Within an Inch of His LifeWithin an Inch of His Life
Although M. de Chandore was literally worshipping his grandchild on his knees, and had
transferred all his hopes and his affections to her who alone survived of his large family,
he had still had his thoughts when he went up stairs to take from his money-box so large
a sum of money. As soon, therefore, as they were outside of the house, he said,--
"Now that we are alone, my dear child, will you tell me what you mean to do with all this
"That is my secret," she replied.
"And you have not confidence enough in your old grandfather to tell him what it is,
He stopped a moment; but she drew him on, saying,--
"You shall know it all, and in less than an hour. But, oh! You must not be angry,
grandpapa. I have a plan, which is no doubt very foolish. If I told you, I am afraid you
would stop me; and if you succeeded, and then something happened to Jacques, I should
not survive the misery. And think of it, what you would feel, if you were to think
afterwards, 'If I had only let her have her way!' "
"Dionysia, you are cruel!"
"On the other hand, if you did not induce me to give up my project, you would certainly
take away all my courage; and I need it all, I tell you, grandpapa, for what I am going to
"You see, my dear child, and you must pardon me for repeating it once more, twenty
thousand francs are a big sum of money; and there are many excellent and clever people
who work hard, and deny themselves every thing, a whole life long, without laying up
"Ah, so much the better!" cried the young girl. "So much the better. I do hope there will
be enough so as to meet with no refusal!"
Grandpapa Chandore began to comprehend.
"After all," he said, "you have not told me where we are going."
"To my dressmakers."
"To the Misses Mechinet?"