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?"
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,"
"I have that honor, your excellency."
"You had a new livery yesterday?"
"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.
"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."
"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."
"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."
"I was going to say, if I were in your place" —
"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?"
"Because he has made his will in my favor."
"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?"
"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."
"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."
"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?"
"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?"
"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.
"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?"
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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?"
"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."
"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?"
"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" —
"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."
"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."