It seemed to me as if the train did not move. I reached Bougival at eleven.
Not a window in the house was lighted up, and when I rang no one answered the
bell. It was the first time that such a thing had occurred to me. At last the
gardener came. I entered. Nanine met me with a light. I went to Marguerite's
"Where is madame?"
"Gone to Paris," replied Nanine.
"An hour after you."
"She left no word for me?"
Nanine left me.
Perhaps she had some suspicion or other, I thought, and went to Paris to make
sure that my visit to my father was not an excuse for a day off. Perhaps
Prudence wrote to her about something important. I said to myself when I was
alone; but I saw Prudence; she said nothing to make me suppose that she had
written to Marguerite.
All at once I remembered Mme. Duvernoy's question, "Isn't she coming to-day?"
when I had said that Marguerite was ill. I remembered at the same time how
embarrassed Prudence had appeared when I looked at her after this remark,
which seemed to indicate an appointment. I remembered, too, Marguerite's tears
all day long, which my father's kind reception had rather put out of my mind.
From this moment all the incidents grouped themselves about my first suspicion,
and fixed it so firmly in my mind that everything served to confirm it, even my
Marguerite had almost insisted on my going to Paris; she had pretended to be
calmer when I had proposed staying with her. Had I fallen into some trap? Was