At five o'clock in the morning, as the light began to appear through the curtains,
Marguerite said to me: "Forgive me if I send you away; but I must. The duke comes
every morning; they will tell him, when he comes, that I am asleep, and perhaps he will
wait until I wake."
I took Marguerite's head in my hands; her loosened hair streamed about her; I gave her a
last kiss, saying: "When shall I see you again?"
"Listen," she said; "take the little gilt key on the mantelpiece, open that door; bring me
back the key and go. In the course of the day you shall have a letter, and my orders, for
you know you are to obey blindly."
"Yes; but if I should already ask for something?"
"Let me have that key."
"What you ask is a thing I have never done for any one."
"Well, do it for me, for I swear to you that I don't love you as the others have loved you."
"Well, keep it; but it only depends on me to make it useless to you, after all."
"There are bolts on the door."
"I will have them taken off."
"You love, then, a little?"
"I don't know how it is, but it seems to me as if I do! Now, go; I can't keep my eyes
I held her in my arms for a few seconds and then went.
The streets were empty, the great city was still asleep, a sweet freshness circulated in the
streets that a few hours later would be filled with the noise of men. It seemed to me as if
this sleeping city belonged to me; I searched my memory for the names of those whose