"You have read it?" said Armand, when I had finished the manuscript.
"I understand what you must have suffered, my friend, if all that I read is true."
"My father confirmed it in a letter."
We talked for some time over the sad destiny which had been accomplished, and
I went home to rest a little.
Armand, still sad, but a little relieved by the narration of his story, soon
recovered, and we went together to pay a visit to Prudence and to Julie Duprat.
Prudence had become bankrupt. She told us that Marguerite was the cause of it;
that during her illness she had lent her a lot of money in the form of promissory
notes, which she could not pay, Marguerite having died without having returned
her the money, and without having given her a receipt with which she could
present herself as a creditor.
By the help of this fable, which Mme. Duvernoy repeated everywhere in order to
account for her money difficulties, she extracted a note for a thousand francs
from Armand, who did not believe it, but who pretended to, out of respect for all
those in whose company Marguerite had lived.
Then we called on Julie Duprat, who told us the sad incident which she had
witnessed, shedding real tears at the remembrance of her friend.
Lastly, we went to Marguerite's grave, on which the first rays of the April sun
were bringing the first leaves into bud.
One duty remained to Armand--to return to his father. He wished me to
We arrived at C., where I saw M. Duval, such as I had imagined him from the
portrait his son had made of him, tall, dignified, kindly.
He welcomed Armand with tears of joy, and clasped my hand affectionately. I
was not long in seeing that the paternal sentiment was that which dominated all
others in his mind.
His daughter, named Blanche, had that transparence of eyes, that serenity of the
mouth, which indicates a soul that conceives only holy thoughts and lips that
repeat only pious words. She welcomed her brother's return with smiles, not