The Champdoce Mystery
The Little Glass Bottle
In order to avoid being seen by Mademoiselle de Laurebourg, Daumon had to
take a much longer route to regain his home than the one that Diana had
followed. This, however, he could not help. As soon as he arrived at his home he
ran hastily upstairs and took from a cleverly concealed hiding-place in the
wainscoting of his bedroom a small bottle of dark green glass, which he hastily
slipped into his pocket. When he had once more descended to his office, he
again took it out and examined it carefully to see that it had in no way been
tampered with; then, with a hard, cruel smile, he placed it upon his desk among
his ledgers and account books. Diana de Laurebourg might pay him a visit as
soon as she liked, for he was quite prepared for her, for he had slipped on his
dressing-gown and placed his velvet skull cap upon his head, as if he had not
quitted the house that day.
"Why on earth does she not come?" muttered he.
He began to be uneasy. He went to the window and glanced eagerly down the
road; then he drew out his watch and examined the face of it, when all at once
his ears detected a gentle tapping at the door of the office.
"Come in," said he.
The door opened, and Diana entered slowly, without uttering a word, and took no
notice of the servile obsequiousness of the Counsellor; indeed, she hardly
seemed to notice his presence, and with a deep sigh she threw herself into a
In his inmost heart Daumon was filled with the utmost delight; he now understood
why Diana had taken so long in reaching his house; it was because her interview
with the Duke had almost overcome her.
She soon, however, recovered her energy, and shook off the languor that
seemed to cling to her limbs, and turning towards her host, said abruptly,--
"Counsellor, I have come to you for advice, which I sorely need. About an hour
With a gesture of sympathy Daumon interrupted her,--
"Alas!" said he; "spare me the recital, I know all."
"Yes, I know that M. Norbert is a prisoner at the Chateau. Yes, mademoiselle, I
know this, and I know, too, that you have just met the Duke de Champdoce in the