"At last you have come," she said, throwing her arms round my neck. "But how
pale you are!"
I told her of the scene with my father.
"My God! I was afraid of it," she said. "When Joseph came to tell you of your
father's arrival I trembled as if he had brought news of some misfortune. My poor
friend, I am the cause of all your distress. You will be better off, perhaps, if you
leave me and do not quarrel with your father on my account. He knows that you
are sure to have a mistress, and he ought to be thankful that it is I, since I love
you and do not want more of you than your position allows. Did you tell him how
we had arranged our future?"
"Yes; that is what annoyed him the most, for he saw how much we really love
"What are we to do, then?"
"Hold together, my good Marguerite, and let the storm pass over."
"Will it pass?"
"It will have to."
"But your father will not stop there."
"What do you suppose he can do?"
"How do I know? Everything that a father can do to make his son obey him. He
will remind you of my past life, and will perhaps do me the honour of inventing
some new story, so that you may give me up."
"You know that I love you."
"Yes, but what I know, too, is that, sooner or later, you will have to obey your
father, and perhaps you will end by believing him."
"No, Marguerite. It is I who will make him believe me. Some of his friends have
been telling him tales which have made him angry; but he is good and just, he
will change his first impression; and then, after all, what does it matter to me?"