"Then lend a hand! go to work!" he cried, piling the sacks upon her.In a few moments all were carried up to his inner room, where he shuthimself in with them. "When breakfast is ready, knock on the wall," hesaid as he disappeared. "Take the barrow back to the coach-office."The family did not breakfast that day until ten o'clock.。， A loud knock, which announced the arrival of the des Grassins family,succeeded by their entrance and salutations, hindered Cruchot fromconcluding his sentence. The notary was glad of the interruption, forGrandet was beginning to look suspiciously at him, and the wen gavesigns of a brewing storm. In the first place, the notary did not thinkit becoming in a president of the Civil courts to go to Paris andmanipulate creditors and lend himself to an underhand job whichclashed with the laws of strict integrity; moreover, never havingknown old Grandet to express the slightest desire to pay anything, nomatter what, he instinctively feared to see his nephew taking part inthe affair. He therefore profited by the entrance of the des Grassinsto take the nephew by the arm and lead him into the embrasure of thewindow,--
"Well," resumed the goodman, who no doubt had some reason of his ownfor agreeing to his wife's request, "I'll do what you ask, MadameGrandet. You are a good woman, and I don't want any harm to happen toyou at your time of life,--though as a general thing the Bertellieresare as sound as a roach. Hein! isn't that so?" he added after a pause."Well, I forgive them; we got their property in the end." And hecoughed.。， "Strong? hear to that, now! Why, it can carry three thousand weight.How much does that old keg weigh?"
"In the first place," resumed the magistrate, "by filing the schedulein the record office of the court, which the merchant may do himself,or his representative for him with a power of attorney duly certified.In the second place, the failure may be declared under compulsion fromthe creditors. Now if the merchant does not file his schedule, and ifno creditor appears before the courts to obtain a decree of insolvencyagainst the merchant, what happens?"。， "He has been settling all his affairs, so as to leave France at once,"she thought. Her eyes fell upon two open letters. The words, "My dearAnnette," at the head of one of them, blinded her for a moment. Herheart beat fast, her feet were nailed to the floor.
As he heard this cry of noble distress the young man's tears fell uponhis cousin's hands, which he had caught in his own to keep her fromkneeling. As the warm tears touched her, Eugenie sprang to the purseand poured its contents upon the table.。， have paid my debts in Paris. If I have nothing, I shall go quietly
"That's very true."。， Six months went by. The Parisians had redeemed the notes incirculation as they fell due, and held them under lock and key intheir desks. First result aimed at by the old cooper! Nine monthsafter this preliminary meeting, the two liquidators distributed forty-seven per cent to each creditor on his claim. This amount was obtainedby the sale of the securities, property, and possessions of all kindsbelonging to the late Guillaume Grandet, and was paid over withscrupulous fidelity. Unimpeachable integrity was shown in thetransaction. The creditors gratefully acknowledged the remarkable andincontestable honor displayed by the Grandets. When these praises hadcirculated for a certain length of time, the creditors asked for therest of their money. It became necessary to write a collective letterto Grandet of Saumur.
"M-m-mon-sieur le p-p-president, you said t-t-that b-b-bankruptcy--"The stutter which for years the old miser had assumed when it suitedhim, and which, together with the deafness of which he sometimescomplained in rainy weather, was thought in Saumur to be a naturaldefect, became at this crisis so wearisome to the two Cruchots thatwhile they listened they unconsciously made faces and moved theirlips, as if pronouncing the words over which he was hesitating andstuttering at will. Here it may be well to give the history of thisimpediment of the speech and hearing of Monsieur Grandet. No one inAnjou heard better, or could pronounce more crisply the Frenchlanguage (with an Angevin accent) than the wily old cooper. Some yearsearlier, in spite of his shrewdness, he had been taken in by anIsraelite, who in the course of the discussion held his hand behindhis ear to catch sounds, and mangled his meaning so thoroughly intrying to utter his words that Grandet fell a victim to his humanityand was compelled to prompt the wily Jew with the words and ideas heseemed to seek, to complete himself the arguments of the said Jew, tosay what that cursed Jew ought to have said for himself; in short, tobe the Jew instead of being Grandet. When the cooper came out of thiscurious encounter he had concluded the only bargain of which in thecourse of a long commercial life he ever had occasion to complain. Butif he lost at the time pecuniarily, he gained morally a valuablelesson; later, he gathered its fruits. Indeed, the goodman ended byblessing that Jew for having taught him the art of irritating hiscommercial antagonist and leading him to forget his own thoughts inhis impatience to suggest those over which his tormentor wasstuttering. No affair had ever needed the assistance of deafness,impediments of speech, and all the incomprehensible circumlocutionswith which Grandet enveloped his ideas, as much as the affair now inhand. In the first place, he did not mean to shoulder theresponsibility of his own scheme; in the next, he was determined toremain master of the conversation and to leave his real intentions indoubt.。，