Other People's Money
Close upon the heels of the servant M. de Thaller came.
Tall, thin, stiff, he had a very small head, a flat face, pointed nose, and long
reddish whiskers, slightly shaded with silvery threads, falling half-way down his
chest. Dressed in the latest style, he wore a loose overcoat of rough material,
pantaloons that spread nearly to the tip of his boots, a wide shirt-collar turned
over a light cravat, on the bow of which shone a large diamond, and a tall hat
with rolled brims. With a blinking glance, he made a rapid estimate of the dining-
room, the shabby furniture, and the guests seated around the table. Then,
without even condescending to touch his hat, with his large hand tightly fitted into
a lavender glove, in a brief and imperious tone, and with a slight accent which he
affirmed was the Alsatian accent:
"I must speak with you, Vincent," said he to his cashier, "alone and at once."
M. Favoral made visible efforts to conceal his anxiety. "You see," he
commenced, "we are dining with a few friends, and--"
"Do you wish me to speak in presence of everybody?" interrupted harshly the
manager of the Mutual Credit.
The cashier hesitated no longer. Taking up a candle from the table, he opened
the door leading to the parlor, and, standing respectfully to one side:
"Be kind enough to pass on, sir," said he: "I follow you."
And, at the moment of disappearing himself,
"Continue to dine without me," said he to his guests, with a last effort at self-
control. "I shall soon catch up with you. This will take but a moment. Do not be
uneasy in the least."