ceased since 1830 to be one of the guiding lights of the State Council and of the War Office Algiers the case known as the foraged supply case to which some of our contemporaries have given absurd prominence has been closed by the death of the chief culprit johann vish has committed suicide in his cell his accomplice who had absconded will be sentenced in default vish formerly an army contractor was an honest man and highly respected who could not survive the idea of having been the dupe of Sharda the storekeeper who has disappeared and in the Paris news the following paragraph appeared Monsieur Lamar I shall the Minister of War to prevent the recurrence of such scandals for the future has arranged for a regular commissariat office in Africa the head clerk in the War Office Monsieur Manette is spoken of as likely to be appointed to the post of Director the office vacated by Baron who lo is the object of much ambition the appointment is promised it is said to monsieur le Comte monsieur de la roche who gone deputy brother-in-law to monsieur le Comte the resting monsieur masa master of appeals will fill his seat on the council of state and Monsieur Claude Vignon becomes master of appeals of all kinds of false gossip the most dangerous for the opposition newspapers is the official bogus paragraph however keen journalists may be they are sometimes the voluntary or involuntary dupes of the cleverness of those who have risen from the ranks of the press like Claude Vignon to the higher realms of power the newspaper can only be circumvented by the journalist it may be said has a parody on a line by Voltaire the Paris news is never what the foolish folk believe end of chapter 30 chapter 31 of cousin Betty by honoré de Balzac translated by James wearing this LibriVox recording is in the public domain recording by bruce pirie chapter 31 marshal uno drove home with his brother who took the front seat respectfully leaving the whole of the back of the carriage to his senior the two men spoke not a word Hector was helpless the marshal was lost in thought like a man who is collecting all his strength and bracing himself to bear a crushing weight on arriving at his own house still without speaking but by an imperious gesture he beckoned his brother into his study the count had received from the Emperor Napoleon a splendid pair of pistols from the Versailles factory he took the box with its inscription given by the Emperor Napoleon to general rule Oh out of his desk and placing it on the top he showed it to his brother saying there is your remedy Lee's bet peeping through the chink of the door flew down to the carriage and ordered the coachman to go as fast as he could gallop to the Rue plumet within about 20 minutes she had brought back Adaline whom she had told of the marshals threat to his brother the marshal without looking at Akhtar rang the bell for his fat Cottam the old soldier who had served him for thirty years bull PA said he fetch my notary and cashed in Bach and my niece or calls and the stockbroker to the Treasury it is now half past ten they must all be here by 12:00 take Hackney cabs and go faster than that he added a Republican illusion which in past days had been often on his lips and he put on the skull that had brought his officers to attention when he was beating the broom on the Heath's of Brittany in 1799 C lay Shuang you shall be obeyed Mary Shaw said bow PA with a military salute still paying no heed to his brother the old man came back into his study took a key out of his desk and opened a little malachite box mounted in steal the gift of the Emperor Alexander by Napoleon's orders he had gone to restore to the Russian Emperor the private property seized at the Battle of Dresden in exchange for which Napoleon hoped to get back Bond Dom the Tsar rewarded general you know very handsomely giving him this casket and saying that he hoped one day to show the same courtesy to the Emperor of the French but he kept von Dom the Imperial arms of Russia were displayed in gold on the lid of the box which was inlaid with gold the marshal counted the banknotes it contained he had a hundred and fifty two thousand francs he saw this with satisfaction at the same moment Madame ole oak came in to the brim in a state to touch the heart of the sternest judge she flew into at tours arms looking alternately with the crazy eye at the marshal and at the case of pistols what have you to say against your brother what has my husband done to you said she in such a voice that the marshal heard her he has disgraced us all replied the Republican veteran who spoke with a vehemence that reopened one of his old wounds he has robbed the government he has cast odium on my name he makes me wish I were dead he has killed me and I have only strength enough left to make restitution I have been abased before the conde of the Republic the man i esteem above all others and to whom i unjustifiably gave the lie the Prince of visum Berg is that nothing that is the score his country has against him he wiped away a tear now as to his family he went on he is robbing you of the bread I had saved for you the fruit of 30 years economy of the privations of an old soldier here is what was intended for you and he held up the banknotes he has killed his uncle Fisher a noble and worthy son of alsace who could not as he can endure the thought of a stain on his peasants honour to crown all God in his adorable clemency had allowed him to choose an angel among women he has had the unspeakable happiness of having an Adaline for his wife and he has deceived her he has soaked her in sorrows he has neglected her for prostitutes for street hussies for ballet girls actresses Kadeem Josefa mine f and that is the brother i treated as a son and made my pride go wretched man if you can accept the life of degradation you have made for yourself leave my house I have not the heart to curse a brother I have loved so well I am as foolish about him as you are Adaline but never let me see him again and I forbid his attending my funeral or following me to the grave let him show the decency of a criminal if he can feel no remorse the marshal as pale as death fell back on the settee exhausted by his solemn speech and for the first time in his life perhaps tears gathered in his eyes and rolled down his cheeks my poor uncle cried leaves bet putting a handkerchief to her eyes brother said Adaline kneeling down by the marshal live for my sake help me in the task of reconciling act or to the world and making him redeem the past he cried the marshal if he lives he is not at the end of his crimes a man who has missed prized and Adaline who has smothered in his own soul the feelings of a true Republican which I tried to instill into him the love of his country of his family and of the poor that man is a monster a swine take him away if you still care for him for a voice within me cries to me to load my pistols and blow his brains out by killing him I should save you all and I should save him too from himself the old man started to his feet with such a terrifying gesture that poor and the lean exclaimed actor come she seized her husband's arm dragged him away and out of the house but the Baron was so broken down that she was obliged to call a coach to take him to the buchumi where he went to bed the man remained there for several days in a sort of half dissolution refusing all nourishment without a word by floods of tears Adaline persuaded him to swallow a little broth she nursed him sitting by his bed and feeling only of all the emotions that once had filled her heart the deepest pity for him at half-past twelve Lisbeth showed in to her dear marshals room for she would not leave him so much was she alarmed that the evidence change in him count Steinbach and the notary Monsieur Nicole said the marshal I would beg you to be so good as to put your signature to a document authorizing my niece your to sell a bond for certain funds of which she at present holds only the reversion you Mademoiselle Fisher will agree to this sale thus losing your life interest in the securities yes dear count said leaves bet without hesitation good my dear said the old soldier I hope I may live to reward you but I did not doubt you you are a true Republican a daughter of the people he took the old maids hand and kissed it Monsieur Anakin he went on speaking to the notary draw up the necessary document in the form of a power of attorney and let me have it within two hours so that I may sell the stock on the bourse today my niece the countess holds the security she will be here to sign the power of attorney when you bring it and so will Mademoiselle Monsieur lacont will be good enough to go with you and sign it at your office the artist at a nod from Lisbet bowed respectfully to the marshal and went away next morning at ten o'clock the Comte de forzheim sent in to announce himself to the prince and was at once admitted well my dear reuleaux said the prince holding out the newspapers to his old friend we have saved appearances you see read marshal you know lead the papers on his comrades table and held out to him the two hundred thousand francs here is the money of which my brother robbed the state said he what madness cried the minister it is impossible he said into the speaking trumpet handed to him by the marshal to manage this restitution we should be obliged to declare your brother's dishonest dealings and we have done everything to hide them do what you like with the money but the family shall not all one sous of its fortune to our robbery on the funds of the state said the count I will take the Kings commands in the matter we will discuss it no further replied the Prince perceiving that it would be impossible to conquer the old man's sublime see on the point goodbye Kota said the old soldier taking the princes hand I feel as if my soul were frozen then after going a step towards the door he turned round looked at the Prince and seeing that he was deeply moved he opened his arms to clasp him in them the two old soldiers embraced each other I feel as if I were taking a leave of the whole of the old army in you said the count goodbye my good old comrade said the minister yes it is goodbye for I am going where all our brave men are for whom we have mourned just then Claude Vignon was shown in the two relics of the Napoleonic phalanx bowed gravely to each other he facing every trace of emotion you have I hope being satisfied by the papers said the master of Appeals he lacked I contrived to let the opposition papers believe that they were letting out our secrets unfortunately it is all in vain replied the minister watching low as he left the room I have just gone through a leave taking that has been a great grief to me for indeed marshal no has not three days to live and I saw that plainly enough yesterday that man one of those honest souls that are above proof a soldier respected by the bullets in spite of his valor received his death blow there in that armchair and dealt by my hand in a letter ring in order my carriage I must go to new Yi said he putting the two hundred thousand francs into his official portfolio notwithstanding these bets nursing marshal you know three days later was a dead man such men are the glory of the party they support two Republicans the marshal was the ideal of patriotism and they all attended his funeral which was followed by an immense crowd the army the state officials the court and the populace all came to do homage to this lofty virtue this spotless honesty this immaculate glory such a last tribute of the people is not a thing to be had for the asking this funeral was distinguished by one of those tributes of delicate feeling of good taste and sincere respect which from time to time remind us of the virtues and dignity of the old French nobility following the marshals beer came the old Marquis de menthe along the brother of him who in the great rising of the shoe owned in 1799 had been the foe the luckless foe of who know that marquis killed by the balls of the blues had confided the interests of his young brother to the republican soldier see Li shuo uno had so faithfully acted on the noble Royalists verbal will that he succeeded in saving the young man's estates though he himself was at the time an émigré and so the homage of the old French nobility was not wanting to the leader who nine years since had conquered Madame this death happening just four days before the bands were cried for the last time came upon Elise met like the Thunderbolt that burns the garnered harvest with the barn the peasant of lorraine has often happens had succeeded too well the marshal had died of the blows dealt to the family by herself and madame on f the old maids vindictiveness which success seemed to have somewhat mollified was aggravated by this disappointment of her hopes Lizbeth went crying with rage to Madame on f4 she was homeless the marshal having agreed that his lease was at anytime to terminate with his life crevalle to console Valerie's friend took charge of her savings added to them considerably and invested the capital in five percents giving her the life interest in putting the securities into Salus Dean's name thanks to this stroke of business Lisbeth had an income of about two thousand francs when the Marshalls property was examined and valued a note was found addressed to his sister-in-law to his niece or tall's and to his nephew Victor desiring that they would pay among them an annuity of twelve hundred francs to Mademoiselle Lisette Fisher who was to have been his wife heléne seeing her husband between life and death succeeded for some days in hiding from him the fact of his brother's death but Lizbeth came in morning and the terrible truth was told him eleven days after the funeral the crushing blow revived the sick man's energies he got up found his family collected in the drawing room all in black and suddenly silent as he came in in a fortnight who lo as lean as a Spectre looked to his family the mere shadow of himself I must decide on something said he in a husky voice as he seated himself in an easy chair and looked round at the party of whom crevalle and Steinbach were absent we cannot stay here the rent is too high or toss was saying just as her father came in as to a home said Victoria breaking the painful silence I can offer my mother as he heard these words which excluded him the Baron raised his head which was sunk on his breast as though he were studying the pattern of the carpet though he did not even see it and he gave the young lawyer an appealing look the rights of a father are so in de feasibly sacred even when he is a villain and devoid of honor that Victoria paused to your mother the Baron repeated you are right my son the rooms over ours in our wing said Celestine finishing her husband's sentence I am in your way my dears said the Baron with the mildness of a man who has judged himself but do not be uneasy as to the future you will have no further cause for complaint of your father you will not see him till the time when you need no longer blush for him he went up to or tall's and kissed her brow he opened his arms to his son who rushed into his embrace guessing his father's purpose the Barons signed to Lizbeth who came to him and he kissed her forehead then he went to his room with her Adaline followed him in an agony of dread my brother was quite right Adaline he said holding her hand I am unworthy of my home life I dared not bless my children who have behaved so nobly but in my heart tell them that I could only venture to kiss them for the blessing of a bad man a father who has been an assassin and the scourge of his family instead of its protector and its glory might bring evil on them but assure them that I shall bless them every day as to you God alone for he is Almighty can ever reward you according to your merits I can only ask your forgiveness and he knelt at her feet taking her hands and wetting them with his tears act or act are your sins have been great but divine mercy is infinite and you may repair all by staying with me rise up in Christian charity my dear I am your wife and not your judge I am your possession do what you will with me take me wherever you go I feel strong enough to comfort you to make life enjoyable to you by the strength of my love my care and respect our children are settled in life they need me no more let me try to be an amusement to you an occupation let me share the pain of your banishment and of your poverty and help to mitigate it I could always be of some use if it were only to save the expense of a servant can you forgive my dearly beloved Adaline yes only get up my dear well with that forgiveness I can live said he rising to his feet and I came back into this room that my children should not see their father's humiliation now the sight constantly before their eyes of a father so guilty as I am is a terrible thing it must undermine parental influence and break every family tie so I cannot remain among you and I must go to spare you the odious spectacle of a father bereft of dignity do not oppose my departure at the lean it would only be to load with your own hand the pistol to blow my brains out above all do not seek me in my hiding place you would deprive me of the only strong motive remaining in me that of remorse actors decisiveness silenced his dejected wife Adaline lofty in the midst of all this ruin had derived her courage from her perfect union with her husband for she had dreamed of having him for her own of the beautiful task of comforting him of leading him back to family life and reconciling him to himself but act or would you leave me to die of despair anxiety and alarms said she seeing herself bereft of the mainspring of her strength I will come back to you dear angel sent from heaven expressly for me and I believe I will come back if not rich at least with enough to live in ease listen my sweet adaleen I cannot stay here for many reasons in the first place my pension of 6,000 francs is pledged for 4 years so I have nothing that is not all I shall be committed to prison within a few days in consequence of the bills held by vovan a so I must keep out of the way until my son to whom I will give full instructions shall have bought in the bills my disappearance will facilitate that as soon as my pension is my own and valina is paid off I will return to you you would be sure to let out the secret of my hiding place become do not cry Adaline it is only for a month where will you go what will you do what will become of you who will take care of you now that you are no longer young let me go with you we will go abroad said she well well we will see he replied the Baron rang had ordered Mariette to collect all his things and pack them quickly and secretly then after embracing his wife with a warmth of affection to which she was unaccustomed he begged her to leave him alone for a few minutes while he wrote his instructions for Victoria promising that he would not leave the house till dark or without her as soon as the Baroness was in the drawing room the cunning old man stole out through the dressing closet to the ante room and went away giving Mariette a slip of paper on which was written a dress my trunks to go buy railway to corbeil to Monsieur Ector cloakroom Courbet the Baron jumped into a hackney-coach and was rushing across Paris by the time Mariette came to give the Baroness this note and say that her master had gone out at a lean flew back into her room trembling more violently than ever her children followed on hearing her give a piercing cry they found her in a dead faint and they put her to bed for she was seized by a nervous fever which held her for a month between life and death where is he was the only thing she would say Victoria sought for him in vain and this is why the Baron had driven to the plasti Palais Royale there this man who had recovered all his wits to work out a scheme which he had premeditated during the days he had spent crushed with pain and grief crossed the Palais Royale on foot and took a handsome carriage from a livery stable in the Rouge okole in obedience to his orders the coachman went to the rue de la vela vac and into the courtyard of Josephus mansion the gates opening at once at the call of the driver of such a splendid vehicle Josefa came out prompted by curiosity for her manservant had told her that a helpless old gentleman unable to get out of his carriage begged her to come to him for a moment Josefa it is I the singer recognized her who know only by his voice what you poor old man on my honor you look like a 20 franc peace that the Jews have sweated and the moneychangers refused alas yes replied he lo I am snatched from the jaws of death but you are as lovely as ever will you be kind that depends said she everything is relative listen siddo yo can you put me up for a few days in a servants room under the roof I have nothing not a farthing not a hope no food no pension no wife no children no roof over my head without honor without courage with hurt a friend and worse than all that liable to imprisonment for not meeting a bill poor old fellow you are without most things are you also song cool up you laugh at me I am done for cried the Baron and I counted on you as Gor vo did unknown and it was a real lady I am told who brought you to this said shall safer those precious know how to pluck a goose even better than we do why you are like a corpse that the crows have done with and I can see daylight through time is short Josefa come in old boy I am alone as it happens if my people don't know you send away your trap is it paid for yes said the Baron getting out with the help of Joseph his arm you may call yourself my father if you like said the singer moved to Betty she may do low sit down in the splendid drawing-room where he had last seen her and is it the fact old man she went on that you have killed your brother and your uncle ruined your family mortgaged your children's house over and over again and robbed the government till in Africa all for your princess you lo sadly bent his head well I admire that cried Josefa starting up in her enthusiasm it is a general flare-up it is sardanapalus splendid thoroughly complete I may be a hussy but I have a soul I tell you I like a spendthrift like you crazy over a woman a thousand times better than those torpid heartless bankers who are supposed to be so good and who ruined no end of families with their rails gold for them and iron for their goals you have only ruined the who belong to you you have sold no one but yourself and then you have excuses physical and moral she struck a tragic attitude and spoted tis Venus whose grasp never parts from her prey and there you are and she pure whetted on her toe vice suno found could forgive him vice smiled on him from the midst of unbridled luxury here as before a jury the magnitude of a crime was an extenuating circumstance and is your lady pretty at any rate asked Josefa trying as a preliminary act of charity to divert to those thoughts for his depression grieved her on my word almost as pretty as you are said the Baron artfully and monstrously drol so I have been told what does she do I say is she better fun than I am I don't want to talk about her said you know and I hear she has come round Mike Ravel and little Steinbach and a gorgeous Brazilian very likely and that she has got a house as good as this that crevalle has given her that baggage she is my Provo marshal and finishes off those I have spoiled I tell you why I am so curious to know what she is like old boy I just caught sight of her in the Bois in an open carriage but a long way off she is a most accomplished harpy a Caribbean says she is trying to eat up crevalle but he only lets her nibble crevalle is a knowing hand good-natured but hard-headed who will always say yes and then go his own way he is vain and passionate but his cash is cold you can never get anything out of such fellows beyond a thousand to three thousand francs a month they jib at any serious outlay as the donkey does at a running stream not like you old boy you are a man of passions you would sell your country for a woman and look here I am ready to do anything for you you are my father you started me in life it is a sacred duty what do you want do you want a hundred thousand francs I will wear myself to a rag to gain them as to giving you bed and board that is nothing a place will be late for you here every day you could have a good room on the second floor and a hundred crowns a month for pocket money the Baron a deeply touched by such a welcome had a last qualms of honor no my dear child no I did not come here for you to keep me said he at your age it is something to be proud of said she this is what I wish my child your Duke de Avila has immense estates in Normandy and I want to be his steward under the name of tool I have the capacity and I am honest a man may borrow of the government engine not steal from a cashbox mm-hmm seneschal safer once drunk drinks again in short I only want to live out of sight for three years well it is soon done said she safer this evening after dinner I have only to speak the Duke would marry me if I wished it but I have his fortune and I want something better his esteem he is a Duke of the first water he is high minded as noble and greatest louis xiv and napoleon rolled into one though he is a dwarf besides I have done for him what les Jones did for a rush feed by taking my advice he has made two millions now listen to me old popgun I know you you are always after the women and you would be dancing attendance on the Normandy girls who are splendid creatures and getting your ribs cracked by their lovers and fathers and the Duke would have to get you out of the scrape well I can't I see by the way you look at me that the young man is not dead in you as any long put it this stewardship is not the thing for you a man cannot be off with his Paris and with us old boy for the saying you would die of weariness said Oh Ruthie what is to become of me said the Baron for I will only stay here till I see my way well shall I find a pigeonhole for you listen you old pirate women are what you want they are consolation in all circumstances at ends now at the end of the alley ruse and more to tompa there is a poor family I know of where there is a jewel of a little girl prettier than I was at sixteen there is a twinkle in your eye already the child works sixteen hours a day at embroidering costly pieces for the silk merchants and earns 16 sous a day one sous an hour and feeds like the Irish on potatoes fried in rats dripping with bread five times a week and drinks canal water out of the town pipes because the send water costs too much and she cannot set up on her own account for lack of six or seven thousand francs your wife and children bore you to death don't they besides one cannot submit to be nobody where one has been a little almighty a father who has neither money nor honour can only be stuffed and kept in a glass case the Baron could not help smiling at these abominable chests well no Bijou is to come tomorrow morning to bring me an embroidered wrapper a Jim it has taken six months to make no one else will have any stuff like it Bijou is very fond of me I give her tidbits sent by old gowns and I send orders for bread and meat and wood to the family who would break the shin bones of the first comer if I bid them I try to do it I feel good ah I know what I endured from hunger myself b-joo has confided to me all her little sorrows there is the making of a super at the ambigú comic in that child her dream is to wear fine dresses like mine above all to ride in the carriage I shall say to her look here little one would you like to have a friend of how old are you she asked interrupting herself seventy-two I have given up counting would you like an old gentleman of 72 I shall say very clean and neat and who does not take snuff who is as sound as a bell and as good as a young man he will marry you in the 13th arrondissement and be very kind to you he will place seven thousand francs in your account and furnish you a room all in mahogany and if you are good he will sometimes take you to the play he will give you a hundred francs a month for pocket money and fifty francs for housekeeping I know Bisou she is myself at fourteen I jumped for joy when that horrible crevalle made me his atrocious offers well and you old man will be disposed of for three years she is a good child well behaved for three or four years she will have her illusions not for longer loo lo did not hesitate he had made up his mind to refuse but to seem grateful to the kind-hearted singer who was benevolent after her lights he affected to hesitate between vice and virtue why you are as cold as a paving stone in winter she exclaimed in amazement come now you will make a whole family happy a grandfather who runs all the errands a mother who is being worn out with work and two sisters one of them very plain who makes 32 sous a day while putting their eyes out it will make up for the misery you have caused at home and you will expiate your sin while you are having as much fun as a minx at my beaded Lulla to put an end to this temptation moved his fingers as if he were counting out money Oh be quite easy as two ways and means replied Josefa my Duke will lend you ten thousand francs seven thousand to start an embroidery shop in Biju's name and three thousand for furnishing and every three months you will find a check here for six hundred and fifty francs when you get your pension paid you you can repay the seventeen thousand francs meanwhile you will be as happy as a cow in clover and hidden in a hole where the police will never find you you must wear a loose Serge coat and you will look like a comfortable householder call yourself cooler if that is your fancy I will tell me you that you are an uncle of mine come from Germany having failed in business and you will be cosseted like a divinity there now daddy and who knows you may have no regrets in case you should be bored keep one Sunday rig out and you can come and ask me for a dinner and spend the evening here I and I meant to settle down and behave myself look here borrow 20,000 francs for me and I will set out to make my fortune in America like my friend eglim oh when news again cleaned him out you cried Josefa nae leave morals to work that they folks to raw recruits to the worthy citizens who have nothing to boast of but their virtue you you were born to be something better than a nincompoop you are as a man what I am as a woman a spendthrift of genius we will sleep on it and discuss it all tomorrow morning you will dine with the Duke My dear rutila will receive you as civilly as if you were the savior of the state and tomorrow you can decide come be jolly old boy life is a garment when it is dirty we must brush it when it is ragged it must be patched but we keep it on as long as we can this philosophy of life and her high spirits postponed new lows keenest pangs at noon next day after a capital breakfast who lo saw the arrival of one of those living master pieces which Paris alone of all the cities in the world can produce by means of the constant concubinage of luxury and poverty of vice and decent honesty a suppressed desire and renewed temptation which makes the French capital the daughter of Nineveh of Babylon and of Imperial Rome Mademoiselle Olymp Bijou a child of 16 had the exquisite face which Raphael drew for his Virgin's eyes of pathetic innocence weary with overwork black eyes with long lashes their moisture parched with the heat of laborious nights and darkened with fatigue a complexion like porcelain almost too delicate a mouth like a partly opened pomegranate a heaving bosom a full figure pretty hands the whitest teeth and the mass of black hair and the whole meagerly set off by a cotton frock at 75 some teams the metre leather shoes without heels and the cheapest clothes the girl all unconscious of her charms had put on her best frock to wait on the fine lady the Baron gripped again by the clutch of profligacy felt all his life concentrated in his eyes he forgot everything on beholding this delightful creature he was like a sportsman in sight of the game if an emperor were present he must take aim and warranted sound said she'll say feh in his ear an honest child and wanting bread this is Paris I have been there it is a bargain replied the old man getting up and rubbing his hands when Olympia shoe was gone Joseph L looked mischievously at the Baron if you want things to keep straight daddy said she be as firm as the public prosecutor on the bench keep a tight hand on her be ibaka know where agustí bolete nest door the door or that is gold in every form when once the child is fed and dressed if she gets the upper hand she will drive you like a serf I will see to settling you comfortably the Duke does the handsome he will lend that his give you ten thousand francs and he deposits eight thousand with his notary who will pay you six hundred francs every quarter for I cannot trust you now am i nice adorable ten days after deserting his family when they were gathered round Adaline who seemed to be dying as she said again and again in a weak voice where is he Hector er under the name of tune was established in the Rousimar at the head of a business as embroiderer under the name of tool and Bisou end of chapter 31 chapter xxxii of cousin Betty by honoré de Balzac translated by James wearing this LibriVox recording is in the public domain recording by bruce pirie chapter 32 Victoria Alou under the overwhelming disasters of his family had received the finishing touch which makes or Mars the man he was perfection in the great storms of life we act like the captain of a ship who under the stress of a hurricane Layton's the ship of its heaviest cargo the young lawyer lost his self-conscious pride his too evident assertiveness his arrogance as an orator and his political pretensions he was as a man what his wife was as a woman he made up his mind to make the best of his sail Athene who certainly did not realize his dreams and was wise enough to estimate life at its true value by contenting himself in all things with the second best he vowed to fulfill his duties so much had he been shocked by his father's example these feelings were confirmed as he stood by his mother's bed on the day when she was out of danger nor did this happiness come single Claude Vignon who called every day from the prince2 visum burg to inquire as to Madame Munoz progress desired the reelected deputy to go with him to see the minister his excellency said he wants to talk over your family affairs with you the prince had long known victoria who know and received him with a friendliness that promised well my dear fellow said the old soldier I promised your uncle in this room that I would take care of your mother that saintly woman I am told is getting well again now is the time to pour oil into your wounds I have for you here two hundred thousand francs I will give them to you the lawyer's gesture was worthy of his uncle the marshal be quite easy said the Prince smiling it is money in trust my days are numbered I shall not always be here so take this sum and fill my place towards your family you may use this money to pay off the mortgage on your house these 200,000 francs are the property of your mother and your sister if I gave the money to Madame Lulu I fear that in her devotion to her husband she would be tempted to waste it and the intention of those who restore it to you is that it should produce bread for Madame Lulu and her daughter at the countess Steinbach you are a steady man the worthy son of your noble mother the true nephew of my friend the Marshall you are appreciated here you see and elsewhere so be the guardian angel of your family and take this as a legacy from your uncle and me Moulson Yair said you know taking the minister's hand and pressing it such men as you know that thanks in words mean nothing gratitude must be proven prove yours said the old man in what way by accepting what I have to offer you said the minister we propose to appoint you to be attorney to the War Office which just now is involved in litigations in consequence of the plan for fortifying Paris Consulting clerk also to the prefecture of police and a member of the board of the Civil List these three appointments will secure you salaries amounting to eighteen thousand francs and we'll leave you politically free you can vote in the chamber in obedience to your opinions and your conscience act in perfect freedom on that score it would be a bad thing for us if there were no national opposition also a few lines from your uncle written a day or two before he breathed his last suggested what I could do for your mother whom he loved very truly Madame Peppino the resting yak de Navarre de spa the Koala the carrion Oh the Loon encore and dulha bhatti have made a place for your mother as a lady Superintendent of their charities these ladies presidents of various branches of benevolent word cannot do everything themselves they need a lady of character who can act for them by going to see the objects of their beneficence ascertaining the charity is not imposed upon and whether the help given really reaches those who applied for it finding out that the poor who are ashamed to beg and so forth your mother will fulfill an angelic function she will be thrown in with nun but priests and these charitable ladies she will be paid six thousand francs and the cost of her Hackney coaches you see young man that a pure and nobly virtuous man can still assist his family even from the grave such a name as your uncle's is and ought to be a buckler against misfortune in a well-organized scheme of society follow in his path you have started in it I know continue in it such delicate kindness cannot surprise me in my mother's friend said Victoria I will try to come up to all your hopes go at once and take comfort to your family by the way added the Prince as he shook hands with Victoria your father has disappeared alas yes so much the better that unhappy man has shown his wit in which indeed he is not lacking there are Bills of his to be met well you shall have six months pay of your three appointments in advance this prepayment will help you perhaps to get the notes out of the hands of the moneylender and I will see noose again and perhaps may succeed in releasing your father's pension pledged to him without it's costing you or our office assume the pier has not killed the banker in new sangun he is insatiable he wants some concession I know not what so on his return to the room a Victoria could carry out his plan of lodging his mother and sister under his roof the young lawyer already famous had for his sole fortune one of the handsomest houses in Paris purchased in 1834 in preparation for his marriage situated on the boulevard between the Rue de la Paix II and the reuleaux Alegre a speculator had built two houses between the Boulevard and the street and between these with the gardens and courtyards to the front and back there remains still standing a splendid wing the remains of the Magnificent mansion of the vert nay the younger reuleaux had purchased this fine property on the strength of Mademoiselle prevails marriage portion for 1 million francs when it was put up to auction paying $500,000 grand floor expecting to pay the remainder out of letting the rest but though it is safe to speculate in house property in Paris such investments are capricious or hangfire depending on unforeseen circumstances as the Parisian lounger may have observed the boulevard between the Rue de la Paix II and the reuleaux Allegra prospered but slowly it took so long to furbish and beautify itself that trade did not set up its display there till 1840 the gold of the moneychangers the fairy work of fashion and the luxurious splendor of shop fronts in spite of 200 thousand francs given by crevalle to his daughter at the time when his vanity was flattered by this marriage before the Baron had robbed him of Josefa in spite of the 200 thousand francs paid off by victory in the course of seven years the property was still burdened with a debt of 500,000 francs in consequence of Victoria's devotion to his father happily arise in rents and the advantages of the situation had at this time improved the value of the houses the speculation was justifying itself after eight years patience during which the lawyer had strained every nerve to pay the interest and some trifling amounts of the capital borrowed the trades people were ready to offer good rents for the shops on condition of being granted leases for 18 years the dwelling apartments rose in value by the shifting of the center in Paris life henceforth transferred to the region between the bourse and the matlin now the seat of the political power and financial authority in Paris the money paid to him by the minister added to a year's rent in advance and the premiums paid by his tenants would finally reduce the outstanding debt to two hundred thousand francs the two houses if entirely let would bring in a hundred thousand francs a year within two years more during which the Olos could live on his salaries added to by the marshals investments Victoria would be in a splendid position this was manna from heaven Victor an could give up the first floor of his own house to his mother and the second two are toast accepting two rooms reserved for Liesbeth with cousin Betty as the housekeeper this compound household could bear all these charges and yet keep up a good appearance as B seemed a Pleader of note the great stars of the law courts were rapidly disappearing and Victoria Alou gifted with a shrewd tongue and strict honesty was listened to by the bench and counselors he studied his cases thoroughly and advanced noting that he could not prove he would not hold every brief that offered in fact he was a credit to the bar the Baroness's home in that ruku may had become so odious to her that she allowed herself to be taken to the reuleaux Allegra thus by her son's care and the lien occupied a fine apartment she was spared all the daily worries of life for Lisbeth consented to begin again working wonders of the stick economy such as she had achieved for madam maar Neff seeing here a way of exerting her silent vengeance on those three noble lies the object each of her hatred which was kept growing by the overthrow of all her hopes once a month she went to see Valerie sent indeed by or tongues who wanted news of Vince's loss and by Celestine who was seriously uneasy at the acknowledged and well-known connection between her father and a woman to whom her mother-in-law and sister-in-law owed their ruin and their sorrows as may be supposed these Bette took advantage of this to see Valerie as often as possible thus about 20 months passed by during which the Baroness recovered her health though her palsy trembling never left her she made herself familiar with her duties which afforded her a noble distraction from her sorrow and constant food for the divine goodness of her heart she also regarded it as an opportunity for finding her husband in the course of one of those expeditions which took her into every part of Paris during this time Lavinia had been paid and the pension of six thousand francs was almost redeemed Victoria could maintain his mother as well as or toss out of the ten thousand francs interest on the money left by Marshall reuleaux in trust for them and Aline's salary amounted to six thousand francs a year and this added to the Barons pension when it was freed would presently secure an income of twelve thousand francs a year to the mother and daughter thus the poor woman would have been almost happy but for her perpetual anxieties as to the Barons fate for she longed to have him with her to share the improved fortunes that smiled on the family and but for the constant sight of her forsaken daughter and but for the terrible thrusts constantly and unconsciously dealt her by Edie's bet whose diabolical character had free course a theme which took place at the beginning of the month of March 1843 will show the results of Liesbeth latent and persistent hatred still seconded as she always was by madam mine f2 great events had occurred in the Marne F household in the first place Valerie had given birth to a stillborn child whose little coffin had cost her 2,000 francs a year and then as to Marne F himself 11 months since this is the report given by Lee's bet to the oolo family one day on her return from a visit of discovery at the hotel Marne f this morning said she that dreadful valerie sent for dr. beyond xiang to ask whether the medical men who had condemned her husband yesterday had made no mistake beyond shan pronounced that tonight at the latest that horrible creature will depart to the torments that await him old crevel and madame are Neph saw the doctor out and your father my dear Salus Dean gave him five gold pieces for his good news when he came back into the drawing-room crevalle cut capers like a dancer he embraced that woman exclaiming then at last you will be Madame Carvel and to me when she had gone back to her husband's bedside for he was at his last gasp your noble father said to me with Valerie as my wife I can become a peer of France I shall buy an estate I have my eye on Presler which madame de cera zi wants to sell i shall be crevalle des prés ler member of the Common Council of Sanae was and deputy I shall have a son I shall be everything I have ever wished to be yeah said I and what about your daughter bah says he she is only a woman and she is quite too much of a new low Valerie has a horror of them all my son-in-law has never chosen to come to this house why has he given himself such airs as a mentor a Spartan a Puritan a philanthropist besides I have squared accounts with my daughter she has had all her mother's fortune and two hundred thousand francs to that so I am free to act as I please I shall judge of my son-in-law and Celestine by their conduct on my marriage as they behave so shall i if they are nice to their stepmother I will receive them I am a man after all in short all this rhodomont Aid and an attitude like Napoleon on the column the ten months widowhood insisted on by the law had now elapsed some few days since the estate of Presler was purchased Victoria and Celestine had that very morning sent Liesbeth to make inquiries as to the marriage of the fascinating widow to the mayor of Paris now a member of the Common Council of the department of sena Hua's Salus Dean and or toss in whom the ties of affection had been drawn closer since they had lived under the same roof were almost inseparable the Baroness carried away by a sense of honesty which led her to exaggerate to the duties of her place devoted herself to the work of charity of which she was the agent she was out almost every day from 11:00 till 5:00 the sisters-in-law united in their cares for the children whom they kept together sat at home and worked they had arrived at the intimacy which thinks aloud and were a touching picture of two sisters one cheerful and the other sad the less happy of the two handsome lively high-spirited and clever seemed by her manner to defy her situation while The Melancholy Salus teen sweet and calm and this equable as reason itself might have been supposed to have some secret grief it was this contradiction perhaps that added to their warm friendship each supplied the other with what she lacked seated in a little summer house in the garden which the speculators trowel had spared by some fancy of the builders who believed that he was preserving these hundred feet square of Earth for his own pleasure they were admiring the first green shoots of the lilac trees a spring festival which can only be fully appreciated in Paris when the inhabitants have lived for six months oblivious of what vegetation means among the cliffs of stone where the ocean of humanity tosses to and fro sale esteem said or tossed to her sister-in-law who had complained that in such fine weather her husband should be kept at the chamber I think you do not fully appreciate your happiness Victoria is a perfect angel and you sometimes torment him my dear men like to be tormented certain ways of teasing are a proof of affection if your poor mother had only been I will not say exacting but always prepared to be exacting you would not have had so much to grieve over leaves Bette has not come back and I shall have to sing the song of mal Brooke said or toss I do long for some news of Vince's loss what does he live on he has not done a thing these two years Victorian saw him he told me with that horrible woman not long ago and he fancied that she maintains him in idleness if you only would dear soul you might bring your husband back to you yet our tongs shook her head believe me Celestine went on the position will ere long be intolerable in the first instance rage despair indignation gave you strength the awful disasters that have come up since two deaths ruin and the disappearance of Baron oolo have occupied your mind and heart but now you live in peace and silence you will find it hard to bear the void in your life and as you cannot and will never leave the path of virtue you will have to be reconciled to Vance's loss Victoria who loves you so much is of that opinion there is something stronger than one's feelings even and that is nature but such a mean creature cried the proud or toss he cares for that woman because she feeds him and has she paid his debts do you suppose could heaven I think of that man's position day and night he is the father of my child and he is degrading himself but look at your mother my dear said Celestine Salus Dean was one of those women who when you have given them reasons enough to convince a Breton peasant still go back for the hundredth time to their original argument the character of her face somewhat flat dull and common her light brown hair in stiff neat bands her very complexion spoke of a sensible woman devoid of charm but also devoid of weakness the Baroness would willingly go to join her husband in his disgrace to comfort him and hide him in her heart from every eye Salus Dean went on while she has a room made ready upstairs for Monsieur Lowe as if she expected to find him and to bring him home from one day to the next oh yes my mother is sublime replied or toss she has been so every minute of every day for six and twenty years but and I am not like her it is not my nature how can I help it I am angry with myself sometimes but you do not know say this Dean what it would be to make terms with infamy there is my father said Fela steamed placidly he has certainly started on the road that ruined yours he is ten years younger than the Baron to be sure and was only a tradesman but how can it end this madman F has made a slave of my father he is her dog she is mistress of his fortune and his opinions and nothing can open his eyes I tremble when I remember that there bands of marriage are already published my husband means to make a last attempt he thinks it a duty to try to avenge society and the family and bring that woman to account for all her crimes alas my dear or cows such lofty Souls as Victoria and hearts like ours come too late to a comprehension of the world and it's ways this is a secret dear and I have told you because you are interested in it but never by a word or a look betray it to ease bet or your mother or anybody for here is Lee's bet said our tongues well cousin and how is the inferno of the rhubarb a going on badly for you my children your husband my dear or toss is more crazy about that woman than ever and she I must own is madly in love with him your father dear save esteem is gloriously blind that to be sure is nothing I have had occasion to see at once a fortnight really I am lucky never to have had anything to do with men they are besotted creatures five days hence you dear child and Victoria will have lost your father's fortune then the bands are cried said Celestine yes said Lee's bed and I have just been arguing your case I pointed out to that monster who is going the way of the other that if he would only get you out of the difficulties you are in by paying off the mortgage on your house you would show your gratitude and receive your stepmother mortos started in horror Victorian we'll see about that said sale esteem coldly but do you know what Monsieur lemare's answer was said Lee's bet I mean to leave them where they are horses can only be broken in by lack of food sleep and sugar why baron who lo was not so bad as Monsieur crevel so my poor dears you may say goodbye to the money and such a fine fortune your father paid three million francs for the present estate and he has thirty thousand francs a year in stocks no he has no secrets from me he talks of buying the Hotel de Navarre in the Rue du Bac but Mr Neff herself has 40,000 francs a year ah here is our guardian angel here comes your mother she exclaimed hearing the rumble of wheels and presently the Baroness came down the garden steps and joined the party at fifty five though crushed by so many troubles and constantly trembling as if shivering with egg you Adaline whose face was indeed pale and wrinkled still had a fine figure a noble outline and natural dignity those who saw her said she must have been beautiful warned with the grief of not knowing her husband's fate of being unable to share with him this oasis in the heart of Paris this piece sent seclusion and the better fortune that was dawning on the family her beauty was the beauty of a ruin as each gleam of Hope died out each day of search proved vain Adaline thanked into fits of deep melancholy that drove her children to despair the Baroness had gone out that morning with fresh hopes and was anxiously expected an official who was under obligations to who know to whom he owed his position and advancement declared that he had seen the Baron in a box at the ambigú comic theater with a woman of extraordinary beauty so Adaline had gone to call on the Baron Rennell a this important personage while asserting that he had positively seen his old patron and that his behavior to the woman indicated an illicit establishment told Madame alow that to avoid meeting him the Baron had left long before the end of the play he looked like a man at home with the damsel but his dress betrayed some lack of means said he in conclusion well said the three women as the Baroness came towards them well Monsieur Olo is in Paris and to me said ethylene it is a gleam of happiness only to know that he is within reach of us but he does not seem to have mended his ways Lizbeth remarked when Adaline had finished her report of her visit to baron verner he has taken up some little work girl but where can he get the money from and I could bet that he begs of his former mistresses Benoit's al Jenny cadine or Josefa the Baroness trembled more severely than ever every nerve quivered she wiped away the tears that rose to her eyes and looked mournfully up to heaven I cannot think that a grand commander of the Legion of Honor will have fallen so low said she for his pleasure what would he not do said Lee's bet he robbed the state he will rob private persons commit murder who knows oles Bette cried the Baroness keep such thoughts to yourself at this moment Louise came up to the family group now increased by the arrival of the two hullo children and little Vince's loss to see if their grandmothers pockets did not contain some sweetmeats what is it Louise asked one and another a man who wants to see Mademoiselle Fisher who is the man Astley's bet he is in rags met Moselle and covered with flu like a mattress picker his nose is red and he smells of brandy he is one of those men who work half of the week at most this uninviting picture had the effect of making leaves bet hurry into the courtyard of the house in the Rue Louella Guam where she found a man smoking a pipe colored in a style that showed him an artist in tobacco why have you come here pear Sharda she asked it is understood that you go on the first Saturday in every month to the gate of the O Delmon f rubaba de I have just come back after waiting there for five hours and you did not come I did go there good and charitable lady replied the mattress picker but there was a game at pool going on in the cafe they Sevan Rudess mo law and every man has his fancy now mine is billiards if it wasn't for billiards I might be eating off silver plate for when I tell you this and he fumbled for a scrap of paper in his ragged trousers pocket it is billiards that leads on to a dram and plum brandy it is ruinous like all fine things in the things that leads to I know your orders but the olden is in such a quandary that I came onto forbidden grounds if the hair was all hair we might sleep sound on it but it is mixed God is not for all as the saying goes he has his favorites well he has the right now here is the writing of your estimable relative and my very good friend his political opinion sharda attempted to trace some zigzag lines in the air with the forefinger of his right hand please bet not listening to him read these few words dear cousin be my Providence give me three hundred francs this day at door what does he want much money for the landlord said Sharda still trying to sketch arabesques and then my son you see has come back from algiers through Spain and Bayonne a and and he has found nothing against his rule for a sharp Cove is my son saving your presence how can he help it he is in want of food but he will repay all we lend him for he is going to get up a company he has ideas he has that will carry him to the police court leaves Beth put in he murdered my uncle I shall not forget that he why he could not bleed a chicken honorable lady here are the 300 francs said Liesbeth taking 15 gold pieces out of her purse now go and never come here again she saw the father of the Orang storekeeper off the premises and pointed out the drunken old creature to the porter at any time when that man comes here if by chance he should come again do not let him in if he should ask whether Monsieur uno junior or Madame LeBaron who lives here tell him you know of no such persons very good Mademoiselle your place depends on it if you make any mistake even without intending it said leaves bet he and the woman's here cousin she went on to the Koran who just now came in a great misfortune is hanging over your head what is that said Victoria within a few days madam our Neph will be your wife's stepmother that remains to be seen replied Victoria for six past Liesbeth had very regularly paid a little allowance to Baron who lo her former protector whom she now protected she knew the secret of his dwelling place and relished ethylenes tears saying to her as we have seen when she saw her cheerful and hopeful you may expect to find my poor cousin's name in the papers someday under the heading police report but in this as on a former occasion she let her vengeance carry her to far she had aroused the prudent suspicions of Victoria he had resolved to be rid of this Damocles sword so constantly flourished over them by Lisbet and of the female demon to whom his mother and the family owed so many woes the Prince de visum burg knowing all about Madame Arnett's conduct approved of the young lawyers secret project he had promised him as a president of the council can promise the secret assistance of the police to enlighten crevalle and rescue a fine fortune from the clutches of the diabolical courtesan whom he could not forgive either for causing the death of marshal Hilo or for the Barons utter ruin end of chapter 32 chapter 33 of cousin Betty by honoré de Balzac translated by James wearing this LibriVox recording is in the public domain recording by bruce pirie chapter 33 the word spoken by Lizbeth he begs of his former mistresses haunted the Baroness all night like thick men given over by the physicians who have recourse to quacks like men who have fallen into the lowest that he asked Circle of despair or drowning creatures who mistake a floating stick for a hawser she ended by believing in the baseness of which the mere idea had horrified her and it occurred to her that she might apply for help to one of those terrible women next morning without consulting her children or saying a word to anybody she went to see mademoiselle choule safe amira prima donna of the royal academy of music to find or to lose the hope that had deemed before her like a will of the wisp at midday the great singers waiting-maid brought her in the card of the baron uno saying that this person was waiting at the door having asked whether mademoiselle could receive her either rooms done yes Mademoiselle and the flowers fresh yes Mademoiselle just tell Xiang to look round and see that everything is as it should be before showing the lady in and treat her with the greatest respect go and come back to dress me I must look my very best she went to study herself in the long glass now to put our best foot foremost said she to herself vice under arms to meet virtue poor woman what can she want of me I cannot bear to see the noble victim of outrageous fortune and she sang through the famous area as the maid came in the game madam said the girl the levy has a nervous trembling offer her some orange water some rum some broth I did Mademoiselle but she declines everything and says it is an infirmity a nervous complaint where is she in the big drawing room well make haste child give me my smartest slippers the dressing gown embroidered by Bijou and no end the fleece frills do my hair in a way to astonish a woman this woman plays a part against mine and tell the lady for she is a real great lady my girl name or she is what you will never be a woman whose prayers can rescue souls from your purgatory tell her I was in bed as I was playing last night that I am just getting up the Baroness shown into Josephus handsome drawing-room did not note how long she was kept waiting there though it was a long half-hour this room entirely redecorated even since Josefa had had the house was hung with silk in purple and gold color the luxury which fine gentlemen were wont to lavish on their petite misil the themes of their profligacy of which the remains still bear witness to the follies from which they were so aptly named was displayed to perfection thanks to modern inventiveness in the four rooms opening into each other where the warm temperature was maintained by a system of hot air pipes with invisible openings the Baroness quite bewildered examined each work of art with the greatest amazement he or she found fortunes accounted for that melt in the crucible under which pleasure and vanity feed the devouring flames this woman who for 26 years had lived among the dead relics of the Imperial magnificence whose eyes were accustomed to carpets patterned with faded flowers rubbed gilding silks as forlorn as her heart half understood the powerful fascinations of Vice as she studied its results it was impossible not to wish to possess these beautiful things these admirable works of art the creation of the unknown talent which abounds in Paris in our day and produces treasures for all Europe each thing had the novel charm of unique perfection the models being destroyed every Vaz every figure every piece of sculpture was the original this is the crowning grace of modern luxury to own the thing which is not vulgar eyes by the 2000 wealthy citizens whose notion of luxury is the lavish display of the splendors that shops can supply is the stamp of true luxury the luxury of the fine gentlemen of the day the shooting stars of the Paris firmament as she examined the flower stands filled with the choicest exotic plants mounted in chaste brass and inlaid in the style of boule the Baroness was scared by the idea of the wealth in this apartment and this impression naturally shed a glamour over the person around whom all this profusion was heaped ethylene imagine that Josef amira whose portrait by joseph gribble was the glory of the adjoining boudoir must be a singer of genius am a Libra as she expected to see a real star she was sorry she had come but she had been prompted by a strong and so natural of feeling by such purely disinterested devotion that she collected all her courage for the interview besides she was about to satisfy her urgent curiosity to see for herself what was the charm of this kind of women that they could extract so much gold from the miserly or of Paris mud the Baroness looked at herself to see if she were not a blot on all the splendor but she was well dressed in her velvet gown with a little cape trimmed with beautiful lace and her velvet bonnet of the same shade was becoming seeing herself still as imposing as any Queen always a queen even in her fall she reflected that the dignity of sorrow was a match for the dignity of talent at last after much opening and shutting of doors she saw Josefa the singer bore a strong resemblance to a Lori's Judith which dwells in the memory of all who have ever seen it in the Pitti palace near the door of one of the great rooms she had the same haughty mien the same fine features black hair simply knotted and a yellow wrapper with little embroidered flowers exactly like the brocade worn by the immortal homicide conceived of by branzinos nephew Madame LeBaron I am quite overwhelmed by the honour you do me in coming here said the singer resolved to play her part as a great lady with a grace she pushed forward an easy chair for the Baroness and seated herself on a stool she discerned the faded beauty of the woman before her and was filled with pity as she saw her shaken by the nervous palsy that on the least excitement became convulsive she could read at a glance the saintly life described to her of old by who low and crevalle and she not only ceased to think of a contest with her she humiliated herself before a superiority she appreciated the great artists could admire what the courtesan laughed to scorn Mademoiselle despair brought me here it reduces us to any means a look in Josephus face made the Baroness feel that she had wounded the woman from whom she hoped for so much and she looked at her her beseeching eyes extinguished the flash in show Cephas the thing erse mild it was a wordless dialogue of pathetic eloquence it is now two years and a half since Monsieur Ola left his family and I do not know where to find him though I know that he lives in Paris said the Baroness with emotion a dream suggested to me the idea an absurd one perhaps that you may have interested yourself in Monsieur reuleaux if you could enable me to see him Oh Mademoiselle I would pray heaven for you every day as long as I live in this world two large tears in the thinners eyes told what her reply would be Madame said she I have done you an injury without knowing you but now that I have the happiness of seeing in you the most perfect virtue on earth believe me I am sensible of the extent of my fault I repent sincerely and believe me I will do all in my power to remedy it she took my demoulas hand and before the lady could do anything to hinder her she kissed it respectfully even humbling herself to bend one knee then she rose as proud as when she stood on the stage in the part of Mathilde and rang the bell go on horseback said she to the manservant and killed the horse if you must to find little Bijou gruesome or do Tompa and bring her here put her into a coach and pay the coachman to come at a gallop do not lose a moment or you lose your place Madame she went on coming back to the Baroness and speaking to her in respectful tones you must forgive me as soon as the Duke de Avila became my protector I dismissed the Baron having heard that he was ruining his family for me what more could I do in an actress's career a protector is indispensable from the first day of her appearance on the boards our salaries do not pay half our expenses we must have a temporary husband I did not value Monsieur Alou who took me away from a rich man a conceited idiot old crevalle would undoubtedly have married me so he told me said the Baroness interrupting her well then you see Madame I might at this day have been an honest woman with only one legitimate husband you have many excuses Mademoiselle said ethylene and God will take them into account but for my part far from reproaching you I came on the contrary to make myself your debtor in gratitude Madame for nearly three years I have provided for Monsieur LeBaron sneza thirty's you interrupted the Baroness with tears in her eyes Oh what can I do for you I can only pray I and Monsieur leduc dare reveal the singer said a noble soul a true gentleman and shall safer related the settling and marriage of Monsieur tune and so thanks to you Mademoiselle the Baron has wanted nothing we have done our best to that hand Madame and where is he now about six months ago Monsieur LaDuke told me that the Baron known to the notary by the name of tulle had drawn all the 8,000 francs that were to have been paid to him in fixed sums once a quarter replied Josefa we have heard no more of the Baron neither I nor Monsieur de Avila our lives are so full we artists are so busy that I really have not time to run after all duel as it happens for the last six months bisous who works for me his what shall I say his mistress said Madame you know his mistress repeated Josefa has not been here been was an issue is perhaps divorced divorce is common in the 13th arrondissement visual safer rose and foraging among the rare plants in her stands made a charming bouquet for madam Lulu whose expectations it may be said were by no means fulfilled like those worthy folk who take men of genius to be assertive monsters eating drinking walking and speaking unlike other people the Baroness had hoped to see she'll say for the opera singer the witch the amorous and amusing courtesan she saw a calm and well-mannered woman with the dignity of talent the simplicity of an actress who knows herself to be at night a queen and also better than all a woman of the town whose eyes attitude and demeanor paid full and ungrudgingly to the virtuous wife the Mater Dolorosa of the sacred hymn and who was crowning her sorrows with flowers as the Madonna is crowned in Italy madam said the manservant reappearing at the end of half an hour Madame Bijoux is on her way but you are not to expect little limp your needlewoman madam is settled in life she is married more or less said Josefa no madam really married she is at the head of a very fine business she has married the owner of a large and fashionable shop on which they have spent millions of francs and the boulevard is Italian and she has left the embroidery business to her sister and mother she is Madame Goren a veal the fat tradesman a crevalle yes Madame said the man well he has settled 30,000 francs a year on Mademoiselle Bijou by the marriage articles and her elder sister they say is going to be married to a rich butcher your business looks rather hopeless I am afraid said shall safer to the Baroness miss youla Botwin is no longer where I lodged him ten minutes later Madame Bijoux was announced as your safe a very prudently placed the Baroness in the boudoir and drew the curtain over the door you would scare her said she – Madame uno she would let nothing act if she suspected that you were interested in the information leave me to catechize her hide there and you will hear everything it is a theme that has played quite as often in real life as on the stage well mother Bijou she said to an old woman dressed in tartan stuff and who looked like a Porter's wife in her Sunday best so you are all very happy your daughter is in luck oh happy as for that my daughter gives us a hundred francs a month while she rides in a carriage and eat soft silver plate she is a millionaire he is my daughter Olli might have lifted me above labour to have to work at my age is that being good to me she ought not to be ungrateful for she owes her beauty to you replied shall safer but why did she not come to see me it was I who placed her in ease by settling her with my uncle yes madam with old Monsieur tool but he is very old and broken but what have you done with him is he with you she was very foolish to leave him he is worth millions now heaven above us cried the mother what did I tell her when she behaved so badly to him and he is mild as milk poor old soul Oh Oh didn't she just give it him hot my lip was perverted Madame but how she got to know a clock air Madame saving your presence a man paid to clap you know the grand nephew of an old mattress picker of the foe Boris Emma so this good for not as all your good looking fellows are paid to make a piece go is the of the walk out on the Vadhu tompa where he works up the new plays and takes care that the actresses get a reception as he calls it first he has a good breakfast in the morning then before the play he dines to be up to the mark as he says in short he is a born lover of billiards and drams but that is not following a trade as I said to aleem it is a trade men follow unfortunately said she'll say fun well the rascal turned a leaps head and he madam did not keep good company when I tell you he was very near being nabbed by the police in a tavern where thieves meet whoever Monsieur Broll are the leader of the clock got him out of odd he wears gold earrings and he lives by doing nothing hanging on to women who are fools about these good-looking scamp's he spent all the money Monsieur tool used to give to the child then the business was going to grief but embroidery brought in window to cross the billiard table whoever the young fellow had a pretty sister Madame who like her brother lived by hook and by crook and no better than she should be neither over in the students quarter one of the at the show-me air said she'll safer so madam said the old woman so Itamar his name is Edom or leastways that is what he calls himself for his real name is Chardin Edom or fancied that your uncle had a deal more money than he owned too and he managed to send his sister a lady and that was a stage name he gave her to sent her to be a work woman at our place without my daughter's knowing who she was and gracious goodness but that girl turned the whole place topsy-turvy she got all those poor girls into mischief impossible to whitewash them saving your presence and she was so sharp she won over poor old tool and took him away and we don't know where left us in a pretty fix with a lot of bills coming in to this day as ever is we have not been able to settle up but my daughter who knows all about such things keeps an eye on them as they fall due then when Itamar saw he had got hold of the old man through his sister you understand he threw over my daughter and now he has got hold of a little actress at the Phenom Butte and that was how my daughter came to get married as you will see but you must know where the mattress picker lives said Josefa what dole Sharda s if he'd lived anywhere at all he is drunk by 6:00 in the morning he makes a mattress once a month he hangs about the wine shops all day he plays at pools he plays at pools said Josefa you do not understand madam pools of billiards I mean and he wins three or four a day and then he drinks water out of the pools I suppose said show safer but Evita more haunts the boulevard by inquiring through my friend fro la we could find him I don't know madam all this was six months ago Edom or was one of the sort who were bound to find their way into the police courts and from that to Menlo and the who knows to the prison yard said Josefa well might have you know everything said the old woman smiling well if my girl had never known that scamp she would now be still him she was in luck all the same you will say for Monsieur Grenaa Viva fell so much in love with her that he married her and what brought that about Oh leap was desperate Madame when she found herself left in the lurch for that little actress and she took a rod out of pickle for her I can tell you my word but she gave her a dressing and when she had lost poor old tool who worshipped her she would have nothing more to say to the men whether Monsieur Granovetter who had been dealing largely with us to the tune of 200 embroidered China crape shawls every quarter he wanted to console her but whether or no she would not listen to anything without the mayor and the priest but I mean to be respectable said she or parish and she stuck to it Monsieur grenadine consented to marry her on condition of her giving us all up and we agreed for a handsome consideration said Josefa with her usual perspicacity yes madam ten thousand francs and an allowance to my father who is past work I begged your daughter to make old – oh happy and she has thrown me over that is not fair I will take no interest in anyone for the future that is what comes of trying to do good benevolence certainly does not answer as a speculation a leap ought at least who have given me notice of this jobbing now if you find the old man pool within a fortnight I will give you a thousand francs it will be a hard task my good lady still there are a good many five franc pieces and a thousand francs and I will try to earn your money good morning then Madame Bijoux I'm going into the boudoir the singer found that Madame alow had fainted but in spite of having lost consciousness her nervous trembling kept her still perpetually shaking as the pieces of a snake that has been cut up still wriggle and move strong salts cold water and all the ordinary remedies were applied to recall the Baroness to her senses or rather to the apprehension of her sorrows ah Mademoiselle how far has he fallen cried she recognizing Josefa and finding that she was alone with her take heart Madame replied the actress who had seated herself on a cushion that had aleene's feet and was kissing her hands we shall find him and if he is in the mire well he must wash himself believe me with people of good breeding it is a matter of clothes allow me to make up for you the harm I have done you for I see how much you are attached to your husband in spite of his misconduct or you should not have come here well you see the poor man is so fond of women if you had had a little of our – you would have kept him from running about the world for you would have been what we can never be all the women man wants the state ought to subsidize a school of manners for honest women but governments are so prudish still they are guided by men whom we privately guide my word I pity Nations but the matter in question is how you can be helped and not to laugh at the world well madam be easy go home again and do not worry I will bring your door back to you as he was as a man of 30 Mademoiselle let us go to see that madam Guinevere said the Baroness she surely knows something perhaps I may see the Baron this very day and be able to snatch him at once from poverty and disgrace madam I will show you the deep gratitude I feel towards you by not displaying the stage singer shall safer the Duke de Rivaz mistress in the company of the noblest Saint Lia stim egde of virtue I respect you too much to be seen by your side this is not acted humility it is sincere homage you make me sorry madam that I cannot tread in your footsteps in spite of the thorns that tear your feet and hands but it cannot be helped I am one with art as you are one with virtue poor child said the Baroness moved amid her own sorrows by a strange sense of compassionate sympathy I will pray to God for you for you are the victim of society which must have theatres when you are old repent you will be heard if God votes if to hear the prayers of a of a martyr madam sheíll safer put in and she respectfully kissed the Baroness's skirt but Adaline took the actresses hand and drawing her towards her kissed her on the forehead colouring with pleasure josephus saw the Baroness into the hackney-coach with the humblest politeness it must be some visiting lady of charity said the manservant to the maid for she does not do so much for anyone not even for her dear friend madam Jenny cadine wait a few days said she and you will see him madam or I renounce the God of my father's and that from a Jewess you know is a promise of success at the very time when madame roola was calling on Josefa Victorina in his study was receiving an old woman of about 75 who to gain admission to the lawyer had used the terrible name of the head of the detective force the man in Waiting announced madame disentis death I have assumed one of my business names said she taking a seat Victor I felt a sort of internal chill at the sight of this dreadful old woman though handsomely dressed she was terrible to look upon for her flat colourless strongly marked face furrowed with wrinkles expressed a sort of cold malignity morale as a woman of that age might have been like this creature a living embodiment of the reign of terror this sinister old woman's small pale eyes twinkled with a Tigers bloodthirsty greed her broad flat nose with nostrils expanded into oval cavities breathed the fires of hell and resembled the beak of some evil bird of prey the spirit of intrigue lurked behind her low cruel brow long hairs had grown from her wrinkled chin between the masculine character of her schemes anyone seeing that woman's face would have that artists had failed in their conceptions of methis tahvalli's my dear sir she began with the patronizing hair I have long since given up active business of any kind what I have come to you to do I have undertaken for the sake of my dear nephew whom I love more than I could love a son of my own now the head of the police to whom the president of the council said a few words in his ear as regards yourself in talking to Monsieur Shep uzo thinks as the police ought not to appear in a matter of this description you understand they gave my nephew a free hand but my nephew will have nothing to say to it except as before the council he will not be seen in it then your nephew is you have hid it and I am rather proud of him said she interrupting the lawyer for he is my pupil and he soon could teach his teacher we have considered this case and have come to our own conclusions will you hand over 30,000 francs to have the whole thing taken off your hands I will make a clean sweep of all and you need not pay till the job is done do you know the persons concerned no my dear sir and I look for information from you what we are told is that a certain old idiot has fallen into the clutches of a widow this widow of nain and 20 has played her cards so well that she has 40,000 francs a year of which she has robbed two fathers of families she is now about to swallow down 80 thousand francs a year by marrying an old boy of 61 she will thus ruin our respectable family and hand over this vast fortune to the child of some lover by getting rid at once a field husband that is the case as stated quite correct subject I ran my father-in-law you're crevalle formerly a perfumer a mayor yes I live in his district under the name of ma'am Marisol said the woman the other person is madame Mar Neff I do not know said Madame disentis death but within three days I will be in a position to count her shifts can you hinder the marriage asked Victoria how far have they got to the second time of asking we must carry off the woman today is Sunday there are about three days for they will be married on Wed and stay no doubt that is impossible but she may be killed Victoria who lo started with an honest man's horror at hearing these five words uttered in cold blood murder said he and how could you do it for 40 years now Monsieur we have played the part of fate replied she with terrible pride and do just what we will in Paris more than one family even in the Faubourg Saint Germain has told me all its secrets I can tell you I have made an spoiled many a match I have destroyed many a will and saved many a man's honour I have in there and she tapped her forehead a store of secrets which are worth thirty six thousand francs a year to me and you you will be one of my lambs Wow could such a woman as I am be what I am if she revealed her ways and means I act whatever I may do sir will be the result of an accident you need feel no remorse you will be like a man cured by a clairvoyant by the end of the month it seems all the work of nature Victorian broke out in a cold sweat the sight of an executioner would have shocked him less than this prolix and pretentious sister of the Hulk's as he looked at her purple red gown she seemed to him dyed in blood Madame I do not accept the help of your experience and skill if success is to cost anybody's life or the least criminal act is to come of it you are a great baby Monsieur replied the woman you wish to remain blameless in your own eyes while you want your enemy to be overthrown if the current shook his head in denial yes she went on you want this man Tamar Neff to drop the prey she has between her teeth but how do you expect to make a tiger drop his piece of beef can you do it by patting his back and saying poor puss you are illogical you want a battle thought but you object to blows well I grant you the innocence you are so careful over I have always found that there was material for hypocrisy in honesty one day three months hence a poor priest will come to beg of you 40,000 francs for a pious work a convent to be rebuilt in the Levant in the desert if you are satisfied with your lot give the good man the money you will pay more than that into the Treasury it will be a mere trifle in comparison with what you will get I can tell you she rose standing on the broad feet that seemed to overflow her satin shoes she smiled bowed and vanished the devil has a sister said Victoria rising he saw the hideous stranger to the door a creature called up from the dens of the police as on the stage a monster comes up from the third cellar at the touch of a fairy's wand in a ballet extravaganza after finishing what he had to do at the courts Victor rant went to call on Monsieur Shep Rizzo the head of one of the most important branches of the Central Police to make some inquiries about the stranger Fantine Monsieur Shep Rizzo alone in his office Victoria thanked him for his help you sent me an old woman who might stand for the incarnation of the criminal side of Paris Monsieur Shep Rizzo laid his spectacles on his papers and looked at the lawyer with astonishment I should not have taken the liberty of sending anybody to see you without giving you notice beforehand or a line of introduction said he then it was Monsieur Lacroix Faye I think not said shahboz oh the last time that the prince to disembark dined with the Minister of the Interior he spoke to the prey Fay of the position in which you find yourself a deplorable position and asked him if you could be helped in any friendly way the prey Fay who was interested by the regrets his Excellency expressed as to this family affair did me the honor to consult me about it ever since the present pray Fay has held the reins of this department so useful and so vilified he has made it a rule that family matters are never to be interfered in he is right in principle and in morality but in practice he is wrong in the 45 years that I have served in the police it did from 1799 till 1815 great services in family concerns since 1820 a constitutional government and the press have completely altered the conditions of existence so my advice indeed was not to intervene in such a case and the prey they did me the honor to agree with my remarks the head of the detective branch has orders in my presence to take no steps so if you have had anyone sent to you by him he will be reprimanded it might cost him his place the police will do this or that his easily said the police the police but my dear sir the marshal and the Ministerial Council do not know what the police is the police alone knows the police but as for ours only Fouche mr. Lenoir and Monsieur the Satine have had any notion of it everything has changed now we are reduced and disarmed I have seen many private disasters develop which I could have checked with five grains of despotic power we shall be regretted by the very men who have crippled us when they like you stand face to face with some moral monstrosity which ought to be swept away as we sweep away mud in public affairs the police is expected to foresee everything or when the safety of the public is involved but the family it is sacred I would do my utmost to discover and hinder a plot against the Kings life I would see through the walls of a house but as to laying a finger on a household or peeping into private interests never so long as I sit in this office I should be afraid of what of the press monsieur le deputy of the left center what then can I do said you know after a pause well you are the family said the official that settles it you can do what you please but as to helping you as to using the police as an instrument of private feelings and interests how is it possible there lies you see the secret of the persecution necessary but pronounced illegal by the bench which was brought to bear against the predecessor of our present chief detective beebee Lupin undertook investigations for the benefit of private persons this might have led to great social dangers with the means at his command the man would have been formidable an underlying fate but in my place said you know why you asked my advice you who sell it replied Monsieur Shabazz oh come come my dear sir you are making fun of me Bulo bowed to the functionary and went away without seeing that gentleman's almost imperceptible shrug as he rose to open the door and he wants to be a statesman said chef Rizzo to himself as he returned to his reports Victoria went home still full of perplexities which he could confide to no one at dinner the Baroness joyfully announced to her children that within a month their father might be sharing their comforts and end his days in peace among his family oh I would gladly give my three thousand six hundred francs a year to see the Baron here cried leaves bet but my dear Adaline do not dream beforehand of such happiness I entreat you please bet is Right Said Celestine my dear mother wait till the end the Baroness all feeling and all hope related her visit to Josefa expressed her sense of the misery of such women in the midst of good fortune and mentioned Sharda the mattress picker the father of the Orang storekeeper thus showing that her hopes were not groundless by seven next morning Lisbeth had driven in a hackney-coach to the key de Latour now and stopped the vehicle at the corner of the Rue des bois the– go to the Rudy Bernadette said she to the driver number seven a house with an entry and no Porter go up to the fourth floor ringing at the door to the left on which you will see Mademoiselle de chardin Lise and shawls mended she will answer the door asked for the Chevalier she will say he is out say in reply yes I know but find him for his bun is out on the key in a coach and wants to see him 20 minutes later an old man who looked about 80 with perfectly white hair and a nose reddened by the cold and the pale wrinkled face like an old woman's came shuffling slowly along in list slippers a shiny alpaca overcoat hanging on his stooping shoulders no ribbon at his buttonhole the thieves of an under vest showing below his coat cuffs and his shirtfront unpleasantly dingy he approached timidly looked at the coach recognized Lizbeth and came to the window why my dear cousin what a state you are in Elodie keeps everything for herself said Baron who lo those sharda are a Blackard crew will you come home to us oh no no cried the old man I would rather go to America Adaline is on the scent oh if only someone would pay my debts said the Baron with a suspicious look for salmon all he's after me we have not paid up the arrears yet your son still owes a hundred thousand francs poor boy and your pension will not be free before seven or eight months if you will wait a minute I have two thousand francs here the Baron held out his hand with fearful avidity give it me tease bet and may God reward you give it me I know where to go but you will tell me old wretch yes yes then I can wait eight months for I have discovered a little angel a good child an innocent thing not old enough to be depraved do not forget the police-court said Lee's vet who flattered herself that she would someday see you lo there no it is in the Rue de chillon said the Baron a part of the town where no fuss is made about anything no one will ever find me there I am called pear tarik boosts bet and I shall be taken for a retired cabinet maker the girl is fond of me and I will not allow my back to be shorn anymore no that has been done said Liesbeth looking at his coat supposing I take you there Perrineau lo got into the coach deserting Mademoiselle Elodie with her taking leave of her as he might have tossed aside a novel he had finished in half an hour during which baron who know talked to lee's bet of nothing but little Italia dodgy for he had fallen by degrees to those beasts passions that ruin old men she set him down with two thousand francs in his pocket in the Rue de Chartres on full-bore Assante Antoine at the door of a doubtful and sinister looking house good day cousin so now you are to be called toric I suppose sends none but commissionnaire's if you need me and always take them from different parts trust me oh I am really very lucky said the Baron his face beaming with the prospect of new and future happiness no one can find him there said Lisbeth and she paid the coach at the boulevard Beaumarchais and returned to the rule ooey Lacroix in the Omnibus end of chapter 33

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