"Now, then," he resumed, "never mind M. de Tregars: let us talk ofthe woman, who, you seem to think, has been the cause of M. Favoral'sruin."On the table before him lay the paper in which Maxence had read inthe morning the terrible article headed: Another Financial Disaster.""I know nothing of that woman," he replied; "but it must be easy tofind out, since the writer of this article pretends to know."The commissary smiled, not having quite as much faith in newspapersas Maxence seemed to have.
"Yes, I read that," he said.
"We might send to the office of that paper," suggested Mlle. Lucienne.
"I have already sent, my child."And, without noticing the surprise of Maxence and of the young girl,he rang the bell, and asked whether his secretary had returned. Thesecretary answered by appearing in person.
"Well?" inquired the commissary.
"I have attended to the matter, sir," he replied. "I saw thereporter who wrote the article in question; and, after beating aboutthe bush for some time, he finally confessed that he knew nothingmore than had been published, and that he had obtained hisinformation from two intimate friends of the cashier, M. Costeclarand M. Saint Pavin.""You should have gone to see those gentlemen.""I did.""Very well. What then?""Unfortunately, M. Costeclar had just gone out. As to M. SaintPavin, I found him at the office of his paper, 'The Financial Pilot.'
He is a coarse and vulgar personage, and received me like apickpocket. I had even a notion to -""Never mind that! Go on.""He was closeted with another gentleman, a banker, named Jottras,of the house of Jottras and Brother. They were both in a terriblerage, swearing like troopers, and saying that the Favoraldefalcation would ruin them; that they had been taken in like fools,but that they were not going to take things so easy, and they werepreparing a crushing article."But he stopped, winking, and pointing to Maxence and Mlle. Lucienne,who were listening as attentively as they could.
Tips, opportunities to make money：Lying on the Internet to make money"Speak, speak!" said the commissary. "Fear nothing.""Well," he went on, "M. Saint Pavin and M. Jottras were saying thatM. Favoral was only a poor dupe, but that they would know how tofind the others.""What others?""Ah! they didn't say."The commissary shrugged his shoulders.
"What!" he exclaimed, "you find yourself in presence of two menfurious to have been duped, who swear and threaten, and you can'tget from them a name that you want? You are not very smart,my dear!"And as the poor secretary, somewhat put out of countenance, lookeddown, and said nothing,"Did you at least ask them," he resumed, "who the woman is to whomthe article refers, and whose existence they have revealed to thereporter?""Of course I did, sir.""And what did they answer?""That they were not spies, and had nothing to say, M. Saint Pavinadded, however, that he had said it without much thought, and onlybecause he had once seen M. Favoral buying a three thousand francsbracelet, and also because it seemed impossible to him that a manshould do away with millions without the aid of a woman."The commissary could not conceal his ill humor.
Tips, opportunities to make money：What do I do now make money online?"Of course!" he grumbled. "Since Solomon said, 'Look for the woman'
(for it was King Solomon who first said it), every fool thinks itsmart to repeat with a cunning look that most obvious of truths.
What next?""M. Saint Pavin politely invited me to go to - well, not here."The commissary wrote rapidly a few lines, put them in an envelope,which he sealed with his private seal, and handed it to hissecretary, saying,"That will do. Take this to the prefecture yourself." And, afterthe secretary had gone out,"Well, M. Maxence," he said, "you have heard?" Of course he had.
Only Maxence was thinking much less of what he had just heard thanof the strange interest this commissary had taken in his affairs,even before he had seen him.
"I think," he stammered, "that it is very unfortunate the womancannot be found."With a gesture full of confidence,"Be easy," said the commissary: "she shall be found. A woman cannotswallow millions at that rate, without attracting attention.
Believe me, we shall find her, unless -"He paused for a moment, and, speaking slowly and emphatically,"Unless," he added, "she should have behind her a very skillful andvery prudent man. Or else that she should be in a situation whereher extravagance could not have created any scandal."Mlle. Lucienne started. She fancied she understood the commissary'sidea, and could catch a glimpse of the truth.
"Good heavens!" she murmured.
But Maxence didn't notice any thing, his mind being wholly bent uponfollowing the commissary's deductions.
"Or unless," he said, "my father should have received almost nothingfor his share of the enormous sums subtracted from the Mutual Credit,in which case he could have given relatively but little to that woman.
M.Saint Pavin himself acknowledges that my father has beenegregiously taken in.""By whom?""Maxence hesitated for a moment.