and many a great lord to bend the knee. The smallfolk have
"I was very naughty, and I repent of it. I could not sleep all night, for I was haunted by the look of sorrow I saw in your face when you took leave of me. Paul, I did it to try you. Can you forgive me? You might, for I suffered much more than you could have done. Some one who loves me--perhaps more than you do--has told me that when a girl shows all the depths of her heart to a man she runs the risk of his despising her. Can this be true? I hope not, Paul, for never--no, never--can I conceal my feelings; and the proof of my faith in you is that I am going now to tell you all. I am sure that if your good friend and mine, Dr. Hortebise, came to my father with a certain request from you, it would not be rejected.
"Did not this letter go straight to your heart?" asked Tantaine.
"Of course it did. Why, she will have a million for her wedding portion!"
On hearing these words, Tantaine started up with so threatening an aspect that Paul recoiled a step, but a warning look from the doctor restrained the old man's indignation.
"He is a perfect sham!" muttered he; "even his vices are mere pretence."
"He is our pupil, and is what we have made him," whispered Tantaine.
Meanwhile Tantaine had gone up to Paul, and, placing his hand caressingly on his shoulder, said,--
"My boy, you will never know how much you owe to Mademoiselle Flavia."