Did he not tell me at first he had not seen this maid after Amberieux at 8 P.M.? Now he admits that he was drinking with her at the buffet at Laroche. It is all a tissue of lies, his losing the pocket-book and his papers too. There is something to conceal. Even his sleepiness, his stupidity, are likely to have been assumed."

"Oh, indeed? and when was that?" "Last night, at Amberieux, as I have already told that gentleman." She pointed to M. Floçon, who was obliged to nod his head. "Well, she has gone away somewhere. It does not much matter, still it is odd, and for your sake we should like to help you to find her, if you do wish to find her?" Another little trap which failed.

The porter," here she pointed to the man, who stood staring at her from the other side of the table, "he made difficulties about her being in the car, saying that she came too often, stayed too long, that I must pay for her berth, and so on. I did not see why I should do that; so she stayed away." "Except from time to time?" "Precisely." "And the last time was at Amberieux?"

"But she is not implicated; she was not in the car. I have not seen her since " "Since?" repeated M. Floçon, after a pause. "Since last night, at Amberieux, about eight o'clock. She helped me to undress, and saw me to bed. I sent her away then, and said I should not need her till we reached Paris. But I want her now, indeed I do." "She did not come to you at Laroche?" "No. Have I not said so?

But she came a little too often, and I was compelled to protest, to speak to Madame la Comtesse " "She was a countess, then?" "The maid addressed her by that title. That is all I know. I heard her." "When did you see the lady's maid last?" "Last night. I think at Amberieux. about 8 p.m." "Not this morning?" "No, sir, I am quite sure of that." "Not at Laroche?