answer he made to me, on the eve of his departure:
" That depends . . . on a very important matter."
Although he endeavored to appear natural, I perceived in his movements, in his attitude, in his silence, an unusual embarrassment, visible only to me.
I took so much satisfaction in this presentiment that I did not try to put it aside. On the contrary, I felt an intense joy in contemplating the idea. Marianne having left us alone a moment in the kitchen, I approached Joseph, and, in a coaxing, tender voice, moved by an inexpressible emotion, I asked him:
"Tell me, Joseph, that it was you who outraged the little Claire in the woods. Tell me that it was you who stole Madame's silver service."
Surprised, stupefied by this question, Joseph looked at me. Then, suddenly, without answering, he drew me to him, and, making my neck bend under a kiss that fell like a blow of a club, he said to me :
"Don't talk about that, since you are to come with me to the little cafe, and since our two souls are alike."
I remember having seen in a little salon at the Countess Fardin's a sort of Hindoo idol, horribly and murderously beautiful. At this moment Joseph res