Other People's Money
Yes, Mlle. Gilberte had her secret--a very simple one, though, chaste, like
herself, and one of those which, as the old women say, must cause the angels to
The spring of that year having been unusually mild, Mme. Favoral and her
daughter had taken the habit of going daily to breathe the fresh air in the Place
Royale. They took their work with them, crotchet or knitting; so that this salutary
exercise did not in any way diminish the earnings of the week. It was during
these walks that Mlle. Gilberte had at last noticed a young man, unknown to her,
whom she met every day at the same place.
Tall and robust, he had a grand look, notwithstanding his modest clothes, the
exquisite neatness of which betrayed a sort of respectable poverty. He wore his
full beard; and his proud and intelligent features were lighted up by a pair of large
black eyes, of those eyes whose straight and clear look disconcerts hypocrites
He never failed, as he passed by Mlle. Gilberte, to look down, or turn his head
slightly away; and in spite of this, in spite of the expression of respect which she
had detected upon his face, she could not help blushing.
"Which is absurd," she thought; "for after all, what on earth do I care for that
The infallible instinct, which is the experience of inexperienced young girls, told
her that it was not chance alone that brought this stranger in her way. But she
wished to make sure of it. She managed so well, that each day of the following
week, the hour of their walk was changed. Sometimes they went out at noon,
sometimes after four o'clock.