“And he a mere baron,” said Jeanne, laughing.
“What? Is that true?” said Sonia.
“Didn’t you know, Mlle. Kritchnoff? She nearly became engaged to the Duke’s cousin, the Baron de Relzieres. It was not nearly so grand.”
“Oh, it’s all very well to laugh at me; but being the cousin and heir of the Duke, Relzieres would have assumed the title, and I should have been Duchess just the same,” said Germaine triumphantly.
“Evidently that was all that mattered,” said Jeanne. “Well, dear, I must be off. We’ve promised to run in to see the Comtesse de Grosjean. You know the Comtesse de Grosjean?”
She spoke with an air of careless pride, and rose to go.
“Only by name. Papa used to know her husband on the Stock Exchange when he was still called simply M. Grosjean. For his part, papa preferred to keep his name intact,” said Germaine, with quiet pride.
“Intact? That’s one way of looking at it. Well, then, I’ll see you 佛山桑拿会所美女图片 in Paris. You still intend to start to-morrow?” said Jeanne.
“Yes; to-morrow morning,” said Germaine.
Jeanne and Marie slipped on their dust-coats to the accompaniment of chattering and kissing, and went out of the room.
As she closed the door on them, Germaine turned to Sonia, and said: “I do hate those two girls! They’re such horrible snobs.”
“Oh, they’re good-natured enough,” said Sonia.
“Good-natured? Why, you idiot, they’re just bursting with envy of me—bursting!” said Germaine. “Well, they’ve every reason to be,” she added confidently, surveying herself in a Venetian mirror with a petted child’s self-content.
CHAPTER II THE COMING OF THE CHAROLAIS
Sonia went back to her table, and once more began putting wedding-cards in their envelopes and addressing them. Germaine moved restlessly about the room, fidgeting 南海桑拿按摩论坛 with the bric-a-brac on the cabinets, shifting the pieces about, interrupting Sonia to ask whether she preferred this arrangement or that, throwing herself into a chair to read a magazine, getting up in a couple of minutes to straighten a picture on the wall, throwing out all the while idle questions not worth answering. Ninety-nine human beings would have been irritated to exasperation by her fidgeting; Sonia endured it with a perfect patience. Five times Germaine asked her whether she should wear her heliotrope or her pink gown at a forthcoming dinner at Madame de Relzieres’. Five times Sonia said, without the slightest variation in her tone, “I think you look better in the pink.” And all the while the pile of addressed envelopes rose steadily.
Presently the door opened, and Alfred stood on the threshold.
“Two gentlemen 佛山桑拿会所按摩全套 have called to see you, miss,” he said.
“Ah, the two Du Buits,” cried Germaine.
“They didn’t give their names, miss.”
“A gentleman in the prime of life and a younger one?” said Germaine.
“I thought so. Show them in.”
“Yes, miss. And have you any orders for me to give Victoire when we get to Paris?” said Alfred.
“No. Are you starting soon?”
“Yes, miss. We’re all going by the seven o’clock train. It’s a long way from here to Paris; we shall only reach it at nine in the morning. That will give us just time to get the house ready for you by the time you get there to-morrow evening,” said Alfred.
“Is everything packed?”
“Yes, miss—everything. The cart has already taken the heavy luggage to the station. All you’ll have to do is to see after your bags.”
“That’s all right. Show M. du Buit and his brother 佛山桑拿美女2013体验 in,” said Germaine.
She moved to a chair near the window, and disposed herself in an attitude of studied, and obviously studied, grace.
As she leant her head at a charming angle back against the tall back of the chair, her eyes fell on the window, and they opened wide.
“Why, whatever’s this?” she cried, pointing to it.
“Whatever’s what?” said Sonia, without
raising her eyes from the envelope she was addressing.
“Why, the window. Look! one of the panes has been taken out. It looks as if it had been cut.”
“So it has—just at the level of the fastening,” said Sonia. And the two girls stared at the gap.
“Haven’t you noticed it before?” said Germaine.
“No; the broken glass must have fallen outside,” said Sonia.
The noise of the opening of the door drew their attention from the window. Two figures were advancing 佛山桑拿会所600全套 towards them—a short, round, tubby man of fifty-five, red-faced, bald, with bright grey eyes, which seemed to be continually dancing away from meeting the eyes of any other human being. Behind him came a slim young man, dark and grave. For all the difference in their colouring, it was clear that they were father and son: their eyes were set so close together. The son seemed to have inherited, along with her black eyes, his mother’s nose, thin and aquiline; the nose of the father started thin from the brow, but ended in a scarlet bulb eloquent of an exhaustive acquaintance with the vintages of the world.
Germaine rose, looking at them with an air of some surprise and uncertainty: these were not her friends, the Du Buits.
The elder man, advancing with a smiling bonhomie, bowed, and said in an adenoid voice, ingratiating of tone: 佛山桑拿一条龙酒店 “I’m M. Charolais, young ladies—M. Charolais—retired brewer—chevalier of the Legion of Honour—landowner at Rennes. Let me introduce my son.” The young man bowed awkwardly. “We came from Rennes this morning, and we lunched at Kerlor’s farm.”
“Shall I order tea for them?” whispered Sonia.
“Gracious, no!” said Germaine sharply under her breath; then, louder, she said to M. Charolais, “And what is your object in calling?”