even though the manifestation of them was so painful and，
"Yes, but don't be uneasy; the affair is as good as concluded."
Wilkie gave a sigh of relief as he saw his visitor depart. He wished to be alone, so as to brood over the delights that the future had in store for him. He was no longer to be limited to a paltry allowance of twenty thousand francs! No more debts, no more ungratified longings. He would have millions at his disposal! He seemed to see them, to hold them, to feel them gliding in golden waves between his fingers! What horses he would have! what carriages! what mistresses! And a gleam of envy that he had detected in M. de Coralth's eyes put the finishing touch to his bliss. To be envied by this brilliant viscount, his model and his ideal, what happiness it was!
The reputation that Madame d'Argeles bore had at first cast a shadow over his joy; but this shadow had soon vanished. He was troubled by no foolish prejudices, and personally he cared little or nothing for his mother's reputation. The prejudices of society must, of course, be considered. But nonsense! society has no prejudices nowadays when millionaires are concerned, and asks no questions respecting their parents. Society only requires passports of the indigent. Besides, no matter what Madame d'Argeles might have done, she was none the less a Chalusse, the descendant of one of the most aristocratic families in France.
Such were Wilkie's meditations while he was engaged in dressing himself with more than usual care. He had been quite shocked by the suggestion that Madame d'Argeles might try to deny him, and he wished to appear before her in the most advantageous light. His toilette was consequently a lengthy operation. However, shortly after twelve o'clock he was ready. He cast a last admiring glance at himself in the mirror, twirled his mustaches, and departed on his mission. He even went on foot, which was a concession to what he considered M. de Coralth's absurd ideas. The aspect of the Hotel d'Argeles, in the Rue de Berry, impressed him favorably, but, at the same time, it somewhat disturbed his superb assurance. "Everything is very stylish here," he muttered.
A couple of servants--the concierge and Job--were standing at the door engaged in conversation. M. Wilkie approached them, and in his most imposing manner, but not without a slight tremble in his voice, requested to see Madame d'Argeles. "Madame is in the country," replied the concierge; "she will not return before this evening. If monsieur will leave his card "
"Oh! that's quite unnecessary. I shall be passing again."
This, too, was in obedience to the instructions of M. de Coralth, who had advised him not to send in his name, but to gain admission into Madame d'Argeles's presence as speedily as possible, without giving her time to prepare herself for the interview; and Wilkie had ultimately decided that these precautions might not prove as superfluous as he had at first supposed. But this first mishap annoyed him extremely. What should he do? how should he kill time till the evening? A cab was passing. He hired it for a drive to the Bois, whence he returned to the boulevards, played a game of billiards with one of the co-proprietors of Pompier de Nanterre, and finally dined at the Cafe Riche, devoting as much time as possible to the operation. He was finishing his coffee when the clock struck eight. He caught up his hat, drew on his gloves, and hastened to the Hotel d'Argeles again.
"Madame has not yet returned," said the concierge, who knew that his mistress had only just risen from her bed, "but I don't think it will be long. And if monsieur wishes--"
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