life; I must take a commonplace view of them and do the best I。， Grandet looked at his daughter without finding a word to say; afterall, he was a father. He made a couple of turns up and down the room,and then went hurriedly to his secret den to think over an investmenthe was meditating in the public Funds. The thinning out of his twothousand acres of forest land had yielded him six hundred thousandfrancs: putting this sum to that derived from the sale of his poplarsand to his other gains for the last year and for the current year, hehad amassed a total of nine hundred thousand francs, without countingthe two hundred thousand he had got by the sale just concluded. Thetwenty per cent which Cruchot assured him would gain in a short timefrom the Funds, then quoted at seventy, tempted him. He figured outhis calculation on the margin of the newspaper which gave the accountof his brother's death, all the while hearing the moans of his nephew,but without listening to them. Nanon came and knocked on the wall tosummon him to dinner. On the last step of the staircase he was sayingto himself as he came down,--
"Certainly," said the president. "I'm of opinion that in a few monthsthe debts might be bought up for a certain sum, and then paid in fullby an agreement. Ha! ha! you can coax a dog a long way if you show hima bit of lard. If there has been no declaration of failure, and youhold a lien on the debts, you come out of the business as white as thedriven snow."。， The scene was lighted by a single candle placed between two rails ofthe staircase.
These words, corroborated by Grandet's attitude as he stood silentlynursing his chin, astonished the three des Grassins, who had beenleisurely discussing the old man's avarice as they came along, verynearly accusing him of fratricide.。， "Exactly so," said the president.
"Then why am I here?" said Charles. "Nanon," he cried, "order post-horses! I can get a carriage somewhere?" he added, turning to hisuncle, who stood motionless.。， "Well, then," replied the man, "there's s-s-something to be g-g-gotout of it? I k-know n-nothing at my age about such th-th-things. Il-l-live here and l-l-look after the v-v-vines. The vines g-g-grow,and it's the w-w-wine that p-p-pays. L-l-look after the v-v-vintage,t-t-that's my r-r-rule. My c-c-chief interests are at Froidfond. Ic-c-can't l-l-leave my h-h-house to m-m-muddle myself with ad-d-devilish b-b-business I kn-know n-n-nothing about. You say I oughtto l-l-liquidate my b-b-brother's af-f-fairs, to p-p-prevent thef-f-failure. I c-c-can't be in two p-p-places at once, unless I were alittle b-b-bird, and--"
"Very good! Good-night; to-morrow morning we will have a talk."The poor woman went to sleep like a schoolboy who, not having learnedhis lessons, knows he will see his master's angry face on the morrow.At the moment when, filled with fear, she was drawing the sheet aboveher head that she might stifle hearing, Eugenie, in her night-gown andwith naked feet, ran to her side and kissed her brow.。， Too excited, however, to remain long in one place, he got up, lookedat the portrait of Monsieur de la Bertelliere, and began to sing,doing what Nanon called his dancing steps,--
。， Not to interrupt the current of events which are about to take placein the bosom of the Grandet family, it is necessary to cast aforestalling eye upon the various operations which the goodman carriedon in Paris by means of Monsieur des Grassins. A month after thelatter's departure from Saumur, Grandet, became possessed of acertificate of a hundred thousand francs a year from his investment inthe Funds, bought at eighty francs net. The particulars revealed athis death by the inventory of his property threw no light upon themeans which his suspicious nature took to remit the price of theinvestment and receive the certificate thereof. Maitre Cruchot was ofopinion that Nanon, unknown to herself, was the trusty instrument bywhich the money was transported; for about this time she was absentfive days, under a pretext of putting things to rights at Froidfond,--as if the goodman were capable of leaving anything lying about or outof order!
， This conversation, held through the closed door, was like an episodein a poem to Eugenie.。， The two lovers, alarmed, fled into the hall, where Eugenie took up herwork and Charles began to read the litanies of the Virgin in MadameGrandet's prayer-book.