。， "Though Monsieur de Froidfond is fifty," she said, "he does not lookolder than Monsieur Cruchot. He is a widower, and he has children,that's true. But then he is a marquis; he will be peer of France; andin times like these where you will find a better match? I know it fora fact that Pere Grandet, when he put all his money into Froidfond,intended to graft himself upon that stock; he often told me so. He wasa deep one, that old man!"
"Oh! it is too cold; let us have breakfast," answered Eugenie."Well, after breakfast, then; it will help the digestion. That fatdes Grassins sent me the pate. Eat as much as you like, my children,it costs nothing. Des Grassins is getting along very well. I amsatisfied with him. The old fish is doing Charles a good service, andgratis too. He is making a very good settlement of that poor deceasedGrandet's business. Hoo! hoo!" he muttered, with his mouth full, aftera pause, "how good it is! Eat some, wife; that will feed you for atleast two days."。， "Was there ever such a daughter? Is it possible that I am your father?If you have invested it anywhere, you must have a receipt--""Was I free--yes or no--to do what I would with my own? Was it notmine?"
。， Monsieur de Bonfons endeavored to put himself in keeping with the rolehe sought to play. In spite of his forty years, in spite of his duskyand crabbed features, withered like most judicial faces, he dressed inyouthful fashions, toyed with a bamboo cane, never took snuff inMademoiselle de Froidfond's house, and came in a white cravat and ashirt whose pleated frill gave him a family resemblance to the race ofturkeys. He addressed the beautiful heiress familiarly, and spoke ofher as "Our dear Eugenie." In short, except for the number ofvisitors, the change from loto to whist, and the disappearance ofMonsieur and Madame Grandet, the scene was about the same as the onewith which this history opened. The pack were still pursuing Eugenieand her millions; but the hounds, more in number, lay better on thescent, and beset the prey more unitedly. If Charles could have droppedfrom the Indian Isles, he would have found the same people and thesame interests. Madame des Grassins, to whom Eugenie was full ofkindness and courtesy, still persisted in tormenting the Cruchots.Eugenie, as in former days, was the central figure of the picture; andCharles, as heretofore, would still have been the sovereign of all.Yet there had been some progress. The flowers which the presidentformerly presented to Eugenie on her birthdays and fete-days had nowbecome a daily institution. Every evening he brought the rich heiressa huge and magnificent bouquet, which Madame Cornoiller placedconspicuously in a vase, and secretly threw into a corner of thecourt-yard when the visitors had departed.
"Here are fifteen hundred thousand francs," she said, drawing from herbosom a certificate of a hundred shares in the Bank of France. "Go toParis,--not to-morrow, but instantly. Find Monsieur des Grassins,learn the names of my uncle's creditors, call them together, pay themin full all that was owing, with interest at five per cent from theday the debt was incurred to the present time. Be careful to obtain afull and legal receipt, in proper form, before a notary. You are amagistrate, and I can trust this matter in your hands. You are a manof honor; I will put faith in your word, and meet the dangers of lifeunder shelter of your name. Let us have mutual indulgence. We haveknown each other so long that we are almost related; you would notwish to render me unhappy."。，