12. The Theft Of The Pendant
They stood round the millionaire observing his anguish, with eyes in which shone various
degrees of sympathy. As if no longer able to bear the sight of such woe, Sonia slipped out of
The millionaire lamented his loss and abused the thieves by turns, but always at the top of his
Suddenly a fresh idea struck him. He clapped his hand to his brow and cried: "That eight
hundred pounds! Charolais will never buy the Mercrac now! He was not a bona fide
The Duke's lips parted slightly and his eyes opened a trifle wider than their wont. He turned
sharply on his heel, and almost sprang into the other drawing-room. There he laughed at his
M. Formery kept saying to the millionaire: "Be calm, M. Gournay- Martin. Be calm! We shall
recover your masterpieces. I pledge you my word. All we need is time. Have patience. Be
His soothing remonstrances at last had their effect. The millionaire grew calm:
"Guerchard?" he said. "Where is Guerchard?"
M. Formery presented Guerchard to him.
"Are you on their track? Have you a clue?" said the millionaire.
"I think," said M. Formery in an impressive tone, "that we may now proceed with the inquiry
in the ordinary way."
He was a little piqued by the millionaire's so readily turning from him to the detective. He went
to a writing-table, set some sheets of paper before him, and prepared to make notes on the
answers to his questions. The Duke came back into the drawing-room; the inspector was
summoned. M. Gournay-Martin sat down on a couch with his hands on his knees and gazed
gloomily at M. Formery. Germaine, who was sitting on a couch near the door, waiting with an
air of resignation for her father to cease his lamentations, rose and moved to a chair nearer the
writing-table. Guerchard kept moving restlessly about the room, but noiselessly. At last he
came to a standstill, leaning against the wall behind M. Formery.
M. Formery went over all the matters about which he had already questioned the Duke. He
questioned the millionaire and his daughter about the Charolais, the theft of the motor-cars, and
the attempted theft of the pendant. He questioned them at less length about the composition of
their household--the servants and their characters. He elicited no new fact.
He paused, and then he said, carelessly as a mere matter of routine: "I should like to know, M.
Gournay-Martin, if there has ever been any other robbery committed at your house?"
"Three years ago this scoundrel Lupin--" the millionaire began violently.
"Yes, yes; I know all about that earlier burglary. But have you been robbed since?" said M.
Formery, interrupting him.
"No, I haven't been robbed since that burglary; but my daughter has," said the millionaire.
"Your daughter?" said M. Formery.
"Yes; I have been robbed two or three times during the last three years," said Germaine.
"Dear me! But you ought to have told us about this before. This is extremely interesting, and
most important," said M. Formery, rubbing his hands, "I suppose you suspect Victoire?"