"Are you surprised at this?" asked Mascarin, with a sneer.
"How could I anticipate such an infidelity, when only the evening before she swore by all she held most sacred that she loved me only? Why did she lie to me? Did she write to make the blow fall heavier? When I ascended the staircase, I was picturing to myself her joy when I told her of your kind promises to me. For more than an hour I remained in my garret, overwhelmed with the terrible thought that I should never see her again."
Mascarin watched Paul attentively, and came to the conclusion that his words were too fine for his grief to be sincere.
"But what about the accusation of theft?"
"I am coming to that," returned the young man. "I then determined to obey your injunctions and leave the Hotel de Perou, with which I was more than ever disgusted. I went downstairs to settle with Madame Loupins, when ah! hideous disgrace! As I handed her the two weeks' rent, she asked me with a contemptuous sneer, where I had stolen the money from?"
Mascarin secretly chuckled over the success of his plans thus announced by Paul.
"Nothing, sir; I was too horror-stricken; the man Loupins came up, and both he and his wife scowled at me threateningly. After a short pause, they asserted that they were perfectly sure that Rose and I had robbed M. Tantaine."
"But did you not deny this monstrous charge?"