Even at the time of his greatest follies, Maxence had always had for his sister a fraternal affection. He admired her from the day she had stood up before him to reproach him for his misconduct. He envied her her quiet determination, her patient tenacity, and that calm energy that never failed her.
"Have patience, my poor Gilberte," he added: "the day is not far, I hope, when I may commence to repay you all you have done for me. I have not lost my time since you restored me my reason. I have arranged with my creditors. I have found a situation, which, if not brilliant, is at least sufficiently lucrative to enable me before long to offer you, as well as to our mother, a peaceful retreat."
"But it is to-morrow," interrupted Mme. Favoral, "to-morrow that your father is to bring M. Costeclar. He has said so, and he will do it."
And so he did. About two o'clock in the afternoon M. Favoral and his protege arrived in the Rue St. Gilles, in that famous coupe with the two horses, which excited the wonder of the neighbors.
But Mlle. Gilberte bad her plan ready. She was on the lookout; and, as soon as she heard the carriage stop, she ran to her room, undressed in a twinkling, and went to bed.
When her father came for her, and saw her in bed, he remained surprised and puzzled on the threshold of the door.
"And yet I'll make you come into the parlor!" he said in a hoarse voice.
"Then you must carry me there as I am," she said in a tone of defiance; "for I shall certainly not get up."