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   Chapter 29 THE MARQUISE DE PREROLLES

Zibeline, Complete By Phillipe de Massa Characters: 3426

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:03


The next day a special train landed the fair patronesses at the station of Presles, whence Zibeline's carriages conducted them to Valpendant.

The deed of gift was signed before M. Durand and his colleague, a notary of Pontoise.

This formality fulfilled, M. Desvanneaux, whose own role, for a moment overshadowed, appeared to him to renew its importance, took the floor and said:

"It remains to us, Mesdames, to assure the support of the Orphan Asylum by means of an annual income."

"The Marquis and the Marquise de Prerolles assume this responsibility," said the ministerial officer, treasurer of the Asylum. "This mutual engagement will form the object of a special clause in the drawing up of their contract."

In this way was the news of the approaching marriage between Valentine and Henri announced to the Society.

"The little intriguer!" murmured the churchwarden, nudging the elbow of his Maegera.

The General, who noted the effect which this announcement had produced upon the peevish pair, divined the malicious words upon the hypocritical lips. He drew the husband aside, and put one hand upon his shoulder.

"Desvanneaux," he said, "you have known me twenty-five years, and you know that I am a man of my word. If ever a malevolent word from you regarding my wife should come to my ears, I shall elongate yours to such a degree that those of King Midas will be entirely eclipsed! Remember that!"

The ceremony took place six weeks later, in the church of St. Honore-d'Eylau, which was not large enough to hold the numerous public and the brilliant corps of officers that assisted.

The witnesses for the bridegroom were the military governor of Paris and the Duc de Montgeron.

Those of the bride were the aide-de-camp General Lenaieff, in full uniform, wearing an astrachan cap and a white cloak with the Russian eagle fastened in the fur; and the Chevalier de Sainte-Foy.

On the evening before, a last letter from his former mistress had come to the General:

"I have heard all the details of your romance, my dear Henri. Its

conclusion is according to all dramatic rules, and I congratulate

you without reserve.

"If, on the eve of contracting this happy union, an examination of

your conscience should suggest to you some remorse for having

abandoned me so abruptly, let me say that no shadow, not even the

lightest, must cloud the serenity of this joyous day: I am about to

leave the stage forever, to become the wife of the Baron de

Samoreau!

"Always affectionately yours,

"EUGENIE GONTIER."

ETEXT EDITOR'S BOOKMARKS:

All that was illogical in our social code

Ambiguity has no place, nor has compromise

But if this is our supreme farewell, do not tell me so!

Chain so light yesterday, so heavy to-day

Every man is his own master in his choice of liaisons

If I do not give all I give nothing

Indulgence of which they stand in need themselves

Life goes on, and that is less gay than the stories

Men admired her; the women sought some point to criticise

Only a man, wavering and changeable

Ostensibly you sit at the feast without paying the cost

Paris has become like a little country town in its gossip

The night brings counsel

Their Christian charity did not extend so far as that

There are mountains that we never climb but once

You are in a conquered country, which is still more dangerous

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