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Chapter 81 The Room of the Retired Baker.

  • The evening of the day on which the Count of Morcerf had left Danglars' hous_ith feelings of shame and anger at the rejection of the projected alliance, M. Andrea Cavalcanti, with curled hair, mustaches in perfect order, and whit_loves which fitted admirably, had entered the courtyard of the banker's hous_n La Chaussee d'Antin. He had not been more than ten minutes in the drawing- room before he drew Danglars aside into the recess of a bow-window, and, afte_n ingenious preamble, related to him all his anxieties and cares since hi_oble father's departure. He acknowledged the extreme kindness which had bee_hown him by the banker's family, in which he had been received as a son, an_here, besides, his warmest affections had found an object on which to centr_n Mademoiselle Danglars. Danglars listened with the most profound attention; he had expected this declaration for the last two or three days, and when a_ast it came his eyes glistened as much as they had lowered on listening t_orcerf. He would not, however, yield immediately to the young man's request, but made a few conscientious objections. "Are you not rather young, M. Andrea, to think of marrying?"
  • "I think not, sir," replied M. Cavalcanti; "in Italy the nobility generall_arry young. Life is so uncertain, that we ought to secure happiness while i_s within our reach."
  • "Well, sir," said Danglars, "in case your proposals, which do me honor, ar_ccepted by my wife and daughter, by whom shall the preliminary arrangement_e settled? So important a negotiation should, I think, be conducted by th_espective fathers of the young people."
  • "Sir, my father is a man of great foresight and prudence. Thinking that _ight wish to settle in France, he left me at his departure, together with th_apers establishing my identity, a letter promising, if he approved of m_hoice, 150,000 livres per annum from the day I was married. So far as I ca_udge, I suppose this to be a quarter of my father's revenue."
  • "I," said Danglars, "have always intended giving my daughter 500,000 francs a_er dowry; she is, besides, my sole heiress."
  • "All would then be easily arranged if the baroness and her daughter ar_illing. We should command an annuity of 175,000 livres. Supposing, also, _hould persuade the marquis to give me my capital, which is not likely, bu_till is possible, we would place these two or three millions in your hands, whose talent might make it realize ten per cent."
  • "I never give more than four per cent, and generally only three and a half; but to my son-in-law I would give five, and we would share the profit."
  • "Very good, father-in-law," said Cavalcanti, yielding to his low-born nature, which would escape sometimes through the aristocratic gloss with which h_ought to conceal it. Correcting himself immediately, he said, "Excuse me, sir; hope alone makes me almost mad, — what will not reality do?"
  • "But," said Danglars, — who, on his part, did not perceive how soon th_onversation, which was at first disinterested, was turning to a busines_ransaction, — "there is, doubtless, a part of your fortune your father coul_ot refuse you?"
  • "Which?" asked the young man.
  • "That you inherit from your mother."
  • "Truly, from my mother, Leonora Corsinari."
  • "How much may it amount to?"
  • "Indeed, sir," said Andrea, "I assure you I have never given the subject _hought, but I suppose it must have been at least two millions." Danglars fel_s much overcome with joy as the miser who finds a lost treasure, or as th_hipwrecked mariner who feels himself on solid ground instead of in the abys_hich he expected would swallow him up.
  • "Well, sir," said Andrea, bowing to the banker respectfully, "may I hope?"
  • "You may not only hope," said Danglars, "but consider it a settled thing, i_o obstacle arises on your part."
  • "I am, indeed, rejoiced," said Andrea.
  • "But," said Danglars thoughtfully, "how is it that your patron, M. de Mont_risto, did not make his proposal for you?" Andrea blushed imperceptibly. "_ave just left the count, sir," said he; "he is, doubtless, a delightful ma_ut inconceivably peculiar in his ideas. He esteems me highly. He even told m_e had not the slightest doubt that my father would give me the capita_nstead of the interest of my property. He has promised to use his influenc_o obtain it for me; but he also declared that he never had taken on himsel_he responsibility of making proposals for another, and he never would. _ust, however, do him the justice to add that he assured me if ever he ha_egretted the repugnance he felt to such a step it was on this occasion, because he thought the projected union would be a happy and suitable one.
  • Besides, if he will do nothing officially, he will answer any questions yo_ropose to him. And now," continued he, with one of his most charming smiles,
  • "having finished talking to the father-in-law, I must address myself to th_anker."
  • "And what may you have to say to him?" said Danglars, laughing in his turn.
  • "That the day after to-morrow I shall have to draw upon you for about fou_housand francs; but the count, expecting my bachelor's revenue could no_uffice for the coming month's outlay, has offered me a draft for twent_housand francs. It bears his signature, as you see, which is all-sufficient."
  • "Bring me a million such as that," said Danglars, "I shall be well pleased,"
  • putting the draft in his pocket. "Fix your own hour for to-morrow, and m_ashier shall call on you with a check for eighty thousand francs."
  • "At ten o'clock then, if you please; I should like it early, as I am goin_nto the country to-morrow."
  • "Very well, at ten o'clock; you are still at the Hotel des Princes?"
  • "Yes."
  • The following morning, with the banker's usual punctuality, the eight_housand francs were placed in the young man's hands as he was on the point o_tarting, after having left two hundred francs for Caderousse. He went ou_hiefly to avoid this dangerous enemy, and returned as late as possible in th_vening. But scarcely had be stepped out of his carriage when the porter me_im with a parcel in his hand. "Sir," said he, "that man has been here."
  • "What man?" said Andrea carelessly, apparently forgetting him whom he but to_ell recollected.
  • "Him to whom your excellency pays that little annuity."
  • "Oh," said Andrea, "my father's old servant. Well, you gave him the tw_undred francs I had left for him?"
  • "Yes, your excellency." Andrea had expressed a wish to be thus addressed.
  • "But," continued the porter, "he would not take them." Andrea turned pale, bu_s it was dark his pallor was not perceptible. "What? he would not take them?"
  • said he with slight emotion.
  • "No, he wished to speak to your excellency; I told him you were gone out, an_fter some dispute he believed me and gave me this letter, which he ha_rought with him already sealed."
  • "Give it me," said Andrea, and he read by the light of his carriage-lamp, —
  • "You know where I live; I expect you tomorrow morning at nine o'clock."
  • Andrea examined it carefully, to ascertain if the letter had been opened, o_f any indiscreet eyes had seen its contents; but it was so carefully folded, that no one could have read it, and the seal was perfect. "Very well," sai_e. "Poor man, he is a worthy creature." He left the porter to ponder on thes_ords, not knowing which most to admire, the master or the servant. "Take ou_he horses quickly, and come up to me," said Andrea to his groom. In tw_econds the young man had reached his room and burnt Caderousse's letter. Th_ervant entered just as he had finished. "You are about my height, Pierre,"
  • said he.
  • "I have that honor, your excellency."
  • "You had a new livery yesterday?"
  • "Yes, sir."
  • "I have an engagement with a pretty little girl for this evening, and do no_ish to be known; lend me your livery till to-morrow. I may sleep, perhaps, a_n inn." Pierre obeyed. Five minutes after, Andrea left the hotel, completel_isguised, took a cabriolet, and ordered the driver to take him to the Cheva_ouge, at Picpus. The next morning he left that inn as he had left the Hote_es Princes, without being noticed, walked down the Faubourg St. Antoine, along the boulevard to Rue Menilmontant, and stopping at the door of the thir_ouse on the left looked for some one of whom to make inquiry in the porter'_bsence. "For whom are you looking, my fine fellow?" asked the fruiteress o_he opposite side.
  • "Monsieur Pailletin, if you please, my good woman," replied Andrea.
  • "A retired baker?" asked the fruiteress.
  • "Exactly."
  • "He lives at the end of the yard, on the left, on the third story." Andre_ent as she directed him, and on the third floor he found a hare's paw, which, by the hasty ringing of the bell, it was evident he pulled with considerabl_ll-temper. A moment after Caderousse's face appeared at the grating in th_oor. "Ah, you are punctual," said he, as he drew back the door.
  • "Confound you and your punctuality!" said Andrea, throwing himself into _hair in a manner which implied that he would rather have flung it at the hea_f his host.
  • "Come, come, my little fellow, don't be angry. See, I have thought about you — look at the good breakfast we are going to have; nothing but what you are fon_f." Andrea, indeed, inhaled the scent of something cooking which was no_nwelcome to him, hungry as he was; it was that mixture of fat and garli_eculiar to provincial kitchens of an inferior order, added to that of drie_ish, and above all, the pungent smell of musk and cloves. These odors escape_rom two deep dishes which were covered and placed on a stove, and from _opper pan placed in an old iron pot. In an adjoining room Andrea saw also _olerably clean table prepared for two, two bottles of wine sealed, the on_ith green, the other with yellow, a supply of brandy in a decanter, and _easure of fruit in a cabbage-leaf, cleverly arranged on an earthenware plate.
  • "What do you think of it, my little fellow?" said Caderousse. "Ay, that smell_ood! You know I used to be a famous cook; do you recollect how you used t_ick your fingers? You were among the first who tasted any of my dishes, and _hink you relished them tolerably." While speaking, Caderousse went on peelin_ fresh supply of onions.
  • "But," said Andrea, ill-temperedly, "by my faith, if it was only to breakfas_ith you, that you disturbed me, I wish the devil had taken you!"
  • "My boy," said Caderousse sententiously, "one can talk while eating. And then, you ungrateful being, you are not pleased to see an old friend? I am weepin_ith joy." He was truly crying, but it would have been difficult to sa_hether joy or the onions produced the greatest effect on the lachrymal gland_f the old inn-keeper of the Pont-du-Gard. "Hold your tongue, hypocrite," sai_ndrea; "you love me!"
  • "Yes, I do, or may the devil take me. I know it is a weakness," sai_aderousse, "but it overpowers me."
  • "And yet it has not prevented your sending for me to play me some trick."
  • "Come," said Caderousse, wiping his large knife on his apron, "if I did no_ike you, do you think I should endure the wretched life you lead me? Thin_or a moment. You have your servant's clothes on — you therefore keep _ervant; I have none, and am obliged to prepare my own meals. You abuse m_ookery because you dine at the table d'hote of the Hotel des Princes, or th_afe de Paris. Well, I too could keep a servant; I too could have a tilbury; _oo could dine where I like; but why do I not? Because I would not annoy m_ittle Benedetto. Come, just acknowledge that I could, eh?" This address wa_ccompanied by a look which was by no means difficult to understand. "Well,"
  • said Andrea, "admitting your love, why do you want me to breakfast with you?"
  • "That I may have the pleasure of seeing you, my little fellow."
  • "What is the use of seeing me after we have made all our arrangements?"
  • "Eh, dear friend," said Caderousse, "are wills ever made without codicils? Bu_ou first came to breakfast, did you not? Well, sit down, and let us begi_ith these pilchards, and this fresh butter; which I have put on some vine- leaves to please you, wicked one. Ah, yes; you look at my room, my four stra_hairs, my images, three francs each. But what do you expect? This is not th_otel des Princes."
  • "Come, you are growing discontented, you are no longer happy; you, who onl_ish to live like a retired baker." Caderousse sighed. "Well, what have you t_ay? you have seen your dream realized."
  • "I can still say it is a dream; a retired baker, my poor Benedetto, is rich — he has an annuity."
  • "Well, you have an annuity."
  • "I have?"
  • "Yes, since I bring you your two hundred francs." Caderousse shrugged hi_houlders. "It is humiliating," said he, "thus to receive money give_rudgingly, —-an uncertain supply which may soon fail. You see I am obliged t_conomize, in case your prosperity should cease. Well, my friend, fortune i_nconstant, as the chaplain of the regiment said. I know your prosperity i_reat, you rascal; you are to marry the daughter of Danglars."
  • "What? of Danglars?"
  • "Yes, to be sure; must I say Baron Danglars? I might as well say Coun_enedetto. He was an old friend of mine and if he had not so bad a memory h_ught to invite me to your wedding, seeing he came to mine. Yes, yes, to mine; gad, he was not so proud then, — he was an under-clerk to the good M. Morrel.
  • I have dined many times with him and the Count of Morcerf, so you see I hav_ome high connections and were I to cultivate them a little, we might meet i_he same drawing-rooms."
  • "Come, your jealousy represents everything to you in the wrong light."
  • "That is all very fine, Benedetto mio, but I know what I am saying. Perhaps _ay one day put on my best coat, and presenting myself at the great gate, introduce myself. Meanwhile let us sit down and eat." Caderousse set th_xample and attacked the breakfast with good appetite, praising each dish h_et before his visitor. The latter seemed to have resigned himself; he dre_he corks, and partook largely of the fish with the garlic and fat. "Ah, mate," said Caderousse, "you are getting on better terms with your ol_andlord!"
  • "Faith, yes," replied Andrea, whose hunger prevailed over every other feeling.
  • "So you like it, you rogue?"
  • "So much that I wonder how a man who can cook thus can complain of har_iving."
  • "Do you see," said Caderousse, "all my happiness is marred by one thought?"
  • "What is that?"
  • "That I am dependent on another, I who have always gained my own livelihoo_onestly."
  • "Do not let that disturb you, I have enough for two."
  • "No, truly; you may believe me if you will; at the end of every month I a_ormented by remorse."
  • "Good Caderousse!"
  • "So much so, that yesterday I would not take the two hundred francs."
  • "Yes, you wished to speak to me; but was it indeed remorse, tell me?"
  • "True remorse; and, besides, an idea had struck me." Andrea shuddered; h_lways did so at Caderousse's ideas. "It is miserable — do you see? — alway_o wait till the end of the month. — "Oh," said Andrea philosophically, determined to watch his companion narrowly, "does not life pass in waiting? D_, for instance, fare better? Well, I wait patiently, do I not?"
  • "Yes; because instead of expecting two hundred wretched francs, you expec_ive or six thousand, perhaps ten, perhaps even twelve, for you take care no_o let any one know the utmost. Down there, you always had little presents an_hristmas-boxes which you tried to hide from your poor friend Caderousse.
  • Fortunately he is a cunning fellow, that friend Caderousse."
  • "There you are beginning again to ramble, to talk again and again of the past!
  • But what is the use of teasing me with going all over that again?"
  • "Ah, you are only one and twenty, and can forget the past; I am fifty, and a_bliged to recollect it. But let us return to business."
  • "Yes."
  • "I was going to say, if I were in your place" —
  • "Well."
  • "I would realize" —
  • "How would you realize?"
  • "I would ask for six months' in advance, under pretence of being able t_urchase a farm, then with my six months I would decamp."
  • "Well, well," said Andrea, "that isn't a bad idea."
  • "My dear friend," said Caderousse, "eat of my bread, and take my advice; yo_ill be none the worse off, physically or morally."
  • "But," said Andrea, "why do you not act on the advice you gave me? Why do yo_ot realize a six months', a year's advance even, and retire to Brussels?
  • Instead of living the retired baker, you might live as a bankrupt, using hi_rivileges; that would be very good."
  • "But how the devil would you have me retire on twelve hundred francs?"
  • "Ah, Caderousse," said Andrea, "how covetous you are! Two months ago you wer_ying with hunger."
  • "The appetite grows by what it feeds on," said Caderousse, grinning an_howing his teeth, like a monkey laughing or a tiger growling. "And," adde_e, biting off with his large white teeth an enormous mouthful of bread, "_ave formed a plan." Caderousse's plans alarmed Andrea still more than hi_deas; ideas were but the germ, the plan was reality. "Let me see your plan; _are say it is a pretty one."
  • "Why not? Who formed the plan by which we left the establishment of M —— ! eh?
  • was it not I? and it was no bad one I believe, since here we are!"
  • "I do not say," replied Andrea, "that you never make a good one; but let u_ee your plan."
  • "Well," pursued Caderousse, "can you without expending one sou, put me in th_ay of getting fifteen thousand francs? No, fifteen thousand are not enough, — I cannot again become an honest man with less than thirty thousand francs."
  • "No," replied Andrea, dryly, "no, I cannot."
  • "I do not think you understand me," replied Caderousse, calmly; "I sai_ithout your laying out a sou."
  • "Do you want me to commit a robbery, to spoil all my good fortune — and your_ith mine — and both of us to be dragged down there again?"
  • "It would make very little difference to me," said Caderousse, "if I wer_etaken, I am a poor creature to live alone, and sometimes pine for my ol_omrades; not like you, heartless creature, who would be glad never to se_hem again." Andrea did more than tremble this time, he turned pale.
  • "Come, Caderousse, no nonsense!" said he.
  • "Don't alarm yourself, my little Benedetto, but just point out to me som_eans of gaining those thirty thousand francs without your assistance, and _ill contrive it."
  • "Well, I'll see — I'll try to contrive some way," said Andrea.
  • "Meanwhile you will raise my monthly allowance to five hundred francs, m_ittle fellow? I have a fancy, and mean to get a housekeeper."
  • "Well, you shall have your five hundred francs," said Andrea; "but it is ver_ard for me, my poor Caderousse — you take advantage" —
  • "Bah," said Caderousse, "when you have access to countless stores." One woul_ave said Andrea anticipated his companion's words, so did his eye flash lik_ightning, but it was but for a moment. "True," he replied, "and my protecto_s very kind."
  • "That dear protector," said Caderousse; "and how much does he give yo_onthly?"
  • "Five thousand francs."
  • "As many thousands as you give me hundreds! Truly, it is only bastards who ar_hus fortunate. Five thousand francs per month! What the devil can you do wit_ll that?"
  • "Oh, it is no trouble to spend that; and I am like you, I want capital."
  • "Capital? — yes — I understand — every one would like capital."
  • "Well, and I shall get it."
  • "Who will give it to you — your prince?"
  • "Yes, my prince. But unfortunately I must wait."
  • "You must wait for what?" asked Caderousse.
  • "For his death."
  • "The death of your prince?"
  • "Yes."
  • "How so?"
  • "Because he has made his will in my favor."
  • "Indeed?"
  • "On my honor."
  • "For how much?"
  • "For five hundred thousand."
  • "Only that? It's little enough."
  • "But so it is."
  • "No it cannot be!"
  • "Are you my friend, Caderousse?"
  • "Yes, in life or death."
  • "Well, I will tell you a secret."
  • "What is it?"
  • "But remember" —
  • "Ah, pardieu, mute as a carp."
  • "Well, I think" — Andrea stopped and looked around.
  • "You think? Do not fear; pardieu, we are alone."
  • "I think I have discovered my father."
  • "Your true father?"
  • "Yes."
  • "Not old Cavalcanti?"
  • "No, for he has gone again; the true one, as you say."
  • "And that father is" —
  • "Well, Caderousse, it is Monte Cristo."
  • "Bah!"
  • "Yes, you understand, that explains all. He cannot acknowledge me openly, i_ppears, but he does it through M. Cavalcanti, and gives him fifty thousan_rancs for it."
  • "Fifty thousand francs for being your father? I would have done it for hal_hat, for twenty thousand, for fifteen thousand; why did you not think of me, ungrateful man?"
  • "Did I know anything about it, when it was all done when I was down there?"
  • "Ah, truly? And you say that by his will" —
  • "He leaves me five hundred thousand livres."
  • "Are you sure of it?"
  • "He showed it me; but that is not all — there is a codicil, as I said jus_ow."
  • "Probably."
  • "And in that codicil he acknowledges me."
  • "Oh, the good father, the brave father, the very honest father!" sai_aderousse, twirling a plate in the air between his two hands.
  • "Now say if I conceal anything from you?"
  • "No, and your confidence makes you honorable in my opinion; and your princel_ather, is he rich, very rich?"
  • "Yes, he is that; he does not himself know the amount of his fortune."
  • "Is it possible?"
  • "It is evident enough to me, who am always at his house. The other day _anker's clerk brought him fifty thousand francs in a portfolio about the siz_f your plate; yesterday his banker brought him a hundred thousand francs i_old." Caderousse was filled with wonder; the young man's words sounded to hi_ike metal, and he thought he could hear the rushing of cascades of louis.
  • "And you go into that house?" cried he briskly.
  • "When I like."
  • Caderousse was thoughtful for a moment. It was easy to perceive he wa_evolving some unfortunate idea in his mind. Then suddenly, — "How I shoul_ike to see all that," cried he; "how beautiful it must be!"
  • "It is, in fact, magnificent," said Andrea.
  • "And does he not live in the Champs-Elysees?"
  • "Yes, No. 30."
  • "Ah," said Caderousse, "No. 30."
  • "Yes, a fine house standing alone, between a court-yard and a garden, — yo_ust know it."
  • "Possibly; but it is not the exterior I care for, it is the interior. Wha_eautiful furniture there must be in it!"
  • "Have you ever seen the Tuileries?"
  • "No."
  • "Well, it surpasses that."
  • "It must be worth one's while to stoop, Andrea, when that good M. Monte Crist_ets fall his purse."
  • "It is not worth while to wait for that," said Andrea; "money is as plentifu_n that house as fruit in an orchard."
  • "But you should take me there one day with you."
  • "How can I? On what plea?"
  • "You are right; but you have made my mouth water. I must absolutely see it; _hall find a way."
  • "No nonsense, Caderousse!"
  • "I will offer myself as floor-polisher."
  • "The rooms are all carpeted."
  • "Well, then, I must be contented to imagine it."
  • "That is the best plan, believe me."
  • "Try, at least, to give me an idea of what it is."
  • "How can I?"
  • "Nothing is easier. Is it large?"
  • "Middling."
  • "How is it arranged?"
  • "Faith, I should require pen, ink, and paper to make a plan."
  • "They are all here," said Caderousse, briskly. He fetched from an ol_ecretary a sheet of white paper and pen and ink. "Here," said Caderousse,
  • "draw me all that on the paper, my boy." Andrea took the pen with a_mperceptible smile and began. "The house, as I said, is between the court an_he garden; in this way, do you see?" Andrea drew the garden, the court an_he house.
  • "High walls?"
  • "Not more than eight or ten feet."
  • "That is not prudent," said Caderousse.
  • "In the court are orange-trees in pots, turf, and clumps of flowers."
  • "And no steel-traps?"
  • "No."
  • "The stables?"
  • "Are on either side of the gate, which you see there." And Andrea continue_is plan.
  • "Let us see the ground floor," said Caderousse.
  • "On the ground-floor, dining-room, two drawing-rooms, billiard-room, staircas_n the hall, and a little back staircase."
  • "Windows?"
  • "Magnificent windows, so beautiful, so large, that I believe a man of you_ize should pass through each frame."
  • "Why the devil have they any stairs with such windows?"
  • "Luxury has everything."
  • "But shutters?"
  • "Yes, but they are never used. That Count of Monte Cristo is an original, wh_oves to look at the sky even at night."
  • "And where do the servants sleep?"
  • "Oh, they have a house to themselves. Picture to yourself a pretty coach-hous_t the right-hand side where the ladders are kept. Well, over that coach-hous_re the servants' rooms, with bells corresponding with the differen_partments."
  • "Ah, diable — bells did you say?"
  • "What do you mean?"
  • "Oh. nothing! I only say they cost a load of money to hang, and what is th_se of them, I should like to know?"
  • "There used to be a dog let loose in the yard at night, but it has been take_o the house at Auteuil, to that you went to, you know."
  • "Yes."
  • "I was saying to him only yesterday, `You are imprudent, Monsieur Count; fo_hen you go to Auteuil and take your servants the house is left unprotected.'
  • Well,' said he, `what next?' `Well, next, some day you will be robbed.'"
  • "What did he answer?"
  • "He quietly said, `What do I care if I am?'"
  • "Andrea, he has some secretary with a spring."
  • "How do you know?"
  • "Yes, which catches the thief in a trap and plays a tune. I was told ther_ere such at the last exhibition."
  • "He has simply a mahogany secretary, in which the key is always kept."
  • "And he is not robbed?"
  • "No; his servants are all devoted to him."
  • "There ought to be some money in that secretary?"
  • "There may be. No one knows what there is."
  • "And where is it?"
  • "On the first floor."
  • "Sketch me the plan of that floor, as you have done of the ground floor, m_oy."
  • "That is very simple." Andrea took the pen. "On the first story, do you see, there is the anteroom and the drawing-room; to the right of the drawing-room, a library and a study; to the left, a bedroom and a dressing-room. The famou_ecretary is in the dressing-room."
  • "Is there a window in the dressing-room?"
  • "Two, — one here and one there." Andrea sketched two windows in the room, which formed an angle on the plan, and appeared as a small square added to th_ectangle of the bedroom. Caderousse became thoughtful. "Does he often go t_uteuil?" added he.
  • "Two or three times a week. To-morrow, for instance, he is going to spend th_ay and night there."
  • "Are you sure of it?"
  • "He has invited me to dine there."
  • "There's a life for you," said Caderousse; "a town house and a country house."
  • "That is what it is to be rich."
  • "And shall you dine there?"
  • "Probably."
  • "When you dine there, do you sleep there?"
  • "If I like; I am at home there." Caderousse looked at the young man, as if t_et at the truth from the bottom of his heart. But Andrea drew a cigar-cas_rom his pocket, took a havana, quietly lit it, and began smoking. "When d_ou want your twelve hundred francs?" said he to Caderousse.
  • "Now, if you have them." Andrea took five and twenty louis from his pocket.
  • "Yellow boys?" said Caderousse; "no, I thank you."
  • "Oh, you despise them."
  • "On the contrary, I esteem them, but will not have them."
  • "You can change them, idiot; gold is worth five sous."
  • "Exactly; and he who changes them will follow friend Caderousse, lay hands o_im, and demand what farmers pay him their rent in gold. No nonsense, my goo_ellow; silver simply, round coins with the head of some monarch or other o_hem. Anybody may possess a five-franc piece."
  • "But do you suppose I carry five hundred francs about with me? I should want _orter."
  • "Well, leave them with your porter; he is to be trusted. I will call fo_hem."
  • "To-day?"
  • "No, to-morrow; I shall not have time to day."
  • "Well, to-morrow I will leave them when I go to Auteuil."
  • "May I depend on it?"
  • "Certainly."
  • "Because I shall secure my housekeeper on the strength of it."
  • "Now see here, will that be all? Eh? And will you not torment me any more?"
  • "Never." Caderousse had become so gloomy that Andrea feared he should b_bliged to notice the change. He redoubled his gayety and carelessness. "Ho_prightly you are," said Caderousse; "One would say you were already i_ossession of your property."
  • "No, unfortunately; but when I do obtain it" —
  • "Well?"
  • "I shall remember old friends, I can tell you that."
  • "Yes, since you have such a good memory."
  • "What do you want? It looks as if you were trying to fleece me?"
  • "I? What an idea! I, who am going to give you another piece of good advice."
  • "What is it?"
  • "To leave behind you the diamond you have on your finger. We shall both ge_nto trouble. You will ruin both yourself and me by your folly."
  • "How so?" said Andrea.
  • "How? You put on a livery, you disguise yourself as a servant, and yet keep _iamond on your finger worth four or five thousand francs."
  • "You guess well."
  • "I know something of diamonds; I have had some."
  • "You do well to boast of it," said Andrea, who, without becoming angry, a_aderousse feared, at this new extortion, quietly resigned the ring.
  • Caderousse looked so closely at it that Andrea well knew that he was examinin_o see if all the edges were perfect.
  • "It is a false diamond," said Caderousse.
  • "You are joking now," replied Andrea.
  • "Do not be angry, we can try it." Caderousse went to the window, touched th_lass with it, and found it would cut.
  • "Confiteor," said Caderousse, putting the diamond on his little finger; "I wa_istaken; but those thieves of jewellers imitate so well that it is no longe_orth while to rob a jeweller's shop — it is another branch of industr_aralyzed."
  • "Have you finished?" said Andrea, — "do you want anything more? — will yo_ave my waistcoat or my hat? Make free, now you have begun."
  • "No; you are, after all, a good companion; I will not detain you, and will tr_o cure myself of my ambition."
  • "But take care the same thing does not happen to you in selling the diamon_ou feared with the gold."
  • "I shall not sell it — do not fear."
  • "Not at least till the day after to-morrow," thought the young man.
  • "Happy rogue," said Caderousse; "you are going to find your servants, you_orses, your carriage, and your betrothed!"
  • "Yes," said Andrea.
  • "Well, I hope you will make a handsome wedding-present the day you marr_ademoiselle Danglars."
  • "I have already told you it is a fancy you have taken in your head."
  • "What fortune has she?"
  • "But I tell you" —
  • "A million?" Andrea shrugged his shoulders.
  • "Let it be a million," said Caderousse; "you can never have so much as I wis_ou."
  • "Thank you," said the young man.
  • "Oh, I wish it you with all my heart!" added Caderousse with his hoarse laugh.
  • "Stop, let me show you the way."
  • "It is not worth while."
  • "Yes, it is."
  • "Why?"
  • "Because there is a little secret, a precaution I thought it desirable t_ake, one of Huret & Fitchet's locks, revised and improved by Gaspar_aderousse; I will manufacture you a similar one when you are a capitalist."
  • "Thank you," said Andrea; "I will let you know a week beforehand." The_arted. Caderousse remained on the landing until he had not only seen Andre_o down the three stories, but also cross the court. Then he returned hastily, shut his door carefully, and began to study, like a clever architect, the pla_ndrea had left him.
  • "Dear Benedetto," said he, "I think he will not be sorry to inherit hi_ortune, and he who hastens the day when he can touch his five hundre_housand will not be his worst friend."