"Ah, that is a longer story. I went one day with Mademoiselle when she was going to see a friend in the Rue Marboeuf. She waited at a corner of the street, and beckoned me to her. 'Florestan,' said she, 'I forgot to post this letter; go and do so; I will wait here for you.' "
"No. I thought there was something wrong. She wants to get rid of you, so, instead of posting it, I slunk behind a tree and waited. I had hardly done so, when the young fellow I had seen at the chapel came round the corner; but I scarcely knew him. He was dressed just like a working man, in a blouse all over plaster. They talked for about ten minutes, and Mademoiselle Sabine gave him what looked like a photograph."
By this time the bottle was empty, and Florestan was about to call for another, when Mascarin checked him, saying--
"Not to-day; it is growing late, and I must tell you what I want you to do for me. Is the Count at home now?"
"Of course he is; he has not left his room for two days, owing to having slipped going downstairs."
"Well, my lad, I must see your master; and if I sent up my card, the odds are he would not see me, so I rely upon you to show me up without announcing me."
Florestan remained silent for a few minutes.
"It is no easy job," he muttered, "for the Count does not like unexpected visitors, and the Countess is with him just now. However, as I am not going to stay, I'll chance it."