The American. (Omaha, Nebraska) 1891-1899, July 15, 1898, Image 2

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IIT m. Ml K
Io Cardoville
occupied iy
To explain the arrival of Mddle
at the garden door of the house
Djalma, we must cast a retrospective glanco at
previous events. On leaving Doctor Baleinier's,
Mdlle. le Cardoville had gone to Uke up her
residence, in the Uue d'Anjou. During the last
few months of her stay with her aunt, Adrienne
had secretly caused this handsome dwelling to he
repaired and furnished, and its luxury and eleg
ance were now increased hy all the wonders of
tho lodge of Saint-Dizier House. The world
found it very strauge'that u lady of the age and
condition of Mdlle. de Canloville should take the
retolution of living completely alone and free,
andj in fact, of keeping house exactly like u bach
elor, a young widow, or an emancipated minor.
The world pretended not to know that Mdlle. de
Canloville possessed what is often wanting in
men, whether of age or twice of age u firm
character, a lofty mind, a generous heart, strong
and vigorous good sense.
Judging that she would require faithful assist
ance in the internal management of her house,
Adrienne had written to tho bailiff of Cardoville,
M1IV4 Ilia II UVj IUII1IIJ PVI 1 (III I'O, ,UIiiD 1 ill"
mediately to Paris: M. Dupont thus filled the
ollice of steward, and Mine. Dupont that of house
keeper. An old friend of Adrienne's father, the
Count de Montbron, an accomplished old man,
once very much in fashion, and still a connoisseur
in all sorts of elegances, had advised Adrienne to
act like a princess, and take an equerry; recom
mended tor this office a man of .good rearing and
ripo age, who, himself an amateur in. horses, had
been ruined in England, at Newmarket, the Der
by, and Tattcrsall's, and reduced, as sometimes
happened to gentlemen in that country, to drive
the stage-coaches, thus finding an honest method
of earning his bread, and at the same time grati
fying his taste for horses. Such was M. de Bon
neville, M. de Montbron's choice. Both from
age and habits, this equerry could accompany
Mdlle. do Cardoville on horseback, and, better
than anyone else, superintend the stable. He
accepted, therefore, the employment with grati
tude, and, thanks to his skill and attention, the
equipages of Cardoville were not eclipsed
in style by anything of the kind in Paris. Mdlle.
de Cardoville had taken back her women, Hebe,
Georgette and Florine. The latter was at first to
have re-entered the service of the Princess de
Saint-Dizier, to continue her part of spy for the
superior of St. Mary's Convent; but, in conse
quence of the new direction given by Rodin to
the llennepont affair, it was decided that Florine,
if possible, should return to tbe service of Mdlle.
de Cardoville. This confidential place, enabling
this unfortunate creature to render important
and mysterious service to the people who held
her fate in their hands, forced her to infamous
treachery. Unfortunately, all things favored
this machination. We kuoir that Florine, in
her interview with Mother Bunch, a few days
after Mdlle. de Cardoville was imprisoned at Dr.
Baleinier's had yielded to a twinge of remorse,
and given to the sempstress advice likely to be
of use to Adrienne's interests sending word to
Agricola not to deliver to Madame de Saint-Dizier
the papers found in the hiding-place of the pavil
ion, but only to entrust them to Mdlle. de Cardo
ville herself. The latter, afterwards informed
of the details by Mother Bunch, felt a double de
gree of confidence and interest in Florine, took
her back into her service with gratitude, and al
most immediately charged her with a confiden
tial mission that of superintending the arrange
ments of the house hired for Djalma's habitation.
As for Mother Bunch (yielding to the solicita
tions of Mdlle. de Cardoville, finding she was no
longer of use to Dagobert's wife, of whom we
shall speak hereafter), she had consented to take
up her abode in the hotel on the Rue d'Anjou,
along with Adrienne, who, with that rare sagaci
ty of the heart peculiar to her, entrusted the
young sempstress, who served her also as a secre
tary, with the department of alms-giving.
Mdlle. de Cardoville had at first thought of en
tertaining her merely as a friend, wishing to pay
homage in her person to probity with labor, re
signation in sorrow, and intelligence in poverty;
but, knowing the workgirl's natural dignity, she
feared, with reason, that, notwithstanding the
delicate circumspection with which the hospital
ity would be offered, Mother Bunch might per
ceive in it alms in disguise. Adrienne preferred,
therefore, while she treated her as a friend, to
give her a confidential employment. In this
manner the great delicacy of the needlewoman
would be spared, since she could earn her liveli
hood by performing duties which would at the
same time satisfy her praisworthy instincts of
charity. In fact, she could fulfill, better than uny upon vacancy, and now fixed themselves with
one, the sacred mission confided to her by Adri-j pleasure upon the rosy flowers and greeu leaves
enne. Her cruel experience in misfortune, the in the basket of camellias, Who can piint the
goodne-s of her angelic soul, the elevation of her j matchless serenity of Adrienne's awaking hen
mind, her rare activity, her penetration with re- the fair and chaste soul roused itself in thefair
gard to the painful secrets of poverty, her perfect and chaste body? It was the awaking of a heart
classes, were
knowledge of the industrial
ent security for the tact and
which the excellent creature
generous intentions of Mdile. de Cardoville.
sutlici-Jas pure as the fresh and balmy breath of youth,
e with that made her bosom rise and fall in its white,
. 1 l lift j 1 1 .
Let us now speak of the divers events which,
on that day, preceded the coming of Mdlle. de
Cardoville to the garden-gate the house in the
Rue Blanche. About ten o'clock in the morn
ing, the blinds of Adrienne's bed-ehamler, close
ly shut, admitted no ray of daylight to this apart
ment, which was only lighted by a spherical
lamp of oriental alabaster, suspended from the
ceiling by time long silver chains. This apart
ment, terminating in a dome, was in the form of
a tent with eight sides. From the ceiling to the
floor, it was hung with white silk, covered with
long draperies of muslin, fastened in large puffs
to the wall, by bands caught in at regular dist
ances by plates of ivory. Two doors, also of
ivory, admirably encrusted with mother-of-pearl,
led, one to the bath-room, the other to the toilet
chamber, a sort of little temple dedicated to the
worship of beauty, and fur ished as it had been
at the pavilion of Saint-Dizier House. Two
other compartments of the wall were occupied by
windows, completely veiled with drapery., Op
posite the bed, enclosing splendid fire-dogs of
chased silver, was a chimney-piece of white mar
ble, like crystallised snow, on which were sculp
tured two magnificent caryatides, and a frieze
representing birds and flowers. Above this
frieze, carved in open work with extreme delica
cy, was a marble basket, filled with red camellias.
Their leaves of shinning green, their flowers of a
delicate rosy hue, were the only colors that dis
turbed the harmonious whiteness of this virgin
retreat. Finally, half surrounded by waves of
white muslin, which poured down from the dome
like a mass of light clouds, the bed was visible
very low, and resting on feet of carved ivory,
which stood upon the ermine carpet that covered
the floor. With the exception of a plinth, also
in ivory, admirably inlaid with mother-of-pearl,
the bed was entirely covered with white satin,
wadded and quilted like an immen e scent-bag.
The cambric sheets, trimmed with lace, being a
little disturbed on one side, discovered the corner
of a white taffety mattress, and a light counter
pane of watered stuff for an equal temperature
always reigned in this apartment, warm as a fine
spring day.
From a singular scruple, arising from the
same sentiment which had caused AdVienne to
have inscribed on a masterpiece of goldsmith's
work the name of the maker instead of that of
the seller, she had wished all these articles, so
costly and sumptuous, to be manufactured by
workmen chosen amongst the most intelligent,
honest, and industrious of their class, whom she
had supplied with the necessary materials. In
this manner she had been able to add to the price
of tbe work the profit usually gained by the
middle man, who speculates in such labor; this
notable augmentation of wages had spread hap
piness and comfort through a hundred necessit
ous families, who, bhssing the munificence of
Adrienne, gave her, as she said, the right to en
joy her luxury as a good action. Nothing could
be fresher or more charming than the interior of
this bedchamber. Mdlle. de Cardoville had just
awoke; she reposed in the middle of this flood of
muslin, lace, cambric, and white silk, in a posi
tion full of sweet grace. Never during the night
did she cover that beautiful golden hair (a cer
tain recipe, aid the Greeks, for preserving it for
a long while in magnificence). Every evening,
her women arranged her long silky curls in flat
tresses, forming two broad -bands, which, de
scending sufficiently low almost entirely to con
ceal the small ear, the rosy lobe of which was
alone visible, were joined to the large plait be
hind the head.
This head-dress, borrowed from Greek anti
quity, set off to admiration the pure, fine features
of Mdlle. de Cardoville, and made her look so
much younger, that, instead of eighteen, one
would hardly have given her fifteen years of age.
Gathered thus closely about the temples, the
hair lost its transparent and brilliant hues, and
would have' appeared almost brown, but for tbe
golden tints which played here and there, amid
the undulations of the tresses. Lulled in that
morning torpor, the warm langour of which is so
favorable to soft reveries, Adrienne leaned with
her elbow on the pillow, and her head a little on
one side, which displayed to advantage the ideal
contour of her bared neck and shoulders; her
smiling lips, moist and rosy, were, like her
cheeks, cold as if they had just been bathed in
ice-water; her snow-white lids half veiled the
large, dark, soft eyes, which now gazed languidly
wouiu secona me immaculate purity, What creeu, wuat dogma.
what formula, what religious symbol, oh ! pater
nal and divine Creator! can ever give a more
complete idea of Thy harmonious and ineffable
power, than the image of h young maiden awak
ing in the bloom of her beauty, and in all the
grace of that modesty with which Thou hast en
dowed her, seeking, in her dreamy innocence,
for the secret of that celestial instinct of love,
which Thou hast placed in the bosom of all Thy
creatures oh! Thou whose !ove is eternal, and
goodness infinite!
The confused thoughts which, s'nee her sleep,
had appeared gently to agi ate Adrienne, absorbed
her more and more; her head res'ing on htr
bosom, her beautiful arm upon the couch, her
features, without becoming precisely sad, assumed
an expression of touching melancholy. Her
dearest desire was accomplished; she was about
to live independent and alone. But this affec
tionate, delicate, expansive, and marvellously
complete nature, felt that God had not given her
such rare treasures, to bury them in a cold and
selfiish solitude. She felt how much that was
great and beautiful might be inspired by love,
both in herself, and in him that should be worthy
of Confiding in her courage, and the noble
ness of her character, proud of the example that
she wished to give to other women, knowing that
all eyes would be fixed enviously upon her, she
felt, as it were, only too sure of herself; far from
fearing that she should make a bad choice, she
rather feared, that she should not find any from
whom to choose, so pure and perfect was her
taste. And, even had she met with her own
ideal, she had views so singular and so just, so
extraordinary and yet so sensible, with regard to
the independence and dignity of woman, that, in
exorably determined to make no concession upon
this head, she asked herself if the man of her
choice would ever accept the hitherto uuheard-of
conditions that she meant to impose. In recall
ing to her remembrance the possible suitors that
she had met in the world, she remembered also
the dark, but true picture, which Rodin had
drawn with so much caustic bitterness. She re
membered too, not without a certain pride, the
encouragement this man had given her, not by
flattery, but by ad visit g her to follow out and ac
complish a great, generous, and beautiful design.
The current or the caprice of fancy soon brought
Adrienne to think of Djalma. Whilst she con
gratulated herself on having paid to her royal
kinsman the duties of a kingly hospitality, the
young lady was far from regarding the prince as
the hero of her future.
And first she said to herself, not unreasonably,
that this half-savage boy, with passions, if not
untameable, transported on a sudden into the
midst of a refined civilization, would be inevita
bly destined to fiery trials and violent transfor
mations. Now Mdlle. de Cardoville, having
nothing masculine or despotic in her character,
had no wish to civilise the young savage. There
fore, notwithstanding the interest, or rather be
cause ot the interest, whicti she felt for the
young Indian, she was firmly resolved, not to
make herself known to him, till after the lapse of
two or three months; and she determined also,
that, even if Djalma should learn by ohance that
she was his relation, she would not receive his visit.
She desired, if not to try him, at least to leave him
free in all his acts, so that he might expend the
first fire of his passions, good or bad. But not
wishing to abandon him quite without defence to
the perils of a parisian life, she requested tho
Count de Montbron, in confidence, to introduce
Prince Djalma to the bejt experience. M. de
Montbron had received the .request of Mdlle. de
Cardoville with the greatest pleasure, taking de
light, he said in starting his royal tiger in draw-ing-rooms,
and bringing him into contact with
the flower of the fine ladies and gentlemen of
Paris, offering at the same time to wager any
amount in favor of his half-savage pupil.
"As for myself, my dear Count," said Adrienne
to M. de Montborn, with her usual frankness,
" my resolution is not to be shaken. You have
told me the effect that will be produced in the
fashionable word, by the first appearance of
Prince Djalma, an Indian nineteen years of age,
of surprising beauty, proud and wild as a young
lion arriving from his forest; it is new, it is ex
traordinary, you added; and, therefore, all the
coquetries of civilized life will pursue him with
an eagerness which makes me tremble for him.
Now, seriously my dear count, it will not suit me
to appear as the rival of so many fine ladies,
who are about to expose themselves intrepidly to
the claws of the young tiger. I take great interest
in him, because he is my cousin, because he is
handsome, because he is brave, and above all be
cause he does not wear that horrible European
dres3. No doubt, these are rare qualities but
not sufficient to make me change my mind. Be
sides, the good old philotopher, my new fiiend,
has given me advice about this Indian, which
you, my dear count, who are not a philosopher,
will yet approve. It is, for some time, to receive
visits at home, but not to visit other people
which will spare me the awkwardness of meeting
my royal cousin, and allow me to make a careful
choice, even amongst my usual society. As my
house will be an excellent one, my portion most
unusual, and as I shall be suspected of all sorts
of naughty secrets, I shall be in lo want of in
quisitive visitors, who will amuse me a good deal,
I assure y.m."
And as M. de Montbron asked, if .the exile of
the poor young Indian tiger was to last long,
Adrienne answered: "As I shall see most of the
persous, to whom you will introduce him, I shall
be pleased to hear different opinions about him.
If certain men speak we 1 of him, and certain
women ill, I shall have good hope of him. In a
word, the opinion that I come to, in sifting the
true from the false (you may leave that to my
sagacity), will shorten or prolong the exile of my
royal cousin."
Such were the formal intentions of Mdlle. de
Cardoville with regard to Djalma, even on the
day she went with Florine to the house he occu
pied. In a word, she had positively resolved not
to be known to him for some months to come.
After long reflecting that . morning, on the
chances that might yet offer themselves to satisfy
the wants of her heart, Adrienne fell into a new,
dep reverie. This charming creature, so full of
life and youth, heived a low sigh, raised her
arms above her head, turned her profile towards
the pillow, and remained for some moments as if
powerless and vanquished. Motionless beneath
tlie white tissues that wrapped her round, she
looked like a fair, marble statue, visible beneath
a light of snow. Suddenly, Adrienne raised her
self up, drew her hand across her brow, and rang
for her women. At the first silver tone of the
bell, the two ivory, doors opened. Georgette ap
peared on the threshold of the dressing-room,
from which Frisky, a little black-and-tan dog,
with his golden collar, escaped with a joyful
barking. Hebe appeared at the same time on
the threshold of the' bath-room. At the further
end of this appartmeLt, lighted from above,
might be seen'.tVi a green mat of Spanish
leather, with goldyrnaments, a crystal bath in
the form of a Iof.g shell. The three only di
visions in this masterpiece of glasswork, were
concealed by the elegant device of several large
reeds in silver, which rose from the wide base of
the bath, also of wrought silver, representing
children and dolphins playing among branches
of natural coral, and azure shells. Nothing could
be more pleasing than the effect of these purple
reeds and ultramarine shells, upon a dull ground
of silver; the balsamic vapor, which rose from
the warm, limpid and perfumed water, that filled
the crystal shell, spread through the bath-room,
and floated like a light cloud into the sleeping
chamber. Seeing Hebe in her fresh and pretty costume,
bringing her a long bathing-gown, hanging upon
a bare and dimpled arm, Adrienne said to her:
"Where is Florine, my child?"
"Madame, she went downstairs two hours ago;
she wa3 wanted for something very pressing." .
" Who wanted her? "
"The young person who serves Madame as
secretary. She went out this morning very
early; and, as soon as she returned, she sent for
Florine, who has not come back since."
" This absence no doubt relates to some im
portant affair of my angelic minister of succor,"
said Adrienne, smiling, and thinking of the
hunchback. Then she made a sign to Hebe to
approach her bed.
About two hours after rising, Adrienne, having
had herself dressed, as usual, with rare elegance,
dismissed her women, and sent for Mother
Bunch, whom she treated with marked deference,
always receiving her alone. The young semp
stress entered hastily, with a pale, agitated count
enance, and said, in a trembling voice: " Oh
raadarxe! my presentiments were justified. You
are betrayed."
" Of what presentiments do you speak, my
dear child!" said Adrienne, with surprise.
"Who betrays me?" "M. Rodin I"
- - - - MtigiiviVI
the workgirl.
On hearing the accusation broueht anainst
Rodin, Mdlle. de Cardoville looked at the denun
ciator with new astonishment. Before continu
ing this scene, we may say that Mother Bunch