I shall need a little time, however, and the best plan will be for me to tell you of the result of my researches when I next come to Paris. And if it suits you you will find me to-day fortnight, at two o'clock, at Broquette's office in the Rue Roquepine. I am quite at home there, and the place is like a tomb."
Amid exclamations of joyous surprise, the nurse-agent explained that she had arrived by the night train with a batch of nurses, and had started on her round of visits as soon as she had deposited them in the Rue Roquepine. "After bidding Celeste good-day in passing," said she, "I intended to call on you, my dear lady. But since you are here, we can settle our accounts here, if you are agreeable."
Only I must first make a call in the Rue Roquepine to choose a nurse. It won't take me long, I hope. Quick! let us be off." When they were together in the brougham, Boutan told Mathieu that it was precisely for the Seguins that he was going to the nurse-agency. There was a terrible time at the house in the Avenue d'Antin.
"I dare say you have never been in such a place, although you are the father of five children," said Boutan to Mathieu, gayly. "No, I haven't." "Well, then, come with me. One ought to know everything." The office in the Rue Roquepine was the most important and the one with the best reputation in the district.
I supply several offices, but more particularly Madame Broquette's office in the Rue Roquepine. It's a very respectable place, where one runs no risk of being deceived And so, if you like, madame, I will choose the very best I can find for you the pick of the bunch, so to say. I know the business thoroughly, and you can rely on me."
But to send a child away to be nursed means almost certain death; and as for the nurse in the house, that is a shameful transaction, a source of incalculable evil, for both the employer's child and the nurse's child frequently die from it." Just then the doctor's brougham drew up outside the nurse-agency in the Rue Roquepine.
I wish to question that woman myself. I want to be quite certain on the matter." In spite of the lapse of fifteen years Broquette's nurse-office in the Rue Roquepine had remained the same as formerly, except that Madame Broquette was dead and had been succeeded by her daughter Herminie.