The Clique of Gold
Miss Sarah led Daniel to a small boudoir adjoining her own room. Nothing could be
fresher and more coquettish than this little room, which looked almost like a greenhouse,
so completely was it filled with rare and fragrant flowers, while the door and window-
frames were overgrown with luxuriant creepers. In the windows stood large vases filled
with flowers; and the light bamboo chairs were covered with the same bright silk with
which the walls were hung. If the great reception-room reflected the character of Mrs.
Brian, this charming boudoir represented Miss Brandon's own exquisite taste.
She sat down on a small sofa and began, after a short pause,--
"My aunt was right; it would have been more proper for me to convey to you through M.
Elgin what I want to say. But I have the independence of all the girls of my country; and,
when my interests are at stake, I trust no one but myself."
She was bewitching in her ingenuousness as she uttered these words with the air of a little
child who looks cunning, and determined to undertake something that appears quite
"I am told that my dear count has been to see you this afternoon," she continued, "and
you have heard that in less than a month I shall be the Countess Ville-Handry?"
Daniel was surprised. In less than a month! What could be done in so little time?
"Now, sir," continued Miss Brandon, "I wish to hear from your own lips whether you see-
-any--objections to this match."
She spoke so frankly, that it was evident she was utterly unconscious of that article in the
code of social laws which prescribes that a French girl must never mention the word
"marriage" without blushing to the roots of her hair. Daniel, on the contrary, was terribly
"I confess," he replied with much hesitation, "that I do not understand, that I cannot
possibly explain to myself, why you do me the honor"--
"To consult you? Pardon me; I think you understand me perfectly well. Have they not
promised you Miss Ville-Handry's hand?"
"The count has permitted me to hope"--
"He has pledged his word, sir, under certain conditions. My dear count has told me every
thing. I speak, therefore, to Count Ville-Handry's son-in-law, and I repeat, Do you see
any objections to this match?"