but his courage kept us strong. He told us that our war
"You are right," said De Breulh.
The Viscountess' giddy mode of action had brought her into many scrapes, but never into so terrible a one as this.
"Great heavens!" cried she, "what do you think that M. de Croisenois will do with this receipt?"
"He will do nothing," answered M. de Breulh, "if you do everything to advance his suit; but pause for an instant, and he will show the hand of steel which has up to now been covered by the velvet glove."
"I am not alarmed at a new slander?" returned the Viscountess.
"And why not?" answered De Breulh. "You know very well that in these days of lavish expenditure and unbridled luxury there are many women in society who are so basely vile that they ruin their lovers with as little compunction as their frailer sisters. To-morrow even De Croisenois may say at the club, 'On my word that little Bois Arden costs me a tremendous lot,' and hands about this receipt for twenty thousand francs. What do you imagine that people will think then?"
"The world knows me too well to think so ill of me."
"No, no, Clotilde, there is no charity in society; they will simply say that you are his mistress, and finding that the allowance from your husband is not enough for your needs, you are ruining your lover. There will be a significant laugh among the members, and in time, a very short time, the scandal in a highly sensational form will come to the ears of your husband."