A NEW FRIEND
I RAPPED on the table, called a waitress, and ordered a bottle of light wine, which I knew would not hurt me.
"Send for Mademoiselle Florine," and before many seconds were gone that lady presented herself, and perched upon the edge of the table where I sat. Her humour was gay, her laugh was keen; she smiled and asked, "Has Monsieur forgiven?" with such a penitent little look I bade her be at ease.
"Mademoiselle, sit down, I pray you," and she saw by my serious face I was in no mood for chaffing, so she seated herself with a pretty air of attention. I could see the fellow at the dice watching, but now he appeared quite satisfied I intended to stay and drink with the girl. She was evidently a great favourite with the habitues of the place. He looked at me less frequently than at the door, and I guessed he expected Yvard's return.
Now I grew certain. Yvard had merely gone down the stair to see if he had dropped the papers in the fight. As soon as he found they were not there I felt morally certain he would come and demand them of me. I had begun the game, and must play out the hand. So