"Do not take the trouble to tell a story, M. le Marquis," she said.
Tips, opportunities to make money：Online dog making money"Mamma knows it as well as yourself; for she was listening at the door.""Cesarine!" exclaimed Mme. de Thaller.
"And, if she came in so suddenly, it is because she thought it wasfully time to cut short my confidences."The face of the baroness became crimson.
"The child is mad!" she said.
The child burst out laughing.
That's my way," she went on. "You should not have sent me here bychance, and against my wish. You made me do it: don't complain.
You were sure that I had but to appear, and M. de Traggers wouldfall at my feet. I appeared, and - you saw the effect through thekeyhole, didn't you?"Her features contracted, her eyes flashing, twisting her lacehandkerchief between her fingers loaded with rings,"It is unheard of," said Mme. de Thaller. "She has certainly losther head."Dropping her mother an ironical courtesy,"Thanks for the compliment!" said the young lady. "Unfortunately,I never was more completely in possession of all the good sense Imay boast of than I am now, dear mamma. What were you telling mea moment since? 'Run, the Marquis de Tregars is coming to askyour hand: it's all settled.' And what did I answer? 'No use totrouble myself: if, instead of one million, papa were to give metwo, four millions, indeed all the millions paid by France toPrussia, M. de Traggers would not have me for a wife.'"And, looking Marius straight in the face,"Am I not right, M. le Marquis?" she asked. "And isn't it a factthat you wouldn't have me at any price? Come, now, your hand uponyour heart, answer."M. de Tregars' situation was somewhat embarrassing between thesetwo women, whose anger was equal, though it manifested itself ina different way. Evidently it was a discussion begun before, whichwas now continued in his presence.
"I think, mademoiselle," he began, "that you have been slanderingyourself gratuitously.""Oh, no! I swear it to you," she replied; "and, if mamma had nothappened in, you would have heard much more. But that was not ananswer."And, as M. de Traggers said nothing, she turned towards the baroness,"Ah, ah! you see," she said. "Who was crazy, - you, or I? Ah!
you imagine here that money is everything, that every thing is forsale, and that every thing can be bought. Well, no! There arestill men, who, for all the gold in the world, would not give theirname to Cesarine de Thaller. It is strange; but it is so, dearmamma, and we must make up our mind to it."Then turning towards Marius, and bearing upon each syllable, as ifafraid that the allusion might escape him,"The men of whom I speak," she added, "marry the girls who canstarve to death."Knowing her daughter well enough to be aware that she could notimpose silence upon her, the Baroness de Thaller had dropped upona chair. She was trying hard to appear indifferent to what herdaughter was saying; but at every moment a threatening gesture, ora hoarse exclamation, betrayed the storm that raged within her.
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"Finally, were M. de Traggers willing to have me, I would refusehim myself, because, then"A fugitive blush colored her cheeks, her bold eyes vacillated, and,dropping her voice,"Because, then," she added, "he would no longer be what he is;because I feel that fatally I shall despise the husband whom papawill buy for me. And, if I came here to expose myself to an affrontwhich I foresaw, it is because I wanted to make sure of a fact ofwhich a word of Costeclar, a few days ago, had given me an idea,- of a fact which you do not, perhaps, suspect, dear mother, despiteyour astonishing perspicacity. I wanted to find out M. de Traggers'
secret; and I have found it out."M. de Tregars had come to the Thaller mansion with a plan wellsettled in advance. He had pondered long before deciding what hewould do, and what he would say, and how he would begin the decisivestruggle. What had taken place showed him the idleness of hisconjectures, and, as a natural consequence, upset his plans. Toabandon himself to the chances of the hour, and to make the bestpossible use of them, was now the wisest thing to do.
Give me credit, mademoiselle," he uttered, "for sufficientpenetration to have perfectly well discerned your intentions.
There was no need of artifice, because I have nothing to conceal.
You had but to question me, I would have answered you frankly,'Yes, it is true I love Mlle. Gilberte; and before a month shewill be Marquise de Tregars.'"Mme. de Thaller, at those words, had started to her feet, pushingback her arm-chair so violently, that it rolled all the way to thewall.
"What!" she exclaimed, "you marry Gilberte Favoral, - you!""I - yes.""The daughter of a defaulting cashier, a dishonored man whom justicepursues and the galleys await!""Yes!" And in an accent that caused a shiver to run over the whiteshoulders of Mme. de Thaller,"Whatever may have been," he uttered, "Vincent Favoral's crime;whether he has or has not stolen, the twelve millions which arewanting from the funds of the Mutual Credit; whether he is aloneguilty, or has accomplices; whether he be a knave, or a fool, animpostor, or a dupe, - Mlle. Gilberte is not responsible.""You know the Favoral family, then?""Enough to make their cause henceforth my own.
The agitation of the baroness was so great, that she did not evenattempt to conceal it.
"A nobody's daughter!" she said.