He heard from M. Chapelain that Maxence remained whole weeks at a time without appearing at the office. If he had not complained before, it was because he had yielded to the urgent entreaties of Mme. Favoral; and he was now glad, he added, of an opportunity to relieve his conscience by a full confession.
Thus the cashier discovered, one by one, all his son's tricks. He heard that he was almost unknown at the law-school, that he spent his days in the cafes, and that, in the evening, when he believed him in bed and asleep, he was in fact running out to theatres and to balls.
"Ah! that's the way, is it?" he thought. "Ah, my wife and children are in league against me, - me, the master. Very well, we'll see."
From that morning war was declared.
From that day commenced in the Rue St. Gilles one of those domestic dramas which are still awaiting their Moliere, - a drama of distressing vulgarity and sickening realism, but poignant, nevertheless; for it brought into action tears, blood, and a savage energy.
M. Favoral thought himself sure to win; for did he not have the key of the cash, and is not the key of the cash the most formidable weapon in an age where every thing begins and ends with money?
Nevertheless, he was filled with irritating anxieties.
He who had just discovered so many things which he did not even suspect a few days before, he could not discover the source whence his son drew the money which flowed like water from his prodigal hands.