The cashier hesitated no longer. Taking up a candle from the table, he opened the door leading to the parlor, and, standing respectfully to one side:
"Be kind enough to pass on, sir," said he: "I follow you."
And, at the moment of disappearing himself,
"Continue to dine without me," said he to his guests, with a last effort at self-control. "I shall soon catch up with you. This will take but a moment. Do not be uneasy in the least."
They were not uneasy, but surprised, and, above all, shocked at the manners of M. de Thaller.
"What a brute!" muttered Mme. Desclavettes.
M. Desormeaux, the head clerk at the Department of Justice, was an old legitimist, much imbued with re-actionary ideas.
"Such are our masters," said he with a sneer, "the high barons of financial feudality. Ah! you are indignant at the arrogance of the old aristocracy; well, on your knees, by Jupiter! on your face, rather, before the golden crown on field of gules."