"Why don't you sell them?"
"It's the last piece of jewellery I possess out of all my mother gave me, and I promised her never to part with them."
"I would not shew those buckles if I were you; your pocket would be a better place for them. I may tell you frankly that I believe the stones to be counterfeit, and that your lie displeases me."
"Sir, I am not a liar."
"We shall see. Prove that the stones are genuine, and I will give you six louis. I shall be delighted if I am in the wrong. Farewell."
Seeing M. de Valerlglard coming up to my door, he begged me not to tell him of what had passed between us; and I promised that I would tell no one.
Valenglard came to wish me a prosperous journey; he himself was obliged to go with M. Monteinard. He begged me to correspond constantly with him, and I had been intending to prefer the same request, as I took too great an interest in the fair Mdlle. Roman not to wish to hear of her fate, and the correspondence the worthy officer desired was the best way possible for me to hear about her. As will be imagined, I promised what he asked without making any difficulty. He shed tears as he embraced me, and I promised to be his friend.
My Departure from Grenoble--Avignon--The Fountain of Vaucluse--The False Astrodi and the Humpback--Gaetan Costa--I Arrive at Marseilles
While the three girls were helping Le Duc to pack my mails my landlord entered, gave me his bill, and finding everything correct I paid him, much to his satisfaction. I owed him a compliment, too, at which he seemed extremely gratified.
"Sir," said I, "I do not wish to leave your house without having the pleasure of dining with your charming girls, to shew them how I appreciate the care they have taken of me. Let me have, then, a delicate repast for four, and also order post horses, that I may start in the evening."
"Sir," broke in Le Duc, "I entreat you to order a saddle-horse besides; I was not made for a seat behind a chaise."
The cousin laughed openly at his vain boasting, and to avenge himself the rascal told her that he was better than she.
"Nevertheless, M. le Duc, you will have to wait on her at table."
"Yes, as she waits on you in bed."
I ran for my stick, but the rogue, knowing what was going to happen, opened the window and jumped into the courtyard. The girls gave a shriek of terror, but when we looked out we saw him jumping about and performing a thousand apish tricks.
Very glad to find that he had not broken a limb, I called out, "Come back, I forgive you." The girls, and the man himself who escaped so readily, were as delighted as I. Le Duc came in in high spirits, observing that he did not know he was such a good jumper.
"Very good, but don't be so impudent another time. Here, take this watch."
So saying, I gave him a valuable gold watch, which he received, saying,--
"I would jump again for another watch like this."
Such was my Spaniard, whom I had to dismiss two years afterwards. I have often missed him.
The hours went by with such speed when I was seated at table with the three girls, whom I vainly endeavoured to intoxicate, that I decided that I would not leave till the next day. I was tired of making mysteries and wanted to enjoy them all together, and resolved that the orgy should take place that night. I told them that if they would pass the night in my room I would not go till the next day. This proposition was received with a storm of exclamations and with laughter, as at an impossibility, while I endeavoured to excite them to grant my request. In the midst of this the door-keeper came in, advising me not to travel by night, but to go to Avignon by a boat in which I could ship my carriage.
"You will save time and money," said he.
"I will do so," I answered, "if these girls of yours will keep me company all night, as I am determined I will not go to bed."
"O Lord!" said he with a laugh, "that's their business."
This decided them and they gave in. The door-keeper sent to order the boat, and promised to let me have a dainty supper by midnight.