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The boudoir, wholly modern, and furnished entirely after Madame Moreau's own taste, was arranged in imitation of a tent, with ropes of blue silk on a gray background. The classic divan was there, of course, with its pillows and footstools. The plant-stands, taken care of by the head-gardener of Presles, rejoiced the eye with their pyramids of bloom.

M. de Presles followed Dollon down to the library on the ground floor, where his enterprising clerk had already established himself. The magistrate took his seat behind a large table and called to the police sergeant. "I shall ask you to be present during my enquiry, sergeant.

L'Ile-d'Adam was at that time the nearest station; to day it is Presles, on the intermediate line, which they now took. "This is our station," said Madame de Montgeron, when the train stopped at Montsoult.

For four years the Reyberts, cut dead by the handsome Estelle, found themselves the objects of so much animadversion on the part of the adherents of the Moreaus that their position at Presles would not have been endurable without the thought of vengeance which had, so far, supported them.

Inside the hall Juve and M. de Presles ordered Dollon to give them an exact account of the discovery made by Thérèse in the course of the previous night.

M. de Presles was impressed in spite of himself by the detective's earnestness. "But I suppose you are not recommending me to drop the enquiry, are you, Juve?" The detective forced a laugh that did not ring quite true. "Come, come, sir," he answered, "I told you just now that I was frightened, but I never said I was a coward. You may be quite sure I shall do my duty, to the very end.

Before this matter came up, the count had already ordered the chateau of Presles to be restored and refurnished, and for the last year, Grindot, an architect then in fashion, was in the habit of making a weekly visit. So, while concluding his purchase of the farm, Monsieur de Serizy also intended to examine the work of restoration and the effect of the new furniture.

"Surely the presumptions of his guilt, his pseudo-confession, or at least his silence in face of his father's formal accusation, may make us sure he is," said M. de Presles. "There are some presumptions in favour of his innocence too," Juve replied, but with a slight hesitation. The magistrate pressed his point.

"He was bent on owning the estate of Presles, and he will keep it; I know him. Even if he were to have children, Celestine would still have half of what he might leave; the law forbids his giving away all his fortune. Still, these questions are nothing to me; I am only thinking of our honor. Go then, cousin," and he pressed Lisbeth's hand, "and listen carefully to the contract."

When Oscar entered the room she signed to him to sit down beside her, and reminded him in a gentle but grieved voice of the benefits they had so constantly received from the steward of Presles. Most of this would now cease. Monsieur Clapart, she said, had no claim to a pension, his period of service not being long enough to obtain one.