The hostler at the inn turned him aside from the front door by a gesture, so that he entered by another way. Claude acquainted him that a lady in the public room desired to speak with M. Jerome de Greville, and would not be denied. Jerome's custom with visitors was to see them first himself, before Claude told them whether he was in or no.
Peeping through an aperture he saw the lady walking impatiently up and down the room, tapping at the window, mending the fire, and expressing her haste in many other pettish manners so truly feminine. It was Florine. He knew the girl well from his frequenting Bertrand's during this piece of business. Jerome sent her word he would be in, and changing his costume to one he usually wore, presented himself before her in the public room.
"Is it I you seek, M. de Greville, Mademoiselle?" he inquired, politely.
"Oh! Monsieur de Greville, it is you; I'm so glad." She came forward with a pretty air of perplexity and surprise, for Florine had a dainty woman's way about her, showing even through her present trouble. She bore herself more steadily that she had not to deal with some severe-faced stranger, but a gallant gentleman, whose mien was not that from which timid maidens were prone to fly.
"Oh, Monsieur de Greville, I know not what to say, now that I am well met with you."
"And by my faith, Mademoiselle, I am sure no word