opportunity to test the qualities of Woola. I was convinced，
This chanced to be one of three consecutive days which Baron Trigault had spent with Kami-Bey, the Turkish ambassador. It had been agreed between them that they should play until one or the other had lost five hundred thousand francs; and, in order to prevent any waste of "precious time," as the baron was wont to remark, they neither of them stirred from the Grand Hotel, where Kami-Bey had a suite of rooms. They ate and slept there. By some strange chance, Madame d'Argeles had not heard of this duel with bank-notes, although nothing else was talked of at the clubs; indeed, the Figaro had already published a minute description of the apartment where the contest was going on; and every evening it gave the results. According to the latest accounts, the baron had the advantage; he had won about two hundred and eighty thousand francs.
"I only returned to inform madame that I had so far been unsuccessful," said Job. "But I will recommence the search at once."
"That is unnecessary," replied Madame d'Argeles. "The baron will undoubtedly drop in this evening, after dinner, as usual."
She said this, and tried her best to believe it; but in her secret heart she felt that she could no longer depend upon the baron's assistance. "I wounded him this morning," she thought. "He went away more angry than I had ever seen him before. He is incensed with me; and who knows how long it will be before he comes again?"
Still she waited, with feverish anxiety, listening breathlessly to every sound in the street, and trembling each time she heard or fancied she heard a carriage stop at the door. However, at two o'clock in the morning the baron had not made his appearance. "It is too late--he won't come!" she murmured.
But now her sufferings were less intolerable, for excess of wretchedness had deadened her sensibility. Utter prostration paralyzed her energies and benumbed her mind. Ruin seemed so inevitable that she no longer thought of avoiding it; she awaited it with that blind resignation displayed by Spanish women, who, when they hear the roll of thunder, fall upon their knees, convinced that lightning is about to strike their defenceless heads. She tottered to her room, flung herself on the bed, and instantly fell asleep. Yes, she slept the heavy, leaden slumber which always follows a great mental crisis, and which falls like God's blessing upon a tortured mind. On waking up, her first act was to ring for her maid, in order to send a message to Job, to go out again in search of the baron. But the faithful servant had divined his mistress's wishes, and had already started off of his own accord. It was past mid-day when he returned, but his face was radiant; and it was in a triumphant voice that he announced: "Monsieur le Baron Trigault."
Madame d'Argeles sprang up, and greeted the baron with a joyful exclamation. "Ah! how kind of you to come!" she exclaimed. "You are most welcome. If you knew how anxiously I have been waiting for you!" He made no reply. "If you knew," continued Madame d'Argeles, "if you only knew "
But she paused, for in spite of her own agitation, she was suddenly struck by the peculiar expression on her visitor's face. He was standing silent and motionless in the centre of the room, and his eyes were fixed upon her with a strange, persistent stare in which she could read all the contradictory feelings which were battling for mastery in his mind--anger, hatred, pity, and forgiveness. Madame d'Argeles shuddered. So her cup of sorrow was not yet full. A new misfortune was about to fall upon her. She had hoped that the baron would be able to alleviate her wretchedness, but it seemed as if he were fated to increase it. "Why do you look at me like that?" she asked, anxiously. "What have I done?"
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