They had been making devilish


He drained a glass of chartreuse. The chartreuse had not the slightest effect upon him; it didn't affect him "even to that extent," and he clicked his thumbnail against the edge of his teeth. But suddenly, just as he was advancing upon Labordette, he grew ashy white and fell down in a heap in front of the sideboard. He was dead drunk. Louise Violaine was beside herself. She had been quite right to prophesy that matters would end badly, and now she would have her work cut out for the remainder of the night. Gaga reassured her. She examined the officer with the eye of a woman of experience and declared that there was nothing much the matter and that the gentleman would sleep like that for at least a dozen or fifteen hours without any serious consequences. Foucarmont was carried off .

"Well, where's Nana gone to?" asked Vandeuvres.

Yes, she had certainly flown away somewhere on leaving the table. The company suddenly recollected her, and everybody asked for her.Steiner, who for some seconds had been uneasy on her account, asked Vandeuvres about the old gentleman, for he, too, had disappeared. But the count reassured him--he had just brought the old gentleman back. He was a stranger, whose name it was useless to mention. Suffice it to say that he was a very rich man who was quite pleased to pay for suppers! Then as Nana was once more being forgotten, Vandeuvres saw Daguenet looking out of an open door and beckoning to him. And in the bedroom he found the mistress of the house sitting up, white-lipped and rigid, while Daguenet and Georges stood gazing at her with an alarmed expression .

"What IS the matter with you?" he asked in some surprise.

She neither answered nor turned her head, and he repeated his question.

"Why, this is what's the matter with me," she cried out at length; "I won't let them make bloody sport of me!"

Thereupon she gave vent to any expression that occurred to her. Yes, oh yes, SHE wasn't a ninny--she could see clearly enough. light of her during supper and saying all sorts of frightful things to show that they thought nothing of her! A pack of sluts who weren't fit to black her boots! Catch her bothering herself again just to be badgered for it after! She really didn't know what kept her from chucking all that dirty lot out of the house! And with this, rage choked her and her voice broke down in sobs .

"Come, come, my lass, you're drunk," said Vandeuvres, growing familiar. "You must be reasonable."

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