I smile still more, as if this were only an excellent joke of hers, this pretending not to know me again, and say:
"Don't you recollect that I gave you a lot of silver once? I did not say anything on the occasion in question; as far as I can call to mind, I did not; it is not my way to do so. When one has honest folk to deal with, it is unnecessary to make an agreement, so to say, draw up a contract for every trifle. Ha, ha! Yes, it was I who gave you the money!"
"No, then, now; was it you? Yes, I remember you, now that I come to think over it. . . ."
I wanted to prevent her from thanking me for the money, so I say, therefore, hastily, whilst I cast my eye over the table in search of something to eat:
"Yes; I've come now to get the cakes."
She did not seem to take this in.
"The cakes," I reiterate; "I've come now to get them—at any rate, the first instalment; I don't need all of them to-day."
"You've come to get them?"
"Yes; of course I've come to get them," I reply, and I laugh boisterously, as if it ought to have been self-evident to her from the out-