XXVIII.

THIS observation struck Bernard as extremely ingenious and worthy of his mistress's fine intelligence; he greeted it with enthusiasm, and thought of it for the next twelve hours. The more he thought of it the more felicitous it seemed to him, and he went to Mrs. Vivian's the next day almost for the express purpose of saying to Angela that, decidedly, she was right. He was admitted by his old friend, the little femme de chambre, who had long since bestowed upon him, definitively, her confidence; and as in the ante-chamber he heard the voice of a gentleman raised and talking with some emphasis, come to him from the salon, he paused a moment, looking at her with an interrogative eye.

"Yes," said Mrs. Vivian's attendant, "I must tell Monsieur frankly that another gentleman is there. Moreover, what does it matter? Monsieur would perceive it for himself!"

"Has he been here long?" asked Bernard.

"A quarter of an hour. It probably doesn't seem long to the gentleman!"

"Is he alone with Mademoiselle?"

-309-

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