The Honor of the Name
It was the second day after Marie-Anne's installation at the Borderie.
That event was the general topic of conversation; and Chanlouineau's will was the subject
of countless comments.
"Here is Monsieur Lacheneur's daughter with an income of more than two thousand
francs, without counting the house," said the old people, gravely.
"An honest girl would have had no such luck as that!" muttered the unattractive maidens
who had not been fortunate enough to secure husbands.
This was the great news which Chupin brought to Mme. Blanche.
She listened to it, trembling with anger, her hands so convulsively clinched that the nails
penetrated the flesh.
"What audacity!" she exclaimed. "What impudence!"
The old poacher seemed to be of the same opinion.
"If each of her lovers gives her as much she will be richer than a queen. She will have
enough to buy both Sairmeuse and Courtornieu, if she chooses," he remarked,
If he had desired to augment the rage of Mme. Blanche, he had good reason to be
"And this is the woman who has alienated Martial's heart from me!" she exclaimed. "It is
for this miserable wretch that he abandons me!"
The unworthiness of the unfortunate girl whom she regarded as her rival, incensed her to
such a degree that she entirely forgot Chupin's presence. She made no attempt to restrain
herself or to hide the secret of her sufferings.
"Are you sure that what you tell me is true?" she asked.
"As sure as that you stand there."
"Who told you all this?"
"No one--I have eyes. I went to the Borderie yesterday to see for myself, and all the
shutters were open. Marie-Anne was leaning out of a window. She does not even wear
mourning, the heartless hussy!"