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" I'm not so sure of that. Some of these said Sophie to herself, when she got the foreign women ain't like other women at all. letter. " For what should he consult me ? They go deeper; - a doosed sight deeper.” It is that stupid man I saw with Julie. Ah, “ Into men's pockets, you mean.
well; never mind. The stupid man shall “They play a deep, game altogether. come.”. The commissioner, therefore, who What do you suppose she is, now ?" This had taken the letter to Mount Street, question Archie asked in a whisper, bending returned to the club with a note in which his head forward towards his brother, though Madame Gordeloup expressed her willingthere was no one else in the carriage with ness to undergo the proposed interview. them.
Archie felt that the letter,
- a letter from “ What she is ? A thief of some kind a Russian spy addressed positively to himprobably. I've no doubt she's up to any self, — gave him already diplomatic rank, roguery.”
and he kept it as a treasure in his breastcoatShe's a — Russian spy."
pocket. Oh, I've heard of that for the last dozen It then became necessary that he and years. All the ugly old Frenchwomen his friend should discuss the manner in in London are Russian spies, according to which the Spy should be managed. Doodles what people say; but the Russians know bad his misgivings that Archie would be how to use their money better than that. awkward, and almost angered his friend by If they employ spies, they employ people the repetition of his cautions. " You mustn't who can spy something."
chuck your money at her head, you know," Archie felt this to be cruel, - very cruel, said Doodles. but he said nothing further about it. His “Of course not; but when the time comes brother was stupid, pigheaded, obstinate, and I shall slip the notes into her hand, — with quite unfitted by nature for affairs of in- a little pressure perhaps.” trigue. It was, alas, certain that his brother “ It would be better to leave them near would provide no money for such a purpose her on the table.” as that he now projected; but, thinking of you
think so ?” this, he found some consolation in the reflec- “Oh, yes; a great deal. It's always done tion that Hugh would not be a participator in that way." with him in his great secret. When he “But perhaps she wouldn't see them, – should have bought the Russian spy, he and or wouldn't know where they came from.” Doodles would rejoice together in pri- “ Let her alone for that." vacy without any third confederate. Tri- “ But I must make her understand what umviri might be very well; Archie also had I want of her, -in return, you know. I heard of triumviri; but two were company, ain't going to give her twenty pounds for and three were none. Thus he consoled nothing." himself when his pigheaded brother ex- “ You must explain that at first; tell her pressed his disbelief in the Russian spy. that you expect her aid, and that she will
There was nothing more said between find you a grateful friend, - a grateful them in the railway carriage, and, as they friend, say; mind you remember that.” parted at the door in Berkley Square, Hugh Yes ; l'll remember that. I suppose it swore to himself that this should be the last would be as good a way as any." season in which he would harbour his “ It's the only way, unless you want her brother in London. After this he must have to ring for the servant to kick you out of a house of his own there, or have no house at the house. It's as well understood as ABC, all. Then Archie went down to his club, among the people who do these things. I and finally arranged with Doodles that the should say take jewelry instead of money first visit to the Spy should be made on the if she were anything but a Russian spy'; following morning. After much consulta- but they understand the thing so well, that tion it was agreed between them that the you may go farther with them than with way should be paved by a diplomatic note. others."
The diplomatic note was therefore written Archie's admiration for Sophie became by Doodles and copied by Archie.
still higher as he heard this. “I do like “ Captain Clavering presents his compli- people," said he, “ who understand what's ments to Madame Gordeloup, and proposes what, and no mistake." to call upon her to-morrow morning at “ But even with her you must be very twelve o'clock, if that hour will be con- careful.” venient. Captain Clavering is desirous of “ Oh, yes; that's a matter of course.” consulting Madame Gordeloup on an affair " When I was declaring for the last time of much importance.” “ Consult me!” that she would find me a grateful friend,
just at the word grateful, I would put downvenient hiding-place, — now at once? There the four fivers on the table, smoothing them in one corner, was the spot in which she with my hand like that." Then Doodles would seat herself upon the sofa. He-saw acted the part, putting a great deal of em- plainly enough, as with the eye of a Talphasis on the word grateful, as he went leyrand, the marks thereon of her constant through the smoothing ceremony with two sitting.' So he seized the moment to place or three sheets of club notepaper. That's a chair suitable for himself, and cleared a your game, you may be sure. If you put few inches on the table near to it, for the them into her hand she may feel herself smoothing of the bank-notes, — feeling, obliged to pretend to be angry; but she while so employed, that he was doing great can't be angry simply because you put your things. He had almost made up his mind money on her table. Do you see that, old to slip one note between the pages of a fellow ? ” Archie declared that he did see book, not with any well-defined plan as to it very plainly: “If she does not choose to the utility of such a measure, but because it undertake the job, she'll merely have to tell seemed to be such a diplomatic thing to do! you that you have left something behind But while this grand idea was still Hashing you."
backwards and forwards across his brain, " But there's no fear of that, I suppose ?” the door opened, and he found himself in
“I can't say. Her hands may be full, you the presence of — the Russian spy. know, or she
He at once saw the Russian spy was very enough."
dirty, and that she wore a nightcap, but he “ But I mean to tip her again, of course.” liked her the better on that account. A
“ Again! I should think so. I suppose female Russian spy should, he felt, differ she must have about a couple of hundred much in her attire from other women. If before the end of next month if she's to do possible, she should be arrayed in diamonds, any good. After a bit you will be able to and pearl ear-drops, with as little else upon explain that she shall have a sum down her as might be; but failing that costume, when the marriage has come off.”
which might be regarded as the apropriate " She won't take the money and do noth- evening Spy costume, a tumbled nightcap, ing; will she ?"
and a dirty white wrapper, old cloth slipOh, no; they never sell you like that. pers, and objectionable stockings were just It would spoil their own business if they what they should be. were to play that
“ Ah!” said the lady, “you are Captain it worth her while, she'll do the work for Clavering. Yes, I remember.” you. But you must be careful;
“I am Captain Clavering. I had the member that.” Archie shook his head, honour of meeting you at Lady Ongar's.” almost in anger, and then went home for “And now you wish to consult me on an his night's rest.
affair of great importance. Very well. On the next morning he dressed himself You may consult me. Will you sit down in his best, and presented himself at the – there.” And Madame Gordeloup indidoor in Mount Street, exactly as the clock cated to him a chair just opposite to herstruck twelve. He had an idea that these self, and far removed from that convenient people were very punctilious as to time. spot which Archie had prepared for the Who could say but that the French ambas- smoothing of the bank-notes. Near to the sador might bave an appointment with place now assigned to him there was no Madame Gordeloup at half-past one, - or table whatever, and he felt that he would perhaps some emissary from the Pope ! He in that position be so completely raked by had resolved that he would not take his left the fire of her keen eyes, that he would glove off his hand, and he had thrust the not be able to carry on his battle upon good notes in under the palm of his glove, think- terms. In spite, therefore, of the lady's ing he could get at them easier from there, very plain instructions, he made an attempt should they be wanted in a moment, than to take possession of the chair which he had he could do from his waistcoat pocket. He himself placed; but it was an ineffectual knocked at the door, knowing that he trem- attempt, for the Spy was very peremptory bled as he did so, and felt considerable with him. “ There, Captain Clavering; relief when he found himself to be alone in there; there; you will be best there." the room to which he was shown. He knew Then he did as he was bid, and seated that men conversant with intrigues always himself, as it were, quite out at sea, with go to work with their eyes open, and, there nothing but an ocean of carpet around him, fore, at once he began to look about him. and with no possibility of manipulating his Could be not put the money into some con-notes except under the raking fire of those
- do re
terribly sharp, eyes. “ And now,” said and she felt that if anything could make him Madame Gordeloup, you can commence to talk, he would talk now. consult.me. What is the business ?”
“Dear me ! you don't say so.
I have Ah; what was the business ? That was always admired her very much, Madame now the difficulty? In discussing the prop- Gordeloup.”.
way of tendering the bank-notes, I “ Well?" fear the two captains had forgotten the The French ambassador was probably in nicest point of the whole negotiation. How the next street already, and if Archie was was he to tell her what it was that he to tell his tale at all he must do it now. wanted to do himself, and what that she “You will keep my secret if I tell it you?” was to be required to do for him ? It be- he asked. hoved him above all things not to be awk- "Is it me you ask that? Did you ever ward ! That be remembered. But how not hear of me that I tell a gentleman's secret. to be awkward ? “ Well!” she said ; and I think not. If you have a secret, and will there was something almost of crossness in trust me, that will be good ; if you
will not her tone. Her time, no doubt, was valuable. trust me, - that will be good also.” The French ambassador might even now be “Of course I will trust you. That is why coming • Well?”
I have come here." “I think, Madame Gordeloup, you know “ Then out with it. I am not a little girl. my brother's sister-in-law, Lady Ongar ?” You need not be bashful._Two and two
“ What, Julie? Of course I know Julie. make four. I know that. But some people Julie and I are dear friends."
want them to make five. I know that too. “ So I supposed. That is the reason why So speak out what you have to say.” I have come to you.”
“ I am going to ask Lady Ongar to - to “ Well ; — well;well ? "
- marry me." Lady Ongar is a person whom I have - Ah, indeed; with all the thousands of known for a long time, and for whom I pounds and the beautiful park ! But the have a great, -I may say a very deep re- beautiful hair is more than all the thousands gard."
of pounds. Is it not so ? " " Ah! yes.
What a jointure she has ! "Well, as to that, they all go together, and what a park! Thousands and thousands you know.” of pounds, — and so beautiful! If I was a man “ And that is so lucky! If they was to be I should have a very deep regard too. Yes.” separated, which would you
take? “ A most beautiful creature; — is she The little woman grinned as she asked not?"
this question, and Archie, had he at all “Ah; if you had seen her in Florence, understood her character, might at once as I used to see her, in the long summer have put himself on a pleasant footing with evenings! Her lovely hair was all loose to her; but he was still confused and ill at the wind and she would sit hour after hour ease, and only muttered something about looking, oh, at the stars ! Have you seen the the truth of his love for Julia. stars in Italy ?”
“ And you want to get her to marry Captain Clavering couldn't say that he you?” had, but he had seen them uncommon bright “ Yes; that's just it.” in Norway, when he had been fishing there. “ And you want me to help you?”
“ Or the moon ?” continued Sophie, not “ That's just it again.” regarding his answer. “Ah; that is to live! “ Well ?" And he, her husband, the rich lord, he was “ Upon my word, if you'll stick to me, dying, - in a little room just inside, you you know, and see me through it, and all know. It was very melancholy, Captain that kind of thing, you'll find in me a most Clavering. But when she was looking at grateful friend ; indeed, a most grateful the moon, with her hair all dishevelled,” friend.” And Archie, as from his position and Sophie put her hands up to her own he was debarred from attempting the smoothdirty nightcap," she was just like a Magda- ing process, began to work with his right len; yes, just the same; – just the same.” forefinger under the glove on his left hand.
“The exact strength of the picture, and “What have you got there?” said Mathe nature of the comparison drawn, were dame Gordeloup, looking at him with all perhaps lost upon Archie; and indeed, So- her eyes. phie herself probably trusted more to the Captain Clavering instantly discontinued tone of her words, than to any idea which the work with his finger, and became terthey contained; but their tone was perfect, ribly confused. Her voice on asking the
question had become very sharp; and it “ She will know all about that already.” seemed to him that if he brought out his “ But I will tell her. It will be something money in that awkward, barefaced way to say, at any rate, and that, perhaps, which now seemed to be necessary, she will be the difficulty.” would display all the wrath of which a Rus- “ Just so ! I didn't look at it in that light sian spy could be capable. Would it not before.” be better that he should let the money rest “ And am I to propose it to her first ? ” for the present, and trust to his promise of
“ Well; I on't know. Perhaps as you gratitude ? Ah, how he wished that he had are so clever, it might be as well.” slipped at any rate one note between the " And at once ?" pages of a book.
Yes, certainly; at once. You see, Ma* What have you got there ? ” she de- dame Gordeloup, there may be so many manded again, very sharply.
buzzing about her.” “ Oh, nothing.”
Exactly; and some of them perhaps “ It is not nothing. What have you got will have more than twenty pounds handy.. there? If you have got nothing, take off Some will buzz better than that.” your glove. Come.”
“Of course I didn't mean that for anyCaptain Clavering became very red in thing more than just a little compliment to the face, and was altogether at a loss what begin with.” to say or do. “Is it money you have got Oh, ah; just a little compliment for there ?" she asked. “Let me see how beginning. And when will it be making much. Come."
a progress and going on?” " It is just a few bank-notes I put in here "Making a progress!" to be handy,” he said.
“Yes; when will the compliment become " Ah; that is very handy, certainly. I a little bigger ? Twenty pounds ! Oh ! never saw that custom before. Let me it's just for a few gloves, you know; nothlook.” Then she took his hand, and with ing more.” her own hooked finger clawed out the notes. “ Nothing more than that, of course,” " Ah! five, ten, fifteen, twenty pounds. said poor Archie. Twenty pounds is not a great deal, but it is “ Well; when will the compliment grow very nice to have even that always handy. bigger? Let me see.
Julie has seven I was wanting so much money as that my- thousands of pounds, what you call
, per self; perhaps you will make it handy to me.” annum. And have you seen that beautiful
word I shall be most happy. park? Oh! And if you can make her to Nothing on earth would give me more look at the moon with her hair down, – oh! pleasure.”
When will that compliment grow bigger ? " Fifty pounds would give me more pleas- Twenty pounds! I am ashamed, you know.” ure; just twice as much pleasure.” Archie “When will you see her, Madame Gordehad begun to rejoice greatly at the safe dis- loup ?” position of the money, and to think how " See her! I see her every day, always. excellently well this Spy did her business; I will be there to-day, and to-morrow, and but now there came upon bim suddenly an the next day." idea that spies perhaps might do their busi- “You might say a word then at once, ness too well.
Twenty pounds in this this afternoon.” country goes a very little way ; you are all “What! for twenty pounds!
Seven so rich," said the Spy:
thousands of pounds per annum; and you “ By George, I ain't. I ain't rich, indeed” give me twenty pounds! Fie, Captain
" But you mean to be — with Julie's Clavering. It is only just for me to speak money ?"
to you, — this ! That is all. Come; when " Oh — ah — yes; and you ought to will you bring me fifty ?' know, Madame Gordeloup, that I am now “ By George, — fifty !” the heir to the family estate and title." " Yes, fifty ; ---for another beginning.
" Yes; the poor little baby is dead, in What; seven thousands of pounds per anspite of the pills and the powders, the dai- num, and make difficulty for fifty pounds ! sies and the buttercups ! Poor little baby! You have a handy way with your glove. I had a baby of my own once, and that died Will you come with fifty pounds to-moralso." Whereupon Madame Gordeloup, row?” Archie, with the drops of perspiraputting up her hand to her eyes, wiped tion standing on his brow, and now desirous away a real tear with the bank-notes which of getting out again into the street, promshe still held. “And I am to remind Julie ised that he would come again on the folthat you will be the heir ?”
lowing day with the required sum.
“ Just for another beginning! And now, given,- as to the return to be made for the good-morning, Captain Clavering. I will money. No plan had been laid down, no do my possible with Julie. Julie is very times fixed, no facilities for making lovefond of me, and I think you have been suggested to him. He had simply paid over right in coming here. But twenty pounds his twenty pounds, and been desired to was too little, even for a beginning.” Mer- bring another fifty. The other fifty he was cenary wretch; hungry, greedy, ill-condi- to take to Mount Street on the morrow. tioned woman, — altogether of the harpy What if she were to require fifty pounds breed ! As Archie Clavering looked into every day, and declare that she could not her grey eyes, and saw there her greed and stir in the matter for less ? Doodles, no her hunger, his flesh crept upon his bồnes. doubt, had told him that these first-class Should he not succeed with Julia, how much Russian spies did well the work for which would this excellent lady cost him ? they were paid; and no doubt, if paid ac
As soon as he was gone the excellent lady cording to her own tariff, Madame Gordemade an intolerable grimace, shaking her- loup would work well for him; but such a self and shrugging her shoulders, and walk- tariff as that was altogether beyond his ing up and down the room with her dirty means! It would be imperatively necessary wrapper held close round her.
that he should come to some distinct settleshe said. “ Bah!” And as she thought of ment with her as to price. The twenty the heavy stupidity of her late visitor she pounds, of course, were gone; but would it shrugged herself and shook herself again not be better that he should come to some violently, and clutched up her robe still final understanding with her before he gave more closely. “Bah!” It was intolerable her the further fifty? But then, as he to her that a man should be such a fool, thought of this, he was aware that she was even though she was to make money by too clever to allow him to do as he desired. him. And then, that such a man should If he went into that room with the fifty conceive it to be possible that he should pounds in his pockets, or in bis glove, or, become the husband of a woman with seven indeed, anywhere about his person, she thousand pounds a year! Bah !
would have it from him, let his own resoluArchie, as he walked away from Mount tion to make a previous bargain be what it Street, found it difficult to create a triumph- might. His respect for the woman rose alant feeling within his own bosom. He had most to veneration, but with the veneration been awkward, slow, and embarrassed, and was mixed a strong feeling of fear. the Spy had been too much for him. He But, in spite of all this, he did venture was quite aware of that, and he was aware to triumph a little when he met Doodles at also that even the sagacious Doodles had the club. He had employed the Russian been wrong. There had, at any rate, been spy, and had paid her twenty pounds, and no necessity for making a difficulty about was enrolled in the corps of diplomatic and the money. The Russian Spy had' known mysterious personages, who do their work her business too well to raise troublesome by mysterious agencies. He did not tell scruples on that point. That she was very Doodles anything about the glove, or the good at her trade he was prepared to ac- way in which the money was taken from knowledge ; but a fear came upon him that him; but he did say that he was to see the he would find the article too costly for his Spy again to-morrow, and that he intended own purposes. He remembered the deter- to take with him another present of fifty mined tone in which she bad demanded the pounds. fifty pounds merely.as a further beginning. “ By George, Clavey, you are going it!”
And then he could not but reflect how said Doodles, in a voice that was delightfully much had been said at the interview about envious to the ears of Captain Archie. money, - about money for her, and how very When he heard that envious tone he felt little had been said as to the assistance to be that he was entitled to be triumphant.