The Mystery of Orcival
The count told half a truth when he spoke to Jenny of his marriage. Sauvresy and he had
discussed the subject, and if the matter was not as ripe as he had represented, there was at
least some prospect of such an event. Sauvresy had proposed it in his anxiety to complete
his work of restoring Hector to fortune and society.
One evening, about a month before the events just narrated, he had led Hector into the
"Give me your ear for a quarter of an hour, and don't answer me hastily. What I am going
to propose to you deserves serious reflection."
"Well, I can be serious when it is necessary."
"Let's begin with your debts. Their payment is not yet completed, but enough has been
done to enable us to foresee the end. It is certain that you will have, after all debts are
paid, from three to four hundred thousand francs."
Hector had never, in his wildest hopes, expected such success.
"Why, I'm going to be rich," exclaimed he joyously.
"No, not rich, but quite above want. There is, too, a mode in which you can regain your
"A mode? what?"
Sauvresy paused a moment, and looked steadily at his friend.
"You must marry," said he at last.
This seemed to surprise Hector, but not disagreeably.
"I, marry? It's easier to give that advice than to follow it."
"Pardon me - you ought to know that I do not speak rashly. What would you say to a
young girl of good family, pretty, well brought up, so charming that, excepting my own
wife, I know of no one more attractive, and who would bring with her a dowry of a
"Ah, my friend, I should say that I adore her! And do you know such an angel?"
"Yes, and you too, for the angel is Mademoiselle Laurence Courtois."