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Camille ALEXANDRE DUMAS FILS CHAPTER 21 "At last you have come," she said, throwing her arms round my neck. "But how pale you are!" I told her of the scene with my father. "My God! I was afraid of it," she said. "When Joseph came to tell you of your father`s arrival I trembled as if he had brought news of some misfortune. My poor friend, I am the cause of all your distress. You will be better off, perhaps, if you leave me and do not quarrel with your father on my account. He knows that you are sure to have a mistress, and he ought to be thankful that it is I, since I love you and do not want more of you than your position allows. Did you tell him how we had arranged our future?" "Yes; that is what annoyed him the most, for he saw how much we really love one another." "What are we to do, then?" "Hold together, my good Marguerite, and let the storm pass over." "Will it pass?" "It will have to." "But your father will not stop there." "What do you suppose he can do?" "How do I know? Everything that a father can do to make his son obey him. He will remind you of my past life, and will perhaps do me the honour of inventing some new story, so that you may give me up." "You know that I love you." "Yes, but what I know, too, is that, sooner or later, you will have to obey your father, and perhaps you will end by believing him." "No, Marguerite. It is I who will make him believe me. Some of his friends have been telling him tales which have made him angry; but he is good and just, he will change his first impression; and then, after all, what does it matter to me?" "Do not say that, Armand. I would rather anything should happen than that you should quarrel with your family; wait till after to-day, and to-morrow go back to Paris. Your father, too, will have thought it over on his side, and perhaps you will both come to a better understanding. Do not go against his principles, pretend to make some concessions to what he wants; seem not to care so very much about me, and he will let things remain as they are. Hope, my friend, and be sure of one thing, that whatever happens, Marguerite will always be yours." "You swear it?" "Do I need to swear it?" How sweet it is to let oneself be persuaded by the voice that one loves! Marguerite and I spent the whole day in talking over our projects for the future, as if we felt the need of realizing them as quickly as possible. At every moment we awaited some event, but the day passed without bringing us any new tidings. Next day I left at ten o`clock, and reached the hotel about twelve. My father had gone out. I went to my own rooms, hoping that he had perhaps gone there. No one had called. I went to the solicitor`s. No one was there. I went back to the hotel, and waited till six. M. Duval did not return, and I went back to Bougival. I found Marguerite not waiting for me, as she had been the day before, but sitting by the fire, which the weather still made necessary. She was so absorbed in her thoughts that I came close to her chair without her hearing me. When I put my lips to her forehead she started as if the kiss had suddenly awakened her. "You frightened me," she said. "And your father?" "I have not seen him. I do not know what it means. He was not at his hotel, nor anywhere where there was a chance of my finding him." "Well, you must try again to-morrow." "I am very much inclined to wait till he sends for me. I think I have done all that can be expected of me." "No, my friend, it is not enough; you must call on your father again, and you must call to-morrow." "Why to-morrow rather than any other day?" "Because," said Marguerite, and it seemed to me that she blushed slightly at this question, "because it will show that you are the more keen about it, and he will forgive us the sooner." For the remainder of the day Marguerite was sad and preoccupied. I had to repeat twice over everything I said to her to obtain an answer. She ascribed this preoccupation to her anxiety in regard to the events which had happened during the last two days. I spent the night in reassuring her, and she sent me away in the morning with an insistent disquietude that I could not explain to myself. Again my father was absent, but he had left this letter for me: "If you call again to-day, wait for me till four. If I am not in by four, come and dine with me to-morrow. I must see you." I waited till the hour he had named, but he did not appear. I returned to Bougival. The night before I had found Marguerite sad; that night I found her feverish and agitated. On seeing me, she flung her arms around my neck, but she cried for a long time in my arms. I questioned her as to this sudden distress, which alarmed me by its violence. She gave me no positive reason, but put me off with those evasions which a woman resorts to when she will not tell the truth. When she was a little calmed down, I told her the result of my visit, and I showed her my father`s letter, from which, I said, we might augur well. At the sight of the letter and on hearing my comment, her tears began to flow so copiously that I feared an attack of nerves, and, calling Nanine, I put her to bed, where she wept without a word, but held my hands and kissed them every moment. I asked Nanine if, during my absence, her mistress had received any letter or visit which could account for the state in which I found her, but Nanine replied that no one had called and nothing had been sent. ... - tailieumienphi.vn