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the name of the guardian who had thus promised to smooth the way of life; for Sir Philip had made it part of his arrangement with the rector that his name should not be mentioned, even to Darcy, till he himself judged it expedient.

The rector's patronage of Mrs. Legh was sufficient to introduce her into society in Norton, and as the upper thirty—for to that number good society was restricted in the small town-ceased to inquire into her antecedents, they, after a time began to consider her and her daughter as naturally belonging to their own


It was shortly before Darcy left Norton, that Mrs. Legh and her daughter had gone to Scotland. Her departure was the result of a sudden resolution; and it took every one by surprise, and again set good society into an eager inquiry as to where Mrs. Legh had originally come from. But no light being obtainable on that important subject, and the declaration of the rector, that Mrs. Legh had imparted to him her reasons for leaving Norton, and that, though he could not reveal them, they were quite satisfactory, threw good society into a fever of curiosity, which lasted for a fortnight, and then the good old town went to sleep again.

Now, the rector had not entirely kept Mrs. Legh's secrets; for he thought it his duty to tell Darcy that Mrs. Legh was an Italian by birth, and that a marriage with her daughter would be objectionable on the score of want of connection, intimations which had been received by Darcy with complete indifference. Mrs. Legh, he said, is a lady, and her daughter an angel, and he was only twenty-one, and he thought himself clever. He had no money, that he knew, and he, too, had no relations; but they were both young, and in youth May lasts longer than it does as we get older. We still believe in the phantoms of hope, in spite of the history of Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia.

It may be gathered from this retrospect that Darcy had little information to give the Frenchman, but that little seemed satisfactory.

Darcy began to suspect that what the detective called amusement was in reality duty; for if it were not, the ten minutes or quarter of an hour, which were usually employed in discussing the probabilities of any theory of the Westminster murder, which had occurred to either, constituted such a minimum of duty as hardly explained the liberal supplies of money with which his companion was furnished. All the rest of the days, except the quarter of an hour, were, as a rule, spent by Darcy and the inspector in the way in which time is spent by the well-dressed population of Paris, so far as a mere foreigner can judge, namely, in doing nothing. They made excursions together to Versailles, St. Germain, and Fontan

bleau, and, indeed, to all places in the environs of the capital; and there was not an evening which was not spent in some place of amusement, generally at the theatres, but occasionally at houses where high play was practised contrary to police regulations.

Darcy resisted all the temptations which this course of life threw in his way. It served as a distraction to his thoughts, but it did not attract him further. His companion, on the other hand, entered con amore into anything which was going on, and seemed the most insouciant of the party. Darcy, however, who watched his companion narrowly, thought that much of his bonhommie was assumed, for he observed that the dim, dreamy eyes of the inspector had ever the same calm, abstracted look, which he had observed, which, however, never allowed the minutest incident to escape his observation. On one or two occasions when gambling ran high, Darcy, who never joined, noticed the inspector lean across the table and make a slight remark to one or other of the gamesters, to which the party addressed replied by a look at the mantlepiece. And this very evening, at one of these gambling. houses, a scene occurred which explained a little more clearly to Darcy the functions of an inspector of police.

It was one of the most fashionable haunts of the kind they had visited that evening; that is to say, it was an establishment where stakes were high, for the company could not be said to be select, everyone being bien-venu who chose to throw his Napoleons in sufficient profusion on the table. But yet in this repaire there were some of the principal men in Paris, statesmen and financiers, who tried to obtain relaxation for the waste of thought by the pleasant excitement of risking a fourth or sixth of their fortune on the throw of the dice or the run of the ball. Darcy wondered at the recuperative powers some of these gentlemen possessed; for not a few of them, according to the well-informed calculations of the inspector, had lost all they were known to possess in the world four or five times, and yet were sure to be met, a few days afterwards, at the same place in the same occupation, and, apparently, with undiminished resources. The inspector seemed on the most intimate terms with all those possessors of the secret of alchemy, but they did not seem at first to like his attentions, and rather repulsed his overtures. Sooner or later, however, they had become his bosom friends, and welcomed him obsequiously whenever he entered the room.

"I see two of my children," said the inspector to Darcy, as they entered the room, and were immediately greeted deferentially by the two gentlemen he so affectionately alluded to.

"How do you get on?" said the inspector. "Ah!" looking at the rouleaux on the table, "luck at last. I said so, the time

Algernon Darcy.


would come. No, you have not gained it, onlARY.

well, the time will come."

"Not this time, however," said the banker as swept the gold into the counter. "Make your game, gentlemen.

One of the parties who had lost turned deadly pale. "I will play no more to-night," said he.

"What," said the inspector, "cleared out again, Eugène? I never saw such luck. Fortune, surely, must now be tired of persecution; it is against all the doctrine of chance that one should lose always; it must now be ten to one at least that you gain upon your next venture. Try one more, I advise you."

"It is my last attempt," said Eugène-"I have no more money to stake with, and Monsieur Le Banquier does not give credit."


Speak to me," whispered the inspector. "My friend here, Mr. Seymour," for Darcy had resumed his alias, "has money, and will give you another chance; but we wish to know where Lebelletier is."

This was said in a whisper. The man addressed drew himself haughtily up, "Sir," said he, "who do you take me for?" "Let me inform you," said the inspector, and he whispered in his ear. "Come, my friend," said the inspector, kindly, "you are excited; let us adjourn to the ante-room and have an ice."

"I believe I had better," said the party addressed, aloud. "I will be back directly," said he to the banquier; "probably fate will be more prosperous when I return."

The inspector, Darcy, and Eugène adjourned to the ante-room. "Let no one come in," said the inspector to the waiter. The waiter nodded assent; then leaning across to the inspector he whispered, "Yes," said he, "in twenty minutes from this time."

"Now, gentlemen," said the inspector, "let us make ourselves comfortable; we will not be interrupted, and we have a little business to do. But, before commencing, a glass of champagne will help to dissipate the fumes of the saloon, which I have always remarked cloud the intellect and give a bias to its judgments. Now," he continued, after they had each drank a couple of glasses, "let us, in the first place, eliminate the element of chance, rather, you will admit, a singular request to make in this place; but," said he, "Eugène Bazas, there is, in reality, no longer any chance for you. You have entered the regions of fate." The tone of the inspector's voice had changed. It was no longer that of the boon companion-it was that of the judge. "Yes," he continued, Eugène Bazas, the time has come when things must be explained.


I am inspector of the police; you are Eugène Bazas, formerly of the Bagne Toulon. I will not say what you were before."

The man accused showed nerve. "Bah!" said he; "my good Mr. Verve, do not try these tricks with me. I have read 'Les Miserables,' and as I happen to know who I am, and as my name is not Bazas, I am not to be frightened, even though you are what you say."

"Quite right!" said the inspector. "I shall know by-and-bye whether you or I am right. There used to be a custom at Toulon of branding the prisoners.

Eugène looked furtively round the room. Darcy, who had watched him keenly, observed him clutch one of the fire-arms, as he said playfully, "My dear fellow, I do not dislike a joke; but I am somewhat fastidious, and the present does not suit my taste. Suppose we return to the saloon."

With those words he rose, turning his back as he did so upon the inspector and Darcy. The former sat still, but Darcy instinc tively rose, and as he did so he saw that Eugène had the poker in his hands, and was leaning meditatively on it as he looked at the fire.

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Eugène," said the inspector calmy, and without moving, "we are very comfortable here. Do sit down, and let us talk like rational men. You cannot suppose that, knowing you to be Eugène Bazas I, am such a fool as to make the announcement without having you fully in my power. Look here, and sit down," and the inspector took out of his pocket a pistol, which he deliberately cocked. "One movement more," he said quietly, "with that ugly implement in your hand, and I shall be forced to use this little elegant apparatus, which however, has the disadvantage of creating a scene. Listen to me. I am inspector of police; I have long watched you. You have for weeks been my special care and my duty, and to-night I must bring matters to a crisis. In ten minutes from this time two gendarmes will be here, and you will be removed unless you agree to my terms."

The inspector knew his man. Eugène Bazas, forcat, escaped from the galleys, sunk back on his chair, a cold sweat broke on his forehead, and a deadly pallor overspread his face.

The inspector observed him critically.

"There," said he to Darcy," is a specimen how we act. I need that man, and now I have him, body and soul."

"Eugène," said he, "you have lost the throw; you must accept my terms. They are not so bad as I might impose. You know what awaits you if I denounce you. Your evasion from Toulon is bad enough-you are aware of the consequences; but how have

you employed your vacation. Man, I know everything you have done. I know the forgery you committed on Lacepède. I know that you were one of the gang which broke into Lovet's, Rue Richelieu. It was you who robbed Robino, in the Bois de Boulogne. Nay, you have got modesty at last; you do not deny anything!"

"You are the devil himself," said the bandit.

"Pardon me," said the inspector; "I have not that honour. On the contrary, I am rather an opponent to his satanic majesty; and to prove this to you, I offer you your liberty on conditions." "Let me hear the conditions!"

"You must expect these conditions to be somewhat onerous, mon cher. It would not do to let you escape unless some very considerable advantage were attained. I suspect society would not thank me. You are one scoundrel-a dangerous one, I admit; but you are rather a bungler, or you and I would not be having this confidential chat together. Your cigar has gone out-a light, there! -Well, to continue, I, as the guardian at present of society, if I let you off, must secure some of your friends, who are as dangerous as yourself; and to come at once to the point, I mentioned those little affairs in which you have been engaged since you escaped the forgery, the robbery at the Rue Richelieu, and the robbery of Robino. We will let the last pass, for you had no accomplices, and Robino can get another watch; but when you broke into Lovet's shop there were with you Soulis, Lacroc, and Bordet. You can tell me where these gentlemen are to be found. O no," as Eugene attempted to speak, "I don't want the information now; there will be plenty of time. Then the forgery, how many were concerned in that? I don't want the names, only, the number; were there four, five, six ?"

Eu ène nodded his head affirmatively.

"Six? we never could exactly make out the number, but six will do; and you will give us their names at your leisure. And now one other favour, my friend.”

"Curse you!" said Eugène, "you will drive me mad with your politeness. I will not give you one iota of the information you demand."

"You won't, will you?" said the inspector, in the same drawling voice. 'François !" said he aloud,

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The waiter entered.

"Are the gentlemen I sent you for downstairs?"

"They are in my room," said the waiter. "They wait the orders of monsieur."

'Very well; bring them with you next time I call for you.""Now," he continued, turning to Bazas, "do you still continue


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