The Fromonts, who irritated Monsieur Chebe so much and who formed the aristocracy of the ball, the president of the Chamber of Commerce, the syndic of the solicitors, a famous chocolate-manufacturer and member of the Corps Legislatif, and the old millionaire Gardinois, all retired shortly after midnight. Georges Fromont and his wife entered their carriage behind them.

The Fromonts, who irritated Monsieur Chebe so much and who formed the aristocracy of the ball, the president of the Chamber of Commerce, the syndic of the solicitors, a famous chocolate-manufacturer and member of the Corps Legislatif, and the old millionaire Gardinois, all retired shortly after midnight. Georges Fromont and his wife entered their carriage behind them.

While the whole chateau was thus transformed in obedience to the whims of a young woman, old Gardinois continued to lead the narrow life of a discontented, idle, impotent 'parvenu'. The most successful means of distraction he had discovered was espionage.

To go and ask M. Gardinois for a hundred thousand francs M. Gardinois, a man who boasted that he had never borrowed or loaned a sou in his life, who never lost an opportunity to tell how, on one occasion, being driven to ask his father for forty francs to buy a pair of trousers, he had repaid the loan in small amounts.

When Grandfather Gardinois came to Paris, however, he never failed to bring the two families together. The old peasant's gayety, for its freer expansion, needed little Sidonie, who did not take alarm at his jests.

In his dealings with everybody, even with his children, M. Gardinois followed those traditions of avarice which the earth, the cruel earth, often ungrateful to those who till it, seems to inculcate in all peasants. The old man did not intend that any part of his colossal fortune should go to his children during his lifetime. "They'll find my property when I am dead," he often said.

I'll tell her so one of these days, if she shows me too much of her pride; and I'll tell her, too, that their little imp, although they don't suspect it, looks just like that old Pere Gardinois, and heaven knows he isn't handsome." "Oh!" exclaims Risler, unable to find words to reply. "Oh! yes, of course! I advise you to admire their child. She's always ill. She cries all night like a little cat.

Since he had purchased his chateau, old Gardinois had done nothing but injure the beauty of the beautiful property chance had placed in his hands; cut down trees "for the view," filled his park with rough obstructions to keep out trespassers, and reserved all his solicitude for a magnificent kitchen-garden, which, as it produced fruit and vegetables in abundance, seemed to him more like his own part of the country the land of the peasant.

M. Gardinois might deplore in her presence, for hours at a time, the perversity of tradesmen and servants, or make an estimate of what was being stolen from him each month, each week, every day, every minute; Madame Fromont might enumerate her grievances against the mice, the maggots, dust and dampness, all desperately bent upon destroying her property, and engaged in a conspiracy against her wardrobes; not a word of their foolish talk remained in Claire's mind.

Old Gardinois, wondering greatly to see a tall young woman in place of the child he was expecting to see, considered her prettier and, above all, better dressed than Claire.