Caught In The Net
At The Grand Turk
Tantaine took a cab, and, promising the cabman a handsome gratuity if he would
drive fast, stopped at the spot where the Rue Blanche intersects the Rue de
Douai, and told the coachman to wait for him, and entered the house where the
younger Gandelu had installed the fair Madame de Chantemille. It was some
time before his ring at the door was answered, but at last the door was opened
by a stout, red-faced girl, with an untidy cap. Upon seeing Tantaine, she uttered
an exclamation of delight, for it was the cook that had been placed in Zora's
employment by M. Mascarin's agency.
"Ah, Daddy Tantaine," said she, "you are as welcome as the sun in winter."
"Hush, hush," returned the old man, gazing cautiously round him.
"Don't be frightened," returned the girl. "Madame has gone to a place from when
there is no return ticket, at least, for some time. You know the greater the value
of an article the closer we keep it under lock and key."
Tantaine gathered from this that Rose had been arrested, and his astonishment
appeared to be unmeasured.
"Surely you don't mean that she has gone to quod?" said he.
"It is as I tell you," answered she; "but come in, and have a glass of wine, while
you hear all about it."
She led the old man into the dining-room, round the table in which a half dozen
guests were seated, just concluding a late breakfast. Tantaine at once
recognized four of the several guests as servants whom he knew from their
having applied for situations at the office, and there were two men of a very
"We are having a regular spree to-day," observed the cook, handing a bottle to
Tantaine; "but yesterday there was not much of a jollification here, for just as I
was setting about getting the dinner two fellows came in and asked for my
mistress, and as soon as they saw her they clapped their hands on her and said
that she must come to the stone jug. When madame heard this she shrieked so
loud as to have been heard in the next street. She would not go a foot with them,
clung to the furniture and banisters, so they just took her up by the head and feet,
and carried her down to a cab that was standing at the door. I seem to bring ill
luck wherever I go, for this is the fourth mistress I have seen taken off in this way;
but come, you are taking nothing at all."
But Tantaine had had enough, and making an excuse, retired from a debauch
which he saw would continue as long as the wine held out.
"All is going well," muttered he, as he climbed into the cab; "and now for the next
He drove straight to the house that the elder Gandelu was building in the
Champs Elysees, and putting his head out of the window, he accosted a light,
active young fellow who was warning the foot passengers not to pass under the
"Anything new, La Cordille?" enquired the old man.