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“I shouldn’t,” said Marie quickly. “In your place, my dear, I shouldn’t risk a slip. I should

ask my fiance’s advice. He knows this world.”

“Oh, goodness—my fiance! He doesn’t care a rap about this kind of thing. 佛山桑拿论坛浦友 He has changed so in the last seven years. Seven years ago he took nothing seriously. Why, he set off on an expedition to the South Pole—just to show off. Oh, in those days he was truly a duke.”

“And to-day?” said Jeanne.

“Oh, to-day he’s a regular slow-coach. Society gets on his nerves. He’s as sober as a judge,” said Germaine.

“He’s as gay as a lark,” said Sonia, in sudden protest.

Germaine pouted at her, and said: “Oh, he’s gay enough when he’s making fun of people. But apart from that he’s as sober as a judge.”

“Your father must be delighted with the change,” said Jeanne.

“Naturally he’s delighted. Why, he’s lunching at Rennes to-day with the Minister, with the sole object of getting

Jacques decorated.”

“Well; the Legion of Honour is a fine thing to have,” said Marie.

“My dear! The Legion of Honour is all very well for middle-class people, but it’s quite out of place for a duke!” cried Germaine.

Alfred came in, bearing the tea-tray, and set it on a little table near that at which Sonia was sitting.

Germaine, who was feeling too important to sit still, was walking up and 佛山桑拿服务微信 down the room. Suddenly she stopped short, and pointing to a silver statuette which stood on the piano, she said, “What’s this? Why is this statuette here?”

“Why, when we came in, it was on the cabinet, in its usual place,” said Sonia in some astonishment.

“Did you come into the hall while we were out in the garden, Alfred?” said Germaine to the footman.

“No, miss,” said Alfred.

“But some one must have come into it,” Germaine


“I’ve not heard any one. I was in my pantry,” said Alfred.

“It’s very odd,” said Germaine.

“It is odd,” said Sonia. “Statuettes don’t move about of themselves.”

All of them stared at the statuette as if they expected it to move again forthwith, under their very eyes. Then Alfred put it back in its usual place on one of the cabinets, and went out of the room.

Sonia poured out the tea; and over it they babbled about the coming 佛山桑拿按摩价格 marriage, the frocks they would wear at it, and the presents Germaine had already received. That reminded her to ask Sonia if any one had yet telephoned from her father’s house in Paris; and Sonia said that no one had.

“That’s very annoying,” said Germaine. “It shows that nobody has sent me a present to-day.”

Pouting, she shrugged her shoulders with an air of a spoiled child, which sat but poorly on a well-developed young woman of twenty-three.

“It’s Sunday. The shops don’t deliver things on Sunday,” said Sonia gently.

But Germaine still pouted like a spoiled child.

“Isn’t your beautiful Duke coming to have tea with us?” said Jeanne a little anxiously.

“Oh, yes; I’m expecting him at half-past four. He had to go for a ride with the two Du Buits. They’re coming to tea here, too,” said Germaine.

“Gone for a ride with the two Du Buits? But when?” cried Marie quickly.
“This afternoon.”

“He can’t be,” said Marie. “My brother went to the Du Buits’ house after lunch, to see Andre and Georges. They went for a drive this morning, and won’t be back till late to-night.”

“Well, but—but why did the Duke tell me so?” said Germaine, knitting her brow with a puzzled air.

“If I were you, I should inquire into this thoroughly. Dukes—well, we know what dukes are—it will be just as well to keep an eye on him,” said Jeanne maliciously.

Germaine flushed quickly; and her eyes flashed. “Thank you. I have every confidence in Jacques. I am absolutely sure of him,” she said angrily.

“Oh, well—if you’re sure, it’s all right,” said Jeanne.

The ringing of the telephone-bell made a fortunate diversion.

Germaine rushed to it, clapped the receiver to her ear, and cried: “Hello, is that you, Pierre? … Oh, it’s Victoire, is it? … Ah, some presents have come, have they? … Well, well, what are they? .佛山桑拿技师论坛 .. What! a paper-knife—another paper-knife! … Another Louis XVI. inkstand—oh, bother! … Who are they from? … Oh, from the Countess Rudolph and the Baron de Valery.” Her voice rose high, thrilling with pride.

Then she turned her face to her friends, with the receiver still at her ear, and cried: “Oh, girls, a pearl necklace too! A large one! The pearls are big ones!”

“How jolly!” said Marie.

“Who sent it?” said Germaine, turning to the telephone again. “Oh, a friend of papa’s,” she added in a tone of disappointment. “Never mind, after all it’s a pearl necklace. You’ll be sure and lock the doors carefully, Victoire, won’t you? And lock up the necklace in the secret cupboard…. Yes; thanks very much, Victoire. I shall see you to-morrow.”

She hung up the receiver, and came away from the telephone frowning.