The Clique of Gold
They had but just handed the coffee around, when he turned to Daniel, saying,--
"Let us make haste. Miss Brandon expects us."
Daniel was instantly ready. But the count did not even give him time to take leave of
Henrietta; he carried him off to his carriage, pushed him in, jumped in after him, and
called out to the servant,-- "Circus Street! Miss Brandon! Drive fast!"
The servants knew very well what the count meant when he said, "Drive fast!" The
coachman, on such occasions, made his horses literally go as fast as they could; and, but
for his great skill, the foot- passengers would have been in considerable danger.
Nevertheless, on this evening Count Ville-Handry twice lowered the window to call out,-
"Don't drive at a walk!"
The fact is, that, in spite of his efforts to assume the air of a grave statesman, he was as
impatient, and as vain of his love, as a young collegian hurrying to his first rendezvous
with his beloved. During dinner he had been sullen and silent; now he became talkative,
and chatted away, without troubling himself about the silence of his companion.
To be sure, Daniel did not even listen. Half-buried in the corner of the well-padded
carriage, he tried his best to control his emotions; for he was excited, more excited than
ever in his life, by the thought that he was to see, face to face, this formidable
adventuress, Miss Brandon. And like the wrestler, who, before making a decisive assault,
gathers up all his strength, he summoned to his aid his composure and his energy. It took
them not more than ten minutes to drive the whole distance to Circus Street.
"Here we are!" cried the count.
And, without waiting for the steps to be let down, he jumped on the sidewalk, and,
running ahead of his servants, knocked at the door of Miss Brandon's house. It was by no
means one of those modern structures which attract the eye of the passer-by by a
ridiculous and conspicuous splendor. Looking at it from the street, you would have taken
it for the modest house of a retired grocer, who was living in it upon his savings at the
rate of two or three thousand a year. It is true, that from the street, you could see neither
the garden, nor the stables and the carriage-houses.