She clapped her hands in childish glee. Without waiting for the banker's reply--he naturally consented, though he was really rather bored and inclined to think of other things--she ran off to throw a pelisse over her shoulders. In the drawing room there was now no one with Steiner save the band of young men. These had by this time dropped the very dregs of their glasses into the piano and were talking of going, when one of their number ran in triumphantly. He held in his hands a last remaining bottle, which he had brought back with him from the pantry.
"Wait a minute, wait a minute!" he shouted. "Here's a bottle of chartreuse; that'll pick him up! And now, my young friends, let's hook it. We're blooming idiots."
In the dressing room Nana was compelled to wake up Zoe, who had dozed off on a chair. The gas was still alight, and Zoe shivered as she helped her mistress on with her hat and pelisse.
"Well, it's over; I've done what you wanted me to," said Nana, speaking familiarly to the maid in a sudden burst of expansive confidence and much relieved at the thought that she had at last made her election. "You were quite right; the banker's as good as another."
The maid was cross, for she was still heavy with sleep. She grumbled something to the effect that Madame ought to have come to a decision the first evening.
, she asked what she was going to do with "those two," meaning Bordenave, who was snoring away as usual, and Georges, who had slipped in slyly, buried his head in a pillow and, finally falling asleep there, was now breathing as lightly and regularly as a cherub. Nana in reply told her that she was to let them sleep on. But seeing Daguenet come into the room, she again grew tender. He had been watching her from the kitchen and was looking very
"Come, my sweetie, be reasonable," she said, taking him in her arms and kissing him with all sorts of little wheedling caresses. "Nothing's changed; you know that it's sweetie whom I always adore! Eh, dear? I had to do it. Why, I swear to you we shall have even nicer times now. Come tomorrow, and we'll arrange about hours. Now be quick, kiss and hug me as you love me. Oh, tighter, tighter than that JUPAS choice list
They had taken their seats in the vast dining room, the windows of which looked out on the park. But they only occupied one end of the long table, where they sat somewhat crowded together for company's sake. Sabine, in high good spirits, dwelt on various childish memories which had been stirred up within her--memories of months passed at Les Fondettes, of long walks, of a tumble into one of the tanks on a summer evening, of an old romance of chivalry discovered by her on the top of a cupboard and read during the winter before fires made of vine branches. And Georges, who had not seen the countess for some months, thought there was something curious about her. Her face seemed changed, somehow, while, on the other hand, that stick of an Estelle seemed more insignificant and dumb and awkward than ever dermes