Days passed, and months. Naturally the magis- trates were unable to discover anything, and finally they abandoned the investigation. Their opinion was that the crime was the work of expert burglars from Paris. Paris has a broad back. Go look for them in the heap!
This negative result made Madame indignant. She railed violently at the magistracy, which could not recover her silver service. But nevertheless she did not give up hope of finding ' ' the cruet of Louis XVI," as Joseph called it. Every day she concocted new and outlandish schemes, which she sent to the magistrates, who, tiring at last of all this nonsense, did not even answer her. At last I was reassured concerning Joseph ; for I was always afraid that some catastrophe wojild overtake him.
Joseph had again become silent and devoted, the family servant, the rare pearl. I cannot help puf&ng with laughter at the recollection of a con- versation which, on the very day of the robbery, I overheard behind the door of the salon, between Madame and the prosecuting attorney, a dry little man, with thin lips and bilious complexion, whose profile was as sharp as the edge of a sword.
' ' You do not suspect anybody among your peo- ple? " asked the prosecuting attorney. "Your coachman? "
"Joseph! " cried Madame, sc