'Thanks; I leave you,' said the visitor, in a hurry to get outside again. 'Send me my letter, with the ten lines of translation. I expect some others, and we will settle for them all together.'
The attack being over, however, Busch detained him a moment longer. 'By the way,' said he, 'the lady who was here just now used to know you—oh! a long time ago.'
'Ah! where was that?'
'In the Rue de la Harpe, in '52.'
Despite his usual perfect mastery over himself, Saccard turned pale. A nervous twitch distorted his mouth. Not that he, at that minute, remembered the girl whom he had wronged; he had never even known of her becoming a mother, he was ignorant of the existence of the child. But he always greatly disliked being reminded of the wretched years of his début in life.
'Rue de la Harpe! Oh! I only lived there a week, at the time of my arrival in Paris, just long enough to look for rooms. Au revoir!'
'Au revoir!' emphatically answered Busch, who deceived himself with the idea that Saccard's embarrassment implied confession, and who was already wondering how largely he might profit by the adventure.
Tips, opportunities to make money：National Day online earning ideasOn finding himself in the street, Saccard mechanically turned back towards the Place de la Bourse. He was trembling, and did not even look at little Madame Conin, whose[Pg 43] pretty blonde face was smiling in the doorway of the stationery shop. The agitation had increased on the Place; it was with uncurbed flood-tide violence that the clamour of the speculators swept across the roadway to the footwalks swarming with people. It was the last roar, the roar which bursts forth as soon as the clock points to a quarter to three, the battle of the last quotations, the rageful longing to know who will come away with his pockets full. And, standing at the corner of the Rue de la Bourse, opposite the peristyle, Saccard fancied that, amid all the confused jostling under the columns he could recognise 'bear' Moser and 'bull' Pillerault quarrelling, and that he could hear the shrill voice of broker Mazaud coming from the depths of the great hall, but drowned occasionally by the shouts of Nathansohn, sitting under the clock in the coulisse. However, a vehicle, fringing the gutter as it drove up, came near spattering him with mud. Massias leaped out, even before the driver had stopped, and darted up the steps at a bound, bringing, quite out of breath, some customer's last order.
Tips, opportunities to make money：Write a novel from the Internet?And Saccard, still motionless and erect, with his eyes fixed on the mêlée above him, ruminated over his life, haunted by the memory of his beginnings, which Busch's question had just awakened. He recalled the Rue de la Harpe, and then the Rue Saint-Jacques, through which he had dragged his boots, worn down at heel, on arriving in Paris to subdue it like a conquering adventurer; and a fury seized him at the thought that he had not subdued it yet, that he was again upon the pavement, still watching for fortune, still unsatisfied, tortured by such an appetite for enjoyment that never had he suffered more. That mad fellow Sigismond was right: labour cannot give one life; merely wretches and fools labour, to fatten the others. There was only gambling that was worth anything—gambling which in one afternoon can at one stroke bring comfort, luxury, life, broad and entire. Even if this old social world were fated to crumble some day, could not a man like himself still find time and room to satisfy his desires before the Downfall?
Tips, opportunities to make money：What is online voting?But just then a passer-by jostled him without even turning[Pg 44] to apologise. He looked, and recognised Gundermann taking his little walk for his health, and saw him enter a confectioner's, whence this gold king sometimes brought a franc box of bonbons to his grand-daughters. And that elbow-thrust, at that minute, in the fit of fever that had been rising in him since he had begun the circuit of the Bourse, was like the whip-stroke, the last shove that determined him. He had completed his investment of the fortress, now he would make the assault. He swore to begin a merciless struggle; he would not leave France, he would defy his brother, he would play the final rubber, a battle of terrible audacity, which should either put Paris beneath his heels or throw him into the gutter with a broken back.
Until the moment when the Bourse closed Saccard obstinately lingered there, erect at his post of menace and observation. He watched the peristyle clearing, the steps blackening again as the whole fagged, heated crowd slowly scattered. Both on the foot and roadways around him the block continued—an endless flow of people, the eternal crowd of future victims, the investors of to-morrow, who could not pass that great lottery office of speculation without turning their heads, curious and fearful as to what might be going on there, as to all those mysterious financial operations which are the more attractive to French brains as they are penetrated by so few of them.
When, after his last and disastrous land speculation, Saccard had been obliged to leave his palace in the Parc Monceau, which he abandoned to his creditors in order to avoid a yet greater catastrophe, his first idea had been to take refuge with his son Maxime. The latter, since the death of his wife, now sleeping in a little cemetery in Lombardy, had been living alone in a mansion in the Avenue de l'Impératrice, where he had planned out his life with a prudent and ferocious egoism. There he spent the fortune of the deceased, methodically, without ever overstepping the bounds, like a man in feeble health whom vice had prematurely ripened; and it was in a clear voice that he refused to lodge his father in his house, wishing, he explained with his smiling, prudent air, that they might continue on good terms together.
Saccard thereupon thought of some other retreat, and was on the point of taking a little house at Passy, a retired merchant's bourgeois asylum, when he recollected that the first and second floors of the Orviedo mansion, in the Rue Saint-Lazare, were still unoccupied, with doors and windows closed. The Princess d'Orviedo, who had withdrawn into three rooms on the second floor since her husband's death, had not even put up any notice 'To Let' at the carriage entrance, where the weeds were growing. A low door at the other end of the fa?ade led to the second storey by a servants' staircase. And in the course of his business relations with the Princess, during the visits that he paid her, Saccard had often been astonished at the negligence which she showed in the matter of deriving some profit from her property. But she shook her[Pg 46] head in reply to his remarks; she had theories of her own as to money matters. However, when he applied in his own name, she consented at once, and for the ridiculous rent of ten thousand francs made over to him both the sumptuous ground and first floors, decorated in princely fashion, and worth certainly double the money.