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Really, my little fell oio," said Nana, thrusting him back with 
panther -like strength. (Seep. 85.) 






Teaitslated rPvOii the 25th French Edition 



286 S. Water St. 


In view of presenting — successfully if it be possible — a 
contrary thesis to your own on the hereditary character of vice, 
we have ventured to borrow the name of your heroine, the 
" NANA " 80 ably stripped by you in a work, which if it docs 
not found a school, will fix a date in Literature. 

But with the object of rendering this woman still more odious, 
wo pick her out of the gutter, in which you let hor wallow for 
five hundred pages, and raise her to a commanding position in 
Parisian galanterie. 

Her language greatly profits by this change of fortune, and so 
our book, destitute of the crudity of expression which has per- 
haps contributed to the stir occasioned by your work, claims to 
be " natural " rather than " natiuralistic. " 

And now, dear brother-author, will you excuse the very great 
liberty we have taken in giving your daughter a child, between 

The very sincere admirers of your talent, 

Alfred Sirven aotd H. Leverdler. 



The commissary of police put on Ms spectacles and asked : 
" Tour name, madame ? " 

" My name ? Why every one knows it in Paris ; and you must 
certainly have heard of me. " 

" Perhaps so ; who are you, pray? " 

" Why, Nana, of course." 

" But you have a family name, no doubt? " 

"A famOy name, I? Come, sir, don't you understand my 
position ? Ever since Pve known myself I've rolled about with- 
out any family ties. A person like me can't have a family name, 
of course." 

" Then you ought to know better than any one else, how 
needful a mother is to a child ; for if your own mother had not 
abandoned you, you would not be what you are. " 

" You are mistaken, sir. I was made for that. And besides, 
why should I do for my daughter what others haven't done for 

'' Because it seems to me that you are in a position to bring 
her up, if not in your own house, at least at yom- expense. You 
are elegantly attired, you have come here in a carriage, you 
have servants " 

" But all that isn't mine. It belongs to my protector. I'm 
Mke the Jesuits — excuse the comparison — nothing is mine, not 
even myself. I'm my protector's property. My horses, my 
furniture, my jewels, my dresses, aU belong to him. Ho has 
bought them all and so they are his. He has treated himself to 
a complete estabUshment, a woman, horses and dogs ; but then 
he hates brats. So, come, have I the right to keep a brat ? No, 
it wasn't set down in the contract. " 

" But the child is his like all the rest." 

" Oh, dear no, the child wasn't down on the hst." 

" Then it is not his 'i " 

" The poor feUow never had anything to do with it. Ho 
never cared to have any children with his gi-eat ladies, and yet 
you fancy that with me — Oh ! really now, you are over- 
flattering 1 " 

1 8 nana's daughter. 

" But who is the father then ? " 

" Oh ! an idiot, a fool, for whom I nad five minutes' fancy. It 
cost me a brat. The idea of it ! Luckily the Foimdling Hos- 
pital wasn't built for dogs. Its business is to care for the 
children of women like me. Nana isn't a mother you know, 
she's a harlot. " 

" But couldn't you change your life and work, you are so 
young ? " 

" Change I Can I ? Have you ever seen an animal change 
its species ? I'm an animal, I am, and I can't be anything else. 
I don't reason, I'm guided by instinct like a hound. And my 
game is man. When I say man, I mean a swell with heaps of 
gold and plenty of bank-notes. As for the needy feUows, I don't 
care for them. A fellow who's hard up is no longer a man. " 

" Could you tell me the father's name 1 " 

" I can't teU it. It would do me harm. He was the only 
real lover I ever indulged in ; and you see my reward ? " 

For a moment the magistrate remained thoughtful, asking 
himself if he ought not to compel this mother to keep her child, 
and if it were right for him to saddle the poor relief fimds with 
the expense of bringing up a worthless woman's progeny. But, 
suddenly, a more serious point was presented to his conscience. 
A sold was brought to him to save ; had he the right to throw 
it back into the sewer ? The claims of morahty rose up vividly. 
It was the child's interest that she should be rescued from 
maternal contamination, and the profit of society would be an 
honest girl. He made up his mind. Virginie, Nana's maid, 
held the baby, who was asleep. The mother, bored by the 
various administrative formalities, was taking an inventory of 
the oflice, and reading the titles of the diiferent legal works in 
the book-case. The gilt lettering on the backs of the volumes 
sparkled in the clear, gay, August sunshine. The magistrate 
took a note of the particidars which he had been furnished with, 
and thought of the child, weighing its destiny in his mind. 
Nana, leaning toward the glass door of the book-case, spelled out 
loud the titles of the books which attracted her curiosity. 

" 'Manual of Judicial and Administrative Police,' " she read; 
" that must be funny. How I should like to belong to the police. 
Merely to find out what goes on among real ladies. ' The Eegu- 
lations of Authorized Prostitution ' ; ' The Public Morahty Police 
Service' ; ' Encyclopedia of Games and Gambling'; Encyclopedia 
of French Law ' " 

However, the commissary interrupted her. " I must tell you, " 
said he, " that in accordance with the regulations of the Found- 
ling Hospital, you will not be able to see your daughter, nor 
wm you even know where she may be placed." 

"Why is that, sir?" 

" Because, by abandoning your child, you abdicate aU right 

nana's daughter. 19 

over her. The Poor Relief Board takes your place and becomes 
the legal guardian. The child is considered to he an orphan, 
and you are presumed to he dead. " 

" That's just; you are right. Well, let it be so; I like that 

" Have you the child's certificate of birth with you? " 

" Yes ; here it is. " 

" Good. Now I will furnish you with an order for admission 
into the Foundling Hospital. " And having summoned his secre- 
tary, the commissary said to him: "It is an order for the 

The secretary sat down, and then, in a clear and somewhat 
strident voice, the commissary dictated as follows : 

1st Division — 5th Bureau, 

Paris, the 14th August, 1860. 
" I request the director of the Foundling Hospital, Rue 
d'Enfer, to receive from the bearer of the present note, and pro- 
vide provisionally for the maintenance of, a child of the feminine 
sex, bom on the 28th July of the present year, and entered, the 
same day, on the registry of births of the Eighth Arrondissment, 
under the name of Nanette ; the father beiug unknown, and the 
mother declaring herself unable to bring up her child, as her 
position is that of a kept woman, which facts are duly set forth 
in our proc6s verbal of this date, transmitted to the Prefect of 
Pohce, by whom this provisional admission will be ratified. 

" The Commissary of Police of the 
" Eighth Arroistoissment. " 

The commissary signed this order, and then said to his secre- 
tary, ** Now draw up a bulletin of information for the director of 
the hospital. I have taken notes of the needful particulars. 
Here they are. And make haste. The papers must be sent at 

He placed the order of admission ia an envelope. " Shall you 
take the child to the hospital yourself, madame ? " he asked. 

"Oh dear, no! I don't care for hospitals — and besides, it 
woidd make me feel queer to leave my baby in such a place. 
Virginie shall take her. I'll pay the cab. " 

" I have no objection to offer. You are free to send the child. 
All the formahties are accomph^hed. " 

" Ah 1 so much the better. Come, Virginie. Your servant, 
sir. " 

The commissary made a pretense of bowing, and then Nana 
caught up her lace train with serpentine grace and left the 
room, followed by her maid, who carried the poor child. Down- 
stairs, in the street, the tall, long-legged, English horses wer? 
pawing impatiently. The coachman, who looked superb witli 

20 nana's daughter. 

his thick-set, correctly-trimmea, black whiskers^ aH but stood, 
onlliis box with dignified stifihess. The color of the every was 
mo.isquetaire blue, like the panels of the landau. Both coach- 
man and footman wore breeches and white-silk stockings. The 
door of the carriage had a silver handle, and an artist had 
painted on it a Gothic N, surmounted by a coronet. 

A number of loiterers were assembhng in the belief that the 
carriage was the Emperor's; and they became speU-boimd with 
admiration for Nana's imperial beauty, as she appeared on the 
threshold of the commissary's ofiice, holding up her blue faille 
skirt and displaying her satin Louis XV. shoes, the high heels 
of which were spanned with gold. Her hair gleamed like an 
aureole around her low brow, the true brow of a Grecian statue. 
Her almond eyes, underhned with a touch of the crayon, beamed 
with deep and troublous azm-e beneath the shadow cast by their 
lashes. Her tiny nostrils twitched as they inhaled the air, but 
the outline of her nose was of iuflexible regularity. The purple 
of life and sensuality glowed on her lips, which were curved 
with enigmatical hony j and as the warm ruddiness parted m a 
smile, one could see her white teeth, cold as pearls. He hands 
were small and gloved with blue kid to the elbows. Her bonnet 
was but a toft of roses, blooming amid her splendid red hair, 
which was traversed by a tapering dagger having an onyx hilt 
encrusted with sapphires. She appeared in the full sunlight, 
with her loins as supple as a panther's, her hips worthy of Venus, 
and her firm, erect bosom which rebelled against the tyranny of 
stays. Her head raised, and her eyes beaming clearly, she 
looked down from the height of her insolent beauty on the pale 
toilers who went by — some slowly, and bowed with weighty 
thought, and others swiftly, spurred on by himger. 

A cab was passing, and Nana made a sign. The driver drew 
up, and respectfully sprang from his box to open the door. She 
kissed her chUd, and, indeed, her voice trembled somewhat as 
she said : " Good-by, my duck. " But then she added : " Take 
care not to lose the paper, Virginie. " 

" To the hospital iu the Rue d'Enfer," said the maid to the 
driver, who climbed on to his box again. And then the cab cut 
the crowd atwain and disappeared round the street corner. 

Nana stood on the pavement looking after the departing child 
henceforth lost to her. But this gleam of maternal feeling was 
of short duration. She sprang into her landau, and a footman 
shut the door. " Homo ! " she said in a curt voice. 

The coachman touched up the horses, which started off at a 
fast trot toward the Boulevards, turning to tlio left and making 
straight for the Madeleine. It was tlio lounger's favorite hour. 
Well-gloved and decorated gentlemen bowed to this queen of 
vice, who passed by in the implacable pride of her beauty. And 
then resuming their lomige with a stick on their lips and a glass 

nana's daughter. 21 

ill their eye, they ogled the woraon who smiUngly braved the 
converging glances of the absinthe drinkers. Yellow rays were 
darting between the high chimney-stacks, obliquely streaking 
the dust-laden air, setting the shop fronts ablaze, and lighting 
up the gilt moldings and the silken fabrics displayed for sale. 
Heavy omnibuses rumbled on between the thinning foliage; 
cabs jogged past, drawn by wretched, broken-do\vii nags ; and 
light victorias and cozy broughams, in which bald-headed 
gentlemen were reading the Bourse share-list and munching 
extinguished cigars, whisked by at the full speed of high 
stepping trott ers. 

Nana's landau turned into the Boulevard Malesherbes and 
made straight for the Pare Monceau. Her mansion overlooked 
the park. It was a marvel of fancy and lavish display. The 
conservatory alone cost five thousand francs a month. The ves- 
tibule, adorned with Florentine mosaics, preceded a double 
flight of pink marble steps, with a green bronze balustrade, on 
which figured a Virginia creeper climbing to the fuial landing. 
On the first floor there was a large bay window of stained glass, 
the pale golden tints of which softened the light and lent cathe- 
dral-like dimness to this temple of vice. In the dark corners 
of the landings, lascivious statues could bo seen rising* up in 
alabaster nudity, amid clumps of exotic plants with downy 

A valet stood in the hall, awaiting his mistress. " Has the 
marquis arrived f " she asked. 

" He is in madame's room." 

" Ah ! very good." 

She let her train fall, and with proud grace slowly ascended 
the pink marble steps, over which her silken skirt rustled in 
cadence ■«ith her undulating gait and the swinging of her hips. 
The marquis was awaiting her, carelessly stretched on a Turkish 
divan, and as she entered he did not rise. " Well? " said he, 
" is it settled — finished'?" 

" Yes, my dear; I've nacked ofi" the brat. Are you pleased, 
eh, ducky?" 

"Of course?" 

She knelt down beside the divan to kiss him. He allowed her 
to do so, but did not return the kiss. " What is the matter with 
you? What are you thinking about ?" she asked. 

" Why, about nothing, of course. 

" Not even about me V 

" No, 'pon my word." 

" And yet I've just sacrificed my chUd for you." 

" Come, don't be sentimental. Nana. You know very well 
that you haven't made this sacrifice either for the Marquis 
d'Albigny, who sometimes pays you, or for the old King, who 
always does so, although ho isn't your acknowledged protector, 


for I am the master here. To tell the truth, you amuse your- 
self with us, and you would like to deceive us in everything ; 
but I know you — you only love your infernal beauty — to which 
you owe the idiotic luxury surrounding you. You only care 
for your despotic whims, your vain and voluptuous fancies. 
For you are only whim and fancy, like all women who hve on 
men. " 

'' What ! It wasn't to spare you the worry of that child that 
I sent it to the hospital f You didn't leave off bothering me 
until " 

" Why, of course, the child wasn't mine. " 

" How do you know that?" 

" I know it ! " said a man who suddenly entered the room. 

" What do you want, sir?" asked Nana, curtly. 

"My child!" 

" Your child ? Do you take my house for a baby-farming 
estabhshment ? Marquis, show this intruder to the door. " 

" I ? Not at all, my dear. This family scene amuses me. Go 
on, sir, make yourself at home. " 

The stranger was walking feverishly about with his arms 
crossed. He was mechanically following an oblique sun-ray 
which intersected the room. He was tall, thin and pale, with a 
long black beard streaked with white hairs. Suddenly he 
paused in front of the marquis. " You told me to make myself 
at home, Marquis d'Albigny, " he said. 

"Quite so." 

" Very good, then leave this room or I shall kill you." 

" By what right, pray?" 

" This woman belongs to me ; she is the mother of my chUd." 

" I can't compliment you on it, " sneered the marquis. 

" This man is an impostor, " said Nana, coldly. 

" Oh ! oh ! this is getting warm, " resumed d'Albigny, with a 
laugh. " 'Pon my word, my beauty, I shall leave you to settle 
your love affairs alone. Only, another time when I call on you 
I will thank you to have your door better guarded." So 
saying, he raised the tapestry hanging before the door and dis- 

The stranger again paused in his walk and exclaimed : " Now, 
Nana, we must talk together. " 

" Here, come now, my big fellow, haven't you finished crouch- 
ing at my door like a lost dog ? What ! because I was goose 
enough to follow you into the country and stop there for three 
months with you, because I was foolishly faithful to you all that 
time, for which you rewarded me by compromising with my 
serious protectors, did you imagine that it was going to last for- 
ever, that Nana would always live in the moon with you, and 
that it sufficed to give her a child to make a mother of her I 
You fool I You don't know me, you don't see through Nana I 

nana's daughter. 23 

If I maddened you with my love, and intoxicated you with my 
cuddles, it was only to toss you aside again, as dry and as light 
as an empty walnut. Poor chap ! If you had had ten times 
more blood in your vems, I should have drunk it up with my 
harlot's thirst, and not only your blood, I should have devoured 
yom- brain and courage, soul, honor and everything. I should 
have emptied you hkc a thiet empties a banker's safe. " 

" A thief did you say, Nana — a thief? Ah I don't let us talk 
about that." 

" Pooh ! On the contrary, let us talk about it. " 

" No, no, I say. Listen. Some one has rung." 

" It's nothing; some tradesman, perhaps, or the King, -my oTd 
King who comes tx) see me. For you know that I'm eating up a 
kingdom just now. Ah 1 to be sure I've good teeth. So much 
the worse for those who let me bite. " 

" Come, my little Nana, be reasonable. Tell me where our 
child is. You have sent her out to nurse, haven't you ? You, 
perhaps, want some old fellow to think she is his daughter, so 
that he may give her a dowry. Well, it's not worth while. I've 
economized ; I've worked, and I've earned ten thousand francs 
for the httle one. Yes, ten thousand francs, do you hear, Nana? 
Each of those silver coins is an hour of my life, a drop of my 
blood, and I bring you them all. Give me back my daugh- 

" Your danghter ? Tve lost her. " 

" Lost her 1 What is this " 

" Abandoned her. There 1 " 

" Where ? " 

" I don't know." 

"Where? I ask." 

" I've sold her," 

"To whom?" 

" To some mountebanks.'' 

" You he I " 

" Well, yes, I lie. You bother me with your tattle. I don't 
want to be worried with your brats. Go off. You make my 
head ache. " 

" Here are the ten thousand francs." 

" Five hundred napoleons, weU, what are tney ? You haven't 
even stolen them, and I don't care for money earned by work. 
Poor people's coin, it smeUs of sweat." 

" Stolen them, you say ! You wish I had stolen them ? " 

" Why, yes. It would at least show that you prefer me to 
everything else. " 

There was a pause. The stranger again began to follow the 
ray of hght on the carpet. It was now perpendicular to the 
bed. It flashed on one of the comer posts, showing up the 
ebony molding encrusted with ivory. It darted over the white* 


satin counterpane embroidered with a black sphinx, and shone 
vertically athwart the outspread wings of a silver eagle which 
hovered at night-time over Nana's slumber. This ray of hght 
transpierced the dimness around. Myriads of atoms which had 
become luminous crossed it, following an oblique course, and 
springing up suddenly amid the darkness hke particles of light. 
In one corner one coiild barely perceive a bronze elephant bear- 
mg a Chinese tower, and reared upon a malachite pedestal. 
The low, carved, easy chairs, softly cushioned, were lost in 
shade. The black sphinxes embroidered on the white-satin 
hangings were bedimmed. Alone, against the Venetian mirror 
with a silver frame of detached ornamentation, one could dis- 
tinguish the branching candelabra and the bronze statue of 
fleeting Time holding between two fingers a golden thread, from 
which a globe was hanging. ,, 

Suddenly the stranger stopped. The ray of light having 
gradually become thinner and more obhque had now gone out. 
Nana had quietly unfastened her bodice, and taken off her stays ; 
and then, with her breast bare, she had stretched herself upon 
the divan near the window. Her statuesque profile stood out in 
bold relief. The tiny dagger with the onyx handle had fallen 
from her hair on to the carpet. Her lowered eyehds cast a soft 
shadow which extended almost to her nostrils, and she was half 
dozing, draped queen-hke in her silken robe. There was a dis- 
turbing expression on her parted lips — perfidious candor and 
mysterious lascivity blooming together in a smile. Her former 
lover knelt down near her, and in a low and trembling voice, 
hesitating at each syUable, he asked : " So, Nana, if I had stolen 
for you, you would love me more ? " 

She burst out laughing. "Who knows ? I'm tired of the love 
of all these worn-out fellows, with softened brains and puny 
limbs, who think they pay me what I'm worth, and complain 
when they've ruined themselves for me. What of that? 
They've sold their property, but I've sold myself. Ah ! do you 
know what I dream of? I should like a lover who had murdered 
some one for me. He would at least be faithful till he was 
claimed by the guillotine. " 

" How can you possibly have such horrible fancies ! It is all 
this wealth that keeps you in shameful vice. Abandon this 
dirty life, raise yourself again, dress yourself like an honest 
woman, renounce this band of biases. Love for nothing, if you 
wish to love. It is never too late to become pure again. K you 
took our child back, each kiss you gave her would wine away a 
stain ! " 

" Poor chap ! " 

" Come with me ! You know how happy we were in the 
country. We will go far^ar away with the httle one. I won't 
stop any longer here. We will go no matter where ; I have 


enough money for a little while. And I shall find more. Come, 
will you come?" 

" Oh ! leave me alone ; you bother me. I eat too much at 
supper last night, and didii't sleep long enough this morning. 
Go oft', pray. I'm tired of teUmg you that I won't take your 

" Then, if I must tell everything, the money I bring isn't 

"Whose is it, then?" 

" I took it from the safe. I thought you would not come with 
me as you are tired of me ; but I wanted to buy the child, to 
save her from contagion." 

" And you stole to do that ? That's nice and no mistake. 
And for the last week you've been coming to offer me this money 
60 that I might compromise myself with you ? Why, you are a 
scoundrel ! If that's the way you wanted to bring the child up, 
she might as well be like her mother. I don't steal anything. 
Do you hear ? Leave the house, or I'll have you turned out. " 

He stooped down and picked up the onyx-hilted dagger lying 
on the carpet. "Don't call, Nana; don't denounce me. To- 
morrow I shall replace the money. Not a word ; I don't know 

what I might do " And he feverishly clutched the onyx 


"Really, my little fellow," said Nana, thrusting him back 
with panther-like strength. " Do you think you frighten mo 
with thp;t trinket ? Keep it. I'll give it you. " And she rang 
the beU. 

A valet appeared on the threshold. " Show this gentleman 
out, " she said. 

" TUl we meet again, madame, " rejoined her former lover^ 
with emphasis. 

" Oh ! no good-bye for good, " said Nana, laughing. 

He left the room ; but a moment later Nana recalled her serv- 
ant. " Follow that man, " she ordered, " and have him arrested 
by the first poUce agent you meet. I won't be worried, not I. " 
The servant hesitated. " Come, make haste," cried the courte- 
san, " don't you understand that that fellow's a thief! " 

The valet disappeared behind the door-hanging, and Nana 
could hear him hastily descending the pink marble steps. Night 
was coming on, and the sky of Paris was tinged with a purplo 
glow. The clock struck seven o'clock. " Oh ! oh ! " she mut- 
tered, " the King's hour, and I'm not ready." 

She rang for her maid, who had just returned from the hos- 
pital. Virginie entered the room. "Ati! so you are back 
again, " said Nana. " Well ? " 

" It's all settled, madame." 

" At last ! " said Nana, with a sigh. " It had to be done. 

Nations Daughter 2. 

26 nana's daughter- 

Come, make haste, light the tapers and dress my hair. I am 
expecting his majesty ! " 


A3n>E^E Navtel was adorably pretty. She was the true 
type of a child of Paris, rather pale, carelessly graceful, with a 
crystal voice and big light-blue eyes. Her father was a me- 
chanic, employed in a fomidry, and her mother mounted roses 
for Paillardin, the artificial ilower-dealer. Andi-ee displayed 
wonderful intuition concerning artistic matters and everything 
that appealed to the imagination, but she held arithmetic in 
horror. When she was ten years old she had strange tastes, 
gypsy-hke fancies and actress-like whims. As is the case with 
many children of Paris, she was seized with a desire to show off 
and attudinize. A kind of innate coquetry took possession of 
her. Withal she was gentle, loving and good-tempered, not 
understanding why she was scolded for various girlish freaks, 
but fond of impossibilities, laughing or crying for nothing, very 
sensitive, always trjing to derive some enjoyment herself, or to 
procure it for others, and plimging without reflection into chimer- 
ical enthusiasm. A strange girl! Already a woman in some 
respects, too much of a child in others, almost completely igno- 
rant of what her parents and schoolmistress tried to teach her, 
but guessing many other things. 

For an observer, Andree Naviel was as attractive as a mys- 
tery. Her parents were worthy work-people skillful in their 
callings, of irreproachable honesty, and satisfied feelings, quite 
destitute of imaginative powers, both fond of order, and know- 
ing how to calculate. They belonged, indeed, to that good, 
hardy race of toilers, whose quiet yet powerful blood, robust 
muscles and submissive nerves, usually produce a generation of 
children physiologically different to this frail little Andree, who 
incarnated, as it were, two contrary principles, and seemed to 
be the ofi"spring of two antipodean natures. 

About this time Andr6e met with an adventure. Her parents 
had taken her to the fete of St. Cloud, and she lost them in the 
crowd. At first she tried to find them, but the attractive fete, 
the noisy mirth of the mountebanks and the exhibitors of talk- 
in 7 seals and three-legged woman, finally induced her to profit 
by her liberty. She paused near a merry-go-round, sparkling 
with spangles and gay with many colored banners, which stood 
out brightly against the verdant depths of tlio avenues. The 
fountains were playing and fi>rmod a marvelous buck-ground. 
Sheafs of foam ascended like plmnes in the full sunhght, and 
cascades bounded from the heiglits where tall chestnut trees 


rose lip ^vith tlio ffoldcn splendor of sunset peering through 
their foliage scorched by the summer heat. At the end of the 
ornamental water a two-floored merry-go-round revolved to the 
somid of music. Among the crowd three young gMs, well 
pleased to show themselves, charming with their pm'ly laughter 
and careless attitudes, unconscious of the vertigo that possessed 
them, allowed themselves to he whirled away through the noise 
and mirth. Andree longed to ride in the round-about like 
them, and feel herself revolve amid the light and the music, but 
slie rememl)ered that she had scarcely enough money to pay for 
hor return to Paris. 

Close by, at the door of a long traveling wagon, an individual 
in a black dress-coat was iuAriting the passers-by to see the 
"beautiful Irma. " "Don't pass without seeing Irma ! " he 
cried, gravely. " Don't die without ha\ing seen Irma! " 

Andree was seized with a vague longing to see this matchless 
Irma, the queen of beauty, who exhibited herself for a copper. 
However, she repressed a sigh, and regretting her poverty, con- 
tinued wandering through the crowd, with the hoarse cry of the 
exhibitor still ringing in her ears. " Ladies and gentlemen, don't 
pass without seeing the lovely Irma ! " 

She paused at last before a wrestling booth ; and the sight she 
saw there for the first time, held her spell-bound. On the ]jlat- 
form outside, a poor devil dressed as a clown was parading with a 
Hercules. Andree was greatly struck by the contrast between 
these two men. The Hercules was short, thick-set, hairy and 
hideous, with bestial lips and a red face betokening a sanguine 
temperament. His bare, bronze-colored arms were tattooed, 
and the massive muscles of his limbs and his neck were of 
abnormal proportions. He glanced fiercely aroimd him. His 
red-streaked eyes retreated under their orbits, ensconced in 
the shade of his bristly eyebrows, and his forehead was hidden 
by thick tufts of grayish hair. The clown was a head taller 
than the Hercules, and his floured, hollow cheeks, his reddened 
eyes and emaciated limbs, his hands of improbable length, and 
his whole scrafcgy frame, lost as it were in his ample costume, 
inspired Andree with extraordinary interest. 

This strange pair was carrying on a dialogue interspersed 
with smacks in the face, boxes on the ears, kicks behind, and 
witticisms. The clown seemed to Andi-ee like the mind which 
sneers at physical strength and derides it : the Hercules like the 
incarnation of brutal force bent on revenge. Blows rained upon 
the clown, resounding with a thud on his back. They were not 
make-believe blows, but a formidable avalanche of real thumps, 
which now and again rang on the clown's whitened face and 
stretched him on the planks of the platform. The crowd was 
splitting its sides with laughter, and evidently thought the busi- 
ness very funny. 

2 8 nana's daughter. 

Andrce, however, had never hefore Avitnessed anything so 
revolting ; her heart softened, and she sincerely pitied the poor 
beaten bnlfoon. At last, after a fresh pun, more outrageous 
than the others, the Hercules gave the cU)wn such a kick that 
he lifted him off his feet, over the platform, and sent him 
sprawling amid the crowd. The poor fellow fell flat at Andree's 

There was a general burst of laughter. The mirth spread 
from throat to tliroat as far as the distant avenues, and the 
echoes of the great cascade gaily repeated the joyous cries of 
the pleasure-seeking crowd. Folks cheered the Hercules, and 
jeered aud hissed the clown, who slowly picked himself up and 
rubbed his loins. Andree approached him just as he had set 
himself on his feet and was about to hobble off. '' Are you 
hurt, sir? " she asked, with her fresh voice trembling with sad- 
dened timidity. 

The buffoon stopped short, affected by these caressing words 
which caught his ear amid the general jeers. He looked at the 
fair-haire(l child, and his pale face was lighted up with strange, 
despairing tenderness. " No, little one, " said he, " I'm not 
hurt; and besides, it's my way of earning my livmg. We all 
have our callings. I'm called Face-to-Smaek. Other folks 
receive decorations, while I get boxes-on-the-ears and kicks 
behind. And it'll be like that until my ship comes home — won't 
it now, Mr. Hercules? " 

" Quite so, Mr. Face-to-Smack, quite so," bawled the athlete, 
who was striking an attitude on the platform with his arms 
crossed, so as to display his muscles. 

"I should prefer to see you work," resumed Andree, with 
child-like frankness. 

" You are quite right, little one," said the pale buffoon; " you 
are quite right. But do you see I can't work. Honest toil won't 
have anything to do with me. So I must turn to something else 
to earn some food. For I eat now and then, although I don't 
look like it." 

This strange conversation between the buffoon and the child 
interested the sight-seers, who gathered round in a circle. 

" I say, Mr. Face-to-Smack, do you want to turn school- 
master ?" thundered the Hercules, who was by no meaus pleased 
to have his business interrupted. 

" Coming, Mr. Hercules, coming ! " replied the buffoon, and 
tm-ning to Andree, he asked: "Are you alone, httle one? 
Wliere's your mamma ? " 

" I've lost her. " 

" Now, then, have you finished your jaw, you bag of flour? " 
bawled the Hercules. 

** Coming, master, coming. Would you like to see the show? '* 

nana's daughter. 29 

asT^ed Face-to* Smack of Aiidr6e. " I'll give you a front seat; 
come along, I stand treat. " 

She felt something like the warmth of pleasure rise to her 
cheeks and became very red. 

" Come," continued the buffoon, " say yes; and, besides, I've 
got some cakes for you if you like " 

"Thanks, Mr. Clown," rejoined Andrde; "I should like to 
see the show, but keep the cakes for your little ones." 

" My little ones? I have none ! Ah ! I had a httle girl who 
would be about your age by now; but when she was a week old 
she was taken awav from me, and I've never seen her since." 

" Who took herf " 

" Tier mother, a wicked woman, a " 

Face-to-Smack was interrupted. The Hercules had left the 
platform, caught hold of him by an ear, and was now dragging 
him back to the booth. 

" Don't tear my ears off, Mr. Hercules, " pleaded the buffoon. 
" They wouldn't grow again. They only grow natui-ally on 
strong men hke you." 

The Hercules failed to understand, and began to laugh with 
satisfaction at his physical superiority. Then the white-faced 
buffoon spoke to him*^ in an undertone. " All right, " said the 
wrestler, and he bawled to Andree : " Come here, young 'un." 

" Come and see the performance," added the buffoon. 

Andree, who felt a great deal of emotion, set her foot on the 
steps and went up into the booth. The clown took hold of her 
hand and led her to a seat in the front row. 

The orchestra was frantically playing a fast march. A tall, 
thin, freckled woman whacked away at the big driun and the 
cymbals, a fat woman played the piston, and a man with long 
yellow hair — the type of a needy German — blew in a clarionet 
with the proud and serious air of an unappreciated virtuoso. 
"While this concert proceeded, Face-to-Smack, stationed at the 
door, made a burlesque speech which set the crowd laughing, 
and the Hercules challenged all the strong men to wrestle with 
him, and tossed fencing gloves to amateurs of the foils. 
Through the open entry Andree could see faces of every hue 
— red, white, yellow, and violet ranged in intermitted lines and 
standing out in rehef against the verdant sward of the park 
lawns. Near the ornamental water, a pastry cook, with a 
conical cap of gilt paper on his head, stood imder a scarlet 
mnbrella, holcUng a flexible stick, from which hung a string 
with a piece of gingerbread appended to it. The dainty was to 
be tlie property of the urchin who caught it with his teeth, and 
so all around one could see upturned juvenile faces with glowing 
eyes watching the bait, and open mouths eager to swallow it. 
Grown-up sightseers stood in the rear, and spUt with laughing 
at this new kind of angling. 


The wrestling booth filled rapidly, and the members of the 
orchestra ceased playing and went to sit down on a planls. The 
audience was impatient and excited. It was said that a real 
swell had bet a thousand napoleons that he would make the 
Hercules bite the dust. No doubt this amateiu- was being 
waited for, as the benches ah-eady groaned under the weight of 
the spectators ranged in amphitheatre fashion. Suddenly there 
was a stir. A tawny-haired woman, sparkhng with diamonds 
and covered with lace, entered the arena and paused at a corner 
where four or five gentlemen of different ages were standing. 

"Come, Face-to-Smack," called the Hercules, "bring some 
chairs, and make haste. " 

The bufibon stood motionless, stifiened by mute stupefaction. 
There was a tragical expression upon his pale face. " Oh ! dear, 
no," he answered in a strident voice; " that lady can go and 
sit down where she likes. " 

The clown's refusal was so peremptory, that his master did 
not insist. " As you like, my fine fellow," he said, resignedly; 
" only you'U pay for it later on. " 

The buffoon shrugged his shoulders and shook his head. 

" "WTiich of these gentlemen wishes to try a bout with me? " 
asked the wrestler. 

" I," said a middle-aged man. 

" Bravo, bravo, Marquis, " exclaimed his companions. 

" Be" quiet, pray, " rejoined the amateiu". "I don't care to 
have my name and title in all the newspapers to-morrow. " 

" Pray take off your coat, sir," resinned the Hercules, who 
was stripping himself to the waist; and his titled adversary at 
once imitated his example. 

The struggle began by a series of feints. The adversaries 
placed their hands on each other's shoulders, their arms locked 
around their muscular necks; but great efl'orts suddenly loosened 
the hold, and the two champions foimd themselves again in front 
of each other firmly settled on their ankles. The real struggle 
had not yet begun. This had been but a skirmish for the two 
antagonists, who had both wished to ascertain what kind of 
man they had to deal with. Suadeuly, however, they sprang 
upon each other. The Hercules caught the marquis by the 
loins and forced his chin down on his chest. But the amateur 
swiftly turned, presenting his back to the professional, and then 
raising his arms he linked them behind his adversary's skull, 
and made a terrible effort. The Hercules, lifted off" the groimd, 
passed over the marquis' head; but spinning round, he fomid 
himself on his feet again with a firm hold in the sand. 

The crowd applauded frantically. Andree understood nothing 
of what was occurring : this buffoon who refused to be polite to 
this golden-haired lady, sparklmg lilvo a fairy; this marquis 
who, careless of his 'scutcheon, pubhcly wrestled with a low- 

nana's daughter. 31 

bom professional. Everything she had seen during the last 
hour stupefied her. She was most interested m Face-to-Sniack, 
whose giant stature and pale face rose up in front of her on tho 
other side of the arena. It seemed to her that tho expression 
of his features had suddenly changed ; his smile had something 
tragical about it now, as if some terrible, mysterious passion 
were waging behind the flour on his face. However, while 
Andrde's attention was turned to him, the encounter, moment- 
arily suspended, began again in earnest. 


The struggle was a desperate one this time. The two wrest- 
lers clutched hold of each other at the same moment, their arms 
tightened aroimd one another's loins, and shoulder to shoulder, 
cheek to cheek, they leaned forward as if propped against each 
other. They remained like this for half a minute, panting hke 
wild beasts, feeling each other, and on the alert for a surprise. 
The titled amateur was growing pale. The professional's red 
face was becoming violet. QuicMy he drew back, and the mar- 
quis, taken unawares, fell on his knees. But with a bound he 
placed himself behind the Hercules, and crouched on all fours. 
The professional stooped, and was about to seize hold of his 
adversary with his right arm, when, with a sudden spring, tho 
amateur backed on to the Hercules' stomach with such force 
that he threw him onto his left side. And then, springing upon 
him with all his weight, he rolled him in the sand. The profes- 
sional's shoulders touched the ground. 

" Bravo, bravo 1 " cried the crowd. 

The victor quietly raised a curtain, and entered the mounte- 
banks' dressing-room to put on his clothes again. The Hercules 
followed him. 

Meanwhile, Face-to-Smack had stationed himself behind the 
tawny-haired woman, barring the way out. He overtopped 
everything hke a white spectre, for his buffoon's head resembled 
a ekuU, and his ample clown's dress a waving shroud. The 
woman turned round and beheld this apparition gazing at 

" What have you done with my child, Nana? " he asked. 

" Ah ! good heavens I " she cried, " where have I heard that 
voice before ? " 

" In your house, you worthless woman. " 

" Gentlemen, this man is mad. Pray punish this buffoon for 

Just at this moment the marquis returned. "D'Albignyl" 
cried Nana, " give this scamp a hiding. He has insulted me. " 


" The fact is, " rejoined the buffoon, " tliat I requested madame 
to return me the child we had togetlier. " 

" Dear me ! " exclaimed the marquis. " But, by the way, my 
beauty, isn't this man your thief ! " 

" No, sir, I am not a thief. Do you hear me ? I returned the 
money, while you " 

" Look out, my fine fellow. I advise you to shut up. " 

" Shut up ? And why, pray? Because I'm a mountebank at 
a fair ? But pray, what are you, sir ? You come and wrestle 
with mountebanks, and you don't disdain to give five napoleons 
to your antagonist, so that he may let you throw him. As you 
have bet a thousand to your friends, you have nine hundred and 
ninety-five clear profit. So which is the greater thief of us 
two ? " 

D'Albigny was livid, while the Hercules stood in the middle 
of the arena laughing and by no means ill-pleased that the 
clown should have pubhcly revealed his secret understanding 
with the amateur. 

" Just prevent that buffoon of yours from insulting this gentle- 
man, " cried Nana. 

'* Excuse me, my fine lady, but that wasn't in our agreement. 
As the gentleman is so strong, he can surely cause himself to be 
respected without my help. " 

Nana's other admirers had vanished as soon as she had 
appealed to them to protect her. "Let us go; I've enough of 
it," said the Marquis D'Albigny. " And as for you, you scamp 
of a buffoon, I advise you to clear off, if you don't want to go to 

'' To jail, I ? And what for, pray ? You had much better be 
there both of you. To Mazas with the marquis ! So St. Lazare 
with the harlot ! " 

D'Albigny did not hear the buffoon's last words. A formidable 
jeer arose from the seats of the booth. " That's enough, that's 
enough ! Turn them out ! " howled the pubhc. 

" It's scandalous ! So honest people can bo insulted witb 
impimity under your Republic ! " cried a gentleman with well- 
waxed mustaches, who was standing on a bench. " Why aren't 
aU the blackguards sent to New Caledonia ? " 

" Excuse me, sir; but whom do you caU blackguards here? " 
asked the Hercules. 

" I was not speaking to you, " replied the man with the pointed 
mustache, diving down into the crowd like a jack-in-the-box 
who has had the lid shut on him. 

" That's all I wanted to know," rejoined the professional with 
a loud laugh. 

Since the departure of the tawny-haired woman, Face-to- 
Smack had approached Andreo and offered her a jam tart which 
he had bought of the pastry-cook outside. 

nana's daughter. 33 

" Thank you, Mr. Face-to — " She paused, hesitating to 
finish this name which seemed to her hardly a complimentary 
one for the strange friend she had met. 

" Oh, you can call me Face-to-Smack. It makes no difference. 
I'm used to it. My httle girl would just he as old as you are, 
my darling. " 

A tear started from his eye, and left a hlack mark on his pallid, 
sunken cheek. Andree also felt a strange emotion on being so 
kindly spoken to by this poor clown, who but a moment before 
had so roughly humiliated a nobleman. 

"Attention, Mr. Face-to-Smack," bawled the Hercules, 
sunmiouing the buffoon. " I want your help here." 

The performance continued with the exercises of the brothers 
Fiotto, two twins of the same age as Andree. At first they 
amused themselves in trying their skill and leaping from the 
trapeze through paper circles, which the Hercules threw to the 
clown, and which the latter held on a level with his head. 

"Travelers for the moon, all aboard!" cried the buffoon, 
imitating a railway porter. 

The crowd thought it very funny, and laughed noisily. 
Besides, the two little acrobats were very clever. But at the 
last round one of them failed in his spring from the trapeze, 
and fell head first onto the ground with great force. He lay 
there, stretched on his back, pale and bleeding fi'om both the 
nose and the mouth. The performance was necessarily inter- 
rupted ; and several worthy people, who would have been the 
first to complain of the tyranny of the authorities if there had 
been proper police surveillance in the booth, began to declare that 
it was disgraceful to allow such horrid sights, and that the govern- 
ment ought to prevent all things of the kind. When the little 
fellow had been picked up, and taken into the dressmg-room 
the Hercules came to apologize and state that, on account of the 
accident, it was impossible to continue the performance. The 
•pubUc accordingly trooped out of the booth. 

The clown then returned to Andree, who had not left her 
seat. "You can go away now, little one," said he. "It't 
your place here. " 

" But tell me, Mr. Clown, did the one who fell hurt himself 
very much ?" asked Andree. 

" Oh, no ! Only he's going to have his licking. Come, go 

The darkness was coming on in the empty booth. Outside, 
the shows and stalls were being lighted up, and through the 
striped sailcloth one could see the yellow glimmer of theii 
lamps. In the direction of the mountebanks' dressing-room, 
Andree heard the Hercules harshly sajing: " Here, come here, 
I must give you your hcking. " Whereupon, a sobbing, childish 

34 nana's daughter. 

voice replied: " Oh, pray, sir, pray don't beat me to-day; IVe 
so hurt myself." 

" A good drubbing will set you right again, you httle scamp. 
Here, take that!" 

Then there was a sound of blows, and a child beggingly cried ; 
" Let me ofl", master, this once ; let me off for to-day ! " 

''There, scamp," rejoined the Hercules, ''take that, you 
clumsy brat, and that, you spoil-trade, and that, you good-for- 
nothing. That'll teach you to dishonor my company. " And 
at each harsh epithet, one could hear the thud of a blow strik- 
ing the poor little chap. 

"You hear?" said the buffoon to Andree. "That's how 
stolen children are treated here. Be off and make haste. Do 
you want to stop to be whipped ? Come, off you go. " 

Andree had risen to her feet. She was greatly distressed and 
wanted to take the buffoon away with her. " Come with me, 
Mr. Face " 

" Face-to-Smack, out with it; it's no matter. But I can't go. 
I must stop here. " 

" But he'll beat you, too." 

" Oh, me ! It's only for fun ; just because the well-dressed 
folks burst out laughing when they see a clown thrashed. So 
then I say to the guv'nor : 'Hit again, old man , hit in earnest.' 
And he gives me a drubbing, enough to break me in two. You 
see, little one, I must earn my Uving. By-the-way, where do 
you live? I shan't call on your parents, for I can't go into 
society. I don't belong to society any longer, I'm a clown, I'm 
Face-to-Smack, I'm anything you hke except somebody." 

While speaking the buffoon had taken Aiidree's hand, and 
led her out of the booth. Night was already spreading over 
the park. The last gleams of sunset were fading away, and 
the stars peered forth in clustering constellations, twinkling in 
the far-reaching breadth of celestial space. The buffoon halted 
and listened. " He has finished beating him. Besides he 
wouldn't kill his goose with the golden eggs ; and he isn't such 
a brute as he seems. " 

" I live in the Rue Crozatier, " replied Andree Naviel in 
answer to the question previously asked of her by her friend, 
the clown. " Come and see us." 

" But I tell you I can't, httle one, " he replied bitterly. " Only 
when I pass that way, I'll look at the house. And if you are 
at the wiodow, I shall see you. But you couldn't recognize me 
in plain clothes. No matter, I shall see you. Come, good-bye. 
Take the boat near the bridge." 

" Good-bye, Mr. Clown," said Andrde. 

" "Would you do something to please me before we part ?" 


" Then let me kiss you." 

nana's daughter. 35 


The clown's tall, slender figure bent down, and he kissed 
Audree passionately, with a strange warmth that caused her 
great emotion. And then he darted off as if ho had stolen 
something, and left her by herself in the vast black park, where 
the dense shade was scarcely reUeved by the gleams of the 
stalls and the round-abouts, now illuminating for the evening 

The exhibitor of the Queen of Beauty stood on the threshold 
of his traveling cart, and still called out : " Don't pass without 
seeing Irma. Don't die without seeing Irma, the queen of 
beauty, who makes every woman jealous, and turns every man's 
head. Walk up I Walk up ! The prettiest girl in the world for 
two sous!" 

Audree again began longing to be Irma, the queen of beauty. 
This festive scene now being illimiinated, the lovers strolling in 
couples under the shade of the chestnut trees — everything 
strangely troubled her ; even the distant rotation of the round- 
abouts, where pretty girls leaned back, showing their ankles 
and laughing merrily, while yoimg swells, astride on the wooden 
horses, sang La Fille Angot in chorus, with shriU voices like 
those of seragho guards. 

However, Andree left the park. The Naviels must be 
alarmed by her disappearance, and she must return home. As 
she passed in front of the Tete Noir restaurant she heard some 
one speaking in a private room, and she recognized the voice of 
the Marquis d'Albigny, who was exclaiming in a loud tone: 
" Gentlemen, I propose the health of Nana. I drink to the 
queen of the day ! " 

The steamboat, coming from Suresnes, was making for the 
quay to take up fresh passeugers. Andree hastened on board, 
and soon the boat set off again toward Paris, Jthe growing 
brightness of which could be distinguished on the horizon. 


Shortly after this childish freak Andrea's mother took her 
to work at M. Paillardon's artificial flower estabhshment, and 
as she was already a skiUful mounter he agreed to pay her at 
once. Perpetual toil and absolute privation of pleasure, 
brought about a strange and disquieting i)hase of pietism in her 
nature. Her mind took a mystical turu. She spent her spare 
time in chiuches, and at vespers on Simdays she was plimged 
into ecstacy by the fugues of the grand organ, the severe mon- 
otony of the psalm singing, and the crystalline purity of the 
soprano voices soaring above the deep-toned notes of the bassi. 

36 nana's daughter. 

It was with a kind of ethereal sensuahty that she inhaled the 
perfume of the incense as it shrouded the great gold cross on 
the high altar in blue spirals, rising amid the flashing stained 
glass windows toward the vaulted roof. The idea of death did 
not cause her any great alarm. It was evident that the lords of 
creation must have some other destiny than a mere hole in the 
ground. She loved to exaggerate the importance of the human 
" I," and pictured in her mind a world of hght, harmony and 
love, where all lost friends were found again amid the serenity 
of endless joy. And it was there she would see poor Face-to- 
Smack again, the Ul-used clown, whom the Hercules would heat 
no longer. 

At this thought she was seized with a growing disgust of life, 
with deep sadness as to her present state, and with an intense 
longing to fly away elsewhere. She sat for long hours in the 
work-room without speaking a word to her companions, hut 
hving apart in an imaginary world, lost as it were in a dis- 
turbing state of spirituahsm, and absorbed in a singular kind of 
bigotry. The other girls derided her, and in this psychological 
condition, Andree — isolated by her fancies for the infinite, and 
yearnings for unmortal blessedness — failed to make a single 
friend among her companions. The latter, who only thought of 
enjoyment in the present world, called her a little fool, and as 
she made them no confidential statements they were equally 
reticent with her. However, M. Paillardin held her in high 
esteem. She worked more and better than the other girls, dis- 
playing all her innate tastefulness and exquisite intuition of 
natme. Indeed at the end of two years she became the first 
mounter in the work-room. 

She was then approaching her thirteenth birthday. She had 
suddenly grown and acquired womanly stature. Although still 
thin and pale owing to the life she led, her form nevertheless 
began to develop, and swift flashes, like the first gleams of 
mternal fire, darted from luider the silken lashes of her big blue 
eyes. Her hair, of a ruddy, golden tinge, had rapidly grown 
long, without losing aught of its fine texture. It now fell to her 
knees, and it was a feast for the eyes to see it roll down in all 
the splendor of its tawny undulations. She was proud of this true 
feminine adornment. She had no other wealth than this living 
gold, which, had she died, she would have besought her mother 
to cut off and keep in memory of her. However, despite her 
funereal fancies, vitality affirmed itself by an increase of vigor, 
her form exi)anded, and the blood coursed more warmly under 
her white skin. 

When Andree reached her fourtecth birthday she was no 
longer a child. She abruptly abandoned the churches she had 
been so fond of and her mystical fancies flew away like yellow 
leaves at the first breeze of autumn. She all at once became 

nana's daughter. 37 

gnj, coquctiish and fdiid of admiration, altliouf^li strictly 
virtuous. Around her siyii(>d and lluttcrcd a considerable num- 
ber of clerks, customers and speculators who called on business 
at the establishment of Messrs. I'aillardiu & Co., the most 
prominent artificial liower merchants in the whole Faubourg St, 
Martin. This sudden success caused great jealousy among her 
companions, who were furious that all the compliments should 
bo bestowed upon "Mademoiselle Andree, " for she was no 
longer unceremoniously called '' Andree "; even M, Paillardin, 
hiiiiself, addressed her as " Mademoiselle." 

The artificial flower merchant was a hardened bachelor, who, 
although fifty years of age, still looked at a little distance as if 
he were yet in the thirties. Merely a few white hairs streaked 
his thickset whiskers, and his abundant brush-like capillament 
was barely turning gray. However, the abuse of tobacco had 
spoilt his teeth, which had assumed a nasty, yellowish tinge. 
This was the chief sign of physical decay about him. His 
short, thick hands — with hairy fingers indicative of strength, 
and nails which he was always biting — flashed with the many 
diamond rings he wore. He had broad, flat feet and a promi- 
nent stomach, and whenever he sat down he kept his thighs far 
apart so as to spread his hands and his jewels over his massive 
knees. He had a glutton's face streaked with violet veins, and 
a short, round nose striated with capillary cells. His prominent 
imder lip bespoke all the appetites of a fast liver, unconquered 
by five-and-twenty years of work, which had been enlivened, 
by-the-way, with many a big spread and joyous bout. Withal, 
not a disagreeable man, generous with women and apt to give 
them a good deal whenever, on their side, they were disposed to 
sacrifice everything. 

It was one Friday, that he, for the first time, paid any atten- 
tion to Andree's beauty. A bridal wreath which was to bo 
delivered the same evening was just ready. The garland of 
orange blossoms looked very charmmg and very natural. M. 
Paillardiu had commissioned Andree to mount it, having abso- 
lute confidence in her instinctive taste, and she had disposed the 
flowers most artistically amid the fresh, twining foliage. Her 
companions were extremely jealous of the preference shown 
her, and as they sat around the table they indulged in simdry 
suggestive witticisms, to which Mademoiselle Naviel and her 
mother at first paid no attention. 

Among the girls present there was a little brunette with bright 
eyes and sensual lips — said to be Paillardin's mistress, a charge 
she by no means denied — and whose ready, backbiting tongue 
exercised great influence over the other girls. She was called 
Margot, just like a magpie; and what with her artful, little, 
dark face, her black eyes as piercing as gimlets, and her endless 

38 nana's daughter. 

chatter, the name was by no means misplaced. There was 
really somewhat of the magpie's cunning and malice about her. 

" Don't you think," she suddenly insinuated, " that M. Pail- 
lardin made a happy choice in selecting Mademoiselle Andree to 
mount the wreatM " 

The other girls looked up but refrained from answering this 
question asked of them point blank, for they knew very well 
that Margot was quite capable of reporting any criticism to 
their employer. However, Madame Naviel had heard the 
brimette, and understood her meaning. " How is that, Margot?" 
she quietly asked. 

" Wliy it's very simple, Madame Naviel," answered the mag- 
pie. " There is only one person here worthy of orange blossom. 
Isn't that so, my dears'?" 

This statement did not meet with a favorable reception and 
there were several protests. " What do you take us for, Mar- 
got?" asked some of the bolder girls. 

"Oh! come now, you are not hypocritical enough to pretend 
to be maidens, and I would willingly bet there is only one 
among us who " 

'* Oh, Margot!" interrupted Madame Naviel. "You ought 
to be ashamed of yourself. The idea of proclaiming before 
every one that you, yourself " 

"Me? Wlio's speaking of me? I simply said that there is 
only one real maiden here; and I didn't say that it wasn't 

" What! do you think that Andree " 

"Pooh! Andree's only a child as yet, Madame Naviel; let 
her get a bit older and sharpen her wits. You'll see how she'll 
grow wings and fly off! But just now I won't say I don't 
beheve in her innocence ; and if it were a question of proclaim- 
ing her ' rosiere,'* I'd willingly vote in her favor. Besides I'm 
sure that orange blossom becomes her. Just try on the wreath 
to see." 

Madame Naviel, whose maternal feelings were somewhat 
hurt, rose from her chair and replied: "Well, we will do so. 
Put on the wreath Andree, but first of all unfasten your 
tresses. " 

Andr6e rapidly loosened her long undulating locks, which fell 
over her shoulders, and then she set the bridal wreath upon her 
golden head. 

It was the month of June, and the radiant sunlight streamed 
through three large curtainlcss windows into the room. Stand- 
ing in the full light, in the first bloom of maidenhood, Andree 

*The name of rosiere is given to the young girls, who in various French villages 
are rewarded for their modesty and good conduct with crowns of virtue and small 
marriage portions. — Trans. 

nana's daughter. 3$ 

raised her arms to gather up her hair behind her neck, and the 
movement showed off her gracefuUy-cm-vcd arms and firmly-set 
bosom. At this moment M. Paillardiu, whom Margot had art- 
fully warned, abruptly entered the room ; and at sight of this 
luminous apparition he stopped short, seized with sudden admi- 

" How old is your daughter?" ho asked Madame Naviel. 

" Fourteen, Monsieur Paillardin, " replied the mother. 

" Eh, eh ! do you know she almost looks like a yoimg woman? 
You must be careftil now — and particularly so with these girls. 
I know something about it, and beheve me, girls are always 
ready to corrupt one another. You would do better to trust her 
to an old rake like myself than to Margot, for instance. 
Mademoiselle Andree, I must compliment you. The wreath is 
perfect, and you deserve a reward. If your mother will allow 
it, I'll take you to the theater this evening. I have a box for 
the Bouffes, and after the performance I will drive you home in 
my carriage." 

On hearing this sudden proposal, Madame Naviel hesitated 
what to answer, and M. Paillardin noticed it. " Come, Madame 
Naviel," said he, good-naturedly. " Haven't you any confidence 
in me ? You know very well that there are enough girls here 
and elsewhere, who don't ask better ; and I shouldn't be such a 
rascal as to trifle with a child like your Andree. " 

" Margot was enraged, and the others had flushed crimson on 
hearing their employer's brutal words. Madame Naviel, who 
felt somewhat reassured, did not dare to refuse for fear of vexing 
M. Paillardin. And so Andree speedily hastened home to put 
on her Sunday clothes. 

It was about seven o'clock when she returned. The valet 
ushered her into the drawing-room and politely requested her 
to wait a moment. His master, he said, would be ready in less 
than five minutes. It seemed to Andree as if she was soaring in 
a sphere of joy. She was about to ride in a real carriage, and see 
a play from a private box, for the first time. But then, when 
the performance was over, would she not see the curtain fall 
upon the luminous scene, and would not the recollection of a few 
hours spent among luxurious surroundings make the burden of 
daily toil unbearable? However, this thought did not linger in 
her mind, for a servant entered and announced that the 
brougham was waitmg. Paillardin was putting on a pair of 
light gloves. He had chosen them of the same shade as 
Andree's. He called her attention to the point as the carriage 
whirled away toward the Bouffes, and added : " It's so that 
people may think you are my little wife. Do you hear, my little 
beauty? Ah ! if you only knew " 

He had unaffectedly passed his arm round Andree's waist, and 


leaninpf forward, he kissed her on the forehead before she could 
prevent him. 

Andree had no knowledge of life, and love had not as yet 
appealed to her mind. She was both mentally and physically a 
\irgin ; and so she did not reahze he/ peril when she felt this 
man's arm aromid her waist and his hot breath on her cheek. 
Nature had so far taught her nothing, and Paillardin's audacity 
barely disturbed her. In her secret heart she, perhaps, felt a 
coquettish pride at being admired by a wealthy man like him- 
self, with a carriage and servants in livery. Still she knew 
from Madame Naviel that if a woman wishes to be respected 
she must init a stop to all amorous enterprises. So, without 
showuig any ridiculous fright, she settled herself in the corner 
of the carriage. ' 

" You know very well, " she said, with a touch of girhsh irony, 
" that I can't be your wife. I'm both too young and too poor 
for you." 

" So my gray hair frightens you, Andrde ; but can't you imder- 
stand that a man of my age loves more and better than another i 
You are not aware that yoimg fellows especially love their own 
little persons and their own foolish vanity. If you shared my 
hfe, my pretty one — I don't say now, but in two or three years' 
time — I would engage to settle your parents comfortably, and 
procure you aU the enjoyments of a queen. All Paris would 
talk kbout your dresses and your carriages. We would travel 
about like a pair of lovers, and I would love you like you will 
never be loved by any one else. " 

" That dream can't be realized, sir," said Andree. 

The brougham stopped. The footman opened the door and 
Paillardin alighted the first to offer his hand to the young girl. 
At that moment a stylish landau, with coachman and footman 
in a blue livery, drew up close by. A golden-haired woman, 
extremely beautiful and sparkling with jewels, sprang out onto 
the asphalt, and took the arm of a well-dressed gentleman with 
a decoration at his button-hole. Perceiving Andree standing 
in the gaslight, in the vestibule of the theater, she looked at her 
and exclaimed in a loud voice : " Do you see that girl, d'Albigny? 
She's as much like me as if she were my daughter. " 

" The deuce," replied d'Albigny. " But if that were the case 
you might be a grandmother, my dear," 


NDR^E immediately raised her head, Where had she seen 
tnat golden-haired woman before ? At this moment Pahlardin 
leaned toward her and whispered: " That's Nana? " 
" Ah! I recollect, " murmured the young girl with a shudder. 

nana's daughter. 41 

Tho first pioro had just finished as thoy reached the grand 
tier where Paillardiii iiad engaged a four-seat box. Nana on 
her side occupied a proscenium box with the marquis, and, when 
she entered, a murmur of admiration ran round the house. Her 
reign of beauty had histed for fifteen years already. But time 
had shpped along without setting its fingers on tho devil's master- 
piece. Ironical, insolent and fatal, her authority increased each 
day in the world of vice. She loved D'Albigny as a woman of her 
kind could love. They were attracted toward each other by 
their common depravation : D'Albigny completed Nana. 

She had ruined the marquis, but he hved in her house, where 
fetes were constantly given. And each entertainment was a 
pretext for gambling, at which D'Albigny and Nana went part- 
ners, winning persistently. In fact, the marquis invariably had 
the most insolent good luck, and he had acquired a perfect rep- 
utation for infallibility at the Bourse, where he speculated with 
Nana's funds, turning them to remarkably good account. The 
opulent splendor of her mansion had become something fabulous; 
and ministers, generals, and ambassadors attended her kettle- 
drums, concerts, and charity fetes. Bent on maintaining her 
supremacy she had studied music and learned three foreign lan- 
guages, so that she now sang hke Madame Krauss, and could 
have sold the secrets of Franco to Bismarck — in German. 

During the years which had just elapsed, French society had 
been afflicted with a terrible disease — the Second Empire. 
Aristocracy, middle and lower classes, women, men, bodies, 
consciences, all were venal. Entire Paris might have worn a 
label bearing the inscription "For Sale." And, meanwhile, 
Nana's fair head and disturbing smile rose high above the wreck 
of honesty. It was she, indeed, who set the fashions. Virtuous 
women imitated her toilets, but without being able to equal her 
luxury ; and no wonder, for China, India, Japan, sent her their 
most costly fabrics and most precious jewels. 

One day a rajah left a million francs' worth of diamonds at 
her mansion. But she sent them back to him, whereupon he 
returned and oflferod her all his jewels, all his wealth ; a casket full 
of black pearls, his priceless aigrette of rubies, his massive gold 
bracelets studded with emeralds, his flashing rings — everythtug, 
indeed, even to his curved saber with its hilt encrusted with sap- 
phires. To please him she laughingly accepted the gift, and a week 
afterward she turned him out of her house. As for the brace- 
lets, she sold the gold to the Mint to be turned into coinage, and 
sent the emeralds to Fontana to set them as a diadem. 

However, the Empire had come and gone, the Republic had 
been re-establi.shed, and still Nana reigned. Since she had 
begun to patronize the Bouffes every one followed her there. 
And this evening the entire house watched her, noting her slight- 
est gestures and ready to acclaim her as if she had been a queen. 
Nana's Daughter 3. 


It was with a proud smile that she acknowledged the distant 
bows of the young " mashers " whom she recognized in the stalls, 
and who had more or less squandered their fortunes at her fetes. 
The " real ladies" among the authence tried to imitate this smile 
of her's, looking at themselves in the mirrors hanging in their 
boxes. Nana's smile passed indeed like a hghtning flash over 
the assv^mhled spectators, and illuminated even the darkest 

Andrde recollected now. She had seen her in the wrestler's 
booth on the day of her freak at Saint Cloud. And she recog- 
nized the gentleman, too, the titled amateiu", who had won nine 
hundred and ninety-five napoleons in the bet, exposed by Face- 
to-Smack. At thought of Face-to-Smack, the beaten and yet 
contented clown, so thin and yet so kind, her heart strangely 
softened. He appeared to her radiant in his white costume. 
She had long awaited him, thinking each morning that she would 
see him look up at her window, or pass before the door of the 
house she hved in, according to his promise ; but he had never 
come. Perhaps he was dead by now 1 At this idea her heart 
fairly melted. 

M. Paillardin, who was absorbed in his admiration of Nana, 
forgot Andree for the time being. His parvenu's blood warmed 
with brutal adoration for the harlot who was enthroned under a 
velvet dais, amid a scintillation of jewels, hke a madonna 
crowned with stars. No glasses were levelled at Andree's simple 
beauty ; but she cared little about this, as she was absorbed in 
the recollections which the sight of Nana had awakened. " Poor 
Face-to-Smack ! " she muttered. Then suddenly the cm"tain 
rose, and her thoughts returned from travehng through the 
distant past. 

All Paris at that time went to see Madame Judic and hear 
Madame Peschard in the Timbale cP Argent. The piece contained 
a serenade, which Peschard sang remarkably well. As for Judic, 
she spoke her verses with suggestive reticence and artful by- 
play, like a school-girl who knows more than she dare con- 
fess — and this new style fairly revolutionized the pubhc, which 
had had a surfeit of musical coarseness and dirty absurdities 
imder the Emjure. 

Andree was greatly interested in what took place on the stage, 
but every now and then Nana attracted her attention. The 
queen of vice amused herself by emphasizing Judic's success, 
and called out with an Italian accent : "Brava! Braval Judic," 
between each verse. Thanks to her the final stanza was 

However, Nana could afford to act generously, for she was 
sure of her own power. During the entr'acte, her box filled with 
a court of middle-aged, serious-looking men, wearing decora- 
tions at their button-holes, and almost all of whom had left some 

nana's daughter. 43 

lady to pay their respects to a harlot. A sensation was caused 
by the appoaranco of Stog, the Director of tho Postal Service, 
and tho German Prince of AluUiauscn, two of Nana's new 
adorers. They affDcs^ a certain stillness with D'Albigny, who 
was tolerated, however, on account of his position as " prince 

For a minute or two Nina's mind and eyes had been absorbed 
in contemplation of Andreo, " Who are you looking at like 
that, my dear I" asked the marquis. 

"At that young girl over there — beside that stout fellow. 
Ton know who I mean — the girl who came in at the same time 
as us. I am greatly puzzled by her likeness to myself. " 

Nana's courtiers immediately directed their attention to Pail- 
lardin's box, and D'Albigny exclaimed : " 'Pon my word, it's 

At once the whole house turned toward the young girl. Heads 
and glasses were raised, and an electric current of admiration 
sped through this assembly of biases. Andree felt somewhat 
intimidated, and drew back so as to be less in view. Shortly 
afterward, however, there came a discreet knock at tho box 
door, which Paillardin went to open. On the threshold stood 
the box-opener with a huge bouquet of white roses in her hand. 
" I was requested to give these flowers to this young lady," 
said the woman. 

Andree blushed. 

"Oh! You can take them, little one," observed Paillardin. 
" They don't engage you to anything. They are simply an 
homage to your beauty, besides," he added, drawing his head 
up, " I'm here to protect you. " 

Andree, who had risen, accepted tho bouquet, leaned forward 
to inhale its perfume, and then sat down again, in view of tho 
audience. Her hair now flashed with renewed brilUancy amid 
the golden light shed by the great luster, her deep eyes glis- 
tened, and as she raised her head she seemed transfigured by 
the pleasure she derived from the mute homage of these budding 
roses, the symbols of her youth. 

Thereupon Nana raised her dainty hands and applauded with 
her tapering, gold-spanned fingers. She even repeated in a 
loud voice the remark she had previously made: "It's aston- 
ishing. One might take her for my daughter. " 

The whole house heard the words, and there was a growing 
hum which sped fi'om mouth to mouth, ascending from the stalls 
to " paradise. " " Nana's daughter !" repeated the swell occu- 
pants of the boxes. " Nana's daughter !" the friezes re-echoed. 

" 'Pon my word, she's like her ?" exclaimed a masher who was 
ogling Andi-ee with an arrogant air. 

Even the women leaned forward to see her, and made compar- 
isons aloud. Bare shoulders with velvety sheen were displayed 


iu the full light. And femmine comments in silvery voices could 
be heard amid the buzz of the swells in dress clothes. 

The enthusiasm which Andree awakened, and which to 
Paillardin's mind reflected somewhat on himself, made him jeal- 
ously gallant again. In his heart the fat fellow was biursting 
with satisfied vanity. He assumed all sorts of love-sick atti- 
tudes, and approached very close to Andr6e so as to whisper 
highly-spiced things in her ear. The suggestive witticisms of the 
piece had enlivened him, and Andree's success was fanning his 
flame. He spoke the language of an ex-woman-kfller and 
vaguely alarmed the child, whose protector he wished to seem. 
However, Andree laughed without understanding him, and her 
charming laughter lent her a flash of gay vivacity which 
increased her seductive power. Little by httle she became 
enervated and felt herself enveloped, penetrated by the breath 
of corrupting admiration. A kind of hallucination made her 
find everything good and beautifid. Even Paillardin appeared 
to be transfigured, and, in spite of his blotched, apoplectical 
face, she no longer thought him either so ugly or so old. He 
had had sufficient influence over her to induce her to accept 
that bouquet, and now he was saying things which she ought 
not to have heard. 

Suddenly, however, there came a loud knock at the box door. 

*' Who's there?" asked Paillardin, impatiently. 

" It's I, Pierre Naviel, " replied a gruti' voice. 

" My father!" exclaimed Andree, and she blushed as if she 
were in fault. 

A workman with an energetic bronzed face, a broad sliould- 
ered colossus with frank eyes and a smile of cordial honesty, 
stood in the light of the passage outside. "I've come to fetch 
you, my girl, " he said to Andree. 

The curtain was about to rise again for the third act, and 
Andree would have very much liked to stay. 

" No," added Pierre Naviel with gentle firmness. " It isn't 
your place here, and your mother was wrong " 

On hearing this, Paillardin wished to intervene. 

" Excuse me, sir," observed the workman, " my girl owes you 
all obedience in the work-room, but elsewhere it's for her father 
to decide. " 

Andr6e thereupon rose up and followed Pierre Naviel, carry- 
ing away with her the beautifid bouquet of white roses, the 
trophy of her ephemereal triumph. She felt a pang of regret as 
she passed down the street and saw the brougham waiting. She 
thought of this first success she owed to her beauty, and with 
which she was still intoxicated. But suddenly a disturbing 
thought occurred to her: Whom had the crowd acclaimed? 
Was it Andr6o Naviel ? 

No ; it was Nana'a daughter ! 



"VTnEN tho petals began to fall from the bouquet of white rosos, 
standing on the chest of drawers, Andreo decided to remove the 
faded llu'.vcrs and cut tho riijljou whicli bomid them together. 
As slie did so a card fell out — a card bearing the name, 
" Lueien Despretz," with these words written underneath : " To 
virtuous beauty!" Whence came this advice disguised as a 
compliment? She could not tell. But at all events her un- 
known athuiror ottered his x)erfumed homage to Andi'eo Naviel, 
and n(jt to Nana's daughter. 

She preciously stowed the card away in tho little box where 
she kept her secrets, and preserved the petals of the faded roses 
in a drawer. Who could this Lueien Despretz be ? She knew 
no one of that name. She pictured to herself a lover as hand- 
some as some hero of romance — an imaginary Lueien Despretz, 
who, according to her fancy, in turn assumed different forms. 
Now ho was an officer in a brilliant imiform, tall, with a proud 
bearing, and curling black mustaches. Now again ho was 
some young writer or man of science destined" to achieve 
cclel)rity, and she iiictured him with his head slightly bowed in 
thought, with long hair waving back off his lofty brow, and a 
tawny beard trimmed to a point. 

But soon, thanks to her active life of toil, her imagination 
sobered down, and tho visions vanished. She grew stouter, and 
bloomed in all the pride of youthful beauty. On going up and 
down the stairs she had sometimes met a young man of twenty- 
four or thereabouts, with closely-cropped hair and a light curlj 
beard. He had a gentlemanly appearance, with clear, h(mest 
eyes, and a frank, kind smile, saddened somewhat, perhaps, by 
a shade of bitterness at tho corners of tho mouth. She had not 
remarked anythmg particular about this young man, save that 
he was tall and slight of build, and always bowed to her mo;;t 
politely, drawing aside as soon as he perceived her, so as to let 
her pass. She knew that ho lived on tho same flat as herself, 
with his mother, who was always dressed in black, and 
whom she also sometimes met, but she was ignorant even of 
their name. 

One evening, however, as she was returning homo fi-om the 
work-room, she espied a card nailed on her neighbor's door. 
Tho house porter had just lighted the gas, and Andree glanced 
at tho name upon the card. She recognized it at once, and 
experienced great emotion. So it was he, the imknown admirer, 
who had sent her those flowers, that evening at the Bouffes ! 
Tho slim young man with the fair beard and the short-cropped 
hair was named Lueien Despretz. 

That name had illuminated her girhsh reveries for days and 

46 nana's daughter. 

weeks and months ; but little by little it had faded from her 
quieted mind. Now, however, the old dreams returned trans- 
formed, having assumed a definite shape, and she never met 
Lucien Despretz afterward, without feeling that a blush was 
mantling over her face. There was no other change in her life. 
The young fellow never spoke to her. Only once did he venture 
to smile as he poUtcly made her his customary bow. But as 
Mademoiselle Naviel did not return the smile he became more 
and more respectful. One day, even Andree thought she noticed 
that he turned pale as he passed beside her. 

Pierre Naviel willingly allowed his daughter any harmless 
enjoyment ; and for Andree's sake he tried to acquire a liking 
for high art. At winter tune he treated her to the Theatre 
franpais, and the Opera Comique, and in the siunmer he took 
her into the environs with her mother. They sat down in some 
garden-restaurant overlooking the river, and partook of fried 
gudgeon freshly fished from the Seine, and washed down with a 
bottle of light wine. When the day waned they set off home, 
with their hmbs tired, but their mind at rest, and they wUhngly 
loitered to admire the serene splendor of evening, the fading 
ruddiness of the sky, and the changeful, moire-hke aspect of the 
river, flowing silently along amid the peace of sunset. On these 
occasions they often took the steamboat from Bas-Meudon to 
the Point d'Austerlitz, which they crossed on their way home. 

One Sunday, at the end of October, they started off early in 
the morning to spend a last day at BeUevue. After a month's 
rain, the sxm had deigned to show itself, and the sear and yeUow 
wood was impregnated with moist heat. The swallows had 
started southward, but a few songsters were warbling their last 
autumnal lays. The Naviels bought some ham, bread, wine 
and pears at BeUevue, and climbed as far as the keeper's lodge. 
And then came the last picnic of the year on the leaf-strewn 
grass. Before evening had set in, they descended the slope 
toward the boat, for Madame Naviel had noticed that Andree 
had been coughing sUghtly, and she mistrusted the dew which 
falls after sunset. It was nearly seven o'clock when they landed 
at the Point d'Austerlitz. The glare had long since faded from 
the clouds, and a dense fog was hovering over the Seine. The 
massive, square towers of Notre Dame rose up above the mist, 
which soared but slowly from the river, and assumed strange, 
spectral forms, winding procession-like around the cathedral. 
In vain did the gas-lighters ignite the lamps upon the quays, 
they barely glimmered amid tlie white vapor, and police agents 
had to station themselves on the bridges with flaring torches. 

The Naviels were half-way across the Point d'Austerlitz when 
a tall, slim fellow ran past them. Suddenly the sound of his 
footsteps ceased, and from the depths of the fog Andree heard & 
Btifled cry, and then the splash of a body falling into the water. 

nana's daughter. 47 

Pierre Navicl heard the sound as well. " Wait for me a 
minute ! " said he to his wife and daughter, and, hurrying away 
in the direction which the man had taken, he soon disappeared 
in the fog. 

Torches could he seen hurrying along the quay, and a buzz of 
voices was wafted through the mist. Andree distinctly heard 
some one exclaim, " It's here." whereupon another person 
asked: "How many are they?" and the first voice repUed, 
" There are two of them." 

" Throw the hfe buoys from the landing stage ! " exclaimed 
another person. 

" Ay, that's it. Make haste, for heaven's sake." 

" Torches here ! Torches here I The river's smoking, one 
can't see anything. " 

" Now's the time for you fellows who know how to swim. But 
they must have gone to the bottom. One can't hear anything 

" No, no ; I can see something over there beyond the landing 

"What, in this fog? You must have fine eyes, and no mis- 

Exclamations arose and intermingled on all sides, but no one 
dared devote himself for fear of being lost in the river amid the 
fog. " WeU, it's all over ! " said some one who passed near 
Andree. " All they will need now is a slab at the Morgue."* 

*' What a set of cowards ! " cried Andrde. ** What, isn't there 
one among them who will tiy to save my father ? Well, I'll set 
them the example, then. " 

Madame Naviel raised a frightened cry and tried to detain 
her daughter ; but Andree freed herself and hastened down the 
steps leading to the pontoons. Obedient only to the dictates of 
her heart, she was about to spring into the water, when she 
heard her father calling to her from above the quay. " Andree! 
Andree ! Stop, my girl ! I'm saved ! " 

The voice was coming nearer, but such was Andr^e's emotion 
that she fell fainting on the quay. In three boimds Pierre 
Naviel was down the steps. He stopped, caught his daughter 
up in his arms, and as she opened her eyes, he asked: " Unfor- 
tunate child ! What could you be thinking of? " 

"I wanted to — join you," rephed Andree, in a trembling 

Madame Naviel, who had followed her husband, now drew 
near, and the young girl speedily recovered her strength. " It's 
nothing, " she said. " I can walk now. Let us go." Then she 

*The establishment where the bodies of unknown people are exhibited for purpoies 
of identification in cases of death by accident, suicide or murder. — [Trans.1 


took her father's arm, and as they chmbed the steps again, 
" Where is that poor fellow? " she asked. 

'' Up there, on a bench. He's being attended to. Do you 
know, he positively wouldn't help me to save him. He kept on 
saying, ' Let me die 1 Let me die ! I want to drown myself, 
for I've nothing to eat.' Meantime ho was drinking, and though 
I tried my best, he was so long and lanky that he kept on sinlk- 
ing like a bit of lead " 

" Let us go and see how he's getting on," said Andr6e. " I 
feel better now. " And she drew herself up so that her father 
might think her all right again. 

"Very well; let us go. The poor devil iutorests me," said 
Naviol. ** Come along, wife." 

When they reached the bench whore Pierre had handed the 
the half-drowned man over to the care of a passing doctor, they 
found the unfortunate fellow sitting pale and shivering amid a 
circle of sight-seers. " May I ask you to be charitable, gentle- 
men, to this poor man, who's hungry ? " said Andree, in her soft, 
winning voice ; and taldng her father's hat, she made the round 
of the circle. 

When she returned in front of the poor devil, he stared at her 
with widely-dilated eyes, by the light of a street lamp near the 
bench. "What, is it you? Excuse mo, mademoiselle," he 
stammered. " But how you've grown since the fete at St. 
Cloud. " 

Ajidrdo gazed at this tall, slim, haggard man, and a distant 
recollection was awakened in her mind. 

"Don't you recognize Face-to-Smack, mademoiselle? You 
are too old now. You wouldn't let the poor clown kiss you as 
you did. " 

" What ! is it really you ? " said Andr6o. " Father, this Is the 
good fellow I told you about. If it hadn't been for him I should, 
perhaps, be a tight-rope dancer nowadays. " 

All the sterling worth of her heart was revealed by that con- 
fession. And yet the man before her was no longer her old 
mountebank, who had looked so funny in his loose clown's dress. 
His misery was suggestive of acute bitterness and self-abandon- 
ment. His unkempt hair of equal length foil, raggedly, over his 
shoulders, and his bushy, clotted board of a yellowish white told 
a painful story of indigence. However, Pierre Naviel hailed a 
cab, and the old clown, to whom Androo had just handed tho 
collection money, was told to get inside. Twenty minutes later 
the Naviels reached home, accompanied by poor Face-to-Smack, 
Btni shivering with cold and hunger. But Andree at once found 
some dry clothes, and tho ex-mountebank was taken by Pierre 
into tho bedroom to put them on, while Madame Naviel lighted 
a big fire and laid tho table. 

While they supped, tho rescued man told his story in a 


piteous tone. It was the familiar odyssey of all those who, after 
losing caste, siulc deeper and deeper into the sul)strata of Parisian 
life. At times in the course of this despairing confession, there 
came phrases of regret, not destitute of dignity. At ono moment, 
for instance, he alluded to his child. "She would be of yom* 
age, mademoiselle," he said to Andr(3e. "And she would be 
pretty, too, I'm sm-e of it. And I — I shouldn't be so miserable ; 
I should have some courage, then, and I should work " 

" No doubt, no doubt, comrade; a man nmst work," observed 
Pierre Naviel. " He's nothing without work. If you liked, ono 
might try to get you engaged as a salesman or a messenger by 
M. Paillardin, for you don't seem built for foundiy work other- 
wise " 

" Thank you, sir, I know how to write and cipher; I was a 
bookkeeper once upon a time and I had an houorablo position. 
Well, I lost it through my own fault. I was mad about that 
woman who's now so well known in Paris, what with her horses 
and luxury and lackeys and so on, which everybody pays for. 
Ah! I was a thief for her — yes, a thief! It's the truth. I 
wanted to put the money back in the safe, but before I could do 
so she had me locked up, the wretch. Aud the money was 
meant for our baby. Ah, Heavens! You can't say I wasn't 
right to drown myself. Yesterday I met the governor — you 
know, the Hercules — and he advanced me a franc to get myself 
shaved and turn Face-to-Smack again. I took the coin, but 
you see how I'm shaved. And so with my poodle mug I don't 
dare go to the booth for he might pull my beard off. " 

" What did you do with his money then ? " asked Naviel. 

" I drank it, sir, to get up courage to drown myself. But I 
shan't begin a second time. I know where I intend to go 
to-morrow. Excuse me, mademoiselle, I feel very happy to have 
seen you again — and now I'm off. " 

The Na\iels did not try to detain him ; but Andr6e conducted 
him onto the landing. Scarcely was the door opened, however, 
than he stopped short on the threshold and gazed with dilated 
eyes at the card aflflxed to the door opposite. Then, without a 
word, he suddenly bolted down the stairs, scampering away as if 
a ghost had been behind him. 


When the winter was over, as soon as the eyes of the branches 
oegan to sprout, the pleasure parties began again. The rose 
" mounters " employed by Messrs. Paillardin & Co. were in the 
habit of spending the first spring Sunday together in the coun- 
try, and that year Andree was invited. Her mother made no 
oi^i■c^ction, and so she accepted, being greatly deUghted with the 


prospect of this April ramble. She had not found the winter 
very lively, for the Seine had overflowed, and the inundation had 
reached the foundry where Pierre worked. As the furnaces 
were extinguished, and nearly a month's enforced idleness fol- 
lowed, the Naviels were obliged to forego their Sunday visits 
to the theater, and even to content themselves with short 

But they courageously put up with these privations ; and, as 
easy circumstances returned with the spring, Andree's parents 
were unwilling to refuse her the enjoyment of a day's free gaiety 
in the fields. Only, when she was ready to start, Pierre Naviel 
accompanied her to the door, and kissing her on the forehead, 
he exclaimed : " Amuse yourself. An dree, but promise me that 
if your employer's there, you will find some suitable excuse to 
come home at once. " 

" I promise it, father." 

" I rely on you, my girl ; for, to tell the truth, I don't put any 
faith in Paillardin. I've good reasons for that, and your mother 
has told me enough to show me what kind of chap he is. " 

At the foot of the stairs, Andree met the young man, her 
neighbor, who seemed to bo waiting for her. For the last two 
months they had spoken to each other when they met on the 
stairs. M. Lucien Despretz inquired with respectful interest 
after Mademoiselle Andree's health, and Andree asked him for 
news of his widowed mother. On Sunday mornings, too, when 
Madame Despretz went out marketing, she sometimes met 
Madame Naviel, and on these occasions they talked housekeep- 
ing together. Their comiection had not yet gone any farther, 
however. They did not call on one another. Their meetings 
were strictly limited to the street, the stairs, or the landing. 

But on that Sunday morning it seemed to Andree as if M. 
Lucien Despretz approached her with a kind of premeditation. 
" You are going out, mademoiselle ? " he asked, after inquiring 
about her health. 

" Yes, I am going into the country ; and you ? " 

" Oh I Fm not going anj'where — and yet, if you would allow 
me to accompany you a short distance, I shouldn't bo sorry to 
speak to you of a serious matter. " 

" Willingly," replied Andree, " I am going to the St. Lazare 
station to meet some of the girls of our work-room. If you will 
come there with me, we can talk on the way. " 

" Is it far where you intend to spend the day ? " 

" Between Rueil and LaMalraaison. Margot, one of our girls. 
Is going to take us to dine at the house of an xmcle of hers. He 
has a house and garden there, it seems, and while he's away 
she has the keys, with i)ermission to gather any fruit. How- 
ever, we are all going to take something with us, and I mean to 
t»uy a terrine de foie gras m the Rue St. Lazare. The others 


will bring what they like. Margot supplies the dessert and even 
the wine. " 

" I am delighted by the frankness with which you give me all 
this information, Mademoiselle Andr6e. Will you take my arm, 
if you don't find rae too tall for you? " 

" Not at all. I like tall men, " she answered, taking the young 
fellow's arm. 

They crossed the Place do la Bastilo without saying anything, 
and began to follow the lino of the boulevards. Paris wore its 
Sunday aspect. The sim had risen very bright for the occasion, 
and the shops were shut. Overhead, the windows were opening, 
and women in morning negliges, and with uncombed hair, 
looked into the street. Here and there a bare white arm was 
stretched out to fasten a shutter back, secure a Venetian blind, 
or water a favorite flower ; and as one or another of these move- 
ments was executed, a nicely-roimded elbow peered forth from 
a short, loose sleeve. From time to time, on the balconies aloft, 
some minor functionary of the public services, in a dressing- 
gown and a fez, could be seen smoking his pipe while he perused 
the Vie Parisienne, or some equally serious newspaper. On 
the pavement whole ftimilies, rigged out in their Sunday best, 
were camping outside the dram-shops, or walking in noisy 
parties toward the railway stations. 

" Would you allow me to tell you my opinion of the uncle of 
Mademoiselle Margot, whom I have not the honor of knowing, 
by the way ? " asked Lucien Despretz of Andrce. 

" Wliatisit, pray?" 

" That he is no more her uncle than I am. ' 

" What is he, then ! " 

" Her protector, mademoiselle ; just as your employer, M. 
PaUlardin, aspired to become yours — that evening at the 
Bouffes when I was present. And that woman who almost suc- 
ceeded in passing you off as her daughter ! And that crowd of 
fools who only noticed you because Nana did so ! And that fat 
porpoise Paillardin, who revelled in your success ! Ah ! what a 
bitter memory I retain of that evening, though perhaps it gave 
you pleasure. It is only natural that such a beautiful yoimg 
girl as yourself should be fond of homage. " 

" I am not ugly, sir, I know it ; but, believe me, homage only 
pleases me according to its worth. And on the evening you 
speak of, what most pleased me, what made me very happy, was. 
M. Lucien Despretz's bouquet and the few words that accom- 
panied it. That proved to me that the unknown fiiend who 
sent it had guessed that Andrde Naviel could have nothing in 
common with the woman you allude to. " 

" So my bouquet pleased you, then? " 

" Yes, very much indeed, and I kept it a very long, long time; 

52 nana's daughter. 

and ■when tlie petals fell, I placed them m a di-awer to scent my 
linen. Come, smell my handkerchief. " 

A bright smile of happiness passed over Lucien's face. 
" Thank you, mademoiselle, " he said with some emotion in his 
Yoice. " That will compel you to think of me." 

" By the way, what was the serious matter you wished to 
speak to me about ? " 

" Forgive me if I hesitate, Mademoiselle Andrce. If I do so, 
it is because the happiness of my life is at stake." 

" Why do you put on such a serious air with me ? True, I 
am perhaps rather childish, and I may not be able to imderstand 
what you have to tell mo, or to answer you. However, speak. " 

*' I wish to ask your parents for your hand. Mademoiselle 
Andr(§o ; but, before doing so, I must solicit your permission. 
It was to tell you this that I waited for you, as I knew you were 
going out. " 

" Then listen to me, Monsieur Lucien. Before marrying I 
wish to knotv the man who is to be my husband. I shall not be 
guided by his looks or his fortune. What I ask is that he shaU 
be good, honest, and capable of always loving me. Now I don't 
Imow you, and I can make you no promise. Tell my father of 
your intentions and ask his permission to visit us. Come and 
see us with your mother, we shall know each other better, and 
we shall soon see if our tastes and characters agree. I have 
never loved any one, and it only depends on you to be the fli-st 
and the last in my heart. " 

This frank and serious conversation had occupied considerable 
time, for there were intervals of silence when they paused to 
reflect, and the words came but slowly from their lips, as they 
wished to weigh them. Lucien was anxious not to oflend or 
alarm Andr6e by a too boldly worded avowal of his love ; and 
she, on her side, coquottishly tried to say just sufficient to leave 
him some hope, but not too much. Ignorant as she was of her 
own heart she did not wish him to be over-confident. 

They had now reached the St. Lazare station, and Andr6e 
purchased a terrine defoie gras before going in. Lucien Despretz 
took leave of her at tho foot of the steps, at the top of which 
her companions were waiting. It was five minutes to ten by 
the outside clock, so the girls made haste to take their retm-n 
tickets ; and ten mhuites later the train was on the way to Rueil. 
They had decided to ride outside, || and as gay as a party of 
hohday-bomid school-girls they enjoyed the fresh breeze which 
reddened their cheeks, and the swaying motion of tho blind force 
which carried them swiftly onward. It was half-past ten when 
they reached Kueil, where for tlu'ce sous tliey toolc the hijoti 

il For the benefit of the reader who has not traveled in France, it may be mentioned 
that on the Paris suburban railway lines, the carriages have an upper story uuly 
roofed and provided with wooden seats, but open on either side. — [Trans.] 

nana's daughter. 53 

h'ain of f^nr miniature carriages which journeys along a toy lino 
to Port ]\larly. At La Alalmaisou they alighted, and Margot 
guideil her friends for a short thstanco till they reached a pali- 
sade bordering the road. There was a door which she opened, 
and the whole party entered a large oblong garden plentifully 
planted with pear trees. At the farther end stood two pavil- 
lions, one on either hand, and both of them surrounded with 
clusters of standard roses. 

" We shall dine there, " said Margot, pointing to the pavilion 
on the right-hand side. " And we may as well take our provis- 
ions there at once. My uncle's servant will lay the table, and 
everythmg will be ready when we return from the garden. " 

Tliey walked to the pavilion and entered a large but simply 
furnished dining-room. There was but one object that attracted 
Andree's attention, and that was a tumbler on the side-board. 
It has been used this same morning, no doubt, and had been 
forgotten there. Andree approached to look at it, and when 
she perceived the initial engraved on one side of it she could 
not forbear shuddering. It was the first letter of Paillardin's 


At about six o'clock, when the daylight was already waning, 
the girls sat down to supper. The sun was slowly sinking 
behind the woods, and the pear trees cast long tapering 
shadows across the weedy pathways. A gust of wind passed 
by, bending the poplars Ijeside the river, which was suddenly 
creased with ripples as bright as silver scales. In the rear, 
behind Marly, a red cloud stood out like a stain of blood on the 
pale azure sky. With the exception of Andr6e all the girls 
were very meiTy. Margot poured out the wine, and all the 
glasses now proved to be plain ones. Curiously enough, the 
tumbler with the engraved initial had disappeared. A petro- 
leum lamp had been lighted by Margot, and stood in the center 
of the table which it barely sufficed to illuminate. 

" That lamp of yours gives no hght at all, " said one of the 
girls, "I thought you had another one ; where is it? " 

" Over the way, of course ! You know, my dears, we are going 
to have some champagne at supper. My uncle pays for it, so 
let us drink his health." With these words Margot deftly 
uncorked a bottle and filled the glasses. 

" To the health of the uncle who stands champagne I " cried 
aU the girls in chorus. 

Andree was tortured by an ardent thirst, and she allowed 
Margot to fill her glass three or four times in qiuck succession. 
A hectic flush speedily rose to her cheeks, and surrounding 
objects assumed a fantastic aspect in her imagination. Her 


companions also soon began to feel the effects of the effervescent 
beverage. Their clear girlish laughter rose gaily above the 
clatter of the forks and plates, and mingled with the detonations 
of the champagne corks which Margot loosened with diabolical 
zest. Just as the dessert had been served a general cry arose. 
" Come, Margot, sing us the timbale! " 

" All right, my dears. In honor of Andr(5e Naviel then, the 
pretty novice, and only real rosi6ro here," rejoined Paillardin's 
favorite, springing onto the table. And then with an exag- 
gerated tremolo worthy of a music-hall prima donna, she began 
to sing Judic's verses in the Timbale d' Argent : 

" High upon the greasy pole, 
The prize of virtue hangs ! " 

Tapping on their glasses with their knives, the other girls 
duly took up the chorus, shouting at the top of their voices: 

" Another one who can't climb up 1 
Another one who's missed the cup ! " 

But all this orgy-like mirth began to sadden Andr^e, and when 
the song was over she remarked that it was time to start, as 
they had taken return tickets, and besides, so far as she herself 
was concerned, it was absolulely necessary she should go home. 
A general burst of laughter greeted her remark. " We are 
going to sleep here, my dear Andrde, " said Margot, *' and 
we only took return tickets to let you imagine we intended to go 
home this evening." 

*' You can stop if you choose, but as for myself, I'm going 

" Go home, my dear; go home, my child," rejoined Margot, 
waxing maternal under the influence of the champagne. 

" What has been done with my mantel and my hat? " asked 

" They are over there, in the other pavilion," sneered Paillar- 
din's favorite, 

Andree went out into the garden, and found that big drops of 
rain were beginning to fall. An opaque veil had gi'adually 
shrouded the sky while the dinner was progi-essing, and now the 
black clouds sped swiftly over the wood of larches, hanging so 
low that they scmcd to touch the tree-tops. A steam tug, which 
was pufllng up tlie river near Croissy, suddenly rent the air 
atwain with a hoarse signal like the alarm cry of some wild 
beast. Andree saw a light in the paviUon which Margot had 
designated, and, thinking that the gardener of the property 
lived there, she hastened toward it. Her heart was beating 
fast, and she seemed to divine some imminent, mysterious 

nana's daughter. 55 

danger Tvhich mic^lit blast her very life. Still a strange and 
forcible temerity urged J icr to risk everything. The cold even- 
ing air increased the i)assing derangement of her faculties. 
Heated for the moment before, she now experienced a reaction ; 
she shivered, her limbs quaked, and at moments she fancied 
that the old pear trees made strange gesticulations and marched 
toward her in a Imo like sharpshooters. 

At a few paces from the pavilion she stopped short and shud- 
dered, as she had done that morning on seemg the initialed glass. 
A window on the first floor was lighted up and a shadow was 
constantly passing to and fro — the shadow of a portly man. 
" Bah 1 " said Andreo at last. " It surely can't be he. And 
besides what have I to fear ? Am I not sure of myself? Didn't 
I once pass a whole evening alone with him ? He is said to be 
a libertine and yet he has never harmed me. Men like M. Pail- 
lardin don't trifle with virtuous women. I am really very foolish 
to have these fancies. Besides, if he were here, he would have 
dined with us." 

On reaching the pavilion she knocked, but no answer came. 
The door was ajar, however, and pushing it open she found 
herself at the foot of a narrow staircase, over the upper steps of 
which there played a ray of light. Andree resolutely began to 
climb the stairs, but she had scarcely taken a few steps before 
she heard the house-door close behind her. Then from the 
lighted landing overhead, a voice called out : '' Come up, my 
dear, come up ; " and as she raised her eyes she saw PaiUardin 
above her. He was smiling, and his smile suddenly changed 
into a loud sardonic laugh which shook his bulky frame. It was 
now too late to retreat, so Andree assiuued an air of confidence 
and went up onto the landing. 

" I have come to fetch my mantle and my hat, as I'm going 
home," she quietly said. 

" Going home in such weather as this ? I can never consent 
to that, my dear." 

" My parents are waiting for me. " 

" Oh dear, no. Margot telegraphed to them that you would 
sleep here. " 

" It Is impossible, sir, " said Andrde in a firm voice. 

"Excuse me, pretty one; and come in here," rejoined Pail- 
lardin, motioning the young girl to what appeared to be his bed- 

" I shall not enter your room," was her reply. 

" You surely don't intend to pass the night on the stairs ? " 

" I wish to leave this house." 

" But the door's shut and you are caught, my dove. For I 
must tell you that this pleasure party was only arranged to bring 
you here. Your companions are all jealous of you, and they 


cau't understand why you should be so prudish with your 
emijioyor, when they are jus t the contrary." 

*' This trap is unworthy of an honest man, Monsieur Paillardin, 
hut I declare to you that if you dare to touch me I shall be 

" By whom, pray? " 

" By my father. " 

" Your father ! Why you -won't dare to tell him anything, and 
if you did, he wouldn't venture to create a scandal for fear of 
injuring your reputation. And besides, let him try it; I shalJ 
turn you and your mother out of my establishment at once. 
Now, if you don't want to bo carried, walk in. " 

Andr6e measui'ed the extent of her peril. A virtuous girl, she 
did not know exactly to what depths of degradation this man 
might try to reduce her, but she reaUzed that it was a question 
for her to be or not to be. At this thought she made up her 
mind and took a terrible resolution. From across the garden 
the wind wafted thg strains of Margot and her compauions who 
wero ii'onically singing Madame Judic's song: 

" See, down she shps despite her tries, 
Another one has lost the prize ! " 

Andr^e heard them, but she heeded not; and strong in her 
resolve, she quietly entered PaiUardin's room. 

In front of the window stood a bedstead surmounted by a 
baldaquin with cm"tains of blue damask lined with yellow silk. 
All around, the panels were adorned with tall mirrors resting on 
marble consoles with legs of gilt woodwork in the Louis Qumzo 
style. On a chest of drawers, in a corner, stood a hghted lamp 
similar to that which iUuminatod the orgy of the flower girls. 
The latter were, no doubt, regaling themselves with some punch, 
for their window was now hghted by a flickeruig bluish 

PaiUardin locked the door and then advanced toward Andr6e, 
who was standing behmd an arm-chair, between the chest of 
drawers and the bedstead. "You must surely understand, my 
pretty one, that it is useless for you to resist, " he said. " The 
house is isolated ; at a hundred yards from a road which nobody 
passes along at this time of night. Your companions are my 
accomphcos moreover ; everything favors me, so why resist ? I 
have long thought you adorable, Androo ; I have long waited for 
this occasion. Come, what would bo the use of trying to struggle 
against mo? It wouldn't last for long " 

<' I have nothing to say to you, sir, except that you are a 
coward, and that I loathe you." 

" I don't mind about that, Andr6e. I knew very well that you 
would give some such answer when I told you of my lovo, which 

nana's daughter. 5^ 

has been so humble find respectful so far. But tlioro is an end 
to everything you know, and I am determined on it, you shall 
not spurn mo any longer. I have the right to command hero, 
and strength is on my side " 

" Dare to touch me, scoundrel that you are ! " cried Andr6o, 
who was very pale, but whoso eyes flashed fire. 

" Scoundrel ! Insults I You are not wanting in bravado for a 
child of your age," cried Paillardin, whose face was violet with 
concentrated fury. " Wo will see about your resistance ! " ho 
added with an oath, and wresting away the arm-chair which 
Andr6e was clutching hold of, he sprung forward hko a wild 

But with the strength which her despair imparted to her, the 
young girl succeeded in eluding his grasp, and ere ho renewed 
the attack, she seized hold of the petroleum lamp, standing on 
the drawers, and hurled it at him. 

Padlardin was struck in the chest. The lamp glass was 
shivered, and as the petroleum poured over his shirt it suddenly 
began to blaze. The scoimdrel roared with pain. The flames 
lapped his stomach and covered his thighs ; and demented by 
terror and suffering alike, he threw himself on the bed vainly 
hoping to stifle the fire. But as he rolled about in a convulsion 
of alarm the curtains became ignited, a flame shot up to the 
baldaquin, and the drapery fell upon him like a fiery shroud. 

** Help, Andr6e! help! call!" gasped the wretched suflerer, 
hoping, in his desperation, for succor from his intended victim. 

Andree sprang to the window and opened it. But she did not 
caU for help. A sturdy old vine climbed up the wall, and with 
its assistance she leaped into the garden. 

She had not made her escape too soon, for the fire was spread- 
ing through the room. Paillardin had fallen from the bed onto 
the floor and writhing in atrocious agony, he shrieked unuitelli- 
gible words. The whole of his bulky frame was burning with a 
white flame and a black smoke. His beard and hair blazed for 
a second, then his cheeks took fire, and as the flesh became 
detached from the bones, one might have seen his teeth biting 
his tongue, the tip of which was carbonized. 

However, his cries had been heard, and people were approach- 
ing. When the work-girls, whose heads were already tm-ned by 
their imhmited potations, saw the flames darting through the 
open window of their employer's room, they fled down the garden 
in dismay shrieking, " Fire ! Fire ! " Some belated passers-by 
were at hand, and leaning a ladder against the widow-sill, 
they emptied buckets full of water into the burning room. The 
fire, indeed, was soon extmguished, but Paillardin had long been 
dead. As for Andree, she had disappeared. 

That same night the commissary of pohce of Rued started an 
investigation. Two of the work-girls, who had abetted Pail- 

Nana^s Daughter 4. 

.58 nana's daughter. 

lardin's design, were arrested at the railway station, and, while 
trying to screen themselves, they confessed that a conspiracy 
had been planned against Mademoiselle Naviel. The door of 
the pavihon, where the fire had taken place, was found to bo 
shut, and the window of the bedroom open. It was presumed 
therefore, that the young girl — surprised and shut up in tl:e 
building — had made her escape by way of the casement, at the 
outset of the fire. Moreover, some abominable reports were 
abroad respecting Paillardin — stories of other young girls whom 
he had drawn to this same pavihon; and when the judicia' 
authorities had duly weighed the evidence, they decided not tts 
trouble Andree Naviel. 


DiTiirN"G the summer which followed Paillardin's tragical de- 
mise, the acquaintanceship of the Despretz and Nftviel families 
was established on a cordial footing. It was not so easy for 
them to see one another, as the Naviels had left the Faubourg 
St. Autoine, and taken up their abode at Batiguolles. But the 
distance was shortened by the barely-confessed aflectiou which 
united Andree and Lucien. Andree had set up in business on 
her own account, and had no lack of customers. She had 
grown far more womanly, and conducted her work-room with 
rare skill. Her beauty was becomiag more graceful and noble, 
and her eyes seemed larger and deeper imder the influence of 
the feelings by which she was now swayed. 

Lucien Despretz had by degrees revealed to her all his long- 
cherished dreams of love and happiness, all his plans for the 
future when they would be man and wife. And Andree had 
begun to love him with a strong, honest aifection ; it was she 
who the first felt anxious to shorten the term of probation. 
Lucien had not as yet formally asked for her hand. With par- 
donable pride he wished to improve his position, and place it on 
a level with his sweetheart's. He had become cashier at a largo 
establishment in the Rue Montmartro, but this did not sufQco 
for his ambition. His old mother was dependent on him, and 
he wished to lay by enough to enable her to live in comparative 
independence after his marriage. With this object he under- 
went positive privations. He did not think fit to inform Andree 
of the honorable motives which delayed his formal application 
to her i)arents, for he knew her well enough to judge that 
she would wish to have her share in his task of filial devo- 
tion. And so they lived on, in a kind of semi-reserve, due t/» 
the delicate susceptibility of their natures. There was somo- 
thiug charming about then- mutual reticence, aud their love 

nana's daughter. 59 

appcarod to their parents like the cordial friendship of two young 
pooi)l(', glad to meet and see eacli other. 

Madame Na\'icl alone was desirous that Lucien should state 
his views concerning Andree ; and, one evening, when the work- 
girls had left before Navicl returned from the foundry, she spoke 
very seriously to her daughter on the subject — urging her to 
have an explanation with M. Despretz as soon as possible. 
Unfortunately, she' allowwl some cruel words to escape her. 
"If he delays so long," she said, "it is perhaps because ho 
has some doubts respecting your adventure with Monsieur Pail- 

" That's impossible, mother ! " cried Andree. " However, I 
will speak to hun to-morrow, since wo are all going to the 
review m the Bois de Boulogne. And he must tell me the plain 

Andree did not sleep that night, but passed long hours cry- 
ing ; and on the morrow her eyes still bore traces of the tears 
which had risen fi-om her heart. At eleven o'clock Lucien 
Despretz and his mother reached BatignoUes by the omnibus 
from the Bastille ; and shortly afterward the two families sallied 
forth and took the train for Passy. A compact crowd was bo- 
sieging the carriages, and every five minutes a fresh train 
steamed up, with passengers crarmuing every corner, even to the 
gangways leading to the outside seats. 

On alighting at Passy, Andree did not wait for Lucien to offer 
her his arm ; she appropriated it and led him several steps 
onward, in advance of the others. They turned down a narrow 
path where the noontide heat had barely penetrated. Despite 
the glowing sunlight, the mirth of the crowd, and the ambient 
joy around, a vague sadness, one of those light clouds familiar 
to young natures, had fallen over them. When they were 
parted from their relatives, Andree raised her fair head, and, 
looking questioningly at her lover with her deep limpid eyes, 
she asked: " So you do not believe in the virtue of women, 
Monsieur Lucien ? " 

" ^Vho told you that, Andree ? I do beheve that there are 
virtuous women, and especially since I know you. " 

" Come, answer me frankly. .Suppose that, on the night of 
that adventure with my old employer, I had fallen a victim to 
the trap he set for me " 

" Enough, Andree. Not another word. Don't try to make 
me doubt. I beheve in your purity as I beheve in my dear 
mother's honor. Do you fancy I could Uve with such a pang at 
the heart ? No, no, the only woman I have ever loved caimot 
have fallen a victim to Paillardin. If you told it me, Andree, 
you yourself, I should not believe you." 

" And yet if it were so ? " 

" I should not cease to esteem and love you, as long as I had 

6o nana's daughter. 

courage enough to live; Lut I should bid good-hy to my 
hopes — for fear of maldng your life au endless torture by my 
jealousy. " 

" Thank you for your frankness. I trust that you have a 
sufficiently high opinion of my delicacy to know that I should 
have begged you to renounce your hopes had my adventure re- 
sulted in my fall." 

" And you would have acted rightly, AndT6e, for the man who 
gives himself wholly to the woman he loves, the man whose love 
has had no past, and who comes to his betrothed and says : 
' Hero I am with all my illusions, all my dreams, all my kisses. 
I come to you, take mo, my life is yours, my past as well as my 
future. I have not squandered aught of the treasures in my 

heart, I have not cast eyes on any woman save yourself ' 

Ah I that man, Andree, the man who can speak thus, who has 
had strength enough to reserve himself for his first real passion, 
has a right to believe in the purity of the woman ho marries. 
No matter what semi-philosophers and spurious wiseacres may 
say, no matter what fools may think, it is false that a man only 
has a right to the name when he has spent his youth among 
chance mistresses. There is but one real love — the first and 
only one ! " 

" So you never loved any one before me, Lucien?" 

" No, never. I swear it, Andree." 

" Then you are the man whom I have always dreamed of and 
I am not unworthy of you. Ah ! I will own it ; I suflered for 
a moment, for some cruel words escaped my mother and made 
me cry all night. She told me, yesterday, that perhaps you 
doubted me. Ah I how it made me sulfer!" 

"Child, dear foohsh child! What I could you think that? 
Ah, I midorstand the cause of your sadness now. Do you know 
why I have not yet spoken to your parents, Andree ? It is 
because you have become to rich for me. I have my poor old 
mother to care for " 

" But am I not there to help you? You prefer your vanity to 
mo. You are too proud with your Andree, and I do not like 
.such pride." 

A pause followed. They were now passing between the lakes 
in the Bois do Boulogne, and they stopped to allow their parents 
to overtake them. Madame Despretz was not a quick walker, 
and soon became tired. A dense crowd was now invading the 
Bois. It was Sunday, and all the faubourgs, all the x^oorer dis- 
tricts of Paris, had furnished a contingent to the throng. Entire 
families arrayed in in tlicir best clothes were marching along the 
leading tlioroughfares, l)ound for the review. Since da.vbreak, 
the Boulevaids, the Euo de Rivoli and the quays, had been 
pouring a tlood of hnman beings toward Longchamps. At nine 
o'clock the lu"st vehicles had started. All the gates of the Bois 

nana's daughter. 6 1 

were bcs(>i<:;ecl, and omnilmsos crowded with police agents drew 
up near the cascade. The foot and nunmtod Gardes do Paris 
were told oil' for duty iu platoons and squadrons along tho 
avenues, while long coliunnsof artillery and cavalry started from 
Versailles, St. Germ;iin and Vinceiuies. Already at daybreak 
several regiments had bivouaced on the dewy grass ; and now 
while the trim sutlers served out drink, soldiers and civiUans 
were fraternizuig together. 

Tho Sim had its share in tho festive scene as it played brightly 
over tho ghstouing foliage. There was something forcible in tho 
general gaiety, and tho very atmosphere seemed to vibrato with 
tho joyous return of Franco to life. Tho number of tho troops 
was gradually increasing. Along the Avenue do Longchamps, 
along tho Avenue des Lacs, over the bridges of St. Cloud and 
Surcsnes, came colunms headed by regimental bands. In tho 
direction of Paris tho trmnpets of tho hussars woro sounding; 
from St. Cloud came a clatter and a rumble as the Versailles 
artillery ai)proached at a fast trot, followed by a "brigade of 
cuirassiers and a regiment of dragoons. 

CiviUans of all classes, men, women and children, sprang up 
in every cUrection ; and still and over the human tide rolled on 
through thickets, by-paths and avenues. Tho thousands, who 
bad jommeyed by way of the Versailles railway line, now cov- 
ered tho heights of Mont Val6rien and Suresnes. Those who 
had followed the Avenue des Champs Elysees on foot, who had 
come by steamboat as far as the Point- du-Jom*, or who had 
ahghted from the trains of tho circular railway at Passy, Neuilly 
and Auteuil, ranged themselves at tho edge of the Longchamps 
race course; some of them standing on the outskirts of the 
wood, others climbing tho trees to gain a point of vantage, and 
others again sitting over the cascade with their legs dangling in 
space. Tho waterfall seemed to emerge from their feet and 
pom' like a huge shower-bath onto tho heads of those below. 

At noon the various positions prescribed by the staff-officers 
were occupied. The infantry was drawn up in three hues par- 
allel to the grand stands ; tho artillery was ranged in a single 
line behind the foot soldiers ; while a fifth line, perpendicular to 
tho others, was formed by the cavalry stationed along the Bou- 
logne road. Stylish equipages were amving each minute, and 
tho grand stands were beginning to fill. Tasteful dresses could 
be seen on tho tiers of seats, and bright-colored parasols stood 
out luminously against the dark garments of the sterner sex. 
Fans were fluttering amid the bouquets carried by the belles of 
society and looked like gigantic butterflies hovering over the 
flowers. Afar oft" in the shade of the wood numerous loss privi- 
leged sightseers were enjoying a well-earned rest on the 

Andr^o and Lucien hurried on, and they were about to enter 

62 nana's daughter. 

the avenue which conducts from the lakes to Longchamps, when 
all at once they noticed a great commotion among the crowd, 
and heard loud shouts of '' Run them in ! " 


The whole throng hastened in the direction of these cries, and 
dming a momentary lull two women could be heard sobbmg and 
moamng. But the fierce jeers of the populace speedily rose on 
high agam and drowned then- lamentations. Lucien was not 
able to hurry Andi-ee along and spare her the sight of what was 
taking place, for the crowd was coming toward them. The 
vehicles drew up short, and their occupants rose from their seats 
to see what was gomg on. Inquisitive heads were stretched out 
on aU sides — from landaus, broughams and cabs, from breaks, 
tilburys and spiders, from huge hotel omnibuses, laden with 
foreigners, and from vans crammed with ftimihes of tradespeople, 
elbow to elbow and knee to knee. Well-gloved gentlemen then 
expressed their disgust at what they saw, and young married 
ladies, with their babies in the arms of buxom nurses, seated on 
the front cushions, audibly exclaimed : 

" It is shameful ! " 

" It is disgraceful for Paris ! " 

" All those women ought to bo shut up at St. Lazare " 

" Bah ! " rejoined some young swells with Oxford glasses, 
'' there are no real fetes since the retm-n of the Repubhc. You 
only meet beggars and harlots wherever you go. '' 

The crowd pressed forward to jeer at two unfortunates whom 
four agents of the public morality pohce force were draggmg 
along. From time to time they refused to advance, and threw 
themselves on their knees, sobbing and beggmg for mercy. 

" To St. Lazare -sxdth them ! " cried the mob, and amid its 
jeers one could hear the bell of an itinerant coco* vendor, who 
despite the hubbub was steadily plying his calling at the end of 
the lake. 

As the agents could advance no further, they stretched the 
two women on the gravel and began tying them together by the 
waist. The prisoners continued struggling, however, and one 
of them called out, amid convulsive sobs : " Mamma ! mamma ! " 

"Good heavens!" cried Audree, turning very pale, "that 
voice was ]\largot's." And, with feverish strength, she hurried 
Lucien through the crowd to the first rank. 

It was, indeed, really Margot — Paillardm's whUom favorite, 
who, since his death, had been living with his valet, Jules. Now 

.*A popular French beverage prepared from orange peel.— Tkans. 

nana's daughteb 6$ 

Jules, who was a handsome feUow, had d^,«3E<id to work any 
longer, and ho subsisted on the fi'uit of Margot's mfaray. Sho 
had become a common imfortunate, and he beat her cruelly 
whenever she was so unlucky as to return homo penniless. Sho 
had now been arrested with anotli^r girl of her class for accosting 
people in tlie wood, and a term of imprisonment at St. Lazare 
was endently in store for her. Territied by this prospect, sho 
still sobbed, I'laintivc'./, " ^lamma! mamma! " 

Thereupon the agent who had '* nabbed " her, a tall, thin 
fellow with a hooked nose and blue glasses, kicked her brutally 
in the ribs, and cried out : " Shut up, you strumpet ! " 

Andreo recognized him also by his voice. The pohce agent 
who treated Margot so roughly was none other than her old 
friend the ex-clown, Face-to-Sruack, in person. He, himself, 
had been kicked and beaten of yore by his master, the Hercules, 
and now he revenged himself on the slaves of Parisian vice. A 
rolling stone of Bohemia, cast into the sphere of degi-adation by 
Nana's dainty hand, ho had become acquainted with every 
shame, and had elbowed every infamy; and if he earned a living 
now, it was solely thanlcs to the social e\il ! He was conscious 
of his fall, and the woman who had caused his ruin was the 
object of his hatred — a strange hatred, forsooth, compounded 
of old love and jealous contempt. 

As Andreo recognized him she darted forward, in spite of 
Lucien's efforts to restrain her. The crowd ceased jeering on 
beholding her loveliness blooming in the summer sunlight, at 
sight of her big chaste eyes so deep and limpid, " Why do you 
strike that woman? " she asked in a tone of girlish authority. 

" What does that matter to an honest girl like you '? " rejoined 
the ex-clown. " Do you call that creatm-e a woman, mademoi- 
selle ? What would you call your mother then ? " 

The throng could not understand Andree's intervention. 
Why had she undertaken to defend a worthless creature ? Still 
her words had great effect, and public opinion, that ever-turn- 
ing weathercock, at once veered round to her side. There were 
murmurs in the serried ranks of spectators, and some exclaimed 
that it was really too bad to beat a woman, however worthless 
she might be, in the midst of public rejoicings. After all, what 
had she done ? She had merely plied her calling. Some fish- 
women, who were in the crowd raised their fists and shouted : 
" Leave those girls alone, you set of spies, or else give them 
something to eat. They can't hve on nothing no more than you 
can, you brutes ! " 

Then growls and threats resounded. Latent generosity was 
aroused in the hearts of the mob, now eager to turn its spite on 
the men who kicked their prisoners. However, the ex-clown 
had drawn himself up to his full height, and striking an attitude 
Uke a mountebank; he shouted in a hoarse voice : " What do 

64 nana's daughter. 

you interfere for, you people ? This is our business, not yours. 
We are paid to arrest strumpets? Well that's better than 
thieving, I suppose. We must eat like other people, and to eat 
one must work. Once upon a time I vras a clown — yes, I — and 
I had a master who thrashed me. Now it's my turn to strike. 
When it's a question of the whip you had far better be on the 
side of the handle than on that of the lash ; and that's why I've 
become a functionary ! " 

While this talk was proceeding, one of the police agents had 
gone off for reinforcements, and he now returned with twelve 
policemen, two keepers and a cab. The two women were lying 
on the ground ; the agents dragged them by the legs as far as 
the vehicle, and then, picking them up they threw them uaside.* 
This brutality quite infuriated the crowd, and loud shouts arose 
of, " Down with the police ! To the water with them ! " Then 
there was a formidable push. The disturbance spread and 
assumed the proportions of a riot. However, the pohcemen did 
not lose their heads. They surroimded the cab, while the two 
agents of the pubhc morahty force jiunped inside. The girls lay 
stretched across the vehicle and were howling despairingly. 
That the mob was bent upon attacking the cab there could bo 
no doubt ; but at this moment a detachment of foot Gardes de 
Paris hurried up, and a regiment of cuirassiers was approaching 
along the avenue at a fast trot. The troopers were late for the 
review and hastened onward so as to reach the ground before 
the arrival of the ofl&cial cortege. 

The crowd drew back hastily, and the flashing mass passed 
onward like a meteor. When the throng closed up again, the 
police had profited by the diversion, and the cab had already 
disappeared down a side avenue. 

Lucien and Andr6e found themselves separated from their 
relatives, and it was useless to try and join them in such a 
throng. The young fellow preferred making an effort to dispel 
his Bweet-hoart's distress. But all in vain. It seemed to her as 
though some catastrophe had fallen upon herself; and in her 
horrified imagination she could still see Margot, fallen to infamy, 
bound like a wild beast, dragged and beaten by the pohce, 
and thrown mto a cab with the companion of her shame. And 
what could be thought of Face-to-Smack, the clown, once so 
humble and so kind, and now so brutal, maddened as it were by 

For a brighter pictm-e Andr6e had to turn to Nature. The 
golden sunbeams of noontide were now playing over the foliage 
of the tall trees, mirrored in the transparent azme of the lake. 
The warmth of color fairly dazzled one. The tiny ripples 
sparkled vividly, and the weighty branches seemed decked vdth 

•These incidents are positively founded upon fact. — Trans. 

nana's daughter. 65 

a brighter greon as they swayed gently hi the summer breeze. 
Over the tall grass the rays were dancing a mid-day ronnd, and, 
amid the ratliant blaze, tlaere still and ever rose the intense far- 
stretching hum and bustle of Paris on the march. The anger of 
the crowd, momentarily aroused by the brutality of the police 
agents, had gradually subsided under the growing weight of the 
summer heat. 

Lucien and Andr6o walked on slowly until they reached the 
height from which the cascade falls. They were fortunate 
enough to find room to sit down together on the grass; and 
scarcely had they done so than a cloud of smoke enveloped one 
of the bastions of Mont Yalorien. Then the loud report of 
cannon stirred the green foliage. The spirited horses of the 
stylish equipages neighed in the plain below. The army ranged 
in long, rigid lines on the race-ground seemed to awaken to life. 
The drums beat, and chstant bands bm'st forth into harmony; 
while thousands of bayonets ghstened amid the rhythmical 
swinging of masses of armed men. Then an hnmense clamor 
arose through the festive space : " Long hve the Republic I" 

From the Avenue do Longchamps, Marshal MacMahon, hold' 
ing his white-plumed hat in his hand, was gallopmg forward ov 
a sleek, black horse, followed by a brilhant statf with waving 
feathers. Behind came an escort of Spahis, moimted on little, 
long-tailed horses, and with their bright-red Arab cloaks 
streaming in the wind. As the hurricane swept by, it seemed 
to be a vision of human power. 

At the same time, a blue, silver- mounted landau, drawn by 
four piebald horses, came forward at a sharp trot. Inside, 
between two well-dressed men, there sat a golden-haired 
woman, arrayed in a tight-fitting robe of white satin, studded 
with pearls and diamonds. She was reclining indolently on the 
cushions w ith her legs crossed, and, her skirt being partially 
raised, a glimpse was caught of her flesh-tinted stockiiigs and 
well-turned ankles. Behind the vehicle stood a couple of foot- 
men in blue silk breeches ; while two negro postiUions bestrode 
the left-hand horses. The crowd drawn up along the avenue 
was able to admire this remarkable equipage in its every detail ; 
but from the height whence Andree looked down on the race- 
ground, all she detected was Nana's radiant hair, as the queen 
of \ice drove by in the full sunhght, mmgled almost with the 
presidential cortege, which seemed to be her escort, 


The two men who thus exhibited themselves in Nana's car- 
riage were the Marquis d' Albigny and the Prince of Mulhausen. 
The la,tter was a Prussian, transplanted from the shores of the 

66 nana's daughter. 

Vistula to the banks of the Seme — a true, stiff, fair-haired 
Teuton, full of Germanic vanity, intensely proud of his title, 
fond of being considered a woman-killer, and showing himself 
in Nana's company for the sake of imhealthy notoriety. He had 
ruined himself a httle bit everywhere with that cold madness 
peculiar to the people of the North, and he was now approach- 
ing the end of his tether. As for Nana, he had never been in 
love with her, but he liked to pass himself off as one of her 

D'Albigny, on the other hand, was a specimen of the aristocrat 
who has lost caste ; a man with a great deal of boimco and very 
little honor, more apt to fight for a word than for a wrong; a 
fencmg-hall bidly in the morning, a Bourse Jew in the afternoon, 
and a card-sharper in fashionable gambling dens at night time. 
He led a fast and luxurious hfe, lunching at Bignon's, supping 
at the Cafe Anglais, and patronizmg the swell tailor, Torres 
— all with other people's money. Simpletons imagined that it 
was he who defrayed Nana's luxury, and she herself allowed it 
to be reported. But the truth was that by squandering for her 
sake a petty fortime of a million francs in a couple of years, ho 
had fairly lamiched her, and she was grateful to him for it. 
Their evil natures were secretly leagued together. He had 
fought three duels for her; he publicly exhibited himself in her 
company, and as he passed for an arbiter elegantarmm on the 
boulevards, he easily found idiots like Mulhausen, who copied 
him for the sake of *' chic. " 

Nana and D'Albigny had certainly had tiffs together, but she 
had always made them up, and she was more than ever desirous 
of maintaining a good understanding at present, as, having 
become a millionaire eight times over, she needed the assistance 
of a skillful money-monger. D'Albigny cost her two hundred 
thousand francs a year, but he prevented her from losing tmce 
as much by bad investments. While speculating advantageously 
with Nana's funds, regulating the expenditure of her household 
and promoting her luxury, he found the means to gratify his 
own private fancies. For instance, he had given only forty 
thousand francs for the piebald team which Nana inaugurated 
on the day of the review, and which caused such a sensation, 
and yet it was well worth twice as much. However, the dealer 
he had obtained it from was pressed for money, and had lot the 
animals go for half their value. It is true that Nana was 
charged the fuU amount; but after all she lost nothing, and her 
"barnum," as she cynically called D'Albigny, made two 
thousand napoleons by the transaction. 

D'Albigny and Mulhausen were not Nana's only acolytes. 
Titled and influential personages of all categories visited her 
house, and among them there was at least one honest man 
— Stog, the director of the postal services. Nana had never 

nana's daughter. 6/ 

been his mistress, altliougli lio was iu lovo with her, and 
althoui^h on her side she had no aversion for Min. But when 
Stog was very young ho had married a devotee, who had 
brought him but a small dowry, so that his means were com- 
paratively modest. He had never aspired to Nana's favors, as 
he knew well enough that his entire year's salary would not 
suflBce to defray her lavish expenditure during a single month. 
So he called on her but seldom, luuiting his visits to her grand 
receptions without trying to become intimate. The kind of 
haughty coldness which he affected did not offend Nana, but 
rather determined her to conquer hmi. By sundry flashes of 
his eyes and passionate movements of his lips, she had dis- 
covered that he secretly adored her; hence she devoted her 
ciVorts to subduing what she called his virtuous resistance. 
She could not allow any one to raise the standard of revolt 
against her "vicious sovereignty. On the i3re\ious evening she 
had tried to induce Stog to accompany her to the review, 
desirous that the official world should see him seated in her 
carriage. But he had contrived to declhie the invitation ; and 
now, on reaching the review groimd, she espied him in the 
tribune of honor. The sight annoyed her, and she reheved her 
feelings by teasing her German prince. 

"Do you see, prmce," she cried, as the march past began; 
"here's the military school of St. Cyr. Come, apx)laud the 
revanche. Come, give a cheer! " 

Mulhausen made no reply, but pretended to smUe between 
his tawny whiskers. His tall figiu-e was drawn bolt u])right in 
tiie true stiff" Teutonic stjie, and ho looked every bit of a Ger- 
man, with his hair of a dull yellow, his red ears standing out on 
either side of his head, and his broad shoulders with their 
prominent bones. 

In the tone of an absolute sovereign accustomed to obecUence, 
Nana continued speaking. " Come, applaud, Mulhausen, applaud 
the revanche! " she cried; " I order you to do so." 

Thereupon Mulhausen applauded with the tips of his gloved 
hands, and a flush suffused his face, as if he were conscious that 
the harlot beside him had cuffed his dear Fatherland in his own 
princely person. 

Meanwhile the battahon of St. Cjt was advancing with mag- 
nificent ensemble. The gun barrels gleamed in the sunlight on 
the robust shoulders of the yoimg fellows, all of whose knees 
bent with the same nervous flexion, and all of whose left arms 
swung with the same regular cadence. It was truly the hope 
of the army, the coming revanche that marched along! It was 
the strength of new France — the yoimg generation, steeled by 
the sufferings of former ones, and proudly determined that their 
coimtry should be respected. Afar oft' in the plain the three 
lines of infantry had faced about. The regiments successively 


set off on the march in deep columns of thirty-two files, bands 
ahead and banners waving. A glittering mass of steel covered 
the verdant race-groimd, and from every point of the horizon, 
from the heights of Sm^esues and the slopes of Mont Valerine, 
from the depths of the avenues and the outskirts of the wood, 
there arose the shouts of the multitude: ''Long live the 
Eepubhc I " " Long live the army!" " Long hvo France ! " 

The firemen were now marching past, and the Garde Kepub- 
licaine and Parisian Gendarmerie followed. Then came the 
whole of the regular inftmtry — thirty thousand men, massed in 
divisions, wheohng round without a break, and stepping out 
jauntily despite the morning's march, tlieir white gaiters and 
blood-red trousers coming and going in the same regular stride. 
The grand stands applauded each division as it marched past in 
turn with genuine French spirit. The beardless faces of the 
little foot-soldiers beamed with Gallic good-humoi and Celtic 
healthfulness. Between the platoons marched the ofi&cers, with 
their heads erect and their faces serious as they saluted the 
chief of the State with their swords. When the whole of the 
infantry had marched past, a broad space was left for the artil- 
lery, and eighteen batteries, forming a single column, with six 
guns to each front, started off at a fast trot. At the end of the 
plain the heavy carriages wheeled roimd, and as the teams of 
six horses entered the straight line, they broke into a gallop. 
Two brigades executed the movement faultlessly, without a 
single horse taking a wrong step. The red plumes of the gunners 
waved in the gray atmosphere through which a cloud of dust 
was rising, and the black guns jolted on their steel axles as the 
compact mass swept by. 

Tlien the cheers increased. Middle and lower classes alike 
united in the common thought insjiired by the superb cry of 
" Long hve France ! " " Long live France ! " It meant every- 
thing in three words. Despite her faults, despite passing weak- 
ness, despite misforttmes, was not France the generous sister of 
hmniliated nations — the living hope of all who Avere proscribed ? 
Long hvo Franco! 'twas the cry of the future — the cry of 
freedom and universal fraternity. 

*' Come, Mulhausen," said Nana, " you are as grave as a sen- 
ator on a national fete day. This isn't aUowable. Cry ' Long 
live Franco ! ' or I shall never permit you to show yourself in 
pubhc with me again. " 

He began by refusing ; whereupon she stood up, and feigning 
patriotisni to annoy him, waved her fan to the cuirassiers of 
Reichsoflen who were galloping past in squadrons. D'Albigny 
laughed to himself; and Nana, with feminine obstinacy, and 
convinced that she would ultimately carry the point, turned 
again to Mulhauson, and, in a tone of galling irony, exclaimed : 
" Como, confess it, prince. You are afraid of Bismarck. You 

nana's daughter. 69 

Gcmians are all like so many scliool-boys with their master. 
Otherwise you sm-ely wouldn't refuse a cheer to Nana's 
country. " 

"Long live France!" vociferated Mulhausen, with concen- 
trated fury. 

" Bravo, prince ! I'm pleased with you," said Nana. " Come 
home with us; we shall have a delightful drive." 

Mulhausen assisted her into the landau, and the postillions 
took the Avenue dcs Lacs. It was now five o'clock, and the sim 
was sinking behind a slate-gray cloud, traversed by a baud of 
gold. A yellowish tinge was blended with the pale blue below, 
and here and there through the semi-transparent clouds smi 
rays glittered hke hvo coals, gilding the tree-tops in their oblique 
course. Near the silvery lakes the clumps of pme trees stood 
out against the dusky avenues leading down to Boulogne, where 
a tapering church steeple rose up in advance of the heights of 
Garches. At the end of the avenue of the Bois de Boidogne the 
Arc do Triomphe was visible, and Nana's landau, whirling along 
at the fast trot of the piebald team, reached it in tune to over- 
take a regiment of cavalry returning from the re\iew. The 
equipage was just passing the head of the column, when the 
trumpets sounded a march. The four piebalds reared together 
and so swiftly, that the two negro postillions were dismounted 
and fell imder the wheels of the carriage. Then the horses, 
freed from all restraint, bolted at ftdl speed down the Avenue 
des Champs Elysees. 

On went the landau at a full gallop, sweeping like an avalanche 
into the midst of the carriages, horsemen and pedestrians that 
crowded the whole breadth of the avenue. Terrible disorder 
ensued ; other horses were frightened in turn and bolted also. 
At the very outset of the accident the footmen had sprung to 
the ground, leaving the landau to its fate. But D'AIbigny now 
bravely threw himself onto the hind-quarters of one of the 
horses and caught hold of a rein. But it was too late to slacken 
the speed ; besides, the reins broke, and then the piebalds dashed 
madly onward "svith increasing swiftness. 

Mulhausen was instinctively clutching hold of the cushions, 
and Nana, who had remained very calm, turned toward Mm. 

*' I fancy, my dear prince," said she, " that we are going to 
break our necks. " 

" Of course, " rejoined the German, turning perceptibly paler 
between his tawny whiskers; " we are done for." 

He looked so terriiied that Nana could not help laughing 
despite all the gravity of the situation. They were passing the 
Palais de I'Industrie when the four horses suddenly swerved and 
darted onto the footway covered with chairs, dragging the 
landau into the side alley. Two pohcemeu then sprang at the 
heads of the leaders, but one of the brave feUows was knocked 

70 nana's daughter. 

down and trampled under foot ere lie could clutch at the strip 
of rein dangUng from the bridle, and the other fell sideways 
right under the carriage. Then there was a general stampede, 
and terrified women let go of then- husbands' arms and tied 
blindly along the alley, pursued by the fmious charge of these 
maddened animals. 


At the moment when the accident occurred Andree, who felt 
very tired, having walked all the way from the cascade in the 
Bois de Boulogne, had just taken a chair with Lucien on the 
sidewalk of the Champs Elysees. The onslaught of the mad- 
dened team was so sudden that they were imable to draw aside 
and avoid it. M. Despretz instinctively threw himself between 
his betrothed and the horses, and clung despairingly to one of 
the broken reins. But another one, coiling around Andree like a 
lasso, threw her down and dragged her along behind her lover. 
Fortmiately, at this moment, one of the leaders came in contact 
with a tree and fell to the ground, the other horses rolUng over 
him in a confused heap. Lueion at once darted to the succor of 
Andree, who had now fainted away, while, at the same time, 
Nana sprang from the carriage with the agility of a clown, and 
the raanpiis emerged from the midst of the horses unhurt. He 
had as usual contrived to fall upon his feet. 

A policeman hurried to the spot to draw up a report of the 
accident, and the people who had been knocked down and hurt 
were carried to the Theatre des Folies Marigny, close by, which 
was transformed for the occasion into an ambulance. Lucien 
led Andree to a bench in the open air and made her sit do\\m. 
Her faulting fit had soon passed oft', but she was still extremely 
jjale. Nana was looking at her with strange persistency, and 
suddenly drew near, exclaiming in a soft, caressing voice : " You 
are hurt, my child; what can I do for you?" 

"Nothing, thank you, madame," rephed Andree; "I was 
more fi'iglitened than hurt." 

** It seems to me that this is not the first time we have met, " 
resumed Nana. " I fancy I have noticed you somewhere before ; 
and it is not surprising, for you are extremely pretty. If this 
gentleman is your lover I must ofl'er him my sincere congratula- 
tions, " she added with a questioning glance at Jidien. 

" And I also," observed Mulhausen. " I very well recollect 
having seen this young lady one evening at the Boufies." 

Andree blushed. 

" Allow me to offer you my earrings in exchange for yours," 
resumed Nana. *' We shall thus each hav a memento of our 
^motiou. Ai-e you willing, little cue ?" 

nana's daughter. 71 

" I cannot accept," replied Andret " M> earrings arc ^ 
present from this gentleman, my intended husband." 

" Well, allow mo to call and inquire after you, " insi'i^cd Nana. 

" Willingly, madame ; here is my card. " 

" Ah! you make artilicial flowers," exclaimed Nana. " It is 
very courageous on yoiir part to work for your living, pretty as 
you are. Until to-mor»-o\v then — I will go and see your flowers 
and yourself — D'Albi^^ny, call a cab. Are you coming, Mul- 

*' Thanks, madame, T shall return on foot," said the German. 

Nana gave a loud laugh, and then darted into the cab which 
the marquis had just stopped. '' Why are you going to see that 
girl?" grumbled D'Albigny, "she's virtuous. There's nothing 
to be done with her." 

" Who knows, my dear fellow, " rejoined Nana. But no more 
was heard, for at that moment the cab set oft'. 

Leaning on Lucien's arm, Andree now tried to walk, but she 
was soon "obliged to stop, for her right foot was badly hm-t and 
swollen, and she felt sharp, shooting pains in her head. Lucien 
accordingly hailed a cab, and gave Andree's address at Batig- 
nolles. They found on their arrival that the Naviels and 
Madame Desjiretz had returned for an hoiir or more already. 
Lucien tried to attenuate the gravity of the peril his sweetheart 
had incurred, while Andree on her side pretended to be gay, 
and even sat down to dinner with the others. But the pain in 
her foot was steadily increasing. She turned very pale and sud- 
denly her head bent forward on her bosom. Lucien, who sat 
beside her, had only just time to stretch out his arm to prevent 
her from falling to the groimd. As he did so, Andree faintly 
whispered to hirn : << I am suflering too much, help mo to walk 
to my room." 

Taking her in his arms as if she had been a child, he imme- 
diately carried her to her chamber^ followed by Madame Navicl, 
who remained alone with her daughter to help her to undress. 
Andree's right foot was then found to be very swollen, and she 
haa a bad bruise at the back of her head. She was scarcely 
in bed than delirium seized hold of her, and her father hurried 
off for a doctor. Lucien asked as a favor to be allowed to 
remain and assist Madame Naviel in watching and nursing the 
suffering girl. 

" If I ask this favor, Madame Naviel, " said he, " it is because 
I spoke very seriously to Mademoiselle Andree while we were 
together to-day. I was waiting for my position to become more 
worthy of her before asking you for her hand, but perhaps I 
may be useful to her such as I am. So I beg of you to consider 
me henceforth as her betrothed and as your son. To-morrow 
my mother shall make a formal application to Monsieur Naviel 
and yoursslk ' 


" From this moment, " rejoined Madame Naviel, '' we ■will con- 
sider you as one of the family. We know very well, Naviel and 
I, that Andree loves you, and I can assure you that my husband 
won't disapprove of the match. So you may stop here as you 
wish it — and you can help me to nurse her. She will be pleased 
to see you. " 

They then returned into Andrde's room, where Madame 
Dcspretz was sitting at the bedside. *' The poor girl is very 
dohrious, " said Lucieu's mother, in a low voice. 

Extremely pale, except that she had a red spot on either 
cheek, Andree was leaning back on her pillows, with her dilated 
eyes staring into space as if she beheld some threatening vision. 
Suddenly a cry of agony escaped her. " Nana! " she cried, 
" leave me, leave me ! I am not like you — why do you come 
here % Leave me, madame ! Ah ! I knew very well that you 
would bring me misfortune. " 

Shortly afterward the doctor arrived, examined the patient, 
and wi'ote his prescription. As he left the room with Naviel, 
he remarked: "The swelling of the foot is nothing; but the 
delirium worries me. I fear some commotion in the brain. Your 
daughter must be of a nervous, impressionable disposition?" 

" Yes," replied Pierre Naviel, '' the chUd isn't strong, and she 
easily loses her head." 

" Ah ! these youthful imaguiations ! " said the doctor. " You 
are a father, mind j be prudent, you have to deal with a very 
ardent nature. " And thereupon he went off. 

"Prudent! prudent!" grumbled the workman. "He talks 
fine enough, that doctor, but it isn't so easy to prevent a girl's 
imagination from wandering. However, she's fortunately in 
love with an honest fellow. Poor girl, I think I've done my 
duty by her. I've tried my best to give her good principles, and 
her mother has given her an honorable calliag. The future will 
do the rest. Meanwhile, I'll keep my eyes open. " 

He then entered his daughter's room, and espied Lucien 
Despretz leaning on the mantelshelf and looking anxiousl-y at 
Andree. A tear was rolling down the young fellow's cheek ; 
and at sight of it Naviel stepped forward and with affectionate 
roughness, exclaimed : " What, you are crying, a man like you? 
But the little one isn't in danger. " And then with a broad, 
candid smile, he added : " Stay with us to watch over her if you 
don't feel easy " 

" He has the right to do so," observed Madame Naviel, " for 
he spoke to mo about her this very evening. It's understood 
between us. I said 'yes' for both of us, dear, knowing your 
views on the matter. As soon as she is well again we will see 
about marrying them. She won't say no. " 

"All right, all right, wife," rejoined Naviel, "it's your 
business. I leave it all to you." And thereupon he went off 

nana's daughter. 73 

into tho kitrlion to light his pipe and smoke. Madame Navicl 
speedily Inllowed hiiu to wash up the dinner things. 

Madame Despretz and Lucieu thus remained watching over 
Andree, but tho old lady, who was very tired, soon feel asleep 
in her arm-chair, so that Lucien alone remained awako beside 
his sweetheart, attentively observing her every movement. It 
was already late, and tho last suburban trains were returning to 
Paris. One could hear them rolling along in the cutting at the 
end of the square, and from time to time the ponderous, red- 
eyed engines shrieked aloud like wild beasts amid the stillness 
of the night. 

At one moment Andr6o sat up in bed and looked at Lucien, 
whom she evidently recognized, despite her fever, for she 
stretched out her arms. But, passing an arm round her, he 
gently compelled her to lie down again, with her head on tho 
white pillow, and she then had an hom-'s qmet sleep. Madame 
Naviel and her husband came in several times to see how their 
daughter was getting on. At eleven o'clock Pierre himself went 
to bed, for he was obhged to rise at five on the following morn- 
ing in order to get to his work. Madame Naviel then wished to 
watch over Andree, but Lucien remarked to her that the poor 
girl was asleep, that she would, no doubt, need several days' 
rest, and that she— the mother — ought rather to husband her 
strength, as the work-room would have to be attended to. He 
therefore suggested that Madame Naviel should lie down for a 
few hours whilst he watched over Andree with his mother. 
Madame Naviel finally yielded to his request, and then, as 
Madame Despretz dozed off again in her arm-chair, Lucien sat 
watching his betrothed amid the mysterious silence of this 
virginal room, which he had never before entered save in 

At midnight the sufferer had a fresh crisis, and sat up in bed 
again with her golden hair falling around her shoulders and a 
fixed stare in her eyes. With her tiny hands stretched out 
toward the man she loved, she called to him in a mysterious 
tone : " Lucien, my Lucien, it is true, is it not, we are married? 
At last ! How impatiently I awaited it, to tell you how much 
I love you, to tell it to you with my lips close to yoins — come 
near your Andree, friend, why do you remain so far away ? Do 
I frighten you ? Am I so ugly, then ? Oh ! you naughty fellow, 
don't leave me again. Ah ! the beautiful white roses. I scat- 
tered their petals in my chest of drawers, and all my clothes 
are perfumed with memory of you. " As she spoke she gazed 
upon Lucien fixedly, and her deep eyes became radiant with 
sudden passion. Under the influence of her ardent delirium, 
which little by httle was gaining her lover himself, her chaste 
nature underwent a complete change. At one moment she 
twined her bare arms aroimd Lucien'e neck and pressed hi'm to 
J^ana'i Daughter 5. 

74 nana's daughter. 

her heart. He could already feel her soft, moist skin, when 
suddenly leaning toward him, and covering him with her warm 
hair, she kissed him on the Mps — with so long a kiss that he 
sank down, pale with the emotion imparted by this first embrace 
of love. 

But his rapture was of short duration. He roused himself 
fi'om this fit of weakness, feeling even ashamed that he had 
answered the appeal of Andree's miconscious delirium with a 
voluntary kiss. It indeed seemed to hiui, so great was his 
delicacy of feeUng, as if he had momentarily ceased to respect 
the confiding jimity of his loved one, who called upon him in a 
momentary derangement of the mind. So he gently tore himself 
away from her embrace, and with his breath close to her tiny, 
roseate ear, half covered by curhng locks, he murmured : " Sleep, 
Andree, I am there; I love you with all my soul. I wfil protect 
you, darling, even against myself — fear nothing." 

As if she had instinctively understood what peaceful confidence 
he asked of her, she again laid her fair head upon the pillow, 
and closed her eyes fringed with long, curving lashes, which cast 
a soft shadow over her pale cheeks. Her hands fell among the 
creases of the sheet with her fingers bent in the hstlesa inertion 
of slumber. 

At this moment Madame Naviel entered the room. She had 
heard Andree's voice, and feared that she might be worse ; but 
seeing that the young girl was already asleep again, she felt 
reassured, and returned to stretch herself, still dressed, on the 
sofa in the parlor. 


While Stog, the Director of the Postal Services, was at Ms 
club on the evening after the review, he heard of the accident 
which had befallen Nana's equipage. Hurrying to the cloak- 
room for his hat and overcoat, he at once went down the stairs. 
He hailed the first empty cab he espied in the street, and ten 
minutes later he reached Nana's house. 

She received him in her boudoir, which was a present from the 
Prince of Mulhausen. At one end there was a divan having a 
rosewood framework encrusted with figures painted on enamel. 
A grand piano, the keyboard of which rested upon the out- 
spread wings of two angels in repouss6 silver, stood in one 
comer ; and close by there was a round table, in the style of 
the first empire ; four legs of gilt beech wood supporting a slab 
of lapis lazuli. Above the chimney-piece, which was of cut- 
glass encrusted with a silver N. and a topaz coronet, there hung 
a mirror with a frame of rock crystal depicting twining vine- 


loaves and droopiiifi: bunches of amethysts. Two crystal can- 
dehibra of simUar stylo simulated vme-stocks laden witli fruit; 
and a chandelier in keeping with the whole was suspended from 
the center of the ceiling. A Candahar carpet covered the floor, 
and m front of the fender lay the skin of a tiger, whoso eyes 
were formed of two rubies which had once belonged to tho 
unfortunate rajah, ruined by Nana in a single week and now 
returned to Benares. 

A portly g(jrilla, trained to act as a sen'ant, crouched at one 
end of the boudoir. He was called Yorick, and it was ho who 
ushered Stog into tho room. 

Nana was alone. She went forward to meet her visitor, 
and held out her hand, exclaiming : " So here you are at last, 
my dear Stog 1 So far you had not condescended to come hero 
for me. " 

" I heard of your accident this evening, and I thought it my 
duty to come and inquire after you. " 

" What a singular lover you are, ray dear Stog ! So you have 
only come here out of politeness 1 I doubt it. You are far from 
feeling tho frigidity you aflcct. A^Hiat is the use of this comedyf 
I know you by heart. Come, bo frank, Stog, vktuous Stog; 
confess that you are madly in love with Nana. You see how 
kind I am. I do all tho talking for you. I even make your 
declaration. But I can't proceed any further unless you help 
me. You are like a tenor who loses his voice directly ho finds 
Mmself in the presence of tho soprano he is to sing with. " 

" Don't joke, Nana. Tho truth is, you have made a correct 
guess. I would give my life for you if it were possible, but I 
cannot do so, for it does not belong to me. " 

" To whom does it belong, then ? To your family, no doubt. 
Very good. Still you were not intended for a recluse. A man 
like you, with a burning heart and boiling blood, cannot surely 
be contented with commonplace matrimonial bliss — a kind of 
happiness regulated by clockwork. You were never meant for 
such a life as that, Stog. You are virtuous, in spite of yourself. 
You gnaw at the conjugal chain, biting its links to stifle your 
cries of desire, my poor Stog. Well, take my advice, and break 
them just for once." 

'* Ah ! it would be my dream, Nana. But once ! It would 
suffice for all the recollections of a lifetime. But why tempt me 
with the impossible ? I'm only a poor married man, I cannot 
be your lover. " 

" Listen to me, Stog. You will understand that if noblesse 
oblige, as they say, love obliges also. You say you are in love 
with me ; well, I shall ask you for scarcely anything. A per- 
sonal memento, say ; a little gold locket with your portrait 
inside and our initials intertwining on tho cover. Is ft agreed '? " 

" Let it be so. Nana. You shall have it. But you will keep 

76 nana's daughter. 

it, promise me. Tou will hide it from every one, even from 
D'Albigny, and especially from him ? I would not for worlds 
let my ^ife know of our connectiou. She would start a law- 
suit, and the effect would be disastrous for my children and 
their honor." 

" Is honor so rare among you people of the middle classes 
that you value it so highly, my dear fellow ! Honor ! Why, we 
have enough and to spare, we women." 

" But you will be kind, Nana ; you won't abuse my love for 
you, or your power over me. " 

" You are cast in rather an ancient mold to have anything 
to do with Nana's set, my poor fellow. It would perhaps be 
better for you to return to your fireside, and never leave it again. 
You see, it is I who give you good advice. " 

" But, Nana, I love you so. " 

*' Well, I'll listen to you when you bring me the locket, and 
then, Stog, you shall see what a woman Nana is." While 
speaking she rose, and as he stood there, a prey to mad desire, 
she passed her arms around his neck, mm-mm-ing soft and prom- 
ising words. He was fairly intoxicated by the glow of passion 
in her eyes, the disturbing warmth of her flesh, and the elo- 
quence of her kiss-inviting smile. 

" I will come," he sighed ; " but if you reveal it, I shall kill 
you, and myself afterward. " 

" Come, come, my dear fellow, do people kill themselves 
nowadays ? It's fooUsh, odious and altogether out of fashion. 
And by what right would you kill me ? If any one here ever 
raised his hand against me, Yorick would strangle him. You 
won't kill any one, my own Stog ; you will want to live, on the 
contrary, and live with mo. I will love you with all my being, 
do you hear ? For you please me, otherwise I shouldn't accept 
such a bargain, and much less propose it. You are not a flat- 
tering lover for a woman, Stog. You are a bit of a clodhopper, 
functionary as you may be. And I, I need so much money. 
Gold ceaselessly slips between my fingers — you have no idea 
how fast it goes. This house hero is a furnace in which miUions 
melt. But it can't bo otherwise ; I sacrifice everything to pleas- 
ure. And pleasure can't be had when one is in needy circimi- 
stances, you know. One needs a deal of money to love properly. 
Love and wealth were made to sleep together, they exist one by 
the other. And then where can money be found? Among 
honest toilers ? Oh I indeed no. Show me a man of genius, 
Stog, who sells his intelligence as I sell my beauty. Do you 
know, my dear fellow, when a man is honest nowadays, he ought 
to stop at home with his wife, have a number of chil(h:en, and die 
poor. " 

As Nana ceased speaking, she sank down onto the divan and 
stretched herself out in a statuesque position. She raised her 

nana's daughter. tj 

arms nnd lonnrd her ho;ul on lior joined hands, whilo tlio rosy 
p[lo\v of tlio tapin\s fell upon her hosom, Tho curly locks at tlio 
back of her nock sparkled like gold, and under her long dresshig- 
gown ono could divine the sculptural purity of her form. From 
amid tho lace, a tiny hare foot peered forth, balancing on the 
tips of its toes a red-leather slipper of Oriental shai^e, richly 
embroidered with pearls. 

** Haven't you a daughter, Stog? " Nana inquked after a 

" AVhy do you ask mo that, Nana? " 

" Teli mo, have you a daughter or not ? " 

"Yes, but what of it?" 

Nana hesitated as if she were aware that tho Director- General's 
feelings must be dilTerent to her own, as if she dared not venture 
too far into the mysterious region of middle-class honorability. 
Stog, meanwhile, was looking at her inquisitively. 

*' I might help you to marry her, my dear fellow, " said Nana, 
at last. " It would perhaps be difficult for you to manage it. " 

Stog awoke as though from a trance. His past life was with- 
out a stain, and it seemed to his loyal conscience as if he had 
just made a bad dream. He drew himself up to his full height, 
and retorted: " You find a husband for my daughter? And 
what husband, pray? One of your lovers no doubt — some 
fellow like D'Albigny " 

IJut he did not finish, for at this moment the marquis entered 
the room. " What is this, Mr. Functionary? " he cried in a tone 
of cuttmg irony. If the Marquis D'Albigny did you the honor to 
accept the hand of a nobody's daughter, you would owe him 
your grateful thanks — yes, your thanks, sir; but don't alarm 
yourself, the Marquis D'Albigny doesn't care for misery, and 
"he hates married life. " 

" I see that walls have ears in this house, " coldly rejoined 

" Well, as men lack them, walls must supply the deficiency. " 

** Men may lack them," replied Stog, taking a step toward 
D'Albigny, " but marquises seem to have very long ones — 
especially those who act as madame's spies." 

" Enough, enough, gentlemen, " interrupted Nana, as she 
sprang between Stog and D'Albigny. " I don't wish to have any 
blood spilt in my house." 

'' Fear nothing, " said Stog, " I am not going to fight with this 
— person." 

" You don't fight with any one, " rejoined D'Albigny. 

" Because I never quarrel with honest folks. " 

" A coward's motto, upon my word. " 

" Remain but one week without thieving, and let me have 

proof of it " 

" But who would give you such proof, Stog % " asked Nana. 

78 nana's daughter. 

" Ton yourself, madame. I will content myself with your 
word. You see that I am not exacting. If you do not send me 
the certificate of honesty I ask for within a week, I shall judge 
that you do not care to risk your word ; but if you send it I will 
at once come hero with two seconds. I know that you intend 
giving a fete next Simday, and I will profit of the occasion to 
chastise your bully pubhcly I " 

" Make yourself easy ! " sneered the marquis. " You talked 
about killing yourself a httle while ago ; you won't lose anything 
by waiting; I shall spare you the trouble. " 

Without replying Stog bowed coldly to Nana, set his hat on 
his head and disappeared behind the silken door-hanging. 

** You did wrong to intervene, Marquis," said Nana, peevishly, 
as soon as she was alone with D'Albigny. 

" And why, pray ? '' 

" Well, although I blundered by talking about marrying his 
daughter, I should probably have wrung from him what I asked 

" But what did you want with that locket? " 

" Why, I wanted it as a weapon against him, can't you under- 
stand")? A director-general of the postofiice might be useful 
to me." 

" It would have been a clumsy piece of blackmailing, and 
might have compromised us. I am really delighted that I inter- 
vened. I have now a serious pretext for getting rid of a rival 
who is both troublesome and played out. " 

" You are dressed I see; don't you intend to remain at home 
this evening ? " 

" I am going to the club." 

" Are you obhged to go ? " 

" Quite so. Otherwise I should stop with you. Nana, but its 
incredible how fast my pockets empty. By-the-way, do you 
know that three of the piebalds have been taken to the 
knacker's ? " 

" It's disastrous ! " 

" Well, I'm going to court Goddess Fortune. Until to- 
morrow." And humming an air from the gambUng scene in 
Robert le Diablc, the marquis left the room. 


Andkee slept imtil daybreak. Wlien she awoke, Madame 
Naviel had been up for some time already. She had just lighted 
a fire in the kitchen and made some cottce, a cup of which she 
brought to Lucien. Andrco opened her eyes as her mother 
entered the room, and seeing the young fellow seated near her 
bed she blushed. " You were there, then? " she asked. 

nana's daughter. 79 

" Yes," said hor mother, " he was there and acted as your 
nurse ; he wouldn't oven lot mo help him. " 

Worthy ]\Iadamo Despretz in her turn now woke up in her 
arm-chair, feeling considerably stiflfened by such a bad night's 
rest. " You would have done better to have gone home to bod, 
mother, " said her son, affectionately. 

" I remained so that Madame Naviel might have a few hours' 
rest, as she is compelled to work this morning." 

" Well, if you had done the same, mother, you would be quite 
fresh by now instead of tired out. " 

*' My dear boy, I wished to watch with you, out of respect for 
propriety. " 

" Thank you, madame," replied Andr6e; but I know your son 
well enough to be sure that I had nothing to fear from him. " 

" A ^irtuous, candid, young girl like yourself would naturally 
think so ; but it is always well not to expose oneself, even with 
the most discreet of lovers. " 

Madame Despretz was extremely fond of her son, and had a 
high opinion of his good conduct ; but in spite of the regular 
hfe ho led, she could not help feeling somewhat sceptical. She 
did not trust men in love affairs, for there had been some pain- 
ful events in her own youthful hfe, the recollection of which was 
ineffaceable. Still, she must have been very beautiful in her 
younger days, and it seemed probable that she had been adored. 
Perhaps she had suffered through an excess of sensibility ; at all 
events, at sight of her sad smile, one could divine that some 
devourmg secret dwelt in her mind. She was prematurely aged, 
but her big, black eyes were, at times, still illuminated by a 
feverish fire. That was the only sign of life in her pale, ivory- 
tinted face. 

She now rose up to assist Madame Naviel in putting things 
straight. Naviel himself had been gone an hour already. He 
had got up several times during the night to listen at Audroe's 
door, but as he merely heard the regular breathing of her slum- 
ber, he had not ventured inside for fear of disturbing her. 

The dawn now glided into the room through the muslin cur- 
tains, and the night-light began to flicker on the chest of 
drawers. Convolvuli climbed around the window outside, the 
deep-blue flowers bending beneath the weight of the dewdrops 
which the rising sim was drinking. The blue sky would have 
been speckless save for one tiny cloud which the breeze was 
waftmg along between two blackened factory chimneys. One 
could hear the early morning trains as they rolled onward 
through the neighboring tunnel, whence every now and then 
there came a sound as of subterranean thunder, followed by the 
loud, prolonged whistle of the engines. And meanwhile the 
milk carts jolted heavily over the paving stones of tho Ru^ 

8o nana's daughter. 

Legendre, on the granite curbstones of •wMcli stood the street- 
sweepers working automatically. 

Then suddenly a blackbird began to whistle among the horse- 
chestnut trees in the square. " Do you hear ? " asked Andree ; 
" that has been my alarmn for the last fortnight. " 

" What ! are you courageous enough to get up at this time of 
day ? " asked Lucien. 

" Certainly I am. I hke to jump out of bed at daybreak. One 
feels fresh and disposed for work; and one's eyes are not 
heavy as by lamp-hght in the evening. " 

" But shall we get up as early as that when we are 
married ? " 

" No doubt. At least I speak for myself. Tou can stop in 
bed if you like, you lazy fellow, and Andr6e will bring you your 
coffee. " 

" Excuse me, Andr6e, but doesn't it tire you to talk ? You 
nad a great deal of fever during the night, and if you 
knew " 

"What, pray?" 


" But I want to know. " 

" Well, you told me a lot of pretty things which you wouldn't 
repeat now. " 

" What pretty things? " 

" That you loved me a great deal." 

" That is true. But what else did I say ? " 

" Well, afterward you thought we were married and you 
passed your arms roimd my neck to kiss me. " 

" Really ? Oh, no, I can't have done that. " 

" What does it matter ? Tou had the fever and did not think 
of what you were sajing. To calm you I had to rock you like a 
child with your head on my shoulder. " 

" What! I slept with my head on your shoulder? " 

" Only for a moment, for I settled you comfortably on your 
pillow again, and yet I was so happy to feel you near me." 

At this moment Madame Despretz entered the room, inter- 
rupting the conversation of the two young lovers, who were 
now feeling the first glow of passion. Andree looked very 
charming with her head nesthng on the white pillow, with her 
bright eyes, in which there was still a gleam of fever, her flush- 
ing cheeks and her happy smile, tender with new-born love. 
The white radiance of morning played over the outline of her 
youthful form, which was just discernible under the creases of 
the white linen sheet falling over the new mahogany bedstead. 
She remained v(!ry calm and even talked of getting up. But 
Lucien scolded lier gently as if slio bad been a spoilt child, and 
made her promise to remain in bed until he returned. At eight 
o'clock he left for his estabhshment in the Hue Montmartre, 

nana's daughter. 8 1 

where ho \rnnlfl haro to remain until the evening ; and shortly 
afterward Madanio Despretz went home. 

Andrce remained alone with her mother, for when the work- 
girls arrived they merely passed through the room to inquire 
after her health, having heard of the accident from the porter 
of the house. The morning passed by without any other inci- 
dent. Madame Naviol set her work-table beside the bedstead, 
and began moimting artificial roses, whilst Andree watched her 
with a dreamy look in her eyes, half closed by fatigue. Now 
and then, however, Madame Naviel asked some question respect- 
ing the events of the previous day, and they exchanged remarks 
concerning the cruel fate of Margot, and the insolent luxury of 
Nana, who had vmintentionally placed Andree's life in peril. 

" We will receive her politely if she comes here, " said Madame 
Naviel. " Women like her at least provide work for honest 
folks. " And then she again resumed mounting her roses with 
infinite tastefulness, care and delicacy of touch. 

Andree began to think of Lucien Despretz, and felt all the 
pride of a woman who is beloved, on reflecting that he was 
capable of risking his life for her, as was shown by the bravery 
with which he had flung himself at the head of Nana's horses. 
Then she remembered his vigil of the previous night, and the 
blood flowed to her heart and her cheeks as she reflected that 
she had, perhaps, said things she ought not to have uttered, and 
which he would not dare to repeat to her. 

She passed the morning in this dreamy state, merely rousing 
herself at long intervals to answer her mother's questions. But 
at three o'clock in the afternoon there came a ring at the door 
bell, and one of the work-girls having gone to see who it was, 
returned to say that a lady had come to inquire after Made- 
moiselle Andree, and wished to speak with her. Her carriage 
was waiting down- stairs. 

" Let her come in," replied Madame Naviel. 

A rustle was heard over the floor of the parlor, and then 
Nana, wearing a simple black-silk dress, entered Andree's room, 
hastened to the bedside, and took the young girl's fingers 
between her gloved hands. " I have been thinking a great deal 
about you, " she said. " This accident has altogether upset me. 
ITowever, you were miraculously preserved, and I feel very 
happy that no serious harm came to you." Then turning to 
Madame Naviel, she added: " I should like to have two clumps 
of variegated roses for a couple of Japanese flower stands which 
one of my friends has given me. On Sunday next I shall give a 
concert and a ball, and I should like to have the flowers on the 
day before. Can you promise them me for then ? " 

" We will set to work with them this evening, madame. " 

" I hope that your daughter won't refuse to come and arrange 

82 nana's daughter. 

them in the flower stands ; and if she consents, you must allow 
me, madame, to keep her to lunch alone with me. " 

" I will go, madame, " said Andi-ee. " I shall certainly be able 
to walk before the week is over. 

" But you must not act imprudently on my account. If you 
will write a line when the roses are ready, or send one of your 
girls with a message, my brougham shall come and fetch you 
here. Do you sufler very much? " 

" The pain is not quite so gi'eat, and I think that the swelling 
ig subsiding, " replied Andree. 

"Poor child! you must have been kicked by one of those 
maddened horses. I certainly risked breaking my own neck, 
but, see how lucky I am, I escaped without a scratch ; while 
you — but show me your foot." 

Andree drew aside the sheet, and allowed her foot and ankle 
to hang out of the bed. 

" Have you seen a doctor? " asked Nana. 

" Yes, madame. " 

" Your ankle is very swollen, and some muscle must have been 
damaged. You mustn't tire yourself. Does it hurt you when I 
touch you?" 

" Yes, a httle, madame." 

" What a pretty ankle you have ! And what soft skin I You 
are reaUy adorably pretty ! And I shouldn't care for my lovers 
to see you — Ah ! that young man I saw with you yesterday is a 
fortunate fellow ! Besides, he is good-looking and far braver 
than my Prince of Mulhausen. I regret for your sake that he 
isn't better off. He is a clerk, no doubt ? " 

" Yes, madame. " 

"Ah! I had a clerk for my lover once. It astonishes you, 
perhaps, for I don't look like a woman who associates with 
clerks. And yet, my dear, that fellow was the only one I ever 
really loved for two months at a stretch. " 

As Nana spoke she began to examine a box of yellow roses. 
She fastened one of the flowers in her hair and approached the 
looking-glass to judge of the effect. Then returning to the bed- 
side she placed the same rose on Andree's head. " It is aston- 
ishing, " she resinned, " how much we arc alike each other. Your 
hair is just the same shade as mine, and our eyes have the same 
sparkle. Mine are of a greenish blue and so are yours, with 
little yellow marks in the pupils. If you were not this lady's 
daughter I should claim you as mine. " 

" You are too young to have a daughter of my age, " remarked 
Andree in a tone of sincerity. 

" Of course, you are right, my dear, it wouldn't be to my 
advantage. You would rather be my sister. But, at all events, 
you are charming, and if I were a man I should do all kinds of 

nana's daughter. 83 

mad things for your sake. Now, good-by for the present, pretty 
one ; make haste and get -well again. Good-day, madame." 

Thereupon she left the room witliout the least attempt at 
effect like an " irregular " accustomed to play " the great lady." 
With lowered eyes she observed the creases of her dress as her 
skirt swept over the parlor carpet, rustling like dead leaves. 


Nana's house was full of workpeople, who were completing 
the preparations for her approacliiug fete. Four large recep- 
tion-rooms, looking on the one hand into the park, and on the 
other into the vast conservatory, and ct)nnected by folding- 
doors, were being decorated for the entertainment. D'Albigny's 
library was transformed into a smoking-room, the biUiard-hall 
into a card-room; while a stand for the orchestra was set up in 
the conservatory. The ball was fixed to take place on Sunday, 
and on the Saturday morning Nana sent her brougham to fetcli 
^Mademoiselle Naviel from Batignolles. The roses she had 
ordered had just been finished, and Andreo was dressing when 
her mother came to tell her that Nana's brougham was waiting 
in the street. 

Andree had become somewhat thinner since her accident on 
the day of the review, and she walked slightly lame. Althougli 
the swelling of her ankle was now subsiding, and she was able 
to get up and help her mother with the flowers, she was still 
careful to keep her right leg in a horizontal position as often as 
possible. On the morrow of the night which Lucien had spent 
at Andree's bedside, Madame Dcspretz had formally asked for 
the young girl's hand. The Naviels had immediately given 
their consent, and the marriage was decided upon in principle, 
although the day was not yet fixed. Every morning before 
going to his work, Lucien came to see Andree, and he returned 
to Batignolles as soon as the day's toil was over. Every other 
evening, moreover, ho dined at his future father-in-law's, seated 
beside his betrothed, to whom he was most attentive. 

Ho came as usual on the morning when Andree was to take 
the flowers to Nana, and waited until she was ready, so that he 
might kiss her before hastening ofi" to the Rue Montmartre. 
Mademoiselle Naviel looked charming. She had put on a lilac 
dress like the one she had worn that evening at the Bouflbs ; 
and this reminded them both of the bouquet of white roses 
which Lucien had offered to "virtuous beauty." Andreo 
had not forgotten the advice that lier future lover liad tcn<lcr('d 
with his floral offering. As ho now took his leave, he asked her 

84 nana's daughter. 

rather anxiously, " Shall you remain long at that woman's; 

" As short a time as possible, " Andree replied. " But she is 
a good customer, you know; and if, as she suggested, I am 
obliged to arrange the flowers myself, I shall be kept there all 
the morning. It is oven possible that she may keep mo to lunch. 
She spoke of doing so on the day she called here." 

Lucien went off somewhat saddened, but Andree was very 
gay. And this was only natural, for she had many reasons to 
feel happy. She was almost cured now ; she would soon share 
the life of the only man she had ever loved ; her little business 
was prosperously increasing, and she was able to surround her 
narents with comforts. So the future beamed ahead in bright 

The roses which Nana had ordered were marvels of their 
kind, and Madame Naviel and Andree had bestowed all their 
talent upon them, for the fetes that this woman gave were 
events in Paris, and attention was invariably attracted to the 
artists who participated, from far or near, in adorning the fairy- 
like i^alace of the queen of vice. Moreo\'er, virtuous as Andree 
was, she felt no little feminine curiosity respecting the home of 
this woman who devoured kingdoms, and slie was eager to visit 
it. She placed her flowers in the satin-lined brougham, and 
then, as soon as she had ensconced herself amid the radiant 
bloom which her fingers had called forth, the coachman touched 
Up his horses and off they went. 

Nana was taking her bath when Andr6e arrived ; and Yirgiuie, 
the maid, ushered the young girl into the bath-room — all black 
marble and silver mountings — -where Nana's rosy carnation and 
tawny hair stood out in marvelous relief. " Virginie, dry me 
quick and dress me, " cried the courtesan, springing naked and 
sweet-scented out of the perfumed water of the silver bath. 
And she unblushingly displayed the opulent splendor of her 
sculptural beauty, while Virginie wiped her tiny feet and put on 
her slippers. " Make haste, girl," said Nana, " I want to see 
my roses. Excuse me, mademoiselle. In five minutes I shall 
be ready." 

As soon as she was enveloped in a long dressing-gown of 
Chinese silk, in which she draped lusrsclf with the natural grace 
of a Greek Venus, she led Andree out of the room and wished to 
see the roses at once. A footman had ranged them in the hall 
at the foot of the stairs. fomid them charming. " I say, 
Mademoiselle Andree, " she remarked, '' you must really teach 
me how to mount roses. It will amuse me to know how to do 
something. It isn't my fault if I was never taught anything. 
At present I know how to sing, and as I have a good voice I 
could go on the stage if T chose; but, i)Ooh! I'm not in need of 
money. Men are so stupid, they are only fit to be plucked, and 

nana's daughter. 85 

I pluck them properly ! Well, what would you have ! A woman 
like I am — -a woman sprung from the people, and who has 
become a social i)()wer, thanks to her mere beauty — proves 
useful to poor folks. The money wo coax out of old misers, 
young skinilints, Jews, and titled and mitred fools, falls into the 
pockets of the working classes. What would become of Paris 
without us? "What would become of the workpeople ? What 
would become of the artists ? It is we who re-estabUsh equality, 
wo who beggar the idle for the profit of the industrious. We 
turn the tap, and useless treasm'es, shameful fortunes, millions 
robbed from the poor, flow forth ! Wo are the canal by which 
the gold of thieves flows back into the purses of the despoiled. 
And it is only right, mademoiselle, is it not ? Ah ! if I had a 
poet or a novelist among my lovers, I would give him a plot for 
a masterpiece ! " 

She laughed aloud, and the merry peal was re-echoed up the 
monumental staircase. " Will you come with me, mademoiselle ? " 
she asked. " We can have a chat while Virginia dresses me for 
lunch. " 

" I am at your orders, madame," replied Andr^e. 

They climbed the pink marble staircase together, Nana's 
slippers clacking gaily against her velvety heels. Then they 
entered the boudoir, followed by Virginie, who commenced to 
dress her mistress' hair. When Nana was ready she again spoke 
to Andree. " Come, pretty one," she said, " you must promise 
to come and give me some lessons in mounting flowers. I will 
pay you whatever you like ; the terms are of no consequence to 
me. You please mo very much. I should so like to have a 
daughter like you. I fancy I should love her — I who love 
nobody and tire of everything. I would leave her my fortune 
and my contempt for the human species. There would be two 
of us to chat and laugh at men's stupidity ! How funny 'twould 
be ! You are extremely pretty, my dear, and it's very foolish on 
your part to live as you do, tiring your httle fingers and bending 
your pretty shoulders over your work. You will get ugly if you 
go on like that, and in a few years you will be an old woman, 
and then your protector will leave you." 

" I have no protector, madame, " swiftly returned Andr6e, 
with a blush. 

" Ah ! it's true, excuse me, T meant to say your husband. 
But come, my dear, how many hf)urs do you work a day ? " 

" Twelve hours, madame, in the business season." 

" Twelve hours! But, little one, you will grow blind if you 
go on like that ! Have you murdered any one to be condemned 
to such a life? But you must make heaps of money at it? " 

" We earn twelve or fifteen francs, my mother and I — some- 
times twenty francs together." 

"An horn-?" 

86 nana's daughter. 

" No, a day, madame; and we are fortunate. There are some 
women who don't earn more than a franc and a half. " 

" And to thmk that there are fools who are astonished at 
hnmorality and feminine vice! Whose fault is it, if virtuous 
women only earn a franc and a half a day? Come, come, you 
must agree with me that virtuous women are fools." 

" No, madame, they are happier than you." 

" Really ? Well, I can't understand how a person can possibly 
be happy in working a great deal to earn merely a few 
copi)ers. " 

'' It is simple enough. The man who loves us has confidence 
in us, and loves us all the more as he can give us his esteem. 
And his kiss, when he comes home at night-time after work, 
repays us for our toil far better than all the jewels in the 
world. " 

" You are perhaps right, mademoiselle. Our paths are differ- 
ent. All the same, I can't help regTetting to see such a pearl of 
beauty like yourself set, as it were, in a common metal. If you 
had some stylish dresses, diamonds, horses, and a mansion, all 
Paris would "^be at your feet, little one. A frown on your brow 
would make men turn pale and their hair grow white. Ah!, if 
you only choose, by-and-by, when old age compels me : to 
abdicate, you might succeed me. You would be Nana the 
Second; I would launch you properly; and you would fly away 
on the wings of success. You would bo a star of the first order; 
you would have y(jur applauders, your chroniclers, your sculp- 
tors, your painters, your photographers. Your portrait would 
be in every shop-window, and you would be a perfect queen. 
Believe me, I am really speaking seriously. " 

" I prefer being loved by the man I love to having a crowd of 
such adorers at my feet. I am not at aU tempted by the costly 
folhes of men. I set a higher price on my love, and I don't 
think that kings and emperors could ever pay dear enough for 
the first kiss of a ^irtuous girl. " 

" But if you were dressed as you deserve to be, the man you 
love would find you still prettier and love you all the bettor! 
Come, I should like you to judge for yourself. Virginie, bring 
me the dress I wore at the review. We are of the same height, 
mademoiselle and I, and my dress will fit her like a glove. 
Bring the lace petticoat as well, and some silk stockings to 
match the dress." 

Virginie obeyed, and wished to dress Andr6e herself. But 
Nana interposed. " No, leave us! " she said. " I will dress her. 
I'm sure you would annoy her with your manners." 

"I must tell madame that my manners are quite proper," 
replied Virginie, pinching her lips. " But, of course, it is no 
business of mine if madame chooses to treat mademoiselle Uke a 
doU. " And the angry maid thereupon left the room. 

nana's daughter. 87 

iilnue with Andreo, Nau;i threw her arms around her, and 
kissed her passionately. A strange languor was coming over 
the young girl in the vitiated atmosphere of the boudoir. 
Seized with a cocjuettish desire to look beautiful, she allowed 
Nana to undress her like a child, and array her in the white 
satin robe. 

But suddenly the door-hanging of the boudoir was raised, and 
the Marquis li'Albigny, very tall, his head erect, with a black 
mustache proudly twirled up at either end, and white hands, 
which seemed formed only to handle a sword or span a woman's 
waist, appeared smiling upon the threshold. 


Andree rose to retire, but D'Albigny had perceived her, and 
stood spellbound by stupefied admiration. " What do you 
think of her, marquis "? " asked Nana. 

" Charming, my dear. " And approaching the courtesan he 
kissed her hand, and added, " Thanks, Nana, for this pleasant 
surprise. " 

" I didn't do It on purpose, marquis, " rejoined Nana, in an 
undertone ; *' but you know I am apt to be kind to you." 

D'Albigny approached Andi'ee, and taking one of her tiny 
hands in his, he softly pressed it and said : " I am happy to see, 
mademoiselle, that you no longer suflfer from the accident which 
nearly killed us all ; and I am inclined to bless that mishap, as 
it has procured us the pleasure of seeing you. You are charm- 
ing in that dress ; and, without flattery, you look wonderfully 
hke Madame Nana — that is, like the most captivating woman 
in Paris. Only you are very young. How old are you, nray, if 
it is not an indiscretion? " 

" I am nineteen, sir. " 

" Nineteen ! That would be your daughter's age by now, 
Nana. " 

** If Mademoiselle Andrec were my daughter, I should keep 
her with me, and devote myself to making her happy. She 
would be my last passion ; her trimnphs would amuse me. I 
would set all Paris at her feet, and with my experience of the 
past I should be the better able to assure her future. Ah! 
marquis, she would earn her real worth, which she seems to 
have no idea of now." 

" Madame Nana is right, mademoiseEe, you have everything 
to learn. But we would be your instructors, she and I, and 
introduce you to the life of luxury and opulence that you are 
fitted for." 


" You arc very kind, sir, " rejoined Andrec, with gentle irony, 
" but I fear that I shall bo coudenmed to live in humble chcum- 
stauces all my life. I love my family, and I am about to 
marry " 

" That tall, yomig fellow we saw with you, no doubt ! He is 
not bad looking; l)ut he doesn't know how to dress, and the 
man who is deficient in that gift never becomes anyone. Take 
myself, for instance ; I have spent large sums of money in my 
time, and although I am head over heels in debt, I live, enjoy 
myself, and jingle like gold at every step. But why is that f 
Simply because I know how to walk, how to glove my hands, 
and how to treat women. Just ask Madame Nana on that last 
point. It is the essential matter in life ; for whatever may be 
one's sphere there is always a woman around whom we men 
must gravitate." 

At this moment a footman raised the door-hanging, and 
exclaimed, " Madame is served. " 

Audree shuddered. She had recognized the footman's voice. 
"Come, little one," said Nana, "keep that dress on; it suits 
you marvelously well. We shall lunch together, all three of us. 
Your arm, D'Albigny. " 

Tho marquis gave Nana his arm, and they passed in front of 
Andree. The latter did not feel at ease. She was surprised by 
the marquis's cavalier manner, and enervated by the strange 
caresses of this woman, who seemed to take possession of her 
despite her virtuous resistance, and to circumvent her with her 
singular sophistry and subversive principles. It seemed to 
Andree as if the vertigo of evil had seized hold of her. Her 
brain was intoxicated and disturbed. She certainly tried to 
defend herself, to justify the courage she had shown in choosing 
the pathway of daily toil and chaste affection; and yet her 
vanity was secretly pleased by the otter of a life of luxury, by 
the direct proposals of that titled scoundrel, D'Albigny, and by 
the audacious encouragement and enervating flattery of Nana. 
There are some evil instincts dormant even in the best of natures, 
and such as had slept in Andrco's heart and mind were now 
aroused. Tho evil dream was, in fact, beginning to please her, 
when suddenly she was awakened to a sense of reality by tho 
voice of the footman. That voice she know it well. Its pos- 
sessor was now a servant, but she had mot him as a clown and a 
police spy. At sight of him it seemed to her as if an alarm-bell 
were ringing in her conscience. Ah ! why had she been weak 
enough to servo as a toy for such a woman as Nana ? 

She passed slowly under the silken door-hanging which the 
tall footman was holding back. Ho leaned toward her as she 
approached, and whispered hmTiedly, " Pray don't look as if you 
recognized me, mademoiselle. I am not what I seem to be. I 
am called Luc, now. " And then in a respectful attitude, bol^ 

nana's daughter. 89 

upright and slim-looking in his hlack dress-coat, his face cleanly 
shaven and his maimers perfectly correct, ho entered the dining- 
room behind the young girl. 

It was an octagonal apartment of moderate dimensions, paved 
with Florentine mosaic. The ceiling had somewhat the form of 
a cupola, from the center of which hung a massive silver 
chandelier formed of eight cupids with outspread wings, whoso 
feet rested upon a globe, and who each held in one hand a 
branching candelabrum. Folding doors communicated with an 
adjoining apartment, and three French windows conducted onto 
a ^vinding balcony. The room formed part, indeed, of an 
octagonal tower at one corner of the mansion, and commanded 
a delightful view of the park. The table was a round one ; tho 
china, modern Sevres, and the glass. Baccarat crystal ; Nana's 
coronetod initial figuring on every object. 

D' Albigny sat down near Andree, Nana placed herself in front 
of them; and Luc stood in the rear, servmg tho dishes and 
pouring out the wine. 

" Would you behove it, marquis, " said Nana, abruptly, " it 
seems there are women who live on a franc and a half a day. " 

'' No, really, dear, I can't behove that ? for even admitting 
that the unfortunate creatures wished to do so, they couldn't 
manage it. " 

" But come, D' Albigny, picture mo. Nana, reduced to live on 
a franc and a half a day. " 

" I repeat that it isn't possible, my dear. And you, mademoi- 
selle, do you think that it has over happened ? " 

*' I have proof of it every day, sir. One of my new work-girls 
is an orphan who does not earn more. " 

'* She has a lover who supports her, then," said Nana. 

*' No, madamo. " 

" But how does she contrive to live, then? " 

** She spends fifteen sous on her daily food ; lodges herself for 
ten francs a mop* makes her own drosses, washes her own 
linen, novo'' '' c.ny wine, and never lights a fire. " 

" Well, really, such a life must be insupportable. It would 
be better to have never been bom than to lead such an existence 
as that. " 

" Misfortune may overtake the wealthy, madame. Misery 
often comes when it is least expected. And what is most ter- 
rible is to have to hve hke these poor creatures, after having 
lived like you. " 

" You are jesting, mademoiselle. That has never happened, 
and never will — eh, D' Albigny ? " 

" No, certainly not. As long as you are Nana, and as long as 
I am D'Albigny, we shall have nothing of the kind to fear. As 
for the others, so much the worse for them. " 

As soon as the meal was over, Nana rose to go and see her 
A^ana's Daughter 6. 

go nana's daughter. 

roses. Turning to tlie valet, she exclaimed, " Come with me, 
Luc ; you must take my flowers into the gallery, where I shall 
arrange them by-and-by with this young lady. I shall be 
back in a moment, " she added to Andree. 

The marquis thus remained alone with the girl. Softly, with- 
out the least affectation, in fact with the calm ease of a noble- 
man, he drew near to her and took hold of one of her hands. 
" Would you like Nana to adopt you, to take you with her and 
leave you her fortune? " he asked, without the slightest 

" Thanks, sir, I prefer to work." 

" But that is unreasonable. It is quite impossible that you 
prefer a life of slavery to such an existence as we can ofler you 

" I do not wish to renounce either my parents or my 
betrothed. " 

" You would not have to renounce your parents. On the con- 
trary, you might be useful to them. And as for your lover, you 
could marry him, prcjviding he is intelligent, and knows how to 
bend to the exigencies of modern life. Otherwise, in your own 
interest, it would be better for you to sacrifice this young man to 
us. Others will know how to love you, and understand you as 
you deserve. And if you were willing, I should be most 
delighted to make you happy without imposing my love upon 
you like a burden. I have enough experience of life to know 
that one can't imprison a pretty woman's heart, and that night- 
ingales don't live in cages. I would leave you jxTfectly free to 
love this young man, or any otlier, pr(jvi(ling you did not abuse 
of your liberty to spend your money on them. In present times 
every one aught to know how to calculate. Gold is the one 
great disideratum of life. Ah, with me to guide you, you would 
soon have millions of your own. Your pretty blue eyes would 
be like the sim that ripens the harvest, and but one kiss from 
your ruby lips would mean wealth for yourself and for those you 
love. " 

" It seems tome that you are insulting me, sir," cried Andr6e, 
who was very red. She spoke these words in a clear, vibrating 
voice, full of virtuous emotion, and then sprang to her feet as if 
she feared she had been entrapped. Wliat was that woman. 
Nana, doing f Why had she taken her servant away, leaving 
her alone with the marquis ? Did she no longer love him 1 or 
did the marquis wish to profit by his mistress' absence to play 
her false ? 

Andr6e understood naught of the monstrosities prevalent in 
this vicious sphere; but she remembered her adventure with 
Paillardin, and asked herself if the world was a forest full of 
Bcoundrels bent on trapping virtue and insulting women. At 

nana's daughter. 91 

this thoupjht she was seized with Litter disgust for tlio vicious 
basouess of mau, 

" I give you uiy word of honor," rejoined the marquis, " that 
my words implied nothing insidting for your beauty. On the 
contrary, I was trying to make you understand, by metaphors, 
the very great interest I take in you. And nobody here would 
venture to behave insolently or improperly with you. " 

" Then I was under a misapprehension when I attributed an 
insulting meaning to your proposals. I thought you wished to 
piotit by the circumstance that we were alone, to tell me things 
1 cannot listen to. I muvst apologize, Monsieur lo Marquis, for 
having for one moment thought you capable of such an act of 
cowardice. " 

" Oh, oh ! little one, your irony is bitter ; but patience, it will 
wear away. After all, I think it will be better to allow you to 
indulge in your fancy for that young mau. Come, my beauty, 
make haste to get married. When you have had enough of 
your lover and virtuous poverty, you will come in search of tlio 
Marcpiis D'Albigny; and, perhaps, he will interest himself on 
your behalf, providing you are still pretty, of course. Well, go 
and find Madame Nana, put on your common dress agahi, and 
arrange your flowers. You can go, mademoiselle, you can go ; 
I shan't detain you. " 

He spoke with a smile of disdainful pity. Andree did not 
answer him, but opened the door and jjassed out into the hall. 
Perceiving Nana, she went toward her, saying : " I regret that 
I cannot stop any longer, madame, for there is a great deal of 
work to be done at homo, and I must go. " 

" But why are you so red, my dear; has the marquis been 
courting you? It's his fashion, you know. He is perpetually at 
women's feet. The last love-sick shepherd will die with him. 
But you were wrong to be frightened by his foolish talk. He's 
a good fellow at the bottom and means well. However, I don't 
want to vex you. Luc, conduct this young lady to my boudoir, 
so that she may change her dress again. " 

Luc escorted Andree to the boudoir, and as soon as they were 
alone together he hurriedly began : " You know who I am, 
mademoiselle; well, listen to me. Never come back here again. 
This woman is fatal ; she would ruin you just as she has ruined 
me. I'm rising to the surface again, now, and I want to live. 
I have been stationed hero by the prefecture of police, so as to 
watch the goings on. And I open my eyes and ears both day 
and night. They are big, my ears, and they hear everything. 
You remember how the Hercules used to pull them eight sum- 
mers ago. Ah! what a nuiss of hatred I've stored up in my 
heart and mind during those eight years of misery ! I hate the 
whole human species excepting yourself and your father, although 
lie rendered me a sorry service whtui he pulled me out of the 


river. However, nowadays I've an object before me, and a ter- 
rible object, too. I mean to cling to this house, to this woman 
and this marquis, so as to work their ruin as they worked mine. 
I'll bite away their pedestal bit by bit, and expose them as they 
really are. I'm somebody now, I am a power. I have the 
whole police force behind me. I'm no longer a clown, no longer 
a pauper, no longer a woman-beater as you saw me a few days 
ago. I belong to the secret service now — but I must let you 
dress. Good-by, mademoiselle, and take my advice; don't 
come to this house again. It is a perfect den; a den full of 
gold, no doubt, but a den, a wild beast's den. " Thereupon he 
went off, and Andr6e could hear him repeating in the hall, " Yes, 
a den, a wild beast's den. " 

A minute later Virgiuie entered the boudoir. " I have come 
to help mademoiselle to dress, " she said. 

" I am sorry that your mistress disturbed you, " replied Andr6e. 
" I am used to waiting on myself. " And she rapidly changed 
her costume, without accepting the help of the maid. In ten 
minutes she was ready ; and she experienced a delicious feeling 
of relief when she found herself in the street again, in the midst 
of out-door activity, under the pure blue sky and with the 
radiant sunlight to guide her homeward steps. 


That same evening Nana's house was still encumbered with 
workpeople ; and, anxious to escape the disorder, she per- 
suaded D'Albigny to accompany her to Mabille. The garden 
was being prepared for the evening fete. The ground-glass 
globes of the girandoles, the ruddy flowers blooming on the 
branches of the artificial zinc trees, the luminous fruit of the 
spurious palms, the arcades painted a brilhant green, were all 
being lighted up ; and a mysterious glimmer was wafted over 
tlie stalactite cascade, where a statue of Venus stood in semi- 

When Nana arrived, at about eleven o'clock, her appearance 
caused a perfect sensation. She wore a robe of black velvet 
with a long train, a black-felt mousquetaire hat with a blue 
plume, and a set of sapphires; earrings and necklace alike 
mounted in silver. A quadrille was being danced as she arrived, 
giving her arm to D'Albigny, and followed by Luc in full livery. 
The crowd had formed a circle around the paid dancers, who 
gravely distortea themselves, looking as serious as official per- 
sonages in the discharge of their functions. The men raised 
their legs, or bobbed down in spread-eagle fashion, with a posi- 

nana's daughter. 93 

tire air of importance. Still there was one little fellow worth 
seeing, for ho disjointed his limbs in the strangest fashion, and 
assiuued the most improbable postures. He had a comical face, 
moreover, and his gestures were so fanciful that ho fairly diverted 
the spectators. The women meanwhile caught up their skirts, 
and swayed about, kicking up their high-heeled boots to the 
delight of several fat English tourists, who had come to see the 
fun with their wives. These highly-respectable ladies looked 
extremely glum ; and the horrified expression of some of their 
foces contrasted strangely with the broad smiles in which their 
husbands indulged. One of the female dancers, an ex-star of 
the Quartier Latin, renowned for her intimacy with a famous 
one-eyed orator, was most skillful In knocking off the hats of the 
mascidine spectators with the tip of her cherry-satm boot. Her 
spirit and vivacity fairly sent the gallery mto transports of 
delight. It was a most attentive gallery, by the way, and, 
evidently enough, the great majority of the people present were 
anxious not to lose a single detail of the disgraceful exhibition* 
True, the English ladies and the French provincial families in 
the front ranks watched the scene with an air of consternation. 
But these were the exceptions, and among the attentive ones, 
none gazed more steadily than the white-haired old beaux with 
blotched and wrinkled faces. 

When Nana appeared, however, there was a stir, and popular 
curiosity was diverted from the Terpsichorean display. As if 
she had been formally announced by one of the ushers — who, 
with steel chains over their shoulders, were watching the dances 
— her name spread through the close ranks of the spectators; 
and as her blue plume waved, and her tawny hair flashed in the 
light, a host of mute admirers ranged themselves in a lino to see 
her pass along. She walked as far as the covered gallery, where 
the dancing took place on rainy evenings, and then sat down 
with the marquis, Luc standing bolt upright behind her chair. 

She had evidently just asked some question of D'Albigny, for 
he began to say : " This is what I can tell you on the matter, 
my dear. I made inquiries at the foundling hospital, as I 
promised to do, and — thanks to the influence of a very power- 
ful friend — I obtained, from the Poor Rehef Board, some infor- 
mation which is never given to outsiders. I have, indeed, posi- 
tively learned what has become of your daughter. And see how 
surely your instinct has guided you ! — that girl Andrce, who is 
supposed to be the Naviels' daughter — that little flower-girl 
whom you found so pretty, and who resembles you like eglan- 
tine resembles roses ; well, that very girl is your child I She is 
only the adopted daughter of the workpeople who brought her 
up. When she learns that you are her real mother, she won't 
ong hesitate about returning to you. There are hereditarly 


fatalities, you know ; and that gii-1 must have somewhat of your 
terrible temperament, you woman of fire ! " 

*' But, havmg hved in such a diflferent sphere, the fire you 
speak of must be extinguished. Those people must have thrown 
dust on her flaming youth, and it is evidently too late " 

*' Not at all. Nana. Claim her from these people, who must 
consider her to be a sacred deposit, and who must be too honest 
to detain such a treasure as that girl is, when they learn that 
you are her real mother, and can prove it beyond a doubt. " 

** But, my dear fellow, the girl is charming. I should go mad 
over her. I should play mamma with her; and — who knows? — 
I am fantastic enough to feel jealous of the men she may love. I 
may want to keep her all to myself. " 

" Oh! in that case, let her remain a flower-girl, then; for if 
you ceased living your present existence you would be altogether 
done for. Maternal virtue is like all others; it brings wrinkles, 
whitens the hair, and turns the complexion yellow. Suppose 
you had a baby, and took to bringing it up at your own breast. 
Why, given all the circumstances, you would be an old woman 
in a month's time I And, even as matters stand, you are getting 
on, mind. I speak to you as a friend, frankly, without flattering. 
Nobody else would do so, no doubt; the others are all too afraid 
of you. Still, they w^ould have their thoughts on the matter, 
and, although they are slavish courtiers, and kiss your boots now 
that you are the queen, they wouldn't hesitate to spit on your 
skirts if ever you lost your sceptre. If you think of becoming a 
mother again, merely by way of penance — if you have no prac- 
tical object in claiming this girl — why, you had better remain 
Nana as you are. You have still some years to sparkle. But I 
trust you will bo practical. And if you decide to utilize this girl 
in our mutual interest, say the word, and I will go with you to 
her home. We shall then see if she will resist your entreaties 
when she hears that you are her mother. Of course, you must 
learn how to play a mother's i)art properly; how to affect emo- 
tion, tenderness and passion. You must cry if your daughter 
refuses to follow you, and when you have your arms aroimd her 
hold fast and take her away. I will charge myself with the rest. 
But, as I said before, it will no doubt cost you a few tears. You 
are altogether irresistible when you cry. Nana! Why, I myself 
have been caught by your tears. You are so deuced clever when 
you choose. " 

" I am afraid that the girl's lover wUl bother us. She's mad 
on marrying him." 

" So nuich the better, my dear. We'll find a position for him 
if ho needs one. People will approve of you marrying your 
daughter, and few will suspect that you only do so to be able to 
dispose of her under cover of her husband. " 

nana's daughter. 95 

" Don't tcalk so horribly, D'Albigny. Supposing you wore 
ovorhoard? " 

" Peoplo would think mo dangerous, and I should bo feared all 
the more. Halloa! hero's Mulhausen coming toward us. " 

The prince was indeed approaching, walking very pompously, 
his massive form stiffly erect in tho true Teutonic style, and a 
serious expression on his red-whiskered face. In hopes that ho 
might look more of a Frenchman, he had recently taken to 
wearing a gold-rimmed eyeglass, and continually bit either tho 
tortoise-shell handle of his crutch-stick, or the left point of his 
twirling mustache. 

" How do you do, my dear prince? " hiquired the marquis. 
" Have you recovered from your emotion?" 

" And you, marquis?" asked the prince. 

" My dear Mulhausen, " said Nana, " you ought to know that 
D'Albigny is not subject to emotion. As for myself, I am not yet 
consoled. My two blackamoors are dead, and three of my horses 
also. True, I have one left; and, by the way, if you like I will 
make you a present of it. " 

** Thank you, madame, but Prussia requires my services, and 
your Parisian coachman don't know how to drive. I have 
renewed my horses, grooms and coachmen alike, since that acci- 
dent. And my new men and my new animals all come from 
Germany. They will have their first outing to-morrow for your 
fete. By the wav, have you written to Stog?" 

" I should think so, " said D'Albigny. " Nana sent hun a 
registered letter this very evening, and here is a copy of it. " 
So saymg, the marquis drew a sheet of paper from his pocket- 
book and handed it to the prince. 

Mulhausen settled his glasses on his nose, and then read in 
an undertone : " If Mousieiu- Stog does not come as he promised, 
I shall beheve that he is afraid either of myself or of D'Albigny. 
I certify that the marquis had not furnished Monsieur Stog with 
the slightest pretext to retreat. — Nana. " 

" He will be mad enough to come," remarked the prince. 

"Oh, I shall regret him!" sighed Nana. "He pleased me 
with his brutal frankness; but he hated D'Albigny, and the 
marquis is too valuable a friend for me to hesitate about sacri- 
ficing Stog. " 

" You are right, " cried the German. " Ah ! I recognize you 
there. Besides, that fellow Stog annoyed me with his bravado, 
and if D'Albigny had not taken upon himself to rid you of the 
fool, I should have been only too happy to render you such a 
trifling service. " 

" If you prefer to do the work yourself, my dear Mulhausen, " 
said D'Albigny, ironically, " I won't stand in your way. I'll 
withdraw. " 

** But you can't, marquis; for it was you that ho insulted. If 

96 nana's daughter. 

he had acted like that with me, I shouldn't have waited a week 
before claiming satisfaction." 

" Do you mean that for a lesson, prince ? " 

" 1 1 not at all. Tou have no need of teaching, my dear 
marquis. " 

"Quite so, my dear Mulhausen," exclaimed Nana. "And, 
do you know, you ought not to play the part of a professor of 
bravery. It doesn't suit you. Lessons of that kind are not 
quite in your line." 

The German bit his mustache feverishly, but the incident 
went no further ; for at that moment a servant in a blue livery 
was seen elbowing his way through the crowd, evidently in 
search of some one. " Ah! there comes Stog's answer! " said 
D'Albigny, and turning toward the tall, clean-shaven footman, 
who stood impassively behind Nana's chair, he added : " Go 
and say that we are here, Luc. " 

Luc went off and speedily returned with the other servant. 
Nana opened the telegram which was handed to her, and read 
as follows: "I shall have the honor of complying with your 
invitation, and shall introduce two of my Mends to you. — 

"Very good," muttered Mulhausen. "I fancy that Stog is 
done for. " 

The fete was now in full swing and the orchestra was playing 
one of M6tra's mazurkas. The crowd pressed forward to see the 
dancers, who revolved with maddening motion in the full light. 
The women threw themselves backward, with their heads rest- 
ing on the shoulders of their partners, who danced with their 
hats falling over their necks, and with their legs wide apart, 
looking, indeed, for all the world, like satjTS in nineteenth-cent- 
my costume. And aU around, worthless women, freshly painted 
and plastered, were promenading to and fro, dragging their 
trains over the gi-avel, and shaking their diamond eardrops in 
the gasUgbt. 

" Let us go home ! " said Nana, at last. " It is so awftdly 
slow. " 

The marquis rose at once and allowed Nana to take Mul- 
hausen's arm, while ho himself approached a fencing-hall friend 
and whispered a few words in his ear. 

" It will be for to-morrow evening, then? " asked the friend. 

" Probably, " rejoined D'Albigny. 

" I shall be at your disposal, my dear marquis. " 

" I relied on you." 

" And you did quite right. Who is the other second ? " 

" The Prince of Mulhausen. " 

Then having shaken hands with his friend, the marquis fol- 
lowed Nana and the prince, who were walking away followed by 
the two blue-liveried servants. As usual, Luc's features were 


impassive ; but there was a tragic gleam in the depths of his 
lish-like eyes. 


■Well-ntgh twonty years had elapsed since Luc had been 
Nana's lover, and ho was not recognizable. Constant misery, 
both moral and physical, had made him very lean. His fall 
dated from the day when ho had borrowed ten thousand francs 
from his employer's safe in order to purchase his daughter from 
Nana. She had disdainfully rejected the stolen gold, and had 
caused him to be arrested just as ho was about to make full 
restitution. Fortmiately for Luc, he established his mtention 
to refimd the money sulficiently clearly to succeed in avoiding a 
sentence, but on his release from jail he found himself altogether 
without resources. Conscious of his unworthiness, he then glided 
down the slope of Bohemian existence, living by charity or 
expedients, employing weU-known names to solicit loans, and 
coining money as best he could. Still, despite his fall and his 
indignity, he often regretted his past honorability, and longed 
to rise to the surface again. When he thought of the woman 
who had ruined him, who had robbed him of both his honor and 
his child, he was seized with a strange passionate rage, com- 
pounded of desire, jealousy, hatred, and regret. Ho wished he 
could have torn his heart out of his breast to crush it beneath 
his heel — but it lived, this heart of his. It was fired with old 
recollections of volcanic intensity; and his mind would dwell 
upon plans of vengeance. 

Thus he hved on with his fixed remorse, poor, lonely, lost in 
the hungry crowd. At times he would have given his whole life 
to have been able to kiss his child but once. Little girls of the 
same age long inspired him with convulsive tenderness, and he 
had been greatly struck with Andree on the day he met her at 
St. Cloud, and invited her into the wrestling-booth. On that 
occasion Nana also had shown herself, in the company of 
D'Albigny, but she had scarcely recognized her old lover, the 
ex-cashier. After that Face-to-Smack abandoned his calling as 
a moimtebank, and fell into an even more miserable condition. 
Hard times aged him to such a degree that nobody would have 
taken him for the same man. Tired of hfe, he one day tried to 
kill himself; and, but for Naviel, it would have been all over 
with him. Onco saved, he lacked the courage to try suicide 
over again ; so he enlisted in the pubhc morality police force, 
which, by a lucky chance, was then recruiting men. 

After that he at least had regular meals ; but he hved in daily 
commimion with vice. By the ferocious zeal with which he dis- 
charged his functions ho rapidly rose in favor with his superiors. 

98 nana's daughter. 

It "was known that lie had uever shown any weakness with the 
■women he was appointed to watch, and tlie authorities decided 
to call him to more important duties. It was a wonderM chance 
for him. The government wished to have some one on the 
watch in Nana's house — in the palace of this queen of vice — 
whither political personages and wealthy foreigners flocked in 
shoals, which the postmaster-general visited, where the Prince 
of Mulhausen displayed himself, and where numeroxis hj^po- 
critical Jesmts congregated, scattering gold with lavish hands. 
The authorities wished to know the truth about D'Albigny, 
whose money-mongering practices were being watched ; and a 
man with open eyes and ears was needed to penetrate the secrets 
of this laboratory of vice and peculation. Nana's ex-lover, the 
cashier, had showed himself especially fitted for such a post, and 
thus he obtained it. 

It precisely happened that Nana needed two servants to fill 
the places of the blackamoors who had been killed. Her old 
lover applied for one of the situations and was not recognized. 
He had suffered so much during twenty years. He had become 
so thin and wrinkled by his long agony. Naturally enough, he 
produced superb certificates, and was accepted at once. At the 
end of a few days, however, his old passion for Nana was 
aroused again. The constant sight of this woman, who had lost 
nothing of her former power of seduction, who sparkled indeed 
more brilliantly and terribly than in her youth, completely upset 
the cx-moimtebank's troubled mind. It was with painful 
surprise and terrible anguish that he saw Andree arrive at the 
house, and learned by D'Albigny's talk at Mabille that this 
charming young girl was Nana's daughter. The certainty dawned 
upon him that Andree must be his own child, and he divined 
that the marquis and the harlot were plotting together to turn 
this virtuous, industrious maiden from the path of duty. Then 
there arose a terrible struggle in his mind — a struggle between 
his old love for the mother and his innate affection for the child. 
The image of Nana rose before him ; he longed to clasp her in 
his arms once more, and then slay her with his own hand, so 
that she might remain forever faithful to him. And, on the 
other hand, he was seized with the desire to save Andree, his 
own dear, fair-haired Andree, from the villainous enterprises 
of D'Albigny and the shameful speculations of her mother. 

It was this combination of thoughts that imparted a tragic 
gleam to Luc's eyes, as on leaving IMabillo he walked with his 
fellow-servant behind Nana and the marquis. The moon was 
rising, and a silvery glimmer was spreading over the trees in the 
Champs Elys6es. Three or four long white clouds floated like 
feathers in the blue expanse. A heavy heat weighed upon 
everything. The leafy branches, whitened by the moonhght, 

nana's daughter. 99 

bent under the effect of the warmth which rose from the chalky 
soil into the fever-tempered atmosphere. 

On reaching the liouse, Luc, wlioso duties were over, toolt 
refuge in his attic under the roof. From his tiny oval casenaent 
he could perceive Nana's window in the center of the principal 
building, perpendicular to the wing of which he occupied one 
corner. Often, after extinguishing his candle at night-time, he 
had opened his ^vindow and watched Nana's shadow i)assing 
behind the silken curtains; and often, also, had he seen the 
outline of a lover's figure. Then he would bite his fists so as 
not to cry out aloud with rage in the midst of the silent night. 
But that evening his passion was so intense that he felt ho could 
not control it. His old love burned anew, and jealous fury seized 
hold of him. And above his revolting passion there soared the 
imago of Andr6e, whom ho must save. All his remaining intel- 
ligence was concentrated on the solution of this problem : clasp 
this woman a last time in his arms, punish her for her treachery 
of years ago, and save his daughter Andrce. 

Despite imprisonment and misery, he had for twenty years 
been able to hide and preserve the little stilletto with an onyx 
handle, the same with which he had, once already, tried to stab 
the harlot ; he wore it near his breast, secured like a relic by a 
silken cord. Having extinguished his candle, ho now went to 
his casement and looked out into the silvery night toward 
Nana's window, wliich had remained open on accoimt of the 
heat. Through the partially-closed cm'taius he could see that 
she was preparing to retire to rest. Virginie divested her of 
her black-velvet bodice, her earrings and necklet of sapphires, 
and imhooked her sldrts, which fell upon the carpet. Nana 
next stretched herself back on a couch while the maid unbut- 
toned her high-heeled satin boots and took off her stockings. 
Then the courtesan rose up and for a moment approached her 
window, appearing in all her majestic beauty imder the light of 
the chandelier, which fell upon her curved shoulders and 
streaming hair. A moment later, however, she went back into 
her room again, and all that Luc could see was her shadow, 
which grew larger and larger upon the curtains as she walked 
toward her bed. 

Luc took off his boots so as not to make a noise, and glided 
out of his attic down the servants' staircase to the first floor, 
where he turned into a passage leading to the ante-room of 
Nana's private apartments. Ho concealed himself here behind 
some hangings, and scarcely had ho done so when Virginie came 
out of Nana's room, leaving the door wide open on account of 
the excessive heat. The maid passed close to the .spot where 
Luc was stationed, and her elbow even brushed against the old 
tjpestry tvhich «oncealed him in its ample folds. Then he 
heard hdv walk/ng down the passage by which he had come, 

lOO nana's daughter. 

and lie found himself alone — alone, near the woman whom he 
had so madly loved, and close to the very spot where, twenty 
years previously, he had so fraitlessly implored her to give him 
his child, or else to live with him in com-ageous, toilsome pov- 
erty. Not only, however, had she refused to follow him, not 
only had she concealed the fate of his daughter from him, hut 
she had dishonored him as well. 

From the spot where he was crouching, through the woof of 
the old tapestry, worn by years, he could plainly distinguish 
Nana's bed. The largo silver eagle, which hovered over her 
slumbers, glittered in the soft light of an Oriental lamp. The 
glimmer stretched as far as the head of the sleeping woman, 
who had scarcely drawn the silken coverUd over her, so great 
was the stormy heat. The fine linen sheet had been cast aside, 
and one could see her bare white bosom, her tapering hands 
crossed with adorable nonchalance, and her statuesque arms, 
the exquisite roundness of which was partially obscured by the 
blue shadow of the bed-hangings. A moonbeam which peered 
between the window curtains glided across the floor and rose 
upright against the wall. Nana's dreams were happy ones, no 
doubt, for her sensual mouth was parted in a bacchante-hke 
smile, her pearl-like teeth gUstening betwixt the purple ruddi- 
ness of her curved lips. 

Luc could resist no longer ; with the dagger still in his hand 
he entered the room. He must strike first of all, wreak ven- 
geance upon her, and then punish himself; so that they could 
both die mingling their blood together upon that fiital couch. 
He drew nearer and nearer, and snapping the cord which 
secured the weapon to his neck, ho raised his arm. The dagger 
glittered in the light. But at that moment a hairy paw 
clutched hold of Luc's wrist from behind, and grasped it so 
tightly that the weapon fell to the floor. Then a second paw 
fell upon the servant's shoulder, with such weight that he 
dropped upon his knees in front of the bed. 

Yorick, the gorilla, had come to the rescue. But Luc's left 
hand had remained free, and he was able to grasp his dagger 
once more. He must, at any cost, vanquish this terrible guar- 
dian, and just as the gorilla tried to seize him by the throat he 
profited of an opportunity to raise his arms and phmge the 
dagger to the very hilt into the animal's side. Yorick gave a 
terrible groan and then fell back upon the carpet. 

Nana awoke with a start and opened her eyes. She could see 
poor Yorick dragging himself toward the bed and looking at her 
in distress. But before ho could reach her his limbs stiffened 
and he again fell on the carpet — this time, dead. 

Luc had already fled and Nana had not seen him. She sprang 
out of bed and tried to raise her faithful guardian. In doing so 
she perceived the weapon in the wound. She vaguely recollected 

N ANA'S DAUc;iiii:u. lOl 

that she nad once possessed tliis daiif^erous toy and had ffiven it 
to some one. To whom ? She could not remember with pre- 
cision. Uad some unknown enemy, some old lover, ignouiiui- 
ously dismissed, succeeded in entering her room while she was 
asleep f Was her hfo threatened by some plan of vengeance? 
I?rave as she was, she could not suppress a shudder, and after 
lighting a candle and donning a dressing-gowu, she went to 
reuse the marquis and tell him of her alarm. 


At ten o'clock on Sunday evening the first carriages drew up 
outside Nana's house, and the crowd of guests spread through 
the splendidly-illuirunated reception-rooms. The supper-table 
was laid at the end of the conservatory, where the orchestra- 
stand, hung with blue velvet, had also been erected. Through 
the exuberant foliage of the exotic plants one could see the 
silver and the crystal sparkling. Six footmen in dress-coats, 
breeches and silk stockings, with silver chains around their 
necks, stood on either side of the snowy damask cloth. Four 
other footmen were appointed to relieve the gentlemen of their 
overcoats and the ladies of their cloaks. 

Luc stood on the pink-marble steps distributing the pro- 
gramme of a concert which was to begin at eleven o'clock. The 
four reception-rooms soon filled with a crowd of dress-coats 
adorned with foreign decorations. The masculine element, 
indeed, was altogether the more numerous one. The feminine 
public was mostly composed of actresses, stars of the demi-monde, 
and female authors who had lost caste — almost all of them 
being attracted to the fete by a longing to study Nana's opu- 
lence; some by a wish to obtain material for a sensational 
story; others by a desire to form an acquaintance with the men 
of the time who flocked to the gathering, the journalists on the 
look-out for suggestive anecdotes, and the caricaturists in quest 
of types. 

The Marquis d'Albigny and Nana were stationed in the first 
room, where they received their guests, when the latter's names 
had been announced in a loud voice by the major-domo at the 
door. The concert was held in the apartment farthest from the 
hall. It could be reached either by crossing the three other 
saloons, or by following the gallery. The spacious park with 
its groups of marble statuary rising amid palm trees, orange 
trees and pomegranates, was illuminated by the electric light; 
but here and there shady corners had been reserved for couples 
partial to flirtation. The artistes engaged for the concert met 
with tremendous success, and at midnight, when the programme 

102 nana's daughter. 

was exhausted, Nana was begged to sing. Although she pos- 
sessed a superb voice and great musical talent, she did not sing 
in public as a rule, and in spite of the numerous requests now 
addressed to her, she persisted in refusing. The Prince of Mul- 
hausen, who was extremely fond of music, pleaded the general 
cause with true German tenacity, but he completely failed in his 
endeavors, and Nana even said to him, " I can't possibly grant 
to you, prince, what I have just refused to my compatriots; the 
newspapers would very properly censure me." 

She made this reply in a harsh tone, which was not usual 
with her on such occasions. Whenever she gave a grand fete 
she liked to divest herself of her haughty brutality and treat the 
least impcn'tant of her guests with charming deference. But she 
was very feverish that evening. The emotion of the previous 
night, the mystery siuroimding the fate of Yorick, her dumb 
slave, killed with that little onyx-hilted dagger which arose out 
of the past full of threats for the future ; the expected visit of 
Stog, the Postmaster-General, whose coming was fraught with 
danger for her confidant and adviser, D' Albigny — all this trans- 
formed her and made her supcrstitiously nervous. 

Suddenly the servant entrusted with the duty of announcing 
the guests raised his voice, exclaiming, " Monsieur Stog, Direc- 
tor-General of the Postal Services." And then followed two 
other names, which Nana was unacquainted with, but which 
must be those of the seconds whom Stog had brought with him. 
There was a sudden movement amid the ci'owd of black coats. 
It seemed as 'f there was something vaguely tragical in the 
atmosphere. The death of Yorick had been spoken of by some 
of the servants, and the story had been whispered round the 
reception-rooms. There were all sorts of rumors abroad. It 
was said that Stog was madly in love with Nana; that he was 
bent upon killing D'Albigny and others who excited his jealousy, 
and that he had only come to this fete in view of insulting them 
in the crowded ball-room. Certain chats between the marquis 
and the prince, remarks which had been made by the friend 
whom the former had spoken with at Mabille, chance words 
which had been overheard, were extremely suggestive of a 

Stog went straight toward Nana, elbowing his way through 
the crowd of courtiers. His white, brush-like hair glistened in 
the light of the chandeliers. There was a stern look in his eyes, 
his cheeks were very red, and his mustaches pointed like sword- 
blades. '* I hear," said lie to Nana, " that you refuse to sing, or 
rather to enchant us. If you persist in your refusal I shall 
beheve that it is I who frighten you." 

He emphasized these last words, which were fraught with 
defiance, as Nana very well understood, for she answered : " To 
rid you of that idea I will make an exception to my ordinary rule. " 

nana's daughter. 103 

Sldg olVorcd licr liis arm, which slio accepted, and llioy walked 
across the receptiou-roDms toward the piano. Several servants 
were already clearing away the seats used during the concert, 
so as to allow plenty of room for the dancers. The male guests 
were on their way to the card-rot)m or the smoking-room; and 
the women were promenading about with such cavalieri serventi 
as they had picked up. llowever, as soon as Nana was seen 
approaching the i)iano on Stog's arm, a general " hush ! " re- 
sounded, silencing the chattering guests and clanging instru- 
ments which the musicians were tuning for the ball. The concert- 
room was again invaded. People sat down hero and there in 
confusion or stowed themselves away in corners; and three foot- 
men with well-oiled hair and curly whiskers, who were caught 
in the throng, remained standing bolt upright amid the chairs, 
with their arms crossed. The ])ianist had already hastened to 
the spot, and in obedience to Nana's instructions he began to 
play the prelude to the famous aria of Meyerbeer's opera, 
LWfricainc — the mancenillier. Nana sang this splendid song 
in marvelous style, and when she delivered the final words — so 
full of bitter, terrible despair, " Adieu, Vasco, my well beloved," 
the occui)ant3 of the four reception-rooms fairly quivered with 

The emotion which Nana felt lent additional radiance to her 
beauty. Her expressive lips seemed to sing even for the eyes. 
An ardent flame sparkled with golden radiance in her own 
green orbs, and her tawny hair, caught up in a coil at the back 
of her head, emitted sunlike rays. She wore a wreath of dia- 
mond daisies mounted on flexible stalks, which as they waved 
increased the sparkle of the jewels. Her earrings were two 
daisies of similar style, and the same flowers scintillated on the 
blue-satin shoes encasing her tiny feet. Her dress was of blue China 
satin cut very low, trimmed with twelve little flounces of point 
cPAngleterre in front and forming a long train behind. Round 
her neck, upon the magical whiteness of her bare bosom, she 
wore a triple necklace of j^earls. 

Her success both as a beauty and a vocalist was complete. 
Kothing was wanting, not even the criticisms of three old blue- 
stockings who had grown old in poverty, and who were intensely 
jealous of the vicious splendor which humiliated their impecu- 
nious virtue. While the three old women were cackling with 
truly feminine envy the guests poured out of the concert-room, 
and the black coats rushed like savages toward the buffet. 
Dresses were trodden on and women were knocked aside as the 
sterner sex poured into the gallery, where voices soon rose in 
animated talk, amid anxious and often stormy appeals to the 
grave-looking servants who cut up the viands with a pontifical 
air, and poured out the famous vintages with as much solemnity 
as if they were serving holy water. 

104 nana's daughter. 

Luc passed by, holding in the air a plate upon which a pheas- 
ant's wing was lying. Twenty eager arms were raised at once 
and disputed with frantic gestures for the prize. It was Mul- 
hausen who eventually succeeded in capturing it, and taking 
refuge in a corner he began to devour the pheasant's wing with 
princely voracity, feehng as proud of his triumph as of a German 
victory. A moment afterward, Stog passed near him and asked, 
" What have you done with Monsieur D'Albigny, prince? " 

"Have you come here to insult the marquis I" asked Mul- 
hausen, with his mouth full. " This is hardly the moment to 
do so." 

" One can't insult Monsieur D'Albigny," rejoined Stog. 

" Because one doesn't dare to ! " exclaimed the marquis, who 
had elbowed his way through the throng upon hearing his name 

Stog's eyes flashed fire ; and wrenching the plate out of Mul- 
hausen's hands he threw it in D'Albigny's face. 

" Very good," said the marquis, coldly, " I don't need more 
to kill you. " 

" At once, if you choose, I have my two seconds here. " 

D'Albigny pointed to the prince. " Here is one of mine," he 

" And here is the other," rejoined a voice in the rear; and 
the friend whom D'Albigny had met at Mabille approached 
with his crush hat under his arm and bowed all round : " Let 
us take two cabs and go to the Bois. There is a bright moon- 
hght, " he suggested. 

" That's useless," rejoined D'Albigny, " the fencing hall, here, 
will do very well ; we can lock the door. " 

There was a general gesture of acquiescence, and then the six 
men left the gallery. 


While this incident took place. Nana was at the other end of 
the gallery giving some directions to the chef d'orcliestre. The 
throng was so compact, and the tumult so great, that she heard 
nothing of the altercation. In fact, only the people close to the 
buffet knew of the outrageous manner in which Stog had pro- 
voked D'Albigny. The orchestra now struck up a waltz, the 
younger men darted forth in search of partners, and for five 
minutes or so any number of black backs could be seen bobbing 
and bowing in fi-ont of white shoulders. The ball began. 

Nana was at once surrounded by a circle of admirers, who 
begged her to grant them the favor of a polka or a waltz. " I 
never dance, " she replied. 

nana's daughter. 105 

" Just as you novor sing, " remarked an English lord who 
formed one of the circle, 

*' Come, milord, I will make an exception for you, " rejoined 
Nana, and she swept away with him amid the lace, the silk and 
the diamonds which were whirling around in the brilliant ight 
cast by the chandeliers. 

As soon as the dance was over the couples poured into the 
gallery, clustering in front of the buffet where the champagne 
corks were popping gaily, while the golden wine was poured into 
the crystal goblets. In "the park, meanwhile, amorous intrigues 
were beginning. The moon was opening its white eye in the 
blue heavens. A warm perfume ascended from the rose bushes 
in full bloom; and the aroma of the flowers, studding the dark- 
green foliage, sped through the atmosphere hke the breath of 
kisses. In the far-off splendor of the sky smiling stars were 
lighting up the pure night, where all would have been hushed 
but for the passionate vibration of the violins and the soft sighs 
of the silver flutes. Pretty women, who held up their trains as 
the pathways were damp, strolled about leaning on the arms of 
their cavaliers, to whom the semi-darkness suggested the lover's 
first audacity — a kiss. One could hear the soft murmur of a 
fountain plashing in the center of the lawn under the shade of a 
weeping willow ; and from afar off came the hum of Paris like 
the continuous roll of the rising tide. 

After the waltz. Nana looked for D'Albigny. She could not 
bear the thought of a duel between these two men, one of whom 
greatly interested her, whilst the other was indispensable. She 
wished to speak to the marquis, turn him from his purpose and 
prevent the hostile meeting. She began to fear that if the 
adventure finished tragically, a compromising scandal would 
arise. " Where is the marquis? " she asked of Luc whom she 
met in the hall. 

" I think I saw him go into the park, madame. " 

" Go and look for him, then," said Nana; " and if you find 
him, tell him that I wish to speak to him and that I am waiting 
for him here." 

She leaned on the sill of one of the open windows of the hall, 
whence she looked dowm upon the illuminated lawns and path- 
ways. The coicp (Vail was one of extreme beauty, and her vanity 
was well pleased by the thought that this fete was the outcome 
of her own loveliness. In a few weeks she had called into being 
this princely mansion, where all the powers of the earth flocked 
to kiss her sandals. All this gold, all this marble, all these 
hangings, all these works of art; statues, bronzes, figures of 
Hercules and Venus, satyrs and bacchantes, all this precious 
furniture, all these artistic conceptions were her children, called 
into being by her orgies. Even the pure heavens studded with 
stars lent their illumination to her park, the product of hor 
Nana's Daughter 7, 

10 6 nana's daughter. 

impurity. In presence of all this splendor it indeed seemed to 
her that she was omnipotent. Her fancy increased the scope of 
the fatal part she played — ^the part of an implacable despot 
reigning over hmnan folly, with far more independence than any 
royal mistress could enjoy. She, Nana, was no one man's 
mistress, were he either king or prince; she governed with 
absolute sway the vices of a generation, of a whole race; she was, 
as it were, the favorite of a century. 

Suddenly her glance fell upon a lighted window in the left 
wing of the house. It was the window of the fencing hall, and 
shadows were passing swiftly to and fro upon the curtains. It 
seemed to Nana as if she could see two colossal swords standing 
out against the luminous background. All at once one of the 
weapons darted swiftly across the curtain in a horizontal line, 
and she saw that it struck one of the himian shadows, which fell 
backward onto the floor. 

" Ah! the die is cast," she muttered, " it is time to go in and 
gamble. " 

Several couples returning from the park were now mounting 
the grand staircase. The trains of the women's dresses rustled 
over the pink-marble steps; and beautiful bare shoulders 
glistened with statuesque whiteness under the luminous rays of 
the great chandelier hanging between the double spirals of the 
staircase. The black coats with their raven-hke tails contrasted 
strongly with the light skirts and bodices. The women, heated 
by stolen kisses or promised favors, had delightful flushes on 
their cheeks, while their cavaliers, with shiny hair and curled 
whiskers, tried to compose their faces and reassume the correct 
gravity of serious-minded men, now that they found themselves 
again in the full glare of the gashght. 

As Nana crossed the hall she met the rajah, whom some years 
before she had ruined in a week's time. He had just returned 
fi'om Benares with a fresh fortune, and fresh diamonds, attracted 
to Europe again by his recollection of Nana, and a desire to see 
her once more. She took his arm at once and thereupon 
exclaimed : " Come, my dear, I was waiting for you, I was 
thinking of you." Then drawing him into the card-room, she 
added: " You know, prince, I often lose, but I never pay." 

He smiled resignedly with the sadness of a fatalist, and mur- 
mured: "I have returned because your beauty called me, 
because your serpent's eyes fascinated me in spite of absence, 
and because the women of my own land no longer appealed to 
my heart. I have returned so that you may make me your 
slave." And then obedient to her gesture he sat down at a 
table in front of her. 

The room was draped with myrtle-tinted velvet. A number 
of men, still young m years but almost all of them bald-headed, 
were grouped around the tables, covered with green baize. The 

nana's daugiitkr. 107 

jinfclo of fjoUl was tho only noteworthy sound, for every one spoke 
in wliispcrs and in monosyllables, Tho joyous strains of tho 
ball-room barely penetrated throuj:ch tho closed doors. Nana 
and tho rajah began to play at 6carte, and she had just lost the 
first f?ame when Luc entered tho room. " Where is tho mar- 
quis * " asked Nana. 

" I have not been able to find him, madame ; only I have just 
heard that he has been fighting a duel ^\ith Monsieur Stog." 

" Is he wounded 'f " 

" I was told that he was dead." 

" Dead ! " 

" It was certam to happen, " said the rajah. " I returned on 
purpose to kill him myself. " 


"Yes, I!" 

Nana's eyes flashed fire, and catching hold of the Hindu's 
wrists, she shook him roughly and cried : " I bet that it was 
you who murdered Yorick! " 

Luc tm-ned very pale and left the room ; and the rajah, who 
did not understand this charge, made no reply. But Nana 
interpreted his silence as an acknowledgment. With a violent 
kick she overturned the card-table, and walking toward the 
smoking-room, by which the fencing-hall was reached through 
the marqms's private apartments, she cried : " Woe to you, rajah, 
if ever you show yourself in my presence again ! " 

He rose up and went out into the hall with martyr-like impas- 
sibility. His features had become as hardened as if they had 
been of bronze. At the top of the steps stood Luc, who, as the 
rajah approached, bent forward and whispered to him: " There 
is some one here, priuco, to stand between her and you, " 



" Will you avenge me? " 

" Yes, and myself at the same time. " 

" Then take this poison for her and this jewel for yourself." 
And so saying tho rajah held out a tiny capsule and a ring 
adorned with a largo diamond. 

" Keep tho ring, prince, I can only accept the poison," said 
the footman. 

" I never take back what I have once given," rejoined the 
Hindu, with Oriental emphasis, and throwing the diamond ring 
away he slowly descended tho pmk steps, draped in his ample 
cloak of white cashmere. 

io8 nana's daughter. 


Mea^q'WHile Nana had darted through the Ubrary, which for 
this occasion had been turned into a smoking-room. The fenc- 
ing-hall was close by, beyond D'Albigny's private apartment. 
Nana was on the point of entering the marquis' sanctum when 
the Aubusson tapestry making the door was drawn aside and 
D'Albigny in person appeared upon the threshold. 

" It is all over, " said he. 

"Stogisdead, then?" 

" Probably, as I am here. " 

" Ah ! so much the better. " 

" Especially forme." 

" For both of us. But where is Mulhausen '? " 

" He is looking for you." 

" Tell me what happened. I wish to know everything. " 

" Willingly. Only let us return into the crush. It is necessary 
that we should show ourselves. Take my arm. " 

They returned into the ball by way of the vestibule. A quad- 
rille was being walked at this moment and the fete was at its 
height. The women were especially gay, and the surrounding 
luxury which they secretly envied seemed to have prompted 
them to additional coquetry toward their partners. The latter, 
somewhat stiff, as they perhaps feared being drawn into an 
intrigue they did not care for, received the advances of their 
companions politely but nothing more. 

Ranged around the rooms or grouped in chattering parties 
one could see various old women — actresses' mothers, no doubt; 
some of them pulTed out with fat, others dried up, wrinkled and 
creased by age like useless parchment; some serious and silent; 
others very jo\ial and affable. They nearly all of them watched 
their daughters dancing. The girls with their spirits and fresh- 
ness, their beaming laughter and deceitful httlo feet bobbing in 
and out under their waving skirts, seemed to the old women 
like a vision of their own distant youth passing before their 
weakened eyes. And all these fat or wrinkled mothers, all these 
spectres of the past, now reduced to playing the part of carya- 
tides in the ball-room, experienced personal delight, a smgular 
feeling of satisfied vanity, at seeing their daughters courted with 
timid respect by the well-dressed yoimg men, their partners. 

After promenading through the four reception-rooms Nana 
entered the gallery, still leaning on the marquis' arm. She 
took a bombe an kirsch at the bullet, and when she had finished 
she said to D'Albigny : "Mulhausen is no doubt in the card- 
room. Let us go there ; and tell me the story of the duel." 

" It isn't long to relate, my dear. Stog wasn' strong enough 
to measure himself against the Marqms d'Albigny, Ou the 

nana's daughter. 109 

otliorhand ho conductcil hinisclf proporly enough, and began by 
flinging a phitf in my lUce^a plate; which ho wrested from Mul- 
hausen who, with his usual Germanic phlegm, was quietly finish- 
ing a pheasant's wing, while Stog and I exchanged the most 
cutting words. You should have seen what a face Mulhausen 
made when ho lost both his plate and his grub I However, as 
the whole attair had been arranged beforehand, our seconds 
joinetl us at once, and we locked ourselves into the fencing-hall. 
Then Stog and I, we took off our coats and waistcoats, while 
ime of his seconds went to fetch a pair of swords he had left in 
his carriage. "We drew lots, and it was decided that the duel 
should take place with Stog's weapons. Mulhausen measured 
them and they proved to bo of equal length. The seconds took 
up their positions. We felt each other a bit, and after several 
passes I finally lodged a couple of inches of steel In Stog's 
sternum. I presume that liis seconds picked him up and took 
him off. To tell you the truth, as I perceived that he was badly 
hurt I immediately left the field, or rather the fencing-hall, to 
come and reassure you. " 

Nana and D'Albigny reached the card-room just as this story 
was finished. They fx)und Mulhausen there, looking for them. 
Ue was very merry and very defiant, laughing loudly and 
striving to seem witty. 

" Thanks to our friend D'Albigny," he said with his Gorman 
accent, " the fatherland has won a victory here this evening. 
France counts a man the less ! Poor France, it is very sad ; she 
doesn't count many men like Stog. " In his excessive mirth the 
German prince then rubbed his bo-ringed hands together. On 
perceiving Nana he walked heavily toward her, took hold of 
both of her wrists and kissed them, sighing : '' Well, my dear, 
so you are rid of a troublesome and impecunious adorer. 
Besides, if D'Albigny hadn't killed him, I was there, and " 

"Mulhausen hasn't digested his pheasant yet," interrupted 
the marquis. 

" We certainly had an account to settle together, Stog and 
I," rejoiued the prince in a louder key. He was always brave 
when he thought there was no danger. 

" Here I am ! " rephed a voice from behind the door-hanging 
of the smoking-room. 

The Prince of Mulhausen turned deadly pale. Then the 
hanging was slowly raised and Stog appeared leaning on his two 
seconds. " Prince," he said, " I want to pay my debts — before 
I die. With pistols — here at once ! " 

"I can't fight with you," stammered Mulhausen, "it would 
be cowardice on my part. " 

" You prove yourself a greater coward, sir, by setting yourself 
up as a spadassin behind the back of a man whom you fancied 
was deafi You do not dare to look death in the face. " 

no nana's daughter. 

" I respect your condition, sir. " 

Stog made a supreme eJBfort. Assisted by his Mends he went 
as far as the first card-table, where he remained standing sus- 
tained by his savage energy. For a moment he was sUent, and 
then in a broken voice he exclaimed : *' Listen, all of you here 
present — ■ this is my last confession. I had a family — a home, 
it was my duty to have hved there — but I had the weakness — 
to love — that woman," and so speaking he stretched out his 
arm toward Nana. "Ahl I would have sold my soul — for 
her — I abandoned those who are waiting for me at home — I 
betrayed my duties as a functionary — death saves mel — go 
away, young men — your place is not here — seek love else- 
where — in this room there is a woman who robs and a man who 
mur " 

Ho was interrupted by a jet of blood which flowed from his 
mouth and stifled him. Ho escaped from the hands that sup- 
ported him and fell heavily against the card-table, which was 
covered with the stakes abandoned by the players, whom this 
sudden drama had driven into the corners of the room. 
The table was overturned, the gold rolled over the carpet, and 
Stog himself would have fallen upon it if his seconds had not 
caught him in their arms. " Take mo away ! " he gasped, " I 
will not — die — in this house ! " Then assisted by his friends 
he tried to walk, but suddenly he tottered and cried out : " My 
wife ! my children ! pardon ! " It was his supreme thought ; 
another moment and he sank dead into the arms that supported 

As if the gamblers were bent on obeying the dying man's 
advice they at once fled from the card-room. The news of what 
had just occurred put all the women to flight, and trains and 
dress- coats darted peU-mell down the grand staircase. It was a 
perfect rout, and people seemed all the more eager to get away 
as it was now whispered that D'Albigny had not conducted 
himself loyally in the duel. 

The marquis remained with Nana in the card-room, gazing at 
the blood-stained, gold-strewn carpet. Four servants were 
whispering in a comer ; while Luc, as grave and as correct in 
attitude as usual, awaited his mistress's last orders in the hall. 
But Nana went to her bedroom by way of the smoking-room, 
leaning on the arm of the marquis who was smiling ominously. 
Thus left to his own devices, Luc laughed drily and muttered : 
" It seems that I'm not the only thief and murderer here. " 
Then entering the card-room he knelt down on the carpet and 
began to pick up the blood-stained gold. The last silk trains 
and the last dress-coats were disappearing down the ftont steps. 
Mulhausen had gone off even before Stog expired. 

Luc went up to his attic l)y the servants' staircase, and on 
peering out of his casement, ho looked for Nana's hghted win- 

nana's daughter. hi 

dow and saw her shadow and D'Albigny's on the curtain. Then, 
stretching his wiry arm out into the night, he muttered, " Won't 
one of those two beings eat up the other one ! Won't that mar- 
quis do for that woman ! Won't that woman poison that man ! 
If I don't see that before I die, I shall say that there is no Provi- 
dence! And no one up there will contradict me." And so 
saying, he waved his arm to the starlit sky above him. 


About that time, Andree recruited one of her former compan- 
ions at Pallardins. She had gone with her parents and Lucien 
for a stroll in the Pare Montceau, and they sat down to rest 
close to the sheet of ornamental water. The sun was sinking 
behind the lofty mansions which overlook the park. Between 
the lofty branches of the plane and chestnut trees a golden 
gleam darted over the lawns where the watering-hoses, stretclied 
out hke so many black serpents, sent up their spray, which fell 
again diamoud-hke onto the closely-mowed grass. Oblique 
shadows fell from the leafy branches, where pigeons were cooing 
lovingly ; and as the rays of the sunset dwindled into streaks 
amid the growing shadows, women began to roam along the less- 
frequented pathways. Some girls, thickly veiled, walked up and 
down awaiting a tardy lover, while on the green benches and 
the yellow chairs hidden amid embowering foliage, one could 
hear low whispers, stilled laughter, and kisses given and 

Night was coming on. The last gleams faded from the tips of 
the branches. The whistUng blackbirds ceased their carol. 
The bats were already fluttering about ; one could distinguish 
the rustle of their wings, and follow their flight when darting 
from vmder the overhanging trees they appeared in relief against 
the sky. A young woman with an undulating tread passed sev- 
eral times up and down the pathway where the Naviels were 
seated. She wore a thick green veil so that they could not dis- 
tinguish her features; but whenever she passed in front of 
Andree she looked at her, her feet seemed to hesitate, and then 
suddenly she walked on again at a swifter pace. 

Lucien was the first to remark this peculiarity. " It is 
strange," he said to Andree, "but one could fancy that this 
woman wanted to speak to you and didn't dare to. " 

" Yes, " repUed Madamoiselle Naviel, " it is certainly singular. 
If she returns, ask her what she wishes. " 

Ten minutes or so elapsed before she appeared again. The 
lamps at the principal entrance had just liccn liglited, when 
Lucien recognized her retmiiing by the opposite direction to 


that in which she had disappeared. "Here she comes," said 
he ; "if she looks at you again, I'll caU her. " 

This time the stranger directed her steps in such a manner 
that her dress brushed against the bench on which the Naviels 
were seated. "Do you wish to speak tons, madame?" asked 
Lucien in a low tone, for he was by no means sure of the 
woman's intentions. 

But she at once stopped short and answered in a stifled voice : 
" Yes, sir. " 

" What do you desire, pray ? " asked Andr6e. 

" To thank you for having defended such an imfortunate 
woman as myself on the day of the review. " 

" What I is it you, Margot? " cried Andr6e. " Good heavens ! 
What an abominable situation you have fallen to, my poor 

" I have only what I deserve, madam oiselle ; nobody would 
employ me at honest work, nowadays. " 

" Have you really looked for work ? " 

" Yes, madamoiselle ; but when people knew what I was 
they turned me out at once — and then Jules, who was Paillar- 
din's servant you know, and whom I live with now, wouldn't let 
me work ; he said I didn't earn enough. I have to feed him all 
the same, for he won't do anything, and you can easily guess 
what I have to do. And when I don't take him home enough 
coin he goes for me 1 Ah ! Madamoiselle Andrce, I assure you 
I've had quite enough of that life. One of these evenings, 
instead of going back to the lodgings, I shall jump off the rail- 
way bridge when a train is coming, and then there'll be no more 
Margot I And if I only had Jules to deal with, but no, there's 
the morahty police as weU, and whenever they can catch me 
they keep me all night in the lock-up, and threaten to send me 
to the Depot ; they sent me there you know on the day of the 
review. " 

"Why was that?" 

" Because I spoke to a yomig man in the Bois; but one of the 
four agents had me released at last. " 

" The tall one ? " 

" Oh, no, madamoiselle. He doesn't care for girls like us, but 
there are others who let us be, providing — but you've no idea 
of it, Madamoiselle Andr6e. It's abominable ! " 

" Would you like to try and hve honestly again, Margot? " 

" Would I hke? I should think I would, but then I'm afraid 
of myself " 

" Listen to mo, Margot, will you make a real try? " 

" Yes, willingly, madamoiselle." 

" You shall ]i\'e with us and take your meals in the house. 
You mustn't go out again for some little time, " 


" Oh ! hoTT happy I should ho ! But suppose Jules came to 
take mo away from you hy force? " 

" He has no right to enter our rooms," replied Andree. 

"But you forget," added Lucien, that she must fetch hor 
clothes from the lodging-house; so she must go there again." 

" I should never dare to do that, sir. Jules would kill me. 
And, hesides, I've no money to pay the rent. " 

" How much do you owe If " 

" Five francs for to-morrow. I pay in advance every day. 
Lodging-house keepers are like lice, they live on human fllthi- 
ness and misery. " 

" Well, we'll advance you the five francs on your first month's 
salary. " 

" But Jules will give mo a druhbing if I go alone." 

" We'll go with you, " replied Naviol, " that is, excepting my 
wife and daughter." 

*'Yes," observed Lucien; "it isn't the place for two honest 
women " 

" I shall go," said Andr6e, '* who can question my conduct? 
No one. You will be there to protect me if needs be, and my 
father will be there as well. Come, Lucien, help me to do this 
good action. Help me to try and save this poor girl ! " 

Margot had fallen sobbing at Andr6o's feet, and in a husky 
voice, she stammered : " Oh ! thank you, mademoiselle, thank 
you ; you don't know what I would do for you — I was bad and 
wicked — one often acts wrongly without knowing it. How 
shall I ever repay you all I owe you! Come, mademoiselle, 
come quickly ; you see how I long to finish with this horriV)le 
life. It is enough to give one nausea — but, then, when every 
one spurns you, and Idcks you mto the gutter, you finish by 
lying there. And what can a poor girl do against society ? She 
drinks to forget — brandy, absinthe — she gets accustomed to 
everything, she burns her body and becomes brutified, and then 
it's all, all over." 

"Follow us, Margot," said Andrde, rising; "where do you 
live ? " 

" In the Rue do Levis." 

The whohi family started ofi", Lucien giving his arm to his 
betrtjthed. The human shadows were now fading away in the 
gerieral dimness. Betwixt the lower branches of the lofty trees, 
and the garden walls fringing the horizon westward, one could 
discern but one dwindling oclire-tinted streak, the last memento 
of the sunset. Overhead, the sky was studded with silver stars, 
scattered at random as it were throughout the vast immensity 
of space, just as a gardener scatters flowering grain. Tiie 
Naviels left the ]taik and followed the outer l)oul(^var(Is toward 
the Rue de Levis where Margot'-s lodging was situated. Half 
way down the street the girl stopped short before a narrow 

114 nana's daughter. 

doorway. A paved passage, with an open drain full of sloppy- 
water, led into a court-yard, in one corner of which an outer 
stair-case of worm-eaten wood conducted to the upper floor of 
a tumble-down tenement. 

*' We mustn't go up all together," saidMargot to the Naviels. 
" The stair-case would never boar such a weight. " 

" But are you not afraid to go up alone? " asked Andr^e. 

" I'm afraid I shall get my Ucking, " answered Margot, in an 

" In that case we will go up with you," resumed Andr^e. 

*' Let me pass," said Naviel, and ho began to climb the stairs 
with Lucien and Margot. 

Madame Naviel and Andr6e followed them. A fetid stench 
arose from the muddy court-yard. The rear building in which 
Margot rented a room had only one upper story, but that over- 
lookmg the street had five. Articulated pipes climbed up the 
cracked walls with junctions at each fresh floor, and open drains 
in front of all the staircase windows, so that the tenants of each 
flat might rid themselves expeditiously of their slops. A factory 
chimney, which was flaring hke a monster taper some distance 
off", cast a ruddy glow over the loftier house, on the wall of which 
the shadow of the smaller building rose but a few feet high. 
Here and there the dark ruddiness of the wall was pierced by 
the yellow glare of Ughted windows, and, below, three ladders 
of different lengths hung vertically from iron hooks. On the 
ground floor there was a store place for hand-barrows, which 
were let out by the hour to the coster-mongers of the neighbor- 
hood. The staircase which Margot had climbed led to an outer 
gallery, the planks of which trembled threateningly under one's 
feet. It extended along the building and was the only approach 
to a number of furnished rooms, separated from each other by 
flimsy partitions and tenanted, almost exclusively, by women of 
Margot's class. Her room was the last one, at the very end of 
the gallery, and as she approached it she saw that the glass 
door was not lighted up. 

"There can be no one in there," remarked Andr^e, "for 
everything is quite dark. " 

" Oh! he's perhaps in bed," stammered Margot; and, after a 
moment's hesitation, she opened the door and went in. 


A COUPLE of minutes elapsed while Margot was looking for 
some matches. She groped her way about the room trembling 
with fear, for Jules might be in bed asleep. As she continued 
feeling on the chest of drawers, her sleeve brushed against a 
clay pipe, which fell on the tiled floor and was shattered. 


" That's a nice beginning, " she muttered ; " I'm in a fine 
pickle now. " 

At last, however, she discovered a couple of matches at the 
bottom of an old soap-box, and a bit of candle which remained 
in a copper candlestick. She took them out onto the gallery and 
lighted tbo caudle there. The whole party then entered the 
den, at the further end of which there was an iron bedstead, 
with its cUrty sheets and counterpane in disorder. On the well- 
worn tiles beside it, a red, mud-stained rug was stretched; 
while on the mantle-shelf, adorned with a looking-glass covered 
with tiy spots, there stood a bottle of brandy — still half full — 
and a large glass but recently drained. A wash-basin and a 
zinc pitcher could be seen on the chest of drawers, made of com- 
mon deal, and a woman's trunk encumbered the floor in front of 
the fire-place. Near the foot of the bed a door conducted to a. 
small closet, lighted by a pane of glass fixed in the partition, 
and where several soiled skirts and petticoats were hanging 
from rusty nails. Margot approached this door and looked into 
the closet, on the floor of which lay a mattress covered by a 
brown rug. It was here that Jules slept whenever circum- 
stances required it. Ho was not there, however, for the time 
being, but the hole smelled strongly of toilette vinegar and com- 
mon pomatum. 

" We must make haste," said Margot. " Fortunately Jules 
isn't there. " 

She bundled all the skirts and petticoats into the tnmk; and 
took three shifts, four towels, and as many handkerchiefs out of 
one of the drawers. Then from another drawer she took a 
tooth -bru.'^h, a fan, a comb and a pair of gloves, which she laid 
pell-mell in the corner of the trunk. She fastened the latter by 
means of a little padlock, the key of which she placed in her 
pocket. " Now let us start," she said. 

"One word," remarked Naviel. "Is the room in your 
name ? " 

" I don't understand you." 

" Do you pay the rent of it ? ' 

" Of course I do, as Jules never works. Good Heavens ! what 
will he think of me when he finds that I've gone oft"! But 
wait a moment. I must ask the concierge to send me her son 
to carry my box. Is it far off where you live, Mademoiselle 
Andr6e ? " 

" No ; on the Square des BatignoUes. " 

" If you need any one," exclaimed a mascuhne voice outside, 
" I'm present." 

" Good Lord ! it's Jules ! " muttered Margot, turning very 

The man who ha'^ spoken now showed himself on the 
threshold. He wore a pair of white linen trousers secured by a 

ii6 nana's daughter. 

blue flannel sash, a linen jacket, a clean shirt, and no waistcoat. 
Around his neck a blue silk scarf was knotted with studied 
negligence. A blue cap was perched jauntily on his head, and 
his feet were incased in scarlet slippers. His once abundant 
whiskers were now cropped very short. lie slowly entered the 
room with his hands in his pockets, and went straight toward 

" I told you before," he said, " that if ever you wanted to go 
back to the Pr6fecture of Police, where I took the trouble to go 
and claim you, I would carry your trunk there myself. In the 
contrary case it must remain here. 

" It belongs to me, like everything inside it. ". 

"Nothing belongs to you, my girl — do you hear mo; not 
even your own carcass. When I went to the prefecture I stood 
guarantee for you, and it was, thanks to me, that you were 
released. You can't get out of it. You are my property, and if 
any one tried to take you away, without my consent it would 
]u8t be like stealing a farmer's cow. " 

" It seems to me," objected Pierre Naviel, " that Margot is 
free to choose between the disgusting life which she leads with 
you, and the honest existence which we have ofl'ered her." 

" She isn't free, as she has agreed always to remain with me," 
rephed Jules. 

" That's a joke ! " 

** I will precious soon show her if it's a joke; let her just try 
to go off. " 

" I don't think you would venture to strike her in our pres- 
ence," remarked Naviel. 

" It isn't your wife or your daughter, or that big gawky there, 
who'd prevent me ! " retorted Jules. 

" I shan't need any one's help to prevent you, my fine fellow. 
Just keep still. " 

" By Jove ! we'll see about that. And to begin with, you are 
In my room all of you — do you hear ? " 

"Excuse me," interrupted Lucien, "we are in this girl's 
room. It is in her name. " 

" That's false. " 

" She declared it herself." 

"She lied." 

" But doesn't she pay the rent? " 

" Of course she does. " 

"Wen, then." 

" So you don't believe mo ! Wait a bit. I'll call the concierge. " 
And going out on to the gallery, Jules bawled, " Hi ! come up 
here a minute, Madame Grappinet." 

"Coming, coming, Monsieur Jules," replied a croaking voice 
from the depths of tlie court-yard. 

A moment afterward the stair-case could be heard creaking 

nana's daughter. 117 

and groaning inidcr a heavy -weight, and snddenly a fat woman 
appeared. It was ISIadamo Grappiuet, clad in a black sliirt 
cov(M-ed with stains, and a bhxcli cape, greasy in front, raggt^d 
behind, and sliiny cv^crywhere, A cap which had once been 
white was set upon her head, with its strings, which looked as 
if they had been dipped in coflee, hanging down over her 
shoulders. Her fat, puQy cheeks almost concealed her little 
eyes from view. Her scanty hair, of the shade known as pepper- 
and-salt, furnished a couple of little curls, one in front of either 
ear. Her upper lip boasted a truly masculine mustache, and 
her chin was ornamented with a wart, from which three curly 
hairs were sprouting. The nails of her short, fat fingers were 
black with the snuil' which she was continually stuffing into her 
open nostrils. 

'* Well, what's the matter now, my boy? " she asked of Paillar- 
din's ex-servant. 

" The matter? Why, that these folks want to take Margot's 
clothes away. " 

" Without warning me or pajing me ! That's a joke. " 

" Whose duty is it to pay you, madamef " asked Lucien. 

" Why, Monsieur Jules, of course. " 

" Weil, Monsieur Jules has the coin in his pocket, " sneered 
the bully, with triumphal insolence. " But he doesn't intend to 
fork it out, so the clothes can't be taken away. " 

" They will be taken aU the same, my lad," rejoined Pierre 
Naviel, in a roiigh voice. 

" Ah ! and how will you manage that? " 

" Yes, how will you manage it? " grunted Madame Grappinet, 

" By paying you, madame." 

" As I ought to have eight days' notice, that will make forty 
francs, at five francs a day. " 

" Excuse me, madame," observed Lucien, " but is this room 
let by the week or by the night? " 

" By the week, sir. " 

" It's false ! " cried Margot, indignantly. " I've my last 
receipt, and hero it is. " 

Jules darted forward so as to snatch the paper from her, but 
Pierre Na\iel caught him by the arm and forced him back. 
Andr^e then took hold of the receipt. " It is for five francs," 
she said, ** and it is dated yesterday; here are your five francs, 
madame. " 

" I don't accept them. The box shan't leave," cried the old 

" Nor the woman either," growled Jules. 

" In the meanwhile you'll leave, " exclaimed Lucien. 

" Eh, what? I leave? " said the ex-valet. " By what right do 
you turn me out?" 

ii8 nana's daughter. 

" It's simple enough. This room is let by the night, and paid 
for in advance. Well, as no one has paid for it, it isn't let. 
Now, I'll take it, and here are five francs, madame." 

Madame Grappinet pocketed the crown-piece that was offered 
to her. " It's quite true, " she said to Jules, " you can't prevent 
me from letting my room. " 

" But I've rented it for ever so long." 

" Yes, but you pay me with Madame Margot's money, and 
as she won't stay with you any longer; well, you under- 
stand " 

" At all events, I've enough coin to pay you for to-night. 
Here are five francs. " 

" Excuse me, " rejoined Lucien, " I engaged the room before 
you; and besides, as I wish to have it I'll pay double rent. 
Here are another five francs, madame. " 

This time Madame Grappinet abandoned Jules for good. 
" Come, my lad, look for another lodging elsewhere," said she, 
pushing back the money which he still held out to her. 

" So it's hke that? Well, I'll turn you aU out," cried Jules. 
" Off you go, or else I'll bleed you." And drawing a dagger- 
knife from his sash, he swiftly opened it. 

Madame Grappinet rolled down the staircase shouting, " Fire ! 
Miu-der! PoUce!" But Pierre Na\iel stepped bravely toward 
the ex-valet. The latter was on the point of springing upon 
him, knife in hand, when a sound of voices was heard in the 
passage commuuicatiug with the street. 

"Here's the pohce!" cried Margot. "I recognize their 
voices ! " 

The staircase and the gallery creaked anew, and a moment 
later there appeared two policemen, who had been passing the 
house when Madame Grappinet called for help. " Ah ! so you 
are making a row again? " cried one of the agents, looking at 

"No, no; it wasn't I," she stammered. "It's Jules, who 
"wants to prevent me from working for my living. " 

" That's true," chimed in Madame Grappinet, who had fol- 
lowed the poUcemen up-stairs. " The room is paid for, and 
Monsieur Jules won't go off. In fact, he threatened to bleed 
these gentlemen." 

" You old beast," grumbled Jules. 

" Pray explain what brought you here, sir," said one of the 
agents, turning to Pierre Naviel. 

The latter briefly stated the facts, and the pohceman took 
Bome notes to assist him in drawing up his report. He asked for 
the names and addresses of every one present, and then 
remarked: "There has been a disturbance in this house. For 
to-night we shall take this girl to the lock-up. If you come to 
claim her to-morrow morning, the coromissary will decide 

nana's daughter. 119 

whether ho ought to liand her over to you or not. If not, she 
will bo sent to the prefecture, and afterward to the prison of St. 
Lazare, for there nuist be a stop to all these goings on. " 

Margot wished to protest, but Naviel intervened. " Don't 
resist," ho said. " However unjust the law may seem, it must 
be obeyed. I will go to fetch you to-morrow, and to-night I'll 
take your things home." 

Having pushed Jules out of the house, in spite of his appeals 
and his oaths, the policemen then went ofl" with Margot, who 
had resigned herself. She had to pay the penalty of vice once 
more, but a gleam of honesty beamed in the depths of her soul ; 
a courageous hope was awakened in her mind, a hope of rising 
from the brutish torpor of her degradation by work which 

On the morrow, M. Naviel went to claim Margot at the com- 
missary's, and took her home with him. 


Na^a had just finished dressing. She was going to the opera 
to hear Faure in Bon Giovanni. D'Albigny stood waiting for 
her, already gloved, and gazing with the air of a connoisseur at 
the head-dress of black pearls which she wore in her tawny 
hair. Virginie had been given her evening, and had already 
gone up into her own room. 

" Oh ! oh Nana ! " suddenly exclaimed the marquis, bursting 
into sardonic laughter, "what do I see there? A bad sign, 
verily, a very bad sign. " 

She looked him full in the face and asked impatiently : " Pray 
what is the matter now ? " 

" The beginning of the end, my dear." 

She turned pale. 

" Yes ; a silver hair among the gold, Nana." 

" Pooh ! It's yourself who are growing old, marquis. Your 
sight is failing you." 

Instead of replying by words he leant toward her, and plucked 
as delicately as possible one of the wavy hairs which cast a 
light shadow over the nape of her neck. Holding it between his 
thumb and forefinger he presented it to her view. 

" All the same it's true," she said. " Ah, marquis, we must 
make hay while the sun shines. " 

" We must increase in skill ; and it Is especially necessary 
that you should not show any weakness for any one. " 

" I ? Why since you know me I have only had one momentary 
weakness — but that was long ago I Still, I should hke to know 
the name of the happy mortal you seem to allude to ? " 

120 nana's daughter. 


" I was never Ws mistress ? " 

" So mucli the bettor for you, so much the better, Nana. 
What would you have got out of Stog ? You are not the woman 
for needy fimctionaries. Those bu'ds haven't enough feathers 
to pluck." 

"Bah! it was a mere caprice which wouldn't have lasted 
long. " 

" When you were only twenty, fancies were quite allowable ; 
but now we must make no more mistakes. Be implacable and 
terrible. I am your ally for life but on one condition, you must 
be my instrument, an instrument of ruin for idiots, of flaggella- 
tion for human folly. I did not join you and drag my title in the 
mire for the pleasure of standing by and witnessing some latter 
day idyll. You must be of some use to me, as I was of use to 
you. Come, I ask you again, what could you have done with 
Stog ? Did you intend to ask for a situation as postmistress, as 
a reward for your services ? I should liked to see you discharg- 
ing your duties ! Really, Nana, Stog would have been a munifi- 
cent protector, and I'm afraid you've wrecked yom' bark." 

" He would have been an instrument of influence for me. I 
should have disposed of thirty thousand situations for my 
lovers' creatiu^es. Have you as much to offer me, D'Albigny * 
Are you not more dependent on me than I on you? Come, 
which of us two ought to despise the other, the harlot or her 
paid bully ? " 

" Bravo ! Nana ! bravo I That's how I like to see you. Wit ! 
wit ! nothing but wit and repartee ! It's lucky that you are 
well provided in that respect. It is only young women that 
have a right to be stupid. " 

" Do you think that I'm going to trouble myself about a 
single white hair ? If I need any money I can mortgage my 
house and still live my old life. And when bad times and old 
age seem coming I shan't wait for them. So much the worse for 
my creditors ! I shall set fire to everything — to my furniture, 
my jewels, my horses, my house and myself, which is worth 
more than all the rest together. - And I'll do it in the midst of a 
fote which all Paris shall talk about. What do you think of 
that plan? Have I anything to fear? " 

" Nothing, nothing, my dear. Only, are you not of opinion 
that it is as well to nostpone the conflagration as long as 
possible ? " 

"No doubt." 

" Well, then, hsten to me. Your house, as I told you before, 
is worth a couple of milhon francs. Yom- pictures, your jewelry, 
your works of art and your furniture represent another four, 
that is a sleeping capital of six millions. Your money invested 
in securities amounts to hardly two millions, that is to say, it 

nana's daughter. 121 

represents a hundred tlionsand francs a year; now tliat income 
is barely sufficient to defray the expenses of your servants, your 
stables, and your — maniuis. And nothing remains for your 
table, your toilet, etc.; nothing, absolutely nothing. So it is 
absolutely necessary for you to increase your income, unless you 
caro to sell a portion of your property. At the present moment, 
however, there are two sources by which you might obtam fresh 
funds without parting with a smgle object that you possess. 
There is an immecUate resource in the person of that rajah whom 
you tui'ued out of the house on the night of your fete ; and why 
pray ? Ho is madly in love with you ; no doubt he is extremely 
jealous of me, and yet all the same I strongly advise you to 
patch up a reconciliation. " 

" And the other resource, what is that? " 

" You must begin by separating your daughter from that 
young fellow who wants to marry her. Ho would be in our way. 
He's honest, he's in lo\"e, and he would want to keep his wife to 
himself. When you say the word it shall be done. The Marquis 
d'Albigny will charge himself with launching Nana the Second 
into the world just as ho launched Nana the First! You can 
certainly found a dynasty if you choose. The power of many 
adventurers, who never equaled you, has become hereditary. 
Well, I will be the herald of your presumptive heiress. I will 
proclaim Nana the Second and every one will acclaim her ! " 

"And cry out ' The queen Is dead, long live the queen!' 
Thanks, my dear fellow, I'm not quite ready for the grave. I 
am still a beauty and still the queen. " 

" Yes, the queen -mother." 

A flush of anger rose to Nana's cheeks ; with her violent 
natm-e she was incensed by D'Albigny's cold raillery. " Leave 
this house, marquis, be off?" she cried in a biting voice; be off, 
or I will dismiss you like a varlet." 

** In that case you ought to give me eight days' warning, " 
retorted the marquis, who with his cold temperament remained 
the master in irony. 

The storm called forth by Nana's wounded pride, subsided in 
presence of the calmness displayed by this unblushing hlase. 
" You are really stronger than I am," she said. " I will do as 
you wish." 

" It is in your interest to do so. Nana. Take Andr^e with 
you. Her beauty wUl attract fresh moths to your fetes and wo 
will relieve them of their wings. By the way, I met your rajah 
in the Bois de 13oulogue to-day. There will never be another 
Nana than you for Mm. He was driving round the lakes in an 
open carriage and seemed to be very unwell. His cheeks were 
hoUow and his eyes sunken. To be brief I approached him " 

" You ! But ho wants to kill you, marquis! " 

Nand!s Daughter 8. 

22 NANA'S daughter. 

" Really ! What nonsense ! Can any one kill me ? But 
come, you will never guess what he asked me. " 

''No; but tell me." 

" "Well, he wanted to know if you were dead." 

*' Eeally ? He's a queer fish that rajah and no mistake." 

'' For that reason I invited him to sup with you this evening 
after the performance." 

" And you did quite right, D'Albigny. It seems he has a new 
costume sewn all over with pearls. " 

" You can unsew them, then. Offer him your house, pretend 
to share everything with him, so that he may share everything 
with you. " 

- At this moment Luc knocked at the door to annoimce that 
the brougham was waiting in the court-yard. " Shall we start, 
dear ? " asked the marquis, offering his aim to Nana. 

"See that supper is ready at midnight," said she to Luc; 
and turning to the marquis ; " shall you come back with us, 

" Not this evening. I will escort you to your box, where the 
rajah will certainly soon join you, and then I shall go to the 
club where I intend to stop all night. " 

" Then you need only lay two covers," resumed Nana, speak- 
ing to the footman. 

Luc bowed respectfully, and the marquis and the courtesan 
disappeared behind the doorhanging. 

The sun had just sunk in the west, in the rear of the Arc de 
Triomphe, and the red train of daylight's n)be stretched across 
the horizon. The boulevards were being lighted up, and rows 
of customers sat at the little tables outside the cafes. Nana's 
brougham skirted the Madeleine and then made straight for the 
Place de I'Opera. Since the piebalds had come to grief the 
courtesan contented herself with a pair of bays. She now only 
kept one coachman and one footman. She seemed bent upon 
economical reform. In fact D'Albigny had explained to her 
that without more money it was quite impossible to continue 
living on the old footing. So Nana had decided to settle down, 
at least for the time being. And yet the spectacle of Paris in 
the twilight, with its feverish overflowing life, was well calcu- 
lated to prompt folly and extravagance. The boulevard has 
turned many a brain with its gay debauchery and facile pleas- 
ures ; and the sight it presents at eventide may well strike an 
unhealthy imagination. Women are fluttering like moths in the 
luminous semi-circles described on the asphalt by the lights of 
the caf6s, where steaming coffee in tall glasses mingles its white 
vapor with the blue smoke of cigars ; freshly-shaved, curly- 
headed waiters, whose loins are pirdod with snowy aprons, pass 
with supreme dexterity among tlio little tables, balancing trays 
laden with glasses of beer upon three fingers; witticisms fly 

nana's daughter. 123 

arotmd, talont Jiobnobs with venal beauty, at every three paces 
a celebrity is met ; and silver-mounted carriage lamps dart by 
like shooting stars, while cabs and omnibuses file along in a con- 
tinuous stream mingling with cozy broughams, which offor a 
propitious refuge for lovers anxious to conceal themselves. 

^Vhen Nana's carriage drew up In front of the opera house, 
she ahghted, took the marquis' arm and mounted the steps in 
silence. They were met by the rajah in the first vestibule. 
" Here is your slave, " the Hindu said to Nana. 

" Freed, " she added. 

" He asks for his chain again." 

" In the hope of revolting and commanding in his turn ? " 

" In the hope of linking the queen of his heart to his own 
fate. " 

On reaching the box Nana released D'Albigny, who whispered 
to her, " I leave you to that fool's madrigals. Until to- 
morrow." Then he bowed to the rajah who entered the box with 

There was a splendid " house. " The whole of worldly Paris 
was there in dress-coats and low-necked dresses. The great 
dames of society sat in their boxes; aristocrats, artists, and 
fast-livers crowded the stalls. The admiring glances of the 
men called forth the beaming smiles of the women, over whose 
bare, satin-like shoulders the brilliant light was streaming — 
playing amid the down on their necks and the wa\'y curls of 
their back hair. And each silky capillary adornment was shot 
with changing reflections ; here, too, a cameUia peered forth 
from some shadowy corner behind a shell-pink ear, whilst above 
the luminous unwrinkled brows of society's queens rose flutter- 
ing aigrettes scintillating with brilliants and curved diadems of 
milky pearls. Warm perfumes mounted on high, the scent of 
woman wafted through the golden radiance mingled with the 
aroma of flowers. The whole cupola was filled with the buzz of 
conversation, and now and then a peal of girhsh laughter 
resounded like the appogiato of a flute. 

At last the conductor raised his ivory baton and the overture 
burst forth. The Hindu was seated near Nana, so near that 
their knees touched, and behind the velvet edge of the box ho 
clasped her hand with his trembling fingers. He did not listen 
to tiie first act of Don Giovanni ; he did not behold the splendor 
of the house. This temple of melody vanished from his sight ; 
he heard neither the orchestra nor the vocalists, he was wrapped 
up in his mad passion, and as he held Nana's hands, as his 
knee touched hers, as she returned his smile and his longing 
glances, he quite forgot that he had ever thought of poisoning 

But Luc had not forgotten it ; and at that same hour he 
climbed up to his attic to fetch the pill which the rajah had 

124 nana's daughter. 

given Mm. "I can have no heart left," lie muttered, "since 
she still lives and still deceives ! This cursed passion robs me of 
all my courage. And yet there must be an end to it. This 
night or never. " 


" Then we shall sup together, alone? " asked the Hindu, when 
the curtain fell at the close of the first act. 

" Yes, quite alone, prince." 

" And you will never dismiss the slave who nearly died for loss 
of you If" 

" No, I wish him to love me always." 

" If you deign to love me, Nana, my life will be like paradise, 
and your eyes will be my stars. Love is the light of the soul, 
the heat of the blood ; it warms and illuminates. When I gaze 
upon you in the full radiance, it seems to mo as if my eyes had 
power to penetrate your being like a force of Nature, and form 
part of your life. Ah ! your men of the West do not know how 
to love; no ardent words have ever scorched their lips hke 
flames rising from the heart ; they are enervated in a moment, 
and the source of their kisses is tarried. But we, the children 
of the sun, we feel infinite passion born in our souls, passion ever 
awakened and never satisfied. Our caresses are never less 
warm, our desires are never quieted — what are the love songS 
that they sing hero? What is all this harmony that appeals to 
the ear, but which the heart fails to understand? Tour poetry 
and your music are as pale and as cold as the skies. Your 
poets are nothing compared to ours. For twenty thousand 
years wo have repeated the words of love which they wrote 
with their blood in books " 

" Come, prince, let us talk reason; if I become yoiu's, you 
must do as 1 do and sacrifice everything — I admit of no divis- 
ions, and I give you the right to refuse any. My house is 
yours " 

" And D'Albigny, Nana ? " 

" I dismiss him ! " 

" What ! you are wilhng that I should Uve with you and be 
your confidant of every hour ? " 

" I wish to live witli you and yom- love ; I wish to have every- 
thing in common with you — my house, my servants, my horses, 
ail are yours — And I will be wholly yours as well, my lord and 

" And I will bring you my diamonds ! A Jew ofiered me six 
millions for them, but I Ixilieve they are worth much more. " 

" What need have wo of diamonds ? We will sell all that. " 

nana's daughter. 125 

" Yes ; shall we ? We will sell everything, and you shall come 
to Hindustan "with me. You will see my country, the land of 
tigers ; you will have a largo palace full of slaves ; you will have 
olophants to carry you, and armed men to guard you — come, 
will you ? " 

" Later, friend, perhaps. But the women of France can only 
live in their own land." 

" Ah! you prefer your country to me. Nana. And yet I sacri- 
ficed everything to the happiness of seeing you once more, of 
gazing into your soul through your eyes, of poiuring my kisses 
onto your heart by the chalice of your lips. You see it, Nana; 
you do not know how to love like the tiger-killer I I sacrifice 
everything to you, but you sacrifice nothing." 

" You dare to say that, rajah, when to please you I am ready 
to turn the most faithful friend I ever had out of my house ! 
You will never do what D'AIbigny has done for me, never, never. 
And yet I sacrifice him to you ! I abandon him to chance, to 
ruin, to death ; for he ruined himself for Nana, and that is a 
thing which you would never do." 

" He gave you his gold, and you gave him your love. Your 
gift has lasted longer than his. You have done even more for 
him ; you have fed and lodged him for twenty years I And so 
for the little you owe to him, he owes you both love and hfe I " 

" I tell you, rajah, that he has ruined himself; and for 
D'AIbigny, ruin means death. " 

" Well, I will do the same as he has done. I will ruin myself 
for you. I will bring all my treasures of the East into your 
house ; but if ever you drive me from it I shall kill you ! " 

"Prince, it is defying a woman of France to threaten her; 
and when she is defied she braves everything." 

The rajah made no rejoinder. The curtain had risen again 
for the second act ; and at the end of the third one they left the 
opera house. It was half-past eleven when they reached Nana's 
residence. Luc was awaiting them in the hall ; and it was he 
who opened the large glass door communicating with the park. 
A moon ray glided through the stained glass, lighting up the 
alabaster nymphs which were disposed amid full-foliaged caladi- 
ums springing sheaf-like fi'om large Japanese vases, and stand- 
ing out in shadowy masses against the white-marble walls. 
Nana let her train drop, and with the customary undulation of 
her hips she mounted the steps amid the rustling music of her 
blue silk skirt. The rajah assisted her in her ascent, with one 
arm passed round her waist. Luc followed, looldng as grave as 

" Is supper served ? " asked Nana, turning toward the serv- 

" I had foreseen that madame might return before the ap- 
pointed hour," replied Liic^ " so everything is ready." 

126 nana's daughter. 

"Very good." And Nana threw him her mantle, her blue 
kid gloves and her lace fan. He was enveloped in the perfumed 
garment, which had draped itself in fantastic folds upon his 
angular form. He looked both grotesque and tragical, with his 
pale, clean-shaven, clown-like face hghted by piercing eyes. 
Nana turned round again, and with a burst of laughter she 
showed him to the rajah, Luc was unable to repress a gesture 
of revolt. " Have I become a clown again ? " he gnmibled. 

The rajah saw and heard him, and while Nana entered the 
conservatory alone he drew near to Luc and whispered 
stealthily : " Give me back the poison. " 

" I no longer have it," said Luc, who had just hung Nana's 
mantle over the balustrade. 

" You lie I " 

"So be it." 

" Give it to mo and I will free you. " 

" I am not a slave, prince ; the woman whom you condemned 
to death shall drink the poison which you gave me for her. " 

"I will kill you." 

"It will be too late." 

" Let her live, you shall be rich. " 

" I prefer to be revenged. " 

" I will denounce you, then, and she will drive you from the 

" I shall say that you gave me this poison, which is not 
known in France ; and she will have you thrown out into the 
street by her servants, as she once threatened to do. " 

"What are you saying to my valet f " asked Nana, who, 
astonished by this colloquy between Luc and the rajah, now 
showed her tawny head and large green eyes under the silken 

" I wiU tell you that by-and-by, " replied the rajah, and he 
took Nana by the hand to lead her into the dining-room. Luc 
followed a few steps behind. 

The French windows looking on to the moon-lit park were 
wide open, and the dehghtful scent of orange-blossom and 
blushing roses were wafted into the apartment, where it mingled 
with the disturbing aroma rising in blue spirals from a perfume 
burner of pure gold. Two covers were laid on the table, each 
flanked by a decanter of Baccarat crystal filled with iced cham- 
pagne, which cast a golden reflection upon the snowy cloth. A 
roast guinea-fowl lay on a silver dish near a timbale of nouilles 
au parmesan; and bunches of long oval Spanish grapes, of 
amber-like transparency, were piled upon the Sevres dessert 
stands, marked with Nana's initial. A number of crawfish were 
ranged in a scarlet pjramid under the chandelier, the green 
tapers of which burned in large hlies of yellow crystal, upheld 
by silver cupid8» 


"Have you ever loved any one, Nana?" suddenly asked 
the rajah, when they were seated at the table m front of each 

" Keally loved, do you mean? Perhaps so — but real love is 
hke a shame-faced beggar, it hides itself and blushes for itself. 
I loved a poor man once and even had a daughter by him " 

" And what have you done with your daughter? " 

" 1 sent her to the foundling hospital, as you can readily 
understand, and I had the father arrested. " 

" AVhy was that ? " 

" Because he had stolen some money from his employer for 

" And why didn't you keep yoiu" child ? " 

" Because I had an old king for my lover at that time ; and 
his majesty detested children. The marquis never liked them 

Behind Nana's arm-chair, Luc, whose face was whiter than 
his cravat, stood impassible and erect in his black dress-coat, 
llis ardent eyes alone revealed the storm raging in his heart. 

'' And so, " resumed the rajah, " this man whom you had really 
loved and whom you denounced as a thief has not killed you — 
that is wonderful. " 

"Kill me? Ah! Ah I But people don't kill Nana, prince. " 

" That man must be a coward, then." 

Luc was at that moment pouring some iced champagne into 
Nana's glass. The rajah, enervated by her smiles and glances, 
by the sparkhng wine and intoxicating perfumes, rose from his 
seat and approached her, in a transport of passion. Leaning 
over her chair from behind he caught hold of her head with 
both hands and made her lean back. Then with one arm round 
her neck he stooped to kiss her, but as his lips drew near to her 
own she averted her face with a nervous laugh. Suddenly, 
however, the Hindu raised his head and roared aloud hke a 
tiger in the jungles. He had just perceived on the mosaic pave- 
ment the gigantic shadow of a hand stretched over Nana's 
glass. With a terrible look at the valet, he sprang upon the 
goblet of champagne and threw it out into the park by one of 
the open windows. Then clasping Nana round the waist, he 
raised her from her chair, and darted into the boudoir, carrymg 
her in his arms. 


AiTDR^E experienced a strange moral uneasiness after her 
visit to Nana's house. It seemed as if some evil germ had been 
guscitated in her nature bv hex intpxviaw Tcitb +tie courtesan, by 

128 nana's daughter. 

the opulent splendor of that palace of vice, where everything, 
from the nude statues to the pamtmgs on the ceihugs, from the 
luxurious couches to the strong perfumes of the exotic plants, 
appealed to evil instincts. With her innate tastefulness and 
truly artistic temperament, Andreo could but admire all that 
was beautiful, whatever its som-ce, and for a moment in that 
fatal house she had been unable to guard against a feehng of 
envy for the life of gilded magnificence which Nana led. When 
Andr6e, by dint of self-observation and silent reflections during 
her days of toil, discovered this impure fermentation in her mind, 
hitherto so calm and healthy, she judged herself with great 
severity. She doubted her own strength, and looked into the 
futTire with exaggerated, over-scrupulous timidity, as if afraid 
that she were unworthy of Lucieu. So she become very sad, 
and Lucien perceived that she was suffering one evening when 
he spoke to her about their marriage. 

Margot, whose conduct had been most praiseworthy since she 
had been snatched from the hotbed of vice and transplanted into 
pure soil, had just gone up to her attic. M. Naviel was smoking 
his pipe in the kitchen, and his wife was still busy in the work- 
room. So Andr6e and Lucien remaining alone went out onto 
the little balcony of the parlor window to inhale the evening 
air. They remained there together, silent at first, amid the 
emanations rising off the moist foliage below them. The gar- 
deners were watering the shrubbery in the square. And at 
times, during the lulls between the shouts of the children at 
play, one could hear the water discharged by the leather hose 
ratoing over the green leaves. 

" "Wliat are you thinking of, Andr6e? " asked Lucien, sud- 

" Of you, my friend." 

" Is that the reason why you have been so sad for the last few 

" I am not sad, I am serious." 

" But I am growing impatient. What is the use of all this 
delay, all this postponement? " 

" Hope is at the end of our troubles," rejoined Andree with a 

" Why are you sighing, Andree ? What ! do you disguise 
doubt as hope ? Do you lack faith in me ? " 

" Oh, no, Lucien ! " 

" Li yourself, then? " 

" Sometimes." 

" You slander yourself, surely." 

" No ; I ask myself at times why I have certaiu bad thoughts 
and foohsh ideas which nothing about mo can have inspired. 
For instance, I often dream that lam very rich — very, very 
rioli-^Uk© that woman Nana, with carriages, servants, and a 

nana's daughter. 129 

house full of works of an.. And then in my troubled mind I 
plot out a little romance. I meet you one evening, as I am 
driving back from the Bois in an open carriage. You are on foot 
witli your mother on your arm, and she is very tired and can 
scarcely walk. Then I tell my coachman to stop ; I jump out, 
and propose to take j'ou homo in my carriage. You accept ; wo 
become acquainted ; we love each other and marry, and your 
mother never goes about on foot again. " 

" I am very fond of my mother, Andrde, but I prefer that she 
should go about on foot. There are only two kinds of women 
who have horses and carriages — wealthy ladies and abandoned 
women. If you were a wealthy lady you wouldn't have any- 
thing to say to me, and if you were " 

But he stopped short, aghast at the supposition which he had 
been on the point of enunciating. 

"You mean," said Andree, "that if I were an abandoned 
woman you couldn't have anything to do with me. And you 
would be quite right, Lucien. The man who gives his name to 
an abandoned woman sells himself. And yet, I beheve that 
there are some men who live at these women's expense." 

" Undoubtedly. That Nana, whose horses nearly killed you, 
and whom you did the honor of lunching with, keeps, I am told, 
a certain marquis " 

" D'Albigny," interrupted Andr6e, in a trembhng voice, and 
with a flush on her cheeks. 

" How does it happen that you know his name ? " 

" He was there when I went to her house." 

" Then you lunched aU three together? " 


" You ought not to have submitted to that promiscuity. Such 
frequentations, however short they may be, invariably taint the 
mind. But, at least, I trust that this woman did not leave you 
alone with her marquis." 

" On the contrary, she left us together for some time." 

" Then I am certain that it was pre-arranged between them. 
Don't you know, Andree, that these creatures are leagued 
together to ruin virtuous women, whom they hate and envy; 
and that they would all of them condone their lover's infidelity, 
if it had for result the degradation of some pure girl ? What 
did that man say to you when you were alone with him ? " ' 

" He spoke of you." 

" He ridiculed me, no doubt? " 

" How can you imagine that, Lucien? I would never have 
allowed it." 

" Then what did he say about me! " 

" He said that you didn't dress well ; and ne posed as a model 
in comparison with you. I laughed at it, for, after all, I can't 
see that a man gains in dignity by serving as a doll for his tailor. 

J30 nana's daughter. 

But all that was pure jealousy, for he is past middle age, and he 
envies your youth. " 

" But what else did he say? " 

" He spoke of the aflfection with which you inspire me, and 
which I allowed him to see." 

"Ah! he showed himself jealous of your affection; but hasn't 
he Nana's f" 

*' Don't let us compare, pray." 

" I am almost certain that he made you some stupid declara- 
tion or cowardly proposal." 

" Come, Lucien, let us talk of something else. " 

** No, Andree; I can guess that something happened, some- 
thing which you hide so as not to grieve me, or so as to prevent 
me from calUug the scoimdrel to accomit." 

" Well, yes, it's true ; he made me some insulting proposals, 
I called him a coward and came away ; but I swear to you that 
he never touched me. " 

" I beUeve you; but I also believe that he tried to tear out my 
heart. And I will tear off his ears. " 

" Lucien 1 in heaven's name don't create a scandal. People 
would believe there was something else, and my reputation 
would be ruined." 

" It would be ruined still more if every scoundrel, titled or 
untitled, were allowed to stain you with his dirty thoughts or 
disgusting proposals ! Why did you not speak of this to your 
father? He would have flattened that marquis like a bug! " 

" I have already done wrong to speak of it to you, Lucien. 
Promise me that you will keep it secret, and that you will leave 
that man alone." 

"No, no; all Paris shall learn that the Marquis D'Albigny 
has been cuffed by a petty clerk, by the humble aflBauced lover 
of a flower-girl, whose life the scoundrel tried to ruin, and whose 
marriage he endeavored to break off. Yes, every one shall 
know it, and you will hear of it yourself. " 

Then just touching Andree's forehead with his lips, he hurried 
from the house. 

It was the morning after the supper with the rajah, and Nana 
was still in her bedroom when Virginie came to tell her that a 
young man had called to see M. D'Albigny, and had asked at 
what hour he would be sure to find him. 

Nana had a presentiment that some fresh danger threatened 
the marquis, so she at once threw on a muslin dressing-gown, 
shpped her feet into a pair of Oriental slippers of red leather, 
embroidered with pearls, and hurried into the boudoir. She 
recognized Lucien Despretz at the first glance, and asked him 
familiarly, " Do you come from Andr6e? " 

" No, madame, I have come in spit© of her, and it was not with 
you that I wished to speak. " 

nana's daughter. 131 

" The marquis is probably at his club, sir, and I don't think 
you will be able to see him now. As a rule, when he has spent 
his night at the card-table ho sleeps for a few hours on a sofa, 
and the club servants must certainly have orders not to let any 
one disturb huu." 

" When can I expect to find him here? " 

" I really can't say. He has no fixed time for coming. I can 
never rely on him myself. " 

" That's a very good system to avoid troublesome explana- 
tions with the creditors who may hold him to account for their 
money or their honor. " 

" The marquis never avoids any one, sir, and those to whom 
he owes any money or any sword thursts will always find him. 
But it seems to me that it can't be question of one matter or the 
other with you?" 

'' I have no answer to give you, madamo ; I wish to deal with 
the marquis." 

" But I must really insist upon knowing what you wish. " 

" I wish to ask him for an explanation. " 

" About what, if you please? " 

" I repeat, madame, that I have nothing to say to you. " 

" I am sure, however, that it must be about Mademoiselle 
Andr6e Naviel. No doubt this foolish little thing has complained 
to you about the marquis' gallantry. But that is of no conse- 
quence. I assiu-e you that D'Albigny is the same with every 
woman; and, really, it isn't worth while for you to court a sword 

" I have not told you, madame, that I intended to challenge 
Monsieur D'Albigny. If I had to fight with him, I should 
endeavor to arrange matters so that our chances would be 

" But you are mad, my friend. D'Albigny doesn't fight with 
the first-comer; and I don't think he would ever do you the 
honor of fighting with you. " 

" The honor would be for him. " 

" You are not wanting in cheek, young man; and you amuse 
me with your idea of a duel. If you have seriously come here to 
propose an encoimter with the first swordsman of France, it can 
only be in view of rendering D'Albigny ridiculous, supposing he 
accepted the challenge. But you may be reassured on that 
score. If you saw him, the only result would be that he would 
have you kicked out of the house by his servants. So in your 
own interest I advise you to keep quiet and not to come back 
here. Believe me, spare yom- life for the sake of Andree, reserve 
all this fine ardor for her. " 

" You can rail at me if you like, madame. But if the marquis 
had remained in his own circle he would have found plenty of 
abandoned women, titled and otherwise, whom his offer would 


only have pleased. What need had he to descend to our sphere, 
where his proposals could only encounter disgust? " 

" What do you know about that, sir " 

" You need not finish, madame. There is surely no occasion 
for you to make yourself odious." 

" At least I never deceive any one. People know what I am, 
and I don't blush for it. The top of the walk belongs to us — to 
us, do you hear? We raise the standard of vice, and our luxury 
bespatters the virtuous women of your sphere. Wo know what 
they are, the women of the middle classes ! Our lovers tell us 
all about them and amuse us by ridiculing them. And come, 
why, I myself, I know your Andr6e better than you do, for 
D'Albigny gave me full particulars. You can marry her now if 
you choose. She is on a nice road. D'Albigny will tell you all 
about her physical perfections, if you wish for information. " 

" I have allowed you to go on to the end, madame, but I do 
not believe a word you say. You are wicked and perfidious, I 
see. You long to impart your own vices to those around you, 
as if you were some contagious disease. But in spite of your 
fine bravado, in spite of all your flaunting luxury, you feel atro- 
cious hatred against the women who have a right to despise 
you — hatred which would eat up your heart, if you only had 

" Excuse me, sir, but I now feel certain that if you insisted 
upon learning whether the marquis was here on not, it was so 
that you might be able to insult me with impunity. But wait a 
moment ; I have not yet told you everything about your virtuous 
betrothed. When I have finished I will have you turned out of 
the house. " 

" Oh ! you can summon your servants, you can assemble the 
army of your lovers, madame ; not one of them, I am sure of it, 
however well paid or however vile he may be, woiild deny the 
truth of my words." 

" They would all tell you that you did wrong to insult Nana, 
since you are bent upon marrying her daughter." 

" Nana's daughter ! Andree 1 She is no more your daughter 
than she is your lover's mistress ! " 

" You wish for proofs ? Well, here is one that you won't dis- 
pute. Read, sir, read ! Ah ! you compel me to bruise your 
heart. But read, my lad, I tell you. " With these words she 
thrust perforce into his hand a letter which D'Albigny had given 
her a few days before. It was the answer to the marquis' 
request for information respecting Andree. It had a printed 
heading — that of the Poor Relief Board — although it was a 
private communication, and emanated from one of D'Albigny's 
friends. Holding it with a trembhug hand Lucien hastily 
perused it. 

" MX DsxR Friend. — You aek me for some private informa- 

nana's daughter. 133 

tion rcspoctiiiff a child of the fi'iniiiinc sex who was left at tho 
Foundling Hospital in the Hue d'Enler, on tho 14th August, 
18G0, in accordance with the instructions of the Commissary of 
PoUce of the Eighth Arroudisscment. This child was handed 
over to M. Pierre Naviel, a mechauic, residing iu tho Rue Croz- 
atier, on tho 20th of the same month — that is, six days after it 
was loft at the hospital by a servant girl calletl Virginie, iu the 
name of the real mother, the woman Nana." 

As Lucien road this note, the courtesan watched him with a 
cruel, feline look. She no doubt expected an outburst; but 
having finished his perusal he crumpled the paper in his fingers 
and tlung it with a furious gesture on tho floor. 

" You see that I state nothing without proofs," exclaimed 
Nana iu a strident voice ; " and now, sir, if you marry Audree 
you will at least owe some respect to myself, her mother! " 

But Lucien Despretz did not hear these last words; he had 
fled, so as to hide his weakness from this woman, and without 
knowing what ho did or where he went he hurried into tho Pare 
Montceau, turned tlown a deserted pathway and sank upon a 
bench, bursting into sobs. What! Andree, that vision of piu*© 
lovehness first revealed to him one evemng at the Boufies, who 
had afterward haunted his imagination until she became part 
and parcel of his life and happiness — what! Andree Naviel had 
no right to the name of honest woman? She was really the 
daughter of that odious creature? the blood of a prostitute 
flowed in her veinsj? That adorable girl, that darling Andree, 
whose dear little feet he would have kissed — she, the object of 
his respectful worship bore withm her a primogeuial, fatal taint, 
tho hereditary germ of vice? 

He was tempted to doubt of her virtue, chastity and purity, 
of all that constituted the limpid, luminous charm and beauty 
of her soul and body. Had Nana told the truth? Had Andr6e 
fallen into some abominable trap? had she been the victim of 
some plot planned by her own mother bent upon delivering her 
up to the marquis? She did not dare to confess the truth. And 
that, no doubt, was why she had seemed so sad during the last 
few days. The secret of her shame preyed upon her mind and 
paralyzed her will. No doubt she reproached herself for her 
silence, as if it were an act of treason toward tho man she loved ; 
but she feared that she might lose his affection if she revealed 
the truth. Still, if he ciuestioncd her she would no doubt tell 
him everything. And he was bent upon knowing all, even if 
the horriljle certainty poisoned each day of his after life. Im- 
placable toward himself, full of a bitter longing for enlighten- 
ment, he raised his brow ; and as his ardent anguish dried the 
first tears of love upon lais cheeks, he walked hastily out of the 
park and turned down the Rue Legendre, toward the Square 
des Batignolles. On tho way he entered a tobacconist's shop to 

134 nana's daughter. 

buy a post card, and wrote to his employer stating that he was 
unwell and begged to be excused that day. Then, having 
slipped the card into a letter-box, he hurried off toward the 
Naviel's home. 


A^iTDEtE Navie was in the work-room when Lucien Despretz 
arrived. She rose up in surprise on seeing him, for at that hour 
he ought to have been at his employer's. But on looking at him 
more attentively, she saw that he was very pale. " What is the 
matter, Lucien?" she asked, anxiously. 

" I don't know," he replied; " give me time to think." And 
taking up a bit of wire which was lying on the table, he fever- 
ishly began to twist it round his forefinger. Margot raised her 
artful little face, and gave Lucien a keen look with her black 
eyes: " I'm afraid there's some trouble in store for Mademoiselle 
Andr^e," she whispered to a work-girl beside her. 

Andrce was mounting a rose ; and the shght wire stalk glided 
between her fingers as she wound the green paper covering in 
spirals around it. She was sitting with her back to the window, 
through which the morning sun streamed into the room, casting 
as it were an aureole about her head. The httle locks of fine 
hair rising in tangled curls above the nape of her neck sparkled 
hke tawny gold, and under her long lashes her big green eyes 
displayed their candid depths. Her thmnb and forefinger, the 
nails of which were tipped with carmine, moved rapidly to and 
fro, as she rolled the artificial stalks between them; and from 
time to time, somewhat coquettishly, her little fingers rose out 
of the shadow into the roseate transparency of the sunhght. 
Lucien watched her in silence. He succeeded at first in control- 
ling the storm that was raging in his heart, and determined not 
to speak to her of her birth. The ties of relationship which 
united Andree to Nana already occupied a secondary place in his 
thoughts. What ho wished to know above and before every- 
thing else was the truth concerning her tete-^-tete with the 
Marquis D' Albigny. He had come with the intention of request- 
ing a full explanation in that respect. For if Nana had furnished 
him the proof that Andree was her daughter, she had merely 
indulged in slanderous insinuations respecting the interview with 
the marquis. And so it was to Androe's own loyalty that lie 
must now appeal. He did not doubt but what she would reply 
frankly to a direct question. He in no wise suspected the purity 
of her mind ; all that he feared was her own imprudence, for he 
knew that she was possessed of a sort of natural bravery which 
would prevent her from shirking a sincere avowal. But at the 

N ana's daughter. 135 

momeiil of prov(ikin,ij: ;in explanation, on which his future happi- 
ness depeniled, he hesitated, seized as it were with mortal vertigo 
on the edge of this abyss of grief in which his whole life might 
perhaps be swallowed up. Andreo had been his first and only 
love; ho felt that ho should never be able to love again, and the 
emptiness of his dreary future appalled him. This anguish of 
heart became so apparent on his loyal face, that as Andree 
raised her eyes to give him a lovmglook she felt frightened; and 
no wonder, for his lips w^ere creased into an expression of bittei' 
despair. Eising abruptly to her feet, and flinging her unfinished 
rose on the work-table, she approached him and said in an 
undertone: " You are hiding something from me, Lucien; what 
has happened between you and the marquis?" 

Taking his betrothed by the hand, Lucien led her into the 
next room. " I have come to ask you, Andree," he said, " what 
took place between the marquis and youV 

" What I told you, Lucien. " 

There was a pause. The young fellow was again seized with 
hesitation. If the accusations which Nana had launched against 
Andree were false, if the marqms had failed in his attempts, the 
mere thought that he, Lucien, had doubted her, might provoke 
the young girl to indignant revolt. He knew that such a thought 
might drive her to despair and cause her to break off her engage- 
ment. And yet silence was no longer possible, now. Andree's 
legitimate susceptibility was awakened, and giving Lucien a 
hard, straight, questioning glance which was mifamiliar to him, 
she exclaimed: "Speak! You have come here to tell me some- 
thing. You have a question to ask of me; you wish to cross- 
examine me perhaps. By the tone in which you have spoken, I 
can guess that you have some doubt respecting me. Speak, 
Lucien, speak ; you are a man — you have more courage than I 
have — speak, I tell you." 

" Do you know what that woman said to me, Andree"?" 

" Nothing pleasant, probably, for you or myself — and nothing 
true either. What truth could you expect from the hps of a 
woman who lies even in her love? " 

" She insinuates two things — the first concerns you yourself, 
personally and exclusively, and at first it greatly impressed me; 
but on reflection I have decided that I ought not to let it pre- 
occupy me. Of this first statement she furnishes a proof, which 
I have seen ; but the other one cannot be proved — at least by 
her. Now I want you to tell me the truth on that second 
point. " 

" Question me clearly, Lucien; tell me what you wish to know, 
and I will answer you frankly. " 

" Then listen to me, Andree, and tr\^ to imderstand me. The 
doubt that I wish to clear does not effect your honesty. Your 

136 nana's daughter. 

loyalty is unqnostioned; but, may be, a fatality, au iufamous 
trap iu which you were caught " 

" No more! Ah! I uuderstand now what you wish to ask me> 
Lucieu ! It is abominable — abominable I I should never have 
believed it of you. " 

Andr6e's voice broke ; and as her knees trembled under the 
frightful grief that had seized hold of her, she sank into an arm- 
chair, and hiding her face with her two little trembling hands, 
which were heated by sudden fever, she burst into stilled sobs. 
The two lovers were quite alone. Madame Naviel had gone out 
shortly before Lucien Despretz had arrived, and Andree had 
taken care to close the doors so that the work-girls might hear 
nothing of the explanation. She had certainly never imagined 
that it would be such a terrible one. In full hope, she and 
Lucien foimd themselves plunged into despair. And as yet she 
did not know all the truth ! She was still ignorant of the fact 
that she was a harlot's daughter. 

Never had Lucien been so struck by the likeness between 
Andree and Nana, as at the moment when the young girl gave 
him that harsh, bitter look as she requested him to explain hun- 
self. She had then strikingly reminded him of Nana, for there 
was the same gleam in her eyes that he had noticed in those of 
the courtesan when the latter descanted ironically upon the 
modesty of virtuous women. They were both of the same type 
of beauty, with the same roseate complexion, the same velvety 
skin, and the same charming little dimples, true nests for lovers' 
kisses. The healthy sphere in which Andr6e had always lived 
might so far have preserved her from vicious tendencies, and 
have controlled the longings of an imperious temperament ; but 
at the first efforts of a man, export in seduction, may be, all the 
virtuous firmness, all the resisting chastity would have been 
conquered by the original taint of vice. 

The attack of weakness which had made Andree weep proved 
of short duration. She abruptly rose to her feet again, with 
dry eyes and a bitter smile. "And so, su-,"she said, "you 
have come to this honest home to ask me — me, Andr6o Naviel 
— if I am really the mistress of the Marquis d'Albigny ! " 

" You might have been dishonored without being seduced." 

" And you dare to say that to me ! And you think that if I 
had fallen victim to a plot, I should have allowed you to con- 
tinue courting me ! Thou what opinion can you have of my 
sincerity ? Ah 1 I really feel humiliated for you, for this proves 
that you do not know how to distiuginsh the truth from false- 
hood ! And I feel sorry also for your loss, for you have lost the 
friendship — nay, the love — of a woman who would have made 
you happier tlian you will ever be, now ! Ah ! I pity you, 
sir — yes, I pity you; for to come and blast our affection, our 
hopes, to come and break off our marriage, and ruin all our 

nana's daughter. 137 

plans, all the d roams wo over made together, you surely must 
have very greatly sulVered ! " 

** Yes, I have sull'ered, Andr6o ; I have suffered frightfully. 
Can you not see how I have wept since leaving that fatal house "/ 
All my coui'age has left me ; I have become a child again. " 

" All 1 you have made me sufier also, sir. I should never 
have thought you so cruel ! " 

" Forgive me, Andr6e ! I no longer believe what that woman 
told me." 

" But you did believe it, since it made you suffer." 

" I do not believe it, I tell you." 

" Ah ! you have doubted me. Go — leave me ! You are no 
longer my betrothed ; never return here again ! The sight of 
you is odious to me. " 

** But, Andree, cannot you understand that the thought made 
me mad with despair ? You do not realize what shame there 
was for you, what anguish for me, what desolation for both of 
us, in the words that fell from Nana's lips — 'Andr6e the mis- 
tress of D'Albigny !' " 

" Do not repeat that before me. You ought never to have 
spoken it. It was your duty to respect my imagination. Why 
do you come and repeat to mo the infamous things which tbat 
woman told you? You ought to have buried them beneath 
your disdain. What have I in common with her ? " 

" Ah ! you will know it only too soon. " 

" So you persist in placing me on the same line as that 
woman ! You see that you still doubt ; you see yourself, sir, 
that everything is irrevocably ended between us, and that we 
must part for ever ! " 

" But you do not understand me, Andr6e." 

" No, sir, wo don't understand each other. Leave me, I tell 
you — leave me ; the sight of you is killing me. " 

" Listen to me, Andree " 

" I have listened to you too long already, and I will listen no 
longer. Go ofi"; do you really wish to kill me? Ah I my God, 
my God ! what have I done to suffer like this ! " As she spoke 
she began to wander about the room, wringing her hands so 
violently that the joints of her fingers cracked. Suddenly, how- 
ever, she took up her mantle and threw it over her shoulders. 
Then she put on a bonnet, and feverishly tied the strings under 
her chin. 

" Where are you going, Andree ? " asked Lucien. 

" What does it matter to you ? " 


" I forbid your doing so." 

" I mean to know where you are going ? " 

" You wish to know it ? Well, I am going where you went— 
to Nana's 1 " 

Nana'i Daughter $, 

138 nana's daughter. 

He tried to stop her, but she pushed him aside with disdainful 
indignation, and hurried ofF, slamming the door in his face. 

A liveried footman ushered Mademoiselle Navlel into the 
courtesan's boudoir. Nana was taking her bath ; and the mar- 
quis was alone, stretched on a divan, and smoking a cigar. 
As Andree perceived him she muttered a few words of apology, 
and drew back toward the door. But D'Albigny sprang to his 
feet. " Do I intimidate you, my pretty dove? " he asked. 

" I will wait in the ante-room until Madame Nana is ready to 
receive me 1 " replied Mademoiselle Naviel. 

" I cannot suffer that, mademoiselle. " And drawing near to 
her, he took one of her tiny hands in his own, and compelled her 
to sit down on the divan. Andree was very flushed and some- 
what out of breath after her rapid walk. Her eyes were shining 
more brilliantly than usual, and D'Albigny was dazzled by her 
youthful beauty, which reminded him of Nana in her earlier 
days. He became caressing, almost tender. " You seem deeply 
moved, mademoiselle," he remarked. "May I be allowed to 
inquire the cause of your emotion 1 " 

" The cause — is yourself." 

" Myself? Pray explain yourself, pretty one. Am I privileged 
to " 

" Do you know what my betrothed has just told me ? " 

" No; what can this fortunate young man have said to you? " 

" That the people of this house try to pass me off as your 
mistress. " 

" I regret that he told you an untruth, mademoiselle ; and I 
cannot imagine who could have invented such a story ? " 

*' It was a person with whom you are very intimate." 

" Nana ? In that case it was the mere pastime of an idle 
woman. A mere joke, as she will readily acknowledge. " 

" She must really do so, sir, so as to undeceive the man who 
thought me capable of being false to him. " 

" Why undeceive him ? Since ho believes it, let him do so. 
False so far, the supposition might none the less come true in 
the future. Do you think, Andree, that I have renounced 
you °i " 

" I am not a plaything for a man of your rank, sir, and I came 
Acre for something very different. " 

" I will confess that that matters little to mo." 

" It is Madame Nana that I came to see. " 

" She is at her toilet and can't see any one. She received 
your lover in my place, and I receive you in hers. " 

At this moment a discreet rap at the door was heard. "Come 
in, " said the marquis. 

The same servant who had ushered Andr<5o into the boudoir 
a few minutes previously, again raised the door curtain and 
handed D'Albigny a card. " Lucien Despretz," read the 

nana's daughter. 139 

marquis aloiul. " I don't know any Lucien Despretz. Tell tlie 
person that I am not at home. " 

" Say that you are here, sir," cxclauned Audree. " It is my 
betrothed who wishes to speali to you. " 

" Nothing is easier, little one." And, turning to the servant, 
D'Albiguy drily added : " Tell the person to come in." 

The footman raised the curtain, and Lucien wallced straight 
toward the marquis, exclaiming in a threatening voice: "It 
seems, sir, that you pass yourself oil" as this young lady's 
favored lover. " 

" Excuse me, sir," said the marquis, " in what quality do you 
come hero i " 

" As a suitor to the hand of the yovmg lady whom I surprise 
here in a tete-iVtete with you." 

"Oh! you don't surprise anyone," rejoined Andr6e, "since 
it was I who requested the marquis to receive you. I am in no 
wise surprised that you should have followed me; and it is as 
well that everything should be cleared up between you, who 
doubt me, and this gentleman in whose name I am slandered. " 

" I don't think it will be my fault if the matter is not cleared 
up, " rejoined D'Albigny, " nothing seems easier to me. So I 
begin by saying in this gentleman's presence that ^is betrothed 
is not my mistress, and you may believe me " 

" I ask for nothing more," said Lucien. 

" Oh ! but / am not yet satisfied, " continued the marquis, 
" you don't let me finish. I have said that Mademoiselle Andree 
is not my mistress so far, but I add that she will be so. " 

" You insolent scoundrel ! " cried Lucien, in a voice which 
vibrated with anger, 

" Is Monsieur Lucien Despretz satisfied ? " asked D'Albigny 
in a tone of raillery. 

" Lucien Despretz despises you," rephed Andrea's betrothed. 
" Come, mademoiselle, let us leave this house. " 

" Mademoiselle Andr6o will not leave," rejoined the marquis, 
whose every word seemed full of defiance to Lucien; "as for 
you, sir, you now know what you wished to know. I advise 
you not to try my patience any longer. Go ! " 

" I shall not go alone, marquis. " 

" You will go as I choose and when I choose." 

" Try to turn me out! " 

" Oh 1 I shall not stain my hands with the perspiration on 
your cheeks. I have servants to turn you out," and, so saying, 
D'Albigny pulled the bell-rope. 

The footman again reappeared. " Drive this intruder away," 
ordered the marquis. 

" I see, sir, that you are an infamous scoundrel and an utter 
coward ! " cried Lucien, raising his hand threateningly over 
D'Albigny's head. 

140 nana's daughter. 

" As many words as you like, my fine fellow, but I don't 
tolerate assaults. " And catching hold of Lucien's fist before it 
had touched his face, the marquis gave the young fellow such a 
formidable blow full in the chest that he threw him fainting on 
the carpet beside Andree, who could not repress a cry of 

"Carry that away," said D'Albigny to the servant, at the 
same time pointing to the prostrate clerk. 

The footman raised Lucien by the shoulders and dragged htm 
out into the landing. Andr6e wished to follow, but the marquis 
caught her by the arm and exclaimed imperiously : " Stay 
here ! " 

" I wish to leave." 

" I mean you to stop. " 

" You have no right to order me about. " 

" But I have the right to do so, " haughtily exclaimed Nana, 
who at that moment entered the boudoir draped in full-flowing 
Indian peplum. 

'* That's true, my dear, " said the marquis, " so I will leave 
you alone with your daughter. You can teach her her duty 
toward yourself and toward me. " With these ironical words 
D'Albigny crossed the room, raised the door-hanging and 

" In two words this is the situation, " said Nana to Andrea, 
" I am your mother. " 


" Yes, I ! But don't interrupt me, Andrde. You are not of 
age. I have the right to take you back and I do so. That 
is all." 

" You pretend that you are my mother." 


" It is easy to say so." 

" And easy to prove. " 


" Read this letter? " 

" I will read nothing and listen to nothing. I have no need 
of your proofs. " 

" You won't read it ? Then I will do so ! " 

" Let me go, madame, let mo go ; I wish to see my lover since 
your marquis has murdered him on accoimt of me. " 

" Your lover, do you say? Do you think I will give my con- 
sent to such a marriage? You have some strange illusions, 
httle one," said Nana, jeeringly. 

" This is an infamous comedy, madame, and you wiU have 
cause to repent of the manner in which you treat me. " 

" I shall not repent of saving you from misery and want, and 
later on, jrou yourself will reaUze how much you owe to me. 
Your bram is full of false ideas at present, but we will style you 

nana's daughter. 141 

properly, the marquis aud T, you may bo at ease on that point. " 

" There are laws, inadame. " 

** Yes, against ehildren under ago who wish to leave the 
maternal roof to run after worthless fellows — needy clerks 
earning their fifteen hundred francs a year ! A fine life and no 
mistake for the daughter of a woman who possesses millions." 

" Your milUons are tainted with infamy." 

" You must respect them ; as you must respect me, the mar- 
quis, and all who touch them." 

" I owe you nothing." 

" You owe me respect — respect, do you hear? If you won't 
listen I will force you to read this paper — this little paper 
which I showed this morning to the young fool whom D'AIbigny 
just chastised in your presence. " 

" Does this paper prove that I am your lover's mistress? " 
asked Andree. *• 

" It proves that you are my daughter. " 

" That's false ! " 

" It matters httle whether you believe it or not, my dear, 
providing I hold the proof. As I have already told you, I have 
the law on my side. I hold you and I intend to keep you." 

" The law jjimishos sequestrations. " 

" The law punishes people who turn minors from their duty, " 
rejoined Nana. 

" That is precisely what you are trying to do. " 

" No, it is what the Naviels would do if they persisted in 
claiming you in spite of my rights. " 

" We will see about them." 

" Whenever you like. Ah ! you don't know what you lose by 
compelling mo to act harshly toward you. My soul and heart 
wore full of love for you, Andree. I was so happy to find you 
again, so proud to have a daughter whose beauty was worthy 
of mine. And yet, now your obstinacy and your childishness 
comjjel me to care for your welfare in spite of yourself." 

"■ Was it by way of caring for my welfare that you spoke of 
me as an abandoned girl ? " 

" Yes, I said so; I called out upon the housetops what you Jiro 
and what you are not ; and I will publish the story everywhere. 
I imagined it this morning in order to destroy your absurd 
matrimcjnial hopes, and you both of you fell mto the trap which 
I had set for you. Ah ! you have to deal with stronger foil's 
than yourselves — that young gentleman and you. Well, now, 
he's outside and you are inside ; and ho will never return into 
my house again, I promise you ; and you will never leave it, so 
there. " 

At this moment Nana heard a knock at the door. " Comfe 
in ! " she ciied. 

It was Luc who presented himself on the threshold. " Ah ! 


is it you, " she resumed with affected kindness, " what do you 
want, my good fellow ? " 

" I want to know, madame, what I'm to do with the young 
fellow downstairs. Ho has just recovered consciousness. " 

" Pack him into a cab and send him home. Here are his 
'name and his address." So saying Nana handed Luc the card 
which Lucien had given on his arrival. 

Luc took the card, read the name and then suddenly burst 
into loud, hysterical laughter. " Ah ! ah I " he said, " no, it 
isn't possible I It would be too much of a joke." And he fled 
from the room as if he had been pursued by a ghost. One 
could still hear his mad laughter as he hurried down the stairs. 

" Poor Face-to-Smack," thought Andr6e, " couldn't he help 
me to get out of the house. " And the presence of the ex-clown 
ignited a first ray of hope in her heart. 

But Nana abruptly recalled her to reality. " Come, little one, 
calm yourself and reflect. Submit to the fate which makes you 
^vealthy in spite of yourself. I will forgive your harshness, I 
tvill love you and see that you are loved by people worthy of 
your affection." 

" You mean your own lovers, perhaps ? " 

" Ajid why not, my beauty I " interrupted the Marquis D'Al- 
bigny whose lofty figure again appeared on the threshold of the 
boudoir. " Your mother must have told you what you owe her; 
and now we can have a talk together, we two. " 

" Yes, I will leave you together, " said Nana as she rose. And 
with a glance of mfernal irony at Andree she disappeared, bend- 
Dg her majestic figure under the silken hanging. 


" So bo it, " said Ajidr6e resolutely ; " you have just murdered 
my lover, and this morning your companion of shame told him 
that I was your mistress. I despise you both. Now let me 

" You cannot go. When you have consented to share your 
life with your mother and me, you will be allowed such liberty 
as falls to the lot of a rich woman. I have plans for you, 
Andr6e, very grand plans: I wish to make a marchioness of you. 
Oh! not a make-beheve marchioness like Nana, but a real one, 
married for good, calling herself the Marquis D'Albigny, with 
horses, carriages, a coat-of-arms and all the rest. Come, I 
think that's suitable enough. " 

" What ! I marry you 1 Marry the lover of the woman who 
calls herself my mother? " 

*' There must bo an end to everything, my dear, and I intend 

nana's daucjiiter. 143 

to finish my careci by marryinj? you. On the whole I'm not to 
bo pitied, and a good many people would like to finish their 
lives in the same stylo. And, really, I don't see, even from your 
own point of view, why you should evince such a dishko to me. 
I'm not so bad looking, although I'm middle-aged. I dress 
properly, I know how to conduct myself in society, I have some 
money and a name. And, besides, if you don't caro to become 
really my wife, well we will each have our own rooms — I can't 
bo more obliging. I will even allow you, if you like, to engage 
that yoimg man as — your secretary. Are these concessions 
enough? You see I am good-natured although I have your 
mother's consent on my side, as well as the law, my strength 
and my love." 

" I do not imderstand you, sir. " 

" Oh ! you will imderstand me by degrees. As I have pre- 
viously told you, you have been badly educated. You are 
extremely prudish, and I'm not so much inclined to complain of 
it for the moment, as a satisfactory arrangement can be 

" Your love horrifies me, and I feel ashamed of having 
inspired such views on the part of a man like yourself. You 
must consider me very vile to dare to suggest that I should take 
your name. Do you think that I'm ignorant of your loathsome 
career ? " 

" Oh ! oh ! my disdainful beauty. If you are acquainted with 
my career you must have had it related to you. " 

" I hear my work-girls talking about you; I hear of your dis- 
graceful actions everywhere, everywhere. As you can't seduce 
me you offer to marry me ! You would marry a dozen girls in 
the same way if the law wasn't there to prevent you. I tell you 
that straight to the face like a frank girl of the people " 

" But you are the daughter of Nana, and she doesn't belong 
to the people. " 

" You never spoke more truly ; and in the same way that she 
abandoned me to pubhc charity when I was a child, in the same 
way I cast her off to-day ! " 

" You do wrongly ; you might bring her back to — virtue." 

" Rail, sir, rail ! Virtue is your enemy and you detest it 
because it frightens you ! " 

" Oh, dear, no. Only virtue is stupid and it lacks stamina. 
As an instance, take that young fellow who rolls over at the 
first blow and faints away like a girl. I don't brag with you 
and I'm not a Tartuffe. I lack hypocrisy ; and prefer to bravo 
public opinion. But I bow down before the true Jesuits, the 
pietists with sanctimonious faces, the dissemblers who feign 
continence, the false ascetics who cry out in alarm whenever a 
novel or i^lay belabors tlicir hidden vices and exposes them in 
the full sunlight. Yes, I bow down before these folks because 


they are more curming than I am. Come, Andree, I will forgive 
you in spite of all my advantages over you, in spite of your 
insults, in spite of your insolence toward a person older than 
yourself and whom your mother esteems and respects. I will 
grant you all the necessary time to file your nails, to grow more 
pliable, and become accustomed to livhig here. There is only 
one thing that I forbid you — and that is to return to work, to 
idiotic flirtation, mediocrity and common life. I want to make 
a real woman of you, and you will become the one I need, I'm 
sure of it. I shall leave your mother the task of casting you in 
a new mold, little one. And till that is done you are my pris- 
oner. Till by-and-by; you will see me very often, however 
unpleasant it may be to you. " 

With a dry cough full of pitiless raillery D'Albigny left the 
room, leaving Andree alone. She tried to open the door of the 
boudoir but she found that it was locked on the outside. She 
rang the bell but no one came. For several hours she remained 
there without being disturbed. But at night-fall a servant came 
to ask what she wished for her dinner. She thanked him and 
refused to eat. She was suspicious of everyone and everything. 
She had read in novels of young girls imprisoned in a similar 
manner and reduced to helplessness by the administration of 
a narcotic. She hoped however that some one would come to 
deliver her. Still her mind was most busy with thoughts of 
Lucien, who was perhaps grievously hurt. The manner in 
which the marquis had abused of his brute strength revolted 
her ; and she felt greater esteem and more sincere affection than 
ever for the poor fellow who in his courage had not thought of 
his own inferior power. 

She decided that she would refuse all nourishment, and allow 
herself to die of hunger if her liberty was not restored to her. 
She instinctively hoped to be delivered, either by M. Naviel or 
by Luc, or even by the commissary of police, whom Lucien or 
his mother would certainly complain to. Meanwhile, however, 
the night came on apace. The sky was very dark and the 
atmosphere very heavy. At last the servant returned and 
lighted the lamp. He left the door ajar for a moment, and 
Andree noticed unconcernedly that a little puff of smoke was 
wafted from the hall into the boudoir. When the servant retired, 
ho again secured the door on the outside, and Andree heard the 
key grating in the lock. She once more became absorbed in 
her reflections. She felt uncomfortable ; this house was strangely 
warm. What were her relatives doing? why was she left alone 
lilce this, at the mercy of Nana and her acolytes 1 

Wliilo she pondered thus, walking up and down with crossed 
arms, she perceived some smolvo rising through a slit in the 
flooring in one corner of the boudoir. This smoke ascended in 
a tiny column at first, and then wound round in spirals which 

nana's daughter. 145 

eventually reached the ceiling, forming a compact mass above 
the chandelier. It grow thicker and thicker, and suddenly the 
mirror set in a crystal frame enriched with amethysts, became 
clouded, and reflected but a hazy light. The heat was increas- 
ing, and Andree could scarcely breathe. "What was the cause 
of this ? She hastened to the window and opened it. A growing 
tumult was spreading through the house. People could be heard 
precipitately descending the grand staircase. And then there 
suddenly arose a loud cry of *' Fire ! Fire ! " 

Andiee recognized the voice of Virginie, the maid, who in her 
fright was screaming, " Help ! Help ! " out of the bath-room 

At the same time, columns of smoke escaped from the low 
windows in the basement and climbed up the facade. As Andree 
stood watching them she saw a man open the park gate and 
hasten away. Then she heard a fizzing of flames, a brazier-like 
crackling, a furious concentrated rumbling of confined internal 
fire rising from below ; and she recognized the voice of Nana, 
exclaiming, in the sandy com-t-yard : *' We must deluge the 
cellars I It will make a fine punch ! " 

However no one came to deliver the prisoner. It was hoped, 
no doubt, that the fire would be speedily extinguished. Three 
fire-engines were already on the spot. But the panes of all the 
basement windows burst out in turn, and blue jets of flame 
escaped through the apertures and ascended to the roof. In 
the boudoir meanwhile a dense yeUow smoke filtered through 
aU the joints in the flooring, through the rock-crystal mantel- 
piece and under the door, rising upward until it reached the 
smoke that had preceded it. Soon from the pendants of the 
chandelier to the ceiling there was but one dense cloud. 

Andree felt seriously alarmed. She was afraid that she would 
be forgotten in the disorder of such a panic ; she was stifling, 
and no wonder, for the heat had become well nigh unbearable. 
Suddenly a loud crash resounded in the direction of the staircase, 
and the large bay-window of stained glass, which hghted the 
monumental steps, was tinged with a ruddy glow. The glass 
was shivered in atoms. A huge sheaf of flame leaped out of the 
broad aperture and ascended in spirals to the dark sky which it 
illuminated lugubriously. At this moment the long-threatening 
storm burst f(jrth. A lightning flash darted through the celestial 
space and the solemn roar of thmider shook the window panes 
of the boudoir. The walls were becoming hot. The fire had 
invaded the staircase, and it was reaching the conservatory 
wliere all the glass began to crack and fall. A fieiy Aapor full 
of sparks entered by the window which Andree had left open. 
Then the sparks in turn flew on to tlic curtahis and riddled then; 
with black holes, fringed by incandescent circles whicU con- 
stantly expanded. 

146 nana's daughter. 

Andr6e leaned out of the window and called for help. But the 
noise of the engines, the fizzing of the water raining over the 
flames — now spreading throughout the main building — and 
the ndngled cries of alarm rising in the night effectually drowned 
her voice, which soon grew weaker and weaker. 


During the earlier part of the day Luc had been absent from 
the house, for Nana had entrusted him with various errands. 
He had returned soon after the altercation between Lucien 
Despretz and the Marquis D'Albigny, and one of his first duties 
had been to go and ask Nana what was to be done with the 
young man. When he learned the name of Andr6e's lover, by 
the card which Nana handed him, he was seized with a strange 
emotion. This card was identical with the one he had seen on 
the door facing the Naviels' rooms, on the evening when Pierre 
had saved his life. The name of Despretz made Luc remorse- 
ful. Long years before, he had lived with a young woman 
called Ad^le Despretz whom he had promised to marry. He 
had indeed remained seven years with her, and had then sud- 
denly abandoned her to hide himself in the country during three 
brief months with Nana, whom D'Albigny already patronized. 
Nana's amours were never of long duration, and when she found 
herself in an interesting state she became so uifuriated that she 
discarded Luc and returned to her wealthier protectors. From 
that moment fortune overwhelmed her with favors, just as it 
overwhelmed Luc with misfortune. Accused of theft, thrown 
into prison, discharged without a penny in his pocket, he had 
become in turn a moimtebank, a beggar, a thief, a detective and 
a lackey. 

He had never met Mademoiselle Despretz since he had aban- 
doned her for Nana, and he had lost all traces of her. He had 
merely learned some years afterward, that an acquaintance of 
his had met her one day in the Jardin des PI antes giving her 
hand to a little boy whom she called Lucien. Now Luc remem- 
bered very well that she had often said to him : "If ever we 
have a son he shall bo named Lucien. " 

Some time afterward, when he saw M. Lucien Dcspretz's 
card on the door facing the Naviels' apartment, he fled precipi- 
tately in the fear that he might be recognized by his old mistress 
— that is supposing this M. Lucien were the son of AdWe Des- 
pretz. Luc had returned one day to the Rue Crozatier to ask 
the house porter if there was a Mademoiselle AdcMe Despretz 
among the tenants. But the porter answered, " We only have 
a widow Despretz hero and she hves with her sou." 


Now, if the yonng follow who had fallen a Aictiin to D'Al- 
bigny's brutality lived with his mother, aud if the latter's name 
were Ad61e a very peculiar and grievous complication might 
arise. By a strange fatality Andr6e was but the adopted 
daughter of the Naviol's ; her real mother was Nana, and her 
real father, Luc. And Luc, according to all probaljility, was 
also the father of Lucien Despretz who asked for Androe's hand. 
If that were the case, the marriage became an impossibility. 
Although Luc was accustomed to suffering, a poignant emotion 
tortured his heart at this thought. It seemed to him as if some 
terrible fatality hovered over his life, over all he had ever 
known or loved. And Androe, little Andreo before whom he 
(lid not wish to blush, seemed caught in the tangled skein of 
his lamentable career. He had resolved to conceal from her the 
painful tie of relationship between them, but he could not suffer 
such a marriage as was contemplated. And at this thought ho 
was seized with an invincible longing to ascertain whether his 
presentiments were correct or not. 

With his mind in a state of utter confusion he darted to the 
spot where his fellow servant had removed the injured man. 
Lucien had just recovered from his fainting fit when Luc arrived 
saying to the other lackey, " I am going to take this young fel- 
low home. Will you go and fetch me a cab ? " 

The footman'gt'arted off and soon returned exclaiming : " The 
cab's outside, old fellow. " 

** All right ; thanks. Just help me to put him inside. " 

Between the pair of them they carried Lucien to the vehicle, 
and installed him as comfortably as possible on the back seat. 
Luc placed himself in front and gave the address in the Hue 
Crozatior. As they rolled along ho could not help thinking of 
all the evil which his mad passion for this woman. Nana, had 
caused him to commit, of the misfortunes which this same pas- 
sion had brought upon himself and upon others, of the eternal 
mourning which would shroud so much domestic happiness, of 
the moral ruin of the men to whom Nana had inoculated her 
own depravity, and of the material ruin she had effected by her 
extravagance and vice. His mind was tortured by the thought 
that it was impossible for these two young beings, so loving, so 
upright and heroic in the face of unjust fatality, to marry and 
be happy. And to complete the abomination, Andr6e's infam- 
ous mother wished to drag her into depravity, and the marquis 
would perhaps cause the death of Lucien Despretz. Fortu- 
nately Luc exaggerated the gravity of the injuries which the 
young man had sustained. He was better already. He had 
already recovered consciousness when the vehicle started, and 
on reaching the Rue Crozatier, Luc helped him into the house- 
porter's room and seated him in an arm-chair. 

148 nana's daughter. 

" On what floor does Madame Despretz live ? " asked Nana's 

" Third floor to the left," was the reply 

Luc bounded up the first flight, but on reaching the second 
one he paused at every step, asking himself how he should pre- 
pare the young fellow's mother for the bad news he brought 
her. At last he rang the bell, and heard some footsteps slowly 
approaching the door. For a moment his heart stopped boat- 
ing, but the door opened and Madame Despretz showed her 
gentle face, cro-mied betimes with white hair. 

" Are you Madame Ad^le Despretz ? " asked Luc, in a 
trembling voice. 

" Yes, I am called AdMe Despretz. What do you desire, 

" I have come — excuse me, madame, I am frightfiilly troubled 
— but your son. " 

" Has any misfortune happened to Lucien ? " 

" Oh 1 it isn't serious, madame." 

" My son is injured ! where is he, sir, where is ho ? " 

*' In the porter's room. " 

On hearing this, Madame Despretz did not tarry. She was 
anxious to succor the son she loved so well. This woman, 
whom grief had aged so rapidly and whose vital spring had 
seemed broken, suddenly recovered all her girlish agility. Luc 
hstened for a moment to the swift pit-a-pat of her sUppers as 
she vanished down the winding staircase, and then he followed 
her to assist the porter in bringing the injured man up to his 
room. Between them they carried him to his bed taking every 
precaution to avoid shaking him. 

" It is nothing, mother," said Lucien in a weak voice when he 
saw her at the bedside, looking at him with the tears streaming 
down her face. 

" Is that true ? Don't try to quiet me by deceiving mo. " 

" No, I assure you, it's nothing, mother. I don't suffer, " he 

The porter wont out to buy some vulnerary at the herbalists, 
and Luc remained standing near the bed, gazing sorrowfully at 
the mother and the son. But little daylight entered the room 
through the curtained window which overlooked the narrow 
depths of an inner courtyard. There was something claustral 
about the aspect of this bachelor's apartment. You might havo 
fancied yourself in a novice's cell. A white deal table served as 
a washstand. A rush-bottomed chair stood against the wall. 
On a walnut chest of drawers there were some books — school 
prizes with gilt edges — and behind the door some old clothes 
were hanging from a couple of pegs. As the ox-clowii stood 
gazing on the scene, the soleuui room, the grie\iug mother, the 
injured lad, a silent tear coursed slowly down his cheek. Lucien 

nana's daughter. 149 

noticed it and felt surprisod tliat one of his adversary's sorvauts 
should evince so much sympathy. 

"I am greatly touched by your sohcitudo, my friend," ho 
said. ** Who arc you, pray? " 

" You can see by my livery that I am in the service of the 
woman whoso lover " 

*' Ah ! I'm sure of it now ! He has fought with that man on 
accoimt of Andr6o ! " interrupted Madame Despretz. " Yes, 
that must be it! The Naviels did very wrong to let their 
daughter visit that woman. Nana. " 

'' Yes, mother, they did wrong," said Lucien, " and that was 
my opinion at the time. And now that infamous creature. 
Nana, pretends that Audroe was seduced by D'Albigny on the 
day she consented to lunch with them." 

" That is false, for I was there ! " cried Luc. 

" But what is true, unfortunately," rejoined Lucien, " is that 
Andree is not a ^irtuous woman's daughter. " 

" What do you mean, Lucien ? " asked Madame Despretz. 

" Andree is Nana's daughter. " 

" That is impossible. My God I He is delirious. " 

"No, madame," said Luc, " it is quite true. This marriage 
is quite impossible now. " 

" And yet Mademoiselle Andr6e may be a virtuous girl, even 
if she is the daughter of a worthless woman. A scoundrel's son 
may become an honest lad. My poor Lucien, who is honesty 
incarnate, had a scoundrel, a coward, for Ms father." 

The lackey's pale face became livid, and he stammered in a 
husky voice : " Why do you teach your son to curse his father? 
How do you know that the man you speak of hasn't led a miser- 
able life ? " 

" He has never suffered as much as I have ! Look at me. 
My hair is white, and yet I am barely five-and-forty ! Ah, I've 
learned to know men — to know how little they are worth." 

" So be it, curse and disown the scamp ! Crush his name and 
honor and everything under your feet. You are quite right in 
doing so, madame ! The fellow who broke your heart can only 
have been a scoundrel. But, ui the name of heaven, don't talk. 
Uke that before the flesh of his flesh ! " 

In his trouble, Luc, who was anxious to get away, mistook 
one door for another and found himself in an adjoioing room. 
Madame Despretz followed him there to show him out. But 
scarcely was he alone with her than he threw himself at her 
feet, and striking his forehead against the floor, he stammered 
in a whisper, " Yes, I am a scoundrel ! Forgive me ! Forgive 
me, Ad^le I Curse me, curse me ; I am Luc — recognize me 
only to tiun me out. But never, I beg of you, never in presence 
of that honest yoimg fellow, never speak evil of his father — let 
him remain ignorant of everything. If he questions yoU; tell 

I50 nana's daughter. 

him that you don't know what has become of his father ; that he 
is probably dead, yes, dead, do you hear f And death would be 
the best thing for a Judas like me. " 

Madame Despretz seemed transfigured. In one minute she 
had regained a youthful air, and her features, usually expressive 
of mingled sadness and hmnility, were now all aglow with indig- 
nation. " Ah I I recognize you now," she cried. " What! you 
are the man — you say you are — and you dare to come here I 
And you can no longer find the door to leave. Go — there 
it is ! " 

When Lucien Despretz found himself alone with his mother 
he told her what had happened. Nana asserted her rights over 
Andr^e, as if she could have any rights over a child she had 
abandoned. And more than that, the young girl was sequest- 
ered by Nana, and not allowed to leave the house. D'Albigny 
had cynically proclaimed his hopes, and it was evident enough 
that the poor girl's honor was seriously threatened. The 
Naviels must therefore be warned at once. Madame Despretz 
did not like to leave her son alone, in his present state of weak- 
ness, especially, but Lucien kept on begging her to go and con- 
sult Madame Naviel in view of eflecting Andrde's release. The 
young fellow and his mother were uncertain as to the law in 
such a case, for the Naviels were only the adoptive parents, 
while Nana could prove that she was the real mother of the girl 
whom she sought to detain in her power. 

" I am afraid that you have some great sorrow in store for 
you, my poor boy, " said Madame Despretz. " Perhaps this 
woman, with her artful language and her brilliant offers, will 
triumph over Andree's resistance. She is a pretty, amiable and 
good-natured girl, no doubt, but she is also rather coquettish 
and adventurous; and her imagination sets to work at the 
shghtest opportunity. You must be on your guard, my son. " 

" You will make me feel desperate, mother, if you talk like 
that, " interrupted Lucien. " Come, make haste and go and 
warn Andree's parents. If D'Albigny has to deal with Naviel, 
he will find some one to answer him. " 

At this moment the porter came up with. a cup of warm tisane. 
" There, Monsieur Despretz, drink that, " said the worthy 
fellow — an old soldier who now combined the duties of a post- 
man with those of a house-porter. " Drink that ; there's noth- 
ing better for a bad blow. If you have to go out, Madame 
Despretz, don't let this accident detain you. I'll stay up-staira 
with your son, and my wife will attend to the front do or mean- 

" I accept your offer gratefully. I shall take a cab so as to be 
back sooner," replied the widow. 

She hastily dressed, put on a black shawl and a plain bonnet, 
and went off, leaving Lucien in charge of the friendly porter. 

nana's daughter. 151 

Forty minutes later the cab she had taken drew up at the 
Naviels' door. 

Madame Despretz gave a loud ring, which was immediately 
answered by Margot. " Has Mademoiselle Audr6e come home ? " 
the old lady asked of the work-girl. 

" No, madame ; and indeed Madame Naviel is really anxious 
about her. But come iu, pray ; I will go and tell her that you 
are there." 

" Don't disturb her, I can talk to her very well in the work- 
room. " 

" Where is Andr6e ! " asked Madame Naviel as soon as she 
saw Lucien's mother. 

"At Nana's." 

" What 1 since this morning? " 

" Yes, my dear Madame Naviel, and my son, my poor Lucien, 
was almost murdered there by a man named D'Albigny " 

'* The Marquis d'Albigny ? " 

" He nearly killed him with a blow on the chest. As for 
Andr^e, Nana pretends you are not her mother. She says, in 
fact, that Andr6e is her child." 

" It is quite true, Andr6e is only my adopted daughter ; but I 
fancy that I have been more of a mother to her than that woman, 
who, although she may roll in gold, nevertheless sent her baby 
to the Foundling Hospital, by a servant. We had no children, 
Naviel and I, and no hopes of having any, for I had met with a 
sad accident. We were dreadfully lonely, as you can imagine, 
the more so as we were both very fond of children. Well, at 
last we thought of adopting one, and Naviel went to the Found- 
ling Hospital and chose a girl. I should have preferred a boy, 
but he was the master, and ho did as he liked. When they 
showed him the baby they told him that she was that woman's 
daughter, but he took her all the same. She was such a pretty 
little thing, and from that time tiU now we have never had cause 
to complain of her. So we want to keep her with us until she 
is married. That's the least return due us after all the care we 
have taken of her, and besides, my husband was told that the 
real mother no longer had any right over her. " 

At this moment the door opened, and Pierre Naviel came in. 
" Do you know what has happened? " he asked of his wife. 

" Nothing pleasant, surely." 

" Oh 1 it won't affect us much, but it will give some work to 
the carpenters, plumber and glaziers." 

" What's the matter, then, what are you talking of? " 

" Why I have just seen three fire-engines dashing up toward 
the Pare Monceau." 

As Naviel spoke a ruddy glare streamed through the window 
of the work-room, and all the girls rose up to go and look at the 
fire. Beyond the trees of the Pare MonceaU; against the dense 

152 nana's daughter. 

blackness of the stormy sky, a column of lurid smoke was rising, 
with thousands of sparks whirling round and roimd in its midst. 
At the same time a formidable storm burst over the city, and 
the thunder began to growl. 

" Doesn't it just burn," remarked Margot. 

** There's no mistake about that," rephed the others. 

Madame Naviel had drawn her husband aside and was speak- 
ing to hhn in an undertone. Suddenly he broke out into a 
volley of oaths: " Why, curse it all ! " he cried, ** the fire's at 
that very woman's house. A fireman told me so. And you say 
that our girl is still there ? Ah I curse it ! curse it ! " 

"Would you believe, Monsieur Naviel," exclaimed Madame 
Despretz, " that Nana's marquis almost killed my son because 
he wanted to bring Andree away? " 

" Ah! I see through their httle game ! Curse them both, the 
harlot and her bully ! " fiercely cried Pierre, as he rushed out of 
the house. " They shall pay for it with their skuis. The pair 
of reprobates ! I'll do for them. I'll tear ofi" their flesh till I see 
the color of their bones ! " 

He went on through the side streets at a fast pace. The 
rumbhng-like noise of a furnace filled the air, which smeUed more 
and more strongly of fire. You could hear a crashing as of fall- 
ing glass, and a crackling as of flaming woodwork. The storm 
was now growing more distant, and the lightning flashed at 
longer intervals. Suddenly the rain ceased falling, and then 
amid the noise of the conflagration one could hear the shouts of 
the firemen, the cries of alarm, and the bugle calls of a trump- 
eter, who, standing on a garden wall, transmitted the orders of 
his oflBcers. M. Naviel had just passed through the gate con- 
ducting into Nana's grounds, when a commissary of police asked 
him where he was going. "I am looking for my daughter," 
rephed Naviel. " She took some work here to-day, and hasn't 
returned home since." 

" It seems that several persons have been seen entering the 
house — and nobody knows whether they have left or not. It is 
feared some of them may have been burned to death. A minute 
ago a footman climbed in by the ladder, which you can see 
below that window " 

" Very good, sir ; I shall do the same. " 


Whei^ Nana left the marquis and Andr6e together, she 
returned into her room to dress, for she was expecting a visit 
from the rajah. Ho arrived a few minutes after the Prince of 
Mulhausen, and seemed very tired. He bowed coldly to the 

nana's daughter. 1 


German, and then sank at once into an arm-cnair. Nana went 
to him, sat herself on his knees, and kissed him repeatedly, 
desi)ite the presence of Mulhausen, who hardly liked it, I'ur it 
clashed with his own pretensions as a woman-kUler. In his 
vexation ho began walking heavily up and down, from the bed 
to the window, making the floor creak under his weigh. Nana 
looked up at once, and said to him, " Will you go and find the 
marquis f Take him to dine somewhere, and toll him " 

** That you no longer belong to us? That's what you mean, 
my dear, isn't it? " 

" Quite so, that is It, yes, that is it," rejoined Nana, with a 
nervous little laugh ; and she held out her hand to the prince, 
who stooped to kiss her on the arm, and then lighted a cigar at 
the chandelier. 

" You see I turn them off," said Nana to the Hindu, as soon 
as they were alone together, 

" Yes, " he rephed, with a sigh, and, handing her a Russian- 
leather portfolio, he added: " take this, and thanks." 

She neghgently threw the portfolio into the drawer of a 
chefibnier, and rejoined, " You are really a dear little man, and 
I'm very pleased with you. My house belongs to you, my serv- 
ants are at your orders, and I myself am yours." 

" Mine alone? " asked the rajah. 

" Naturally, " said Nana ; and then inhaling the atmosphere 
with her sensual mobile nostrils, she added, " dear me, how 
strange it smeUsl Don't you think so? " 

" No — I only smell the perfume of your hair." 

" It's funny, I thought I smelled some smoke. How soon it has 
grown dark ! We are going to have a storm. How pleasant to 
remain here with my handsome prince, my handsome rajah." 

She was interrupted by a hghtning flash which darted 
diagonally ecross the window, and at the same moment the 
Prince of Mulhausen re-entered the room. " The house is on 
fire ! " he exclaimed, in a voice husky with emotion. 

"What of that?" rejomed Nana, harshly. "It's no reason 
•why you should take my room for an omnibus. Where's 
D'Albigny? " 

" In his room." 

" He doesn't lose his head at all events. Come, gentlemen, let 
us see what is the matter. " 

She rang the bell, but no servant came. Then rising to her 
feet she went through the ante-room toward the grand staircase. 
But scarcely had she opened the door than a cloud of yellow 
smoke swept in and almost suffocated her. "Dear me," she 
Baid, " we might stifle here ! " 

" Where is the servants' staircase? " asked Mulhausen, with a 
terrified air. 

Nana's Daughter 10. 

154 nana's daughter. 

" It isn't a question of the stairs. Go and fetch D'Alhigny. I 
want him." 

Mulhausen did not, or -vTonld not, understand her, but 
remained rooted on the spot. So Nana decided to act herself, 
and hastened, alone, into the marquis' private rooms. He was 
no longer there, and the apartments were so full of smoke that 
she retraced her steps, and joined the prince and the rajah in 
the ante-room. "Lotus go down," she said. " D'Alhigny is 
probably below. " And she again opened the door communi- 
cating with the landing of the grand staircase. The light of the 
chandelier could not be detected, so thick was the smoke, above 
which the tall exotic plants barely reared their topmost leaves. 
Suddenly a crash below was heard, and between the double 
llight of pink marble steps a winding column of blue flames 
leaped with a bound to the topmost ceiling, the frescoes of which 
peeled off and fell below in fragments. Nana precipitately 
returned into the ante-room, and closed the door behind her. 

" I think that we are done for," gasped the German, much as 
he had done on the day of the review. " You wiU certainly be 
the cause of my death. Nana. " 

She laughed nervously, and replied ; " Or else you will be the 
cause of mine. Which could be the greater misfortune do 
you think f I fancy, my poor Mulhausen, that it would be 
easier to find another prince like you than another woman hke 

" I don't think there is anything to laugh about," retorted 
Mulhausen, whose vanity was wounded. 

"Come," said Nana, "follow me." And she guided them 
along a narrow passage which led to the servants' staircase, and 
the domestic offices. As they went onward in Indian file, the 
smoke grew thicker and thicker, and the walls became extremely 
hot. Reaching the staircase at last they swiftly descended it 
and left the house. 

The conflagration was now gaining the first floor from the 
conservatory. Four lofty windows were suddenly illuminated 
with a ruddy glow, the window panes blew into fragments, and 
leaping tongues of flame darted out with an angry roar. 

" Dash it all? " said Nana suddenly to the rajah, " why you 
have forgotten your securities in my room. " 

The rajah raised his arms to the sky, which the conflagration 
had illuminated with a blood-like reflection. " It was written," 
he sighed, " it was written that I should be ruined in your 
house. " 

" But my room is not yet on fire. Go and fetch the bonds, 
rajah. Go and fetch the bonds," she ordered, harshly. 

The Hindu gave her a glance full of bitter resignation. " Is 
that your love, daughter of Paris '! " he murmured ; and then he 
bounded up the servants' staircase, and disappeared amid the 

nana's daughter. I5y 

smoke. The darkness was so complete that 1\ , Bj^j>e61\j lost his 
way, and groped about for some time in utter ' ignorance of his 
hearings. Tlis breath had just begun to fail him, when ho found 
himself in front of a door, under which a faint ray of light was 
filtering. He could hear the roar of the flames in the adjacent 
gallery, and the whole mansion seemed to quiver in the embrace 
of the conflagration. Bravo as he was he decided that it was 
better to retire, and tried to open the door in front of him. But 
he found that it was locked. 

" Help ! " cried a woman's voice on the other side, " I am shut 
in here. Whoever you may be, save me ! " 

The rajah started. The sound of this voice suddenly troubled 
him. But recovering his self-possession, he threw himself with 
all his strength against the door, and drove it inward with his 
shoulder. Andr(5e Naviel stood before him in the dim lamp- 
light. She seemed taller amid the clouds that surrounded her; 
the splendor of her youthful beauty was softened by the opaque 
atmosphere, and looked like some radiant apparition of the Holy 
Virgin. For a moment the Hindu stood still, absolutely fascin- 
ated; then stepping forward, " I thank my destiny," he said, in 
a grave voice, " for having led me here so that I might save 
you. " 

" Can we leave the house, sir ? " 

" With you, death would not appal me. " 

" Who are you, sir? " 

" I was the friend of Nana." 

" The rajah ? " 

"Yes; I had placed my whole soul and my whole fortune in 
this house. If I can snatch you from the peril, my soul wfll be 
saved with you. " 

" But you must save what belongs to you, if there is still time, 

" I left all my bonds and securities in Nana's room scarcely an 
hour ago. " 

" You must save them, then. Let us go there. " 

They speedily reached Nana's apartment, but scarcely had 
they entered it than a formidable detonation was heard in the 
basement, and the lights of the chandeher were suddenly 
extinguished. The gas meter had just exploded. Despite the 
obscurity, however, the Hindu succeeded in reaching the chef- 
fonier, in which Nana had deposited the securities. He felt for 
his portfolio, found it, and then at once drew Andr6e into the 
ante-chamber, so as to reach the passage conducting to the 
servants' staircase. The heat was increasing, and the walls 
were now extremely hot. There was a smell of scorched wool 
about the old Aubusson tapestry. The folding doors communi- 
cating with the grand staircase were bending and cracking 
under the onslaught of the flames which leaped up between the 

156 nana's daughter. 

marble steps. Suddenly the doors parted in the middle, and fell 
in burning fragments, which at once set fire to the hangings in 
the ante- chamber. Dartmg along the walls, the llames soon 
reached the threshold of Nana's bedroom ; and at the same 
moment the chandeher of the grand staircase was precipitated 
onto the mosaic pavement of the vestibule, and shivered to 
atoms with a terrific crash. 


WHE5f D'Albigny left Andr6e he was not aware that Nana 
meant to stay at home with the rajah; he fancied she would 
go to the circus as was usual every Saturday evening, so he 
arrayed himself in a dress-coat and a white cravat. He had 
very serious thoughts of marrying Andr6e Naviel, even if he had 
to cast Nana overboard. Andr6e was Nana in her youth again, 
and despite her acquired virtue he divined in her natm-e a fatal 
germ transmitted by her mother. Now he wished to turn this 
germ of evil to his personal advantage, and he was deceiving 
Nana when he told her that he meant her to share the profits of 
his scheme. In reaUty he intended to avail himself of her mater- 
nal rights to separate Andree from the Naviels. But as soon as 
marriage had invested him with paramount authority over the 
young girl, he meant to carry out a plan, an infamous plan, in 
the fruits of which Nana herself would have no share. 

Under present circumstances, however, it was necessary that 
he should remain on good terms with her; for she understood a 
luxurious life so well, she was so expert in " business " matters, 
she had such a haughty contempt for honest prejudices, and 
she braved everything so boldly. The skillful way in which she 
led men by their passions, artfully flattering their petty pride, 
made her a fitting accomphce for such a man as D'Albigny. She 
was set in such a splendid frame, moreover, hving in regal luxury, 
in a perfect palace, which, in carrying out an intrigue, was 
especially fitted to smooth difficulties and awaken admiration. 
The house, the furniture and the works of art were all in her 
name, and although D'Albigny was apparently at home, he was 
in reality her dependent. The semblance of opulence which the 
marquis derived by this life in common with the courtesan, 
greatly facihtated his stock exchange speculations, for it trebled 
his credit. The man who was supposed to '* keep " Nana 
inspired fools with unlimited confidence. 

An d yet, he none the less. thought of replacmg her. Old age 
was approaching, and when she had no more lovers to eat up 
she would make but a mouthful of the house where D'Albigny 
had established his headquarters. So he must look ahead, find 


another Nana, marry her if needs be, attract her by the pros- 
pect of a title and a life of luxury. He cared very little about 
what means ho employed so long as he attained his end. He 
was by no means displeased with the idea of marriage such as 
he understood it; and indeed ho would have resorted to any 
sacrament that he cor Id have twisted to his use. Later on, 
when Andree was launched into the sphere of %'ice, he meant to 
li(iuidate Nana's belongings, and send her to live in the country. 
But, until she had used up the rajah and finished Mulhausen, 
she was worth what they estimated her, that is to say a great 
deal more than her intrinsic value. This was the reason why 
D'Albigny still remained Nana's official protector. 

He was interrupted in the midst of his reflections by the cries 
of alarm, and the noise of flight which filled the house. His first 
impulse was to place all his jewelry and precious papers about 
his person, and then through the smoke which was already filling 
the grand staircase, he descended into the park. " Where is 
your mistress? " he asked of one of the servants. 

" In her room," was the reply. 


" I am unable to say, sir, whether she received any one or 

" I can inform you. Monsieur le Marquis," said Luc, who now 
drew near. *' Madame is with his excellency, the rajah." 

** Ah! very good." 

D'Albigny wished to penetrate into the cellars where the fire 
had first broken out, but he was obhged to beat a retreat, so 
fast was the conflagration spreading. A short time afterward 
Nana came down by the servants' staircase with the rajah and 
Mulhausen. The Hindu went into the house again to fetch his 
securities, and a few minutes afterward the marquis handed Luc 
a key. " There will be a hundred napoleons for you," said he, 
" if you save Mademoiselle Andree Naviell " 

" What, is she still in the house? " cried Luc. 

" Yes, in the boudoir. You can open the door with this 

At this moment the flames began to stream out of the gallery 
windows with furious impetuosity ; and soon afterward a crash 
was heard, the ceiling of the grand drawing-room had fallen in. 
As the flames reached the attics, the sheets of zinc on the roof 
began to melt and poured, incandescent, down the walls. The 
framework in its turn caught fire from one end to the other with 
frightful rapidity. Immense red sheets of flame rose up into the 
dark sky, where the storm growled at intervals, and where the 
clouds themselves seemed to be on fire. Having fixed a ladder 
against the window of Naua's room, Luc sprang up the rungs 
and disappeared amid the smoke. 

"Whjr did the ra^ah go back into the house!" asked th§ 

158 nana's daughter. 

marquis of Nana, who was just ordering the head coachman to 
have the horses removed from the stables. 

** I sent him to looli for his securities which we forgot in my 
room, in the first surprise. " 

*' The deuce! Do you want him to roast, then? " grumbled 
the marquis. " He is quite capable of not finding your room ; 
he may lose himself and perish miserably. I am going to his 

" You are mad, D'Albigny. I am at a loss to understand 
yon. " 

'' I dare say so, my dear. " And he added between his teeth : 
" If it were only a question of saving the rajah ! " 

D'Albigny now tried to enter the house in his turn, but the 
heat in the narrow passage beyond the servants' door scorched 
his face so badly that he retreated, and coming out into the 
court-yard, approached a fire-engine, dipped his handkerchief 
in the cold water, and placed it over his face like a mask. Then 
once more he darted into the furnace, through the smoke and 
flying sparks which swept along the narrow passage leading to 
the ante-room where the hot plaster of the ceiling fell onto the 
burning floor. At last, however, he reached Nana's room. 
Whilst speaking to the courtesan a bright idea had occurred to 
him. The rajah might have lost his way in the house and have 
perished in his endeavors to find the way out. In that case, it 
was advisable that he, D'Albigny, should save the Hindu's 
securities for himself ! He was darting toward the chefibnier 
with this object in view, when suddenly through the lurid smoke 
rising from the basement a man leaped into the room by the open 

** Who are you ? " asked the marquis. 

" My name is Naviel. " 

" What do you want ? " 

" My daughter." 

" You have no daughter left, my finejfellow ; I intend to'marry 

" Ah I 60 you are D'Albigny ? Where is she ? " 

" That only concerns her mother and myself." 

" All right, marquis. I have heard a number of vile stories 
about you, but I didn't know that you robbed women of their 
honor. But, stop a bit, there are some fathers who don't 
tolerate that, but who break the jaws of scamps like you." 

" In the first place, my friend, you are not her father. " 

" Yes, I am ; at least in the eyes of the law, and by right of 
her affection and respect. " 

" In spite of the mother who bore her ? " 

" Yes, sir, in spite of the heartless creatiu-e who abandoned 
her when she ought to have brought her up, and who only 


claims her now so that she may seU her. Come, sir, make haste, 
tell me where Aiidr6e is." 

"I don't know." 

It You lie ' " 

" Do you know how I treat people who insult me? Just ask 
that young fellow who came here this mommg for Nanas 

'^'''"fou'aro a coward to have struck a lad who hadn't the 
strength to fight with you. But I work at machinery, and if I 
lay my hands on you 111 make you speak, sure enough. 
"Very well, then, come outside." 

" You shan't go out until I know where my daughter is." 
"Then we shall bo burned to death." . ., i „f „ 

" Oh ! I'm not afraid of fire, I spend my days at the door ot a 
furnace. So much the worse for you, if you bum. 
" Well, stay if you choose, but I am going. _ 

" For the last time, teU me where my daughter is. 
" I shall tell you nothing of the kind. " a \^^ 

" Scoundrel ! " cried Naviel, who was now fully enraged. And 
seizing D'Albigny by the throat with one hand, he threw him on 
toNala's bedfv^hile with the other he tore down the curtain 
cordons to garrot him with. D'Albigny tried to free hmiself, 
but Naviel's hold was firm. , „ 

'< Rplpase me " easned the marquis, " and I'll tell you. 
T?e mechanic ?et^im free. But with sudden tiger-like 
treachery the marquis at once sprang upon his adversary and 
caucht him round the body. The attack was so swift that 
Sel was hfted off the floor and stretched on his back before 
he could defend himself. At this moment Nana-s bed caught 
fire and the flames swept up the white-silk hangings, 
embroWered with black sphmxes, enveloping them m the same 
bUze from the carpet to the ceihng. Then suddenly the 
sUver-framed Venetian mirror was shattered into fragments 
^hich feU upon the statue of Time. The clock unmediately 

'^Na^d had been able to throw his arms romid the marquis' 
neck and draw him down with him. Now, too, he twined his 
fees [ground D'Albigny's, and paralyzed his movements. For 
soSisecSslheyrlmaiiied thus clutching hold of each other, 
pXg X wild beasts, coiled together like serpents under the 
snSkf which rained from the ceiling and the canopy of ruddy 
smoke Suddenly D'Albigny shrieked aloud : " Release me - 1 

^°'The?'£d rolled over together. Maddened with the rage of a 
hPtraved hon Naviel, undermost at first, was uppermost now. 
Thrmarqms was stretched on his stomach on the burmng floor 
and theTchlnic's knee was pressed upon his loms. Hol^g 
h^thu% breathless, Naviel brought bi« wnsts back and fa^t- 

i6o nana's daughter. 

ened his arms together at the elbows with the silken cord, 
which he had previously torn from the bed- curtains, 

" Murderer ! " gasped D'Albigny, whose convulsed face was 
horribly scorched by the burning floor. 

" Where is Andr6e ? " asked Naviel again. 

" Pick me up and follow me." 

Naviel helped him on to his legs and they then tried to reach 
Nana's boudoir. But it was already too late. The furious 
conflagration had invaded every passage. The floors gave way, 
the mosaic pavements were engulfed, and hungry flames 
streamed upward in one vast eruption. At this moment a kind 
of phantom, with a blackened face and singed hair darted 
toward D'Albigny. It was Luc. " Here is the key of the 
boudoir, sir," he said. " She is no longer there. I found the 
door burst open. She has no doubt been saved. Let us think 
of ourselves. Time presses. " 

" If the little one has suffered by your fault, you miserable 
marquis," roared Naviel, in a threatening voice, *' I shall call 
you to account ! Remember it, and now decamp ! " And 
pulling out his pocket-knife, he cut the cords which bound 
D'Albigny's arms. 

" The deuce ! The floor is giving way. To the ladder, 
gentlemen, to the ladder! " cried Luc. And he darted, the first, 
through the flames which were filling Nana's room. Naviel 
followed him, the marquis coming last. 

They all three climbed on to the balustrade of the window, 
but the ladder with which Luc and Naviel had reached the room 
was no longer there 1 Their situation was terrible, and it was 
in vain that they called for help ; for a veil of red flame and 
vapor concealed them from the firemen below. Suddenly the 
flooring of Nana's room gave way on one side, forming an incan- 
descent crater. All the furniture glided down the incline, and, 
eventually, the flaming bed itself toppled over into the fiery 
furnace. The huge silver eagle disappeared the last. Then the 
flames rushed out of the windows, rising like fiery tongues to a 
tremendous height. Luc, Naviel and the marquis had aban- 
doned the window, and stood upon the cornice, but the wall 
was growing so hot that they could no longer lean against it. 

" Well, so much the worse," said the marquis, suddenly, " I 
shall jump it. " And Luc and Naviel saw him take a spring and 
disappear amid the smoke. 

" I see a ladder at the window of the fencing-hall," said Luc 
to Naviel, pointing at the wing perpendicular to the main build- 
ing. " Do you think you can walk as far as that ? " 

" Let us try at all events ; if I can't keep up, I shall jump it." 

Accordingly, with their faces to the wall, they slowly advanced 
along the coriilce. On the way they found three windows from 
which the flames were beginning to dart. They profited by a 

nana's daughter. l6i 

momentary lull to pass these dangerous points, and ■^yith their 
hair singed, their clothes in shreds and bad burns about their 
booties, they finally succeeded in reaching the ladder which Luc 
had noticed from a distance. As they reached the ground 
they shook hands and parted with cordial expressions of good 

Luc at once went to help the firemen. The marquis was in 
the front rank, and as soon as he saw the valet he asked: 
" What has become of that scoundrel who was with us? " 

" Ho got down with me. Monsieur le Marquis." 

" It was very lucky you were up-stairs, my good fellow, for 
without you I should have been murdered by the ruffian. I had 
just surprised him trying to steal some securities, and so he 
wanted to suppress me." 

Nana, who was near at hand, approached D'Albigny and 
exclaimed with an evil smile : " Luc can bear witness to the 
scoundrel's violence, as he arrived just in time to save you, my 
dear fellow. " 

" Yes, madame," said Luc, " I'll bear witness when the time 
comes. You may depend upon it. But wouldn't it have been 
better to have the man arrested at once? " 

"Yes, certainly," replied Nana, "why did you let him 
escape ? " 

The marquis took her by the arm and drew her on one side. 
"You will understand, my dear," he said, with a sardonic 
smile, " that if I had the fellow arrested the police would have 
begun by searching him. " 


" Well, nothing would have been found on his person, and his 
innocence would have been established. Now, I am anxious to 
avoid that. This would be a very secondary matter for me and 
I shouldn't attach any importance to it if this individual were not 
a serious obstacle to our plans concerning Andr6e. If she has 
been saved, and the rajah's millions have evaporated with or 
without him, we shall never see the rajah or his millions or your 
daughter again. " 

" Oh ! I don't admit that my influence over the rajah is ended. 
Whoever has loved Nana will love her always." 

" By the way, what have you done with Mulhausen? " 

" He has vanished like the others. One might imagine that 
people fancy Nana to be ruined. " 

" Hum ! it falls little short of it. We shall obtain barely fifty 
thousand francs a year from what remains to you. And that 
means misery for you. But as for Mulhausen, he will come back 
again. " 

" Do you know what has been done with the horses and 

" They are all over there — In the park. There wa/s treanenci- 


0U8 difficulty in getting the horses out of the stables, and they 
can scarcely be controlled even now. The fire terrifies them. " 

" I was at least in hopes that the firemen would save the wing 
of the house, but see the flames have reached the fencing-haU 
— I can't look at that window without remembering that on the 
night of the ball I witnessed your duel with Stog from the 
balcony over there. I could see both of your shadows on that 
curtain. Ah! it's flaming now. It was most fantastical, my 
dear fellow j I saw your sword lunge out, and Stog, poor Stpg, 
fall back! I'm afraid that his death has brought me mis- 
fortune. " 

" Oh ! oh ! Don't you know that superstition is only allowable 
among old women. Nana ? " 

" But don't you see that Oh ! how frightful I Everything 

is flaming. Ah ! we shall only save our skins, my dear fellow. 
It's a gTcat deal, of course, but it isn't enough. The final 
struggle wUl begin. But with you, D'Albigny, I shan't fear 
anything. " 

Above the burning mansion the terrible glare was growing 
larger and larger. The conflagration seemed to expand like a 
fan waved by an invisible hand. The firemen were quite dis- 
heartened by the failure of their endeavors, and most of them 
looked on with their arms crossed, while a few watered the 
roofs of some neighboring houses to prevent them from catching 
fixe. All the stories of Nana's mansion were burning now, and 
the flames shot out of every window, rising upward in red 
tongues which the wind dispersed among the clouds. One 
corner of the roof, which had so far remained intact, at last fell 
in between the blackened walls of the mansion, every aperture 
of which seemed the entry of a furnace. Then under the pres- 
sure of the hot smoke rising in raging spirals, a chimney-stack 
began to totter, and a cry resounded: " Look out! Take care! 
Every one back ! " 

The lofty chimney tottered once more and then fell. There 
was a loud crash, amid which one heard a cry of pain from some 
unfortunate fellow who had been struck by a fragment of red- 
^ot brick. 

" Well, my dear fellow," said Nana to the marquis, " there is 
nothing more to keep us here. There is only some land for sale. 
Let U8 take a cab and go to some hotel. " 


M. Lttciett Despretz had no knowledge of the conflagration 
vhich destroyed Nana's house, shattering her ill-gotten fortune 
like providential pimishment. When Madame Despretz retiu-ned 
from the Navlels she succeeded in hiding her alarm concerning 

nana's daughter. 163 

Andrt^G, who had not yet returned. But she spoke to him of 
love with sceptical bitterness and harsh disdain, "Lucien," 
she said, " if you have any affection for me, and if you don't 
want me to die of grief, you will stay and live with me. Your 
mother loves you with all her heart, yes, with all her heart, my 
dear child. You are my only consolation in this world where 
ever5i:hing but you means mourning, remorse and disgust for 
me I I have often told you of it before, and I did not blush to 
do so. I have had many a dark day, many an hour of grief, 
my path has been crossed by betrayal and moistened with tears. 
I loved a scoundrel ! " 

" You told me so, mother ; but forget him, forget him pray " 

" But I did not tell you everything, Lucien ; and as you have 
decided to marry, you must ultimately learn what I have not 
been brave enough to toll you, This scoundrel, your father, 
was not my husband. " 

" Do you think then that I blush for being a natural child, do 
you think that I respect you less ? I rather love you the more, 
knowing what you have suffered on my account. " 

" But remember it may affect your engagement with Andr6e-, 
she believes that I am a widow, and when she learns " 

" If Andrde were capable of breaking off our marriage for such 
a motive, I should cease to esteem her, for only cowardly hearts 
and petty minds could reproach a man for his mother's misfor- 
time and his father's misconduct. Yes, if Andree parted from 
me for such a reason, far from regretting her, I should feel glad 
to be enlightened in time as to the value of her promises. But 
fortunately that will not happen. Andree is a generous girl, 
and when I teU her " 

** Promise me not to say anything until the necessary formali- 
ties oblige you to do so. I hoped that this secret would always 
be buried between ourselves ! On your wedding day, Lucien, 
your mother will have more cause to blush than your bride — and 
that's why I often long to see you remain as you are, so that 
your filial affection may not be lessened by your passion as a 
husband. " 

" Well, since you wish it, mother, I will not speak to Madam- 
oiselle Andree on the subject — stiU, silence will make me 
suffer — for it seems to me that silence is at times equivalent to 
an imtruth. " 

" It was perhaps wrong of me to talk to you hke that, my 
poor, dear Lucien ! This emotion must tire you very much, and 
I will go away and let you sleep. If you feel worse, if you wake 
up even, call me and I will come. I will talk to you to prevent 
you from thinking too much and feeling sad. " 

" Gro and rest, mother. You have been terribly worried 
to-day with all that has happened — I will try and sleep as 
well— and don't be anxious, I'm all right, I assure you." 

1 64 nana's daughter. 

Madame Despretz arranged his pillows and gave him a long, 
loving kiss on the forehead. Then she went into her own room, 
leaving the door open so that she might hear him if he called 
her during the night. Shortly after eleven o'clock he had a 
shght attack of fever, but the crisis was of short duration, and 
he fell asleep again until eight o'clock in the morning. 

The dawn had risen brightly, and a beautiful summer's sun 
darted into the court-yard which Lucien's bedroom overlooked. 
Three sparrows were chirruping on the window-sill, when there 
came a loud ring at the bell and the young fellow woke up. 
Madame Despretz, who had gone to open the door, found that 
the visitor was Andree Naviel, who threw her arms round her 
neck and kissed her, saying: " It's I. How is Lucien? " 

" He has slept well, and in a couple of days he will be up and 
about again. " 

" Can one speak to him then? " 

" Yes, certainly. The bell must have woke him up." 

" Then I'm going to see him. " 

" Yes, do so, and meantime I'll light my fire. " 

Andr6e entered the young man's room and approached the 
bedside. "Without referring to their quarrel of the day before 
she asked: " Has your mother told you that I have narrowly 
escaped being killed ? " 

" You ? Good heavens ! what has happened ? " 

" Why, after that scoimdrel struck you they kept me at Nana's 
house. " 

" Really ! Then how have you managed to get away ? How 
were you dehvered ? " 

"By fire." 

" Fire in Nana's house ? " 

" Yes, everything is destroyed, and that woman is probably 
mined, for I heard that nothing was assured." 

'* And you were shut up in the house ? " 

" Quite so. I think they forgot me in the first moment of sur- 
prise. But I was saved by one of Nana's lovers — the rajah. 
We were almost swallowed up in the furnace, he and I. He 
took me in his arms and carried me at hap-hazard through the 
darkness, for the gas had gone out. At last we reached the 
fencing hall in a wing of the building which the fire hadn't 
caught. The rajah opened the window — it was on the first 
floor — and jumped out on to the ground. Soon afterward I 
saw him return with a ladder and so I was able to escape. 
Unfortunately, Lucien, I fear that all these gloomy adventures 
are the beginning of a series of misfortunes which I don't want 
you to share. I see plainly enough that the son of an honest 
woman can't marry Nana's daughter. And so I have come to 
give you back your liberty " 

" And it wag to toll me that, that you cam^ here Andr^f " 

nana's daughter. 165 

" No doubt. I thought it would be more loyal on my part not 
to allow yuu to foster hopes uliieh can't be realized. I thought 
of all this last night. It is better that I should remain unmar- 
ried. No matter what husband, however humble and ill-favored 
he might be, would always have the right to reproach me with 
my origin." 

" That's false, altogether false. What you say isn't worthy 
of you. Men arc not so cowardly as you think. Sons and 
daughters are not taunted with their mother's faidts nowa- 
days; and if any one were sufficiently petty-minded or 
ill-advised to do so, no honest man would shako hands with 
him. " 

"You fancy that the world is better than it really is, Lucien." 

" Besides, what does it matter to me ? I am master of my 
heart. I love where, when, and whomsoever it pleases me." 

" Believe me, Lucien, I have reflected and suftered a great 
deal. Some day or another jDrejudice would prove stronger 
than our happiness, and you would regret having been brave 
enough to marry a bad woman's daughter. Later on, you will 
imderstaud me better; you will thank me and we shall be 

" Very well, Andrde, very well, you no longer wish to marry ; 
so we will not marry ; it's decided. The reason you give for the 
change in your ideas is of exaggerated dehcacy, but I will take 
it as the real one and respect it." 

" Those words imply a doubt which you scarcely take the 
trouble to disguise." 

" Well, yes, I doubt ; yes, I suffer ; yes, I do not believe, I 
cannot believe, that such a motive would suffice for you to anni- 
hilate our hopes. Don't you realize that you are condemning 
me to death ? " 

" Ah ! you make me very unhappy by insisting like that, since 
I tell you that I am im worthy of you ! " 

'' That cannot be. Besides I consider that I am the only good 
judge on that point. If you broke off our engagement I should 
not think you were unworthy of me, I should think that you 
loved the rajah or the marquis — and then I don't know what I 
should do ; I should become a madman, a murderer, everything. 
What should I care for life and honor without you ?" 

" Really ? You could really imagine that I broke off our 
engagement because I didn't love you. Ungrateful fellow ! I 
wish I had the courage to let you think so. You would forget 
me and become happy — and I, I could die without causing you 
any grief. 

" You love me still ! That is the only point I understand of 
ever}'thing I have heard. You haven't any longer the right to 
come and say to me, ' I have reflected.' I don't reflect, I wait 
for you, long for you ardently, for all my heart goes toward you, 

i66 nana's daughter. 

my darling Andr6e, my dream of bliss. Ah ! I shaU stop up my 
eyes and ears ; I shall refuse to look at obstacles, or listen to 
reasons. You are Nana's daughter, you say? Well, what of 
that ? Ton might be Nana herself, and yet I should marry you 
all the same, to rescue you and to pm ify you, to wipe away from 
your lips every stain of venal kisses, until you became an angel 
after being a demon, you dear little darling of my heart I And 
if you had need of it, my respect and love for you would 
raise you up so high, that even if you had been cast into the 
mud, you would stand upon so lofty a pedestal that only the 
birds of heaven would be able to caress you.' Andr^e, Andree, 
in spite of yourself, in spite of everything, you must be my 
wife. " 

" You will repent of not listening to my advice, Lucien. I 
was quite right in refusing to marry. You will repent of it I tell 
you. I am weak and I yield to your entreaties. We will marry 
since you are bent on it. But I shall never forgive you if ever 
you address me a reproach. " 

" Ah, Andr6e, you give way at last ! What reproaches could I 
ever address to you ? Do you take me for a coward, darling K I 
am going to get up now, for I'm cured and I feel almost 
strong " 

" Then I will leave you to dress, Lucien ; besides I must go 
home. " 

" Without having kissed me ? " 

She approached her lover, who was holding out his arms, and 
offered him her forehead as had been her wont since the outset 
of their engagement. But he nervously clasped her round the 
shoulders, in a transport of sudden passion, and as she half 
di'cw back in surprise he began by timidly kisshig her at the 
corner of her pretty mouth. She stiffened herself, averting her 
head with a little sensual laugh ; but although she sought to 
avoid it, Lucien's lips growing boMer and bolder gave her so 
long and near a kiss that she was obliged to return it, if only to 
make him cease. Madame Despretz who had heard Andrec's 
laugh appeared on the threshold of the room, and stood there 
watching them with a sorrowful expression. Then with a sad 
smile she stammered in a broken voice : " Oh I what children ! " 

As Andree perceived Lucien's mother she became very red 
and still more charming, with her green eyes sparkling imder 
the taugled golden curls which cast a shadow on her brow. She 
at once freed herself from her lover's smbrace, kissed Madame 
Despretz, glanced at the looking-glass to set her straw hat, 
decked with roses, straight again, and then tripped rapidly 



AlTDTi^EE followed tho Boulevard Mazas as far as the Tont 
d'Austrelitz, crossed tho Seiuo, and entered the Jardin des 
Plantes, which she meant to traverse diagonally, so as to reach 
tho starting point of the omnihus line to Batiguolles. As she 
passed in front of tho elephan house she noticed a foreigner, 
who wore a turban like the rajah, and who was of about the 
same height. Sho was walking very fast, but on perceiving this 
foreigner, who was regaling a superb Bengal elephant with 
some" cakes, she involuntarily slackened her pace. Tho animal 
seemed to divine a compatriot in the tm-baned stranger, and 
gave unequivocal signs of sympathy. A perfect dialogue was 
being carried ou between them, the man speaking in Hindu and 
the elephant showing by his manner that he fully understood 
him. Andree recognized the rajah's voice before she was able 
to distinguish his features ; but she was about to pass by with- 
out speaking to him, when, hearing the sound of her footsteps 
on the gravel, he turned his head and saw her. He at once 
stepped forward, and a cordial smile lit up his manly face. 
*' God is with me since he has allowed me to see you again," he 
said in a soft, caressing voice, the tone of which was so smcere 
that Andi-ee felt drawn toward him by sister-like confidence. 

" I feel very happy," she answered, " that chance has furn- 
ished me with an opportunity of thanking you ; for it is to you 
that I owe both my liberty and my life." 

" Who was keeping you a prisoner in that house ? " 

" Tho Marquis D'Albigny," 

"He? By what right "/ " 

" His mistress is my mother. " 

" Nana your mother ! Is it possible ? Can the flower be the 
child of the dungheap ? " 

" Wliy do you talk like that of a woman you have loved? " 

" I did not know her, and I had not seen you. There is as 
much difference between her and you as between a beacon and 
a star." 

*' But Nana could love you as she loves, whereas I am not 
free. " 

" Yes, I know it ; her lover wished to kill your friend. You 
despise that man, and you do rightly. But I — I shall not try 
to kill your friend. Smce you love him, I shall love him 
also. " 

" You have a golden heart, rajah." 

" If it were golden you would be wealthy, for it belong,:, to 
you. And yet I do not know even your name. It must be as 
soft as a nightingale's song in the month of May. " 

" My name is Andree." 

* Andr6e ! Andree ! do I pronounce it right ? Have I really 

1 68 nana's daughter. 

the proper accent when I call you Andr6o I" And in an under- 
tone he repeated, with soft, Oriental modulations, '' Andree ! 
Andree ! " 

There was a pause, and they walked on slowly side by side for 
some little time without speaking. They were following one of 
the broad avenues leading to the quay. The sky was dark, and 
an early autumn breeze blew down the vaulted paths, tearing 
off the leaves which had already began to fade. The cedars of 
the labyrinth swayed to and fro like large, black fans against 
the slate-gray sky, across which a number of low clouds were 
sweeping. In the direction of the aviary, one could hear the 
cackling and screeching of the tropical birds ; and from further 
off came the roar of the lions who were pacing up and down in 
front of their iron bars, pausing from time to time to sniff the 
air and yawn. On the Seine, the whistling of the penny steam- 
boats and the prolonged signals of the tugs vibrated amid the 
gusts of wind which were blowing the black smoke of the factory 
chimneys eastward. Drops of rain were just beginning to fall 
when Andree and the rajah reached the edge of the labyilnth, 
and as neither of them had an umbrella, they sought a refuge under 
the cedar of Lebanon at the foot of the belvedere. The shower 
was of short duration, being suddenly swept away by a perfect 
hurricane which roared amid the trees of the garden, fi-antically 
swaying the lofty branches to and fro. And as the blast swept 
along, i:, carried away with it a tlight of rooks who were cawing 

** Will you not come nearer?" said the rajah to Andree in 
an undertone ; " I am tall enough to shield you from the wind. 
My mantle was not made for this rainy climate, no doubt, and 
yet if you would pass it around ou, you would feel much 
warmer. " 

" Thank you, rajah ; I am not cold. " 

" Tell me, how does it happen that Nana is your mother ? " 

" I don't tnow j I don't even know my father's name ; but 
what I do know is that when I was a child she abandoned me 
to public charity. I was brought up and adopted by good peo- 
ple the workmg classes, who taught me to earn my living and 
love honesty. As for my mother, now that she is certain that I 
am the child she abandoned, she merely wants to take me back 
w?th t^cr for some infamous purpose. " 

" Andree, you must never return to that house again. " 

" The fire has deUvered me from 't. " 

"The fire and I." 

" That is true. Forgive me ; I owe my life to you. " 

" And I — I owe you all that I possess. Listen, Andrde, would 
you lil\0 to become rich ? " 

" AMiy do you ask me that ? " 

" Because I am in France, and shall stay there. I love Paris 

nana's daughter. 169 

more than evov since meeting you. And yet the climcato of 
Em-ope is mortal for the tiger and mortal for the rajah also. 
Let me love you with ideal love. I ask nothing more than your 
friendship. I will be the friend of those that love you, and I 
shall not be jealous of the man you marry. From time to time 
I will go to see you and listen to you ; that will suffice. My 
love is deep but patient, for it is eternal. You will be your 
lover's in this world and mine m the world to come. Shall it 
bo so ? " 

** I accept your friendship, for I have confidence in you ; but 
why do you ask me if I wish to be rich ? " 

" Because I am alone in the world, and soon, when I return to 
my father in the stars, I will make you happy by leaving you 
my fortune — for your children. " 

" But if the climate of France does not agree with you, rajah, 
you ought to go away. I could not accept your fortune if you 
committed suicide so as to leave it to me." 

" If I left France, I should die all the sooner. I need the 
sunlight ; but happiness is the sunhght of the heart, and, with- 
out you, I should now be walking in the dark. Let me love 
you without even telhng it. My love shall be at once so deep 
and so high that no one will divine it. You alone will know that 
the Hindu's soul hangs on your golden hair. And keep this 
secret, that it may be between you and I." 

" Willingly, rajah ; for if I acknowledged that we had talked 
together for so long a time, people would imagine something 
contrary to truth, and the friend who loves me would think that 
I had been false to him. " 

" K he lacks confidence in you, Andr6e, he does not love you 
as you deserve to be loved." 

The rain had now ceased falling, and as the slate-gray clouds 
swept by in fragments toward the horizon, large patches of 
azure became visible overhead. The old cedars swayed to and 
fro, shaking their damp mantles over the lawns, and rearing 
their arms amid the gale. 

" Good-bye, prince," said Andr6e to the rajah. 

" When shall I see you again ? " 

" Oh, we can meet but seldom ; for people must not suppose 
that I am faithless to my lover — though that never wUl be 

" I vrill come whenever you please. The more often I see you, 
the longer I shall five. The less I see you the sooner you will 
become rich I " 

" Come and buy some flowers of my parents. " 

" Yes ; I will say that they are for my mistress. You alone, 

Andr6e, you alone will know that I come for you, the ideal 

mistress of my life. Go on your way now ; I shall tarry here. I 

Btiall come here every day, to the same spot, at the same hour. 

Nana'i Daughter 111 

I70 nana's daughter. 

If you need a friend you will find me here ; or, if you prefer it, 
write to me — here is my card. I shall go and see you soon. 
Now, however, I shall never be alone, never without you ; for 
the sparkle of your eyes, the glow of your golden hair, your 
whole being is tliere — on my heart ! You may leave me, but I 
hold your image in my heart and brain forever. " 

'' All revoir, Andree." 

" Au revoir, prince." 

With figure and head erect, she tripped lightly along the 
avenue, followed by a sun-ray which darted after her over the 
gravel, fighting up her golden hair, and lending a brighter red 
to her budding lips. An hour later she reached home. 

Madame Naviel was waiting for her adoptive daughter in the 
work-room, but Naviel himself had gone ofl" to work at the 
foundry, as if he had spent the night in his bed. As soon as 
Andree entered, Madame Naviel rose up, took her by the hand, 
and led her into the parlor. " You have probably learned the 
truth about your birth, Andi-ee," she began. "Besides, I 

intended to tell you about it. You are not my daughter " 

She stopped short, for the sobs were stifling her. " I fetched 
you," she resumed at last, " from the hospital where your real 
mother. Nana, abandoned you. I brought you up as well as I 
could, and I've taught you an honest calling by which you can 
earn your living. But Naviel and I, we don't want to hurt your 
feelings. Stay with us if your heart tells you to do so, or go 
with your real mother as she wishes to take you back. I don't 
want to influence you in the least. Don't think of gratitude or 
duty in deciding. Don't stay with us unless it pleases you. 
When we took you, we wanted to make you happy. So think 
the matter ever and decide." 

" I have decided, mother. " 

" I am very grateful to you, Andr6e, for still caUing me by 
that name of mother, which I have almost a right to. " 

*' To which you alone have a right, and that is why I intend 
to stay with you." 

" You make me very glad, dear; but I did not expect less 
from you. Ynm- heart is better than your head, for if I am not 
mistaken you had no serious reason for going to that woman's 

" Excuse me, mother, I had ; but it's aU over now, so we won't 
speak of it. My marriage with Lucien is decided. " 

" Ah ! I was very much afraid last night that I should never 
see you again, my poor little Andree ; and Naviel thought so 
too. When he heard that you were shut up in that house, he 
rushed off like a madman. It seems that he almost strangled 
the marquis. He has such a strong arm, you know, and if he 
struck that fellow D'Albigny, he must have made him feel it. 

NANA'S DAUCiri'ER. 17 I 

From what I understood last niglit, it was one of Nana's lovers 
who saved you. " 

" Yes, an Indian prince, who ruined himself for her once 
already, and who has come back to France with a fresh fortune. 
He had left all his securities in that woman's room. But, thanks 
to me, ho recovered them, and I don't fancy that Nana will ever 
see the rajah's fortune again." 

"\Yhyisthat? " 

" Because she showed him too openly that she only cared for 
him for the sake of his millions. And now he despises her as 
much as ho used to love her." 

" Ah ! my girl, all those folks are not worth much, and you 
act for the best in remaining with us. There is nothing like 
marrying a man one esteems, and leading a happy family life. 
Since I married Naviel, I have grown old without noticing it ; ho 
has always been most aflectionate to me, and I have always 
tried to give him a pleasant home. It is only right that ho 
shouldn't have any worry after a hard day's work ; and so, when- 
ever I have been troubled about money matters or the like, I 
have always kept it to myself, and Naviel has been able to sleep 
quietly. Do you see, my girl, a good husband is worth all the 
treasures in the world." 

At this moment Madame Naviel was interrupted by a loud 
ring at the bell, and, a minute later, Margot knocked at the 
parlor door. " Come in," called Andr6e. 

The door opened, and the work-girl threw herself at her 
young mistress' feet and began to sob aloud. " Ah ! mademoi- 
selle," she stammered, " it's a man dressed like a footman ; but 
I recognize him w'ell enough ; he belongs to the police. It was 
he who arrested me on the day of the review. He wants to 
speak to you, he says, but I am almost sure that he has come 
here for me. " 

" This doesn't smell pleasant, " muttered Madame Naviel, and 
she told Margot to go with her into the work-room. 

*' Don't be alarmed, mother, " said Andr6e, who was very 
calm. " Have the man shown in here. He must be our friend 
since he owes his life to my father. " 

As soon as Andree was alone, Luc entered the room, carrying 
his hat, which was decked with a blue cockade, in his hand. " I 
have come. Mademoiselle Andree," he said, with a tragi-comical 
gravity, " to warn you that Monsieur Naviel's peace and liberty 
are seriously threatened by my rascally master, the so-called 
Marquis D'Albigny, though maybe he has stolen his name like 
everything else. " 

" But how can this man threaten my father? " 

" He threatens to ruin Monsieur Naviel's reputation as an 
honest man. He will accuse him of everything, of having robbed, 

17^ nana's daughter. 

of having set the place on fire, and of having tried to strangle 
him. On the last point it's diflacult to say the contrary. " 

Andree turned pale. " What is to bo done I " she asked. 

" Yes, that's the question. I have come on behalf of the 
marquis and Nana, who are both stopping at a hotel, waitiug 
for an apartment to be furnished for them. The horses, the 
carriages, the groimd and the ruins are all going to be sold. It 
is a bad blow for them, and I fancy that they rely on you to help 
them to raise their heads again. At all events, this is what they 
have instructed me to tell you. If you will go and live with 
them, they will leave Monsieur Naviel in peace ; but otherwise, 
the Marquis D'Albigny will send a complaint to the public prose- 
cutor charging Naviel with assaulting and even with attempted 
murder. You see, my poor Mademoiselle Andree, that the 
prospect isn't a pleasant one." 

** Well, if the marquis charges my father, my lover will charge 
1dm. " 

" Excuse me, mademoiselle, but in both cases the marquis has 
the law on his side. In the first case, your lover was struck and 
injured by the marquis, that's certain ; but Monsieur Desprctz 
was the first to raise his arm, and the afiair took place in the 
marquis' house. So D'Albigny can say that it was a case of 
legitimate defense. Now, Monsieur Naviel also struck the first 
blow, and his position is all the more serious as there is no 
proof of your having been treated with violence. Besides, I 
have an idea that an attempt will be made to ruin Monsieur 
Naviel's reputation for honesty, and the presumptions will bo 
against him. Well, what do you decide ? " 

" I cannot and will not return to that woman's." 

" So be it, Andree, you are quite right. Forgive me for speak- 
ing to you so familiarly. You don't know what I am, of com-se. 
An d I myself, I didn't know it until a few weeks ago ; and yet I 
always felt my heart beat whenever I saw you. Nature can't 
be controUed, mademoiselle. The Naviels are only your adoptive 
parents. Nana is your mother! She showed it you, and no 
mistake ; and whether you like it or not, you are nevertheless 
Mademoiselle Nana. But you would never guess whose fault 
it is ? " 

" No, certainly not." 

" Well, the man to blame is the old mountebank, Face-to- 
Smack, as he once called himself, Luc, as he is styled nowa- 
days, the fellow who changes his name hke his shirt. For to 
tell the truth, mademoiselle, I am your father 1 " 

" What, you ? " 

" Yes. A long time ago I was the lover of the woman whose 
servant I now am. That was nearly twenty years ago I It 
happened just as I tell you, and the strange tlung is that she 
doesn't know me now. She has had so many lovers in her time j 


and I have clianfrod so niucb, tliat slio doesn't recognize me at 
all. It's only natural. Well, if I confess all this to you — it is 
of no use disguising the truth — it is because I feel certain that 
your marriage won't come ofl"." 

*' What reason have you to think that ? As you pretend to be 
my father you will i)erhaps consent to tell me." 

" No, imfortnnatcly I can't tell you my reasons — for a woman's 
honor is in question. But isn't it enough for you to know that 
your mother is Nana and that your father is a scamp. You 
don't know what I've been up to in my time. Tou 
see me now with a livery on my back — you saw me once 
dressed like a pohce agent — and the fact is I still belong to the 
force, and I was simply sent to Nana's to play the spy on her. 
You knew me, too, when I was a moimtebauk, and you pitied 
me when you saw me smacked on the face and kicked behind. 
But you never knew me as a thief I And yet it's true I I've 
been a thief, and I narrowly missed being a murderer also! 
Yes, I've tried to murder, I've robbed, and I've spied, and what's 
more, it was I who set fire to Nana's house — yes I, Luc ! And 
now if you don't think that honest lolks ought to des- i^;. xne, 
well, you must be difficult ! " 

" Why do you tell me all this, if you are my father? " 

" Why, little one? Because I know you; you word never 
impose such a tie of relationship on your lover, Lucien Despretz, 
and so you will break off the engagement. Besides, it must be 
done. Listen to me. I am a great blackguard, but I ove you. 
I haven't a penn'orth of honesty imder my skin, but I have 
treasures of love for you in my heart ! No, I've no HI feeling 
against that young fellow, not at ah. Quite on the contrary I 
I should hke to see you happy together, but it's impossible, do 
you hear — impossible ? " 

" I don't believe you, no, I don't beheve you. One thing or 
the other: either you are lying when you say that you have 
murdered, robbed, and committed arson — and in that case you 
must have some very strong motive to he, and then one lie more 
or less wouldn't matter; or else you tell the truth when you 
charge yourself with all these misdeeds, and in that case, being 
capable of everything you are certainly not incapable of lying. 
So I don't beheve you, you are not my father. You, D'Albigny, 
and Nana, you are all leagued together to deceive me and 
entrap me ! " 

" What ! can you think such a thing of me ? It's abominable I 
What ! you won't beheve that I tried to kiU Nana, and that I 
only succeeded in bleeding her gorilla? And yet it's true 
enough. I went into her room during the night. I wanted to 
save you from her as I want to save you stiU. Didn't I encourage 
you to resist their threats and orders'? " 

1J4 nana's daughter. 

*' But you oppose my marriage with Monsieur Despretz just 
as they do. Why do you do that, I ask, by what right ? " 

" Why ? Because this marriage would be the crowning blow! 
Because you would be up to your neck in abomination if it came 
ofl" ! But I see that you don't believe me, when I tell you that 
I'm your father! Ah! there, now I'm crying hke a fool — but 
it's all true, all true. I'm a scamp, no doubt, but I have been 
more unfortunate than guilty. However, there's one woman I 
hate, your mother, who drove me away before you were bom. 
I've tried to kill her twice already, let her look out for the third 
time. At all events, I've beggared them, or nearly so — she and 
her marquis. It's the beginning of the end. I've crawled into 
their life like a worm into an apple, to eat them up, and I'll do 
it too. But it's getting late, mademoiselle, and I must be going 

" I thank you for coming to put me on my guard by telling me 
that the Marquis D'Albigny was about to make a charge against 
my adoptive father. The rest is of little moment. " 

" I have done my best, little Andree, to shield you from harm, 
you find those you love, and I'll do the same as long as I have a 
drop of blood left in my veins — as I did at the fete of St. Cloud 
when I treated D'Albigny and that woman so roughly, as you 
may perhaps remember. Ah ! they cut a pretty figure, both of 
them, when I showed up that bet of his with the Hercules, and 
when I reminded her that she had been my mistress. I began 
my little scheme of vengeance then, and nowadays I've worked 
it out — not completely, but the end wiU soon come now. It 
was on that same day at St. Cloud that I first protected you, my 
Mttle Andr6e, and began to love you. And now I protect you 
still and love you more than ever. Oh ! I know very well that 
you can't love mo in return. I'm ugly, wicked and jealous, and 
I'm a lacky into the bargain. I have pUed every low calhng in 
my time. So I won't complain, but I'm none the less your 
father, and I shall watch those who want to harm you. And 
now I'm going." 

He took two steps toward the door and then returned : " Do 
you remember, " he asked, " how I asked you to let me kiss 
you — that evening in the park, when I left you on coming out 
of the wrestling -booth ? There was a dealer, I remember, who 
had baited a line with bits of gingerbread which the urchins 
tried to swallow; and a two-storied roimd-about, where three 
or four big girls were showing their ankles. It was long ago, 
no doubt, but it seems to me as if it were only yesterday. Ah I 
you were a little girl then, and you were not ashamed to kiss 
the clown ; but nowadays it's all very well for me to call you 
my daughter, my little Andree, it's as if I tried to play the Mar- 
seillaise with a syringe. But no matter, I love you all the same. 


And now I'm going for good, remember me to Monsieur Naviel. 
We were iu the fire together. " 

He walked to the parlor door and stopped short to gaze at 
Andi'ee. The sun was shining again ; and a bright ray darted 
through the French window, plajing over the young girl's 
flgiu-e. The radiance enhanced her beauty. Below her hair 
caught up in plaits, the sunlight darted upon her shell-like ears, 
lending them a roseate transparency. The bright tinge which 
the blood of youth imparted to her cheeks was softened near 
her mouth, where lips, dimples and chin, seemingly modeled 
by Cupid's fingers, imited in a smile. With her Grecian profile, 
her forehead veiled by curly hair, her straight little nose with 
its mobile nostrils, her sensual mouth, her admirably propor- 
tioned figm'e, her firm, full bosom, her gracefully-curved hips, 
her rounded knees revealed by her tight skirt, her tiny feet and 
her velvety hands with delicate wrists, Andrea was a perfect 
type of feminine beauty in its early splendor. Luc fell on his 
knees before this apparition of youth, and dragging himself to 
her feet, he cried amid his sobs: "Oh! Andrec, my little 
Andree, my daughter, let me kiss but the edge of your skirt. 
Paternal love purifies everything, even a father's infamy, even a 
mother's shame. As I look at you now it seems to Tue that I 
can see your mother as she was when I first knew her. " Then, 
in a dehrious transport he kissed Andr^e's dress, laughing and 
crying at the same time. But at last, rising to his feet again, he 
darted down the stairs and out of the house, like a criminal 
flying from justice. 

That same evening M. Naviel did not retmn home at the usual 
hour, and his wife, who had dinner ready, was greatly surprised 
by his non-appearance. Andree on her side was not so much 
astonished as alarmed, for she had experienced cruel anguish 
since her interview with Luc. His strange language and sudden 
fits of tenderness had made her think that he was somewhat 
deranged in his mind. In the old times when he was known as 
Face-to-Smack she had looked upon him as a poor, persecuted 
fellow, who submitted to all treatment like a beaten dog. But 
now her opinion had changed, and it seemed to her as if he 
were bent upon revenging himself, at the risk of harming even 
innocent people. She must beware of him, she thought, despite 
his fulsom language, for by his own showing he had grown 
wicked and furious, and did not shrink from committing crimes. 
On the other hand, in his statements respecting Monsieur Naviel, 
ho might certainly have been guided by a consciousness of the 
truth ; and so, when Andree saw that her adox)tivo father did 
not return home at the usual hour, she became exceedingly 
anxious — so anxious, mdeed, that she dared not speak to 
Miwlamc Naviel for fear of alarming her. Indeed, she contrived 
to assume an air of mdiflference, and soon declared that she had 

176 . nana's daughter. 

to go out on some pressing matter connected with her work. 
But once outside the house she hailed a cab and drove straight 
to the factory where Naviel was employed. It was almost nine 
o'clock when she got there. The managers were away, and she 
only found a foreman on guard. " You want to know what has 
become of Pierre Naviel, who works here ? " he said brutally in 
answer to her inquiries. 

" Yes, sir. " 

" Well, he's in prison, _y beauty." 

"In prison?" 

" Yes, in prison, as I tell you. " 

"But why?" 

" For having committed a robbery last night, in a house which 
was on fire." 

"That's false!" 

"Well, I only repeat what I was told. The aflfair made 
enough row in the factory this afternoon ; but after all it doesn't 
concern me. However, it's hardly hkely that he would have 
been arrested without cause. There's no fire without smoke, 
my girl. " 

" Where was he taken? " 

" To the commissary's, and ho is probably there still." 

A firesh idea suddenly occurred to Andr6e. M. D'Albigny had 
no doubt accused Pierre Naviel of stealmg the securities belong- 
ing to the rajah, and the latter alone could prove the mechanic's 
innocence, by stating that these secm'ities were his property, 
and that he had saved them himself. Andr6e recollected that 
the rajah had given her his address that very morning. So she 
felt for his card in her pocket and then hastened to the Grand 
Hotel where the Hindu was staying. He received her immedi- 
at'^ly. "I was thinking of you, Andree," he said. "What 
brings you here — happiness or misfortune ? " 

'' Misfortmie. " 

" Tell me what it is, then. Confide in your friend. If I have 
to shed my blood on your behalf I will do so gladly. Tell me 
where I am to go and whom I have to fight. " 

" I have come to ask for your testimony. " 

" You cannot require me to speak aught but the truth. Tell 
me what you wish and I will obey you. " 

" My adoptive father is accused of having stolen your securi- 
ties from Nana's bedroom last night. Now, as you are well 
aware, you recovered them yoiu'self. " 

" Quite so. I have them in a portfolio here. " 

" Your testimony on the point will suffice to ensure my adopt- 
ive father's release. " 

" Let us start, then , I have a brougham at my orders until 
nii'2night, and I will have the horse put to at once. " So saying, 


he rang: the bell, and when a servant appeared he exclauned : 
" I wish my brougham to be got ready iumicdiately. " 

The man withckew, and the rajah then passed into his dress- 
ing-room, leaving Andree momentarily alone. She felt very 
happy at the prospect of bemg able to effect her adoptive father's 
release at once, thanks to the rajah's evidence. She recalled 
the many proofs of kindness which M. Naviel had given her. 
Her real father could not have brought her up with deeper 
affection or more abnegation and delicacy than this honest man, 
who had made her an industrious girl with virtuous principles, 
fittingly armed for the great struggle of work versus vicious idle- 
ness, in which so many young women exposed to temptation, 
succumb, either through undue coquetry or lack of courage. 
Andree experienced also a feeling of vivid generous joy at the 
thought that she was likewise about to spare her good mother, 
Madame Navlel, a temble emotion. The rajah was soon ready 
and joined Andrde, who now noticed that he had greatly changed 
since the morning. There was an expression of suffering upon 
his features, his lips had a twinge of bitter resignation, and his 
eyes, which seemed larger than usual, shone with a deep, calm 

** You look ill, prince," said Andr6e. 

" I am ill, dear soul of my life ; I spat blood this afternoon, 
and I think that I shall die here in Paris. I can feel a slow fire 
consuming me, here in the chest. " 

At this moment the servant returned and announced that the 
brougham was waiting. Andree gave the address of the station- 
house where M. Naviel was, in all probability, still detained, 
and they started off. In half an hour's time they had reached 
the outer boulevard, and the vehicle drew up in front of a door 
above which was a red lamp, bearing this inscription in white 
letters, " Commissary of Police." The rajah offered Andree his 
hand to assist her in ahghting, and his arm to conduct her down 
a narrow passage which led to a steep and dimly-lighted stair- 
case. The commissary's offices were on the first floor. A little 
vestibule conducted into a first room whore the magistrate's 
secretary was stationed, and where two detectives sat smoking 
on a bench in a dark corner, while a policeman in uniform 
wallicd up and dnv.n in front of a closed door. Andree felt ter- 
ribly oppressed as she entered this dingy room, which was most 
inadequately lighted by a smoky lamp hanging from the 

" "What is your business"? " asked the secretary, curtly. 

" I have come," said Andree, " for my adoptive father. Mon- 
sieur Naviel, who is accused, it seems, of liaving stolen some 
securities in a fire, last night. 

She could say no more, for her emotion was stifling her; and 
so it was the rajah who continued, " The securities in question 


belong to me, " he said. " I had left them with the owner of the 
house in virtue of a verbal agreement between us. Almost all 
of them are nominative securities and bear my name and title. 
I can easily prove my identity. Besides, I have the securities 
with me." And thereupon the rajah produced his portfoho. 

'' I must confess to you, prince, " said the secretary, politely, 
" that the information we have obtained concerning Pierre Naviel 
is quite in his favor, while the reports of our agents concerning 
his accuser, the Marquis D'Albigny, are just the reverse. The 
prefecture of police, for instance, has sent us the report of a 
detective, which is most damaging for the marquis, and I am 
only waiting for my superior's return — he was called away a 
couple of hours ago — to have Pierre Naviel set at liberty. I 
expect the commissary back every minute, and, perhaps, you 
will kindly wait for him in his office. Only I must tell you that 
there is a second affair grafted on the first one." 

"What afiair?" asked Andree, eagerly experiencing every 
form of anxiety with astonishing rapidity. 

" It is a question of a girl named Margot, who states that she 
is employed by you. " 

" That's true, " rejoined Andr6e. " She is the best of my rose- 
mounters. " 

*' Well, she came to ask us to keep her instead of your relative, 
and as, natm-ahy enough, we couldn't grant her request, she 
began to insult us in such a manner that we were obliged to lock 
her up. When the commissary returns he will decide whether 
he can release her, or whether she ought to be prosecuted for 
her violent behavior." 

" Margot is a spoiled child, destitute of education and legal 
knowledge," replied Andree. "She is so devoted tome that 
when I experience the slightest mishap she becomes infuriated. 
So it is not astonishing if she used abusive language when you 
told her that you could not accept her sacrifice. " 

Shortly afterward the commissary of police returned. " You 
can set Pierre Naviel at liberty," he said to his secretary ; and 
then he muttered between his teeth : " that Marquis D'Albigny 
is evidently an arrant scamp. " 

He seemed to be in a very bad humor — perhaps on account 
of the marquis, or perhaps because ho was wet ; for it had been 
raining during the last quarter of an hour. He deposited his 
umbrella in a corner of the office and took off his overcoat, while 
Naviel was being set at hberty. Andree darted toward her 
adoptive father, and rising on tiptoe, threw her arms around his 
brown neck and kissed him on either cheek. Then mindful of 
poor Margot, she approached the commissary, and said to him : 
" You are detaining, sir, a work-girl of mine, who is rather 
thoughtless at times, but who is most devoted to me — so 
devoted, indeed, that on hearing of my father's arrest, she came 

nana's daughter. 179 

here and asked to be allowed to take his place. Your secretary 
could not accept her proposal, and it seemed that she used some 
very strong language. But pray be lenient, sir, I promise you 
that this shan't occur again." 

" What did this girl say? " asked the commissary of his 

" Nothing of very great moment, sir. Wo mainly detained her 
in order to give her a lesson. " 

" Very good. Have her brought here. " 

The door of a cell to which Margot had been provisionally 
consigned was opened and she entered the office, still somewhat 
flushed by her recent anger, and with brilliant eyes and untidy 
hair. " Was it you who ventured to insult my subordinates?" 
asked the commissary, sternly. 

Margot would have made some violent rejoinder, but at a sign 
from Aiidr^e she lowered her head and remamed silent. " I 
advise you not to begin again, " resumed the commissary ; " yoitr 
friends would intercede for you to no purpose, for I should send 
you to the prefecture and you would be brought before the 
tribunal of correctional police. I will let you oS this time, but 
be careful in future. " 

On reaching the street the rajah offered Andree his hand and 
bade her good-by, saying: " You have no further need of mo, 
so I will leave you with your father. Be happy ! " 

" I shall go to thank you with my wife, sir, " said Naviel. 
" My daughter has just told me of all that I owe you. " 

*' There is only one way of thanking me," rejoined the Hindu, 
" and that is to treat me as a friend, and allow me to go and see 

" We shall feel deeply honored, sir," replied the mechanic. 

" And I shall be very happy," sighed the rajah, as he sprang 
quickly into his brougham. 


A FORTNIGHT after the fire which destroyed the mansion near 
the Pare Monceau, Nana went to reside on the first floor of a 
house in the Rue de Moscou. The suite of rooms she had engaged 
was freshly painted and papered, and then speedily furnished, 
for her upholsterers allowed her six months' credit. D'Albigny, 
on his side, engaged an entresol* in the same house. With the 

*The entresol \9. really the first floor in modern Parisian houses, but the 
rooms are invariably low, all available height and display being reserved 
for the story overhead, which is commonly called " the first above the 
entresol.''^ Strictly speaking, therefore, Nana lived on the second floor aud 
D'Albigny on the first one. — Trans. 


exception of Luc and Virginie, Nana dismissed all her servants, 
cooks, footmen and coachmen, at the same time selling all her 
horses and carriages. The fall was complete. The farniiuio 
and the mansion she had lost by the fire had never been insm-c<l, 
and for the first time D'Albigny's audacity had proved at fault. 
The ground and the charred remnants of the house were sold 
like the equipages, and the whole reahzed some eight hundred 
and fifty thousand francs; but Nana merely pocketed half a 
million, for D'Albigny, who carried out all the arrangements, 
continued to deceive her as to the real amount he obtained for 
the property. Under the pretext that she knew nothing about 
business, and that figures made her head ache, she signed what- 
ever the marquis laid before her, and did not take the trouble to 
go over his accounts. With her invested funds she still possessed 
a couple of millions of francs; but she began to dread poverty, 
and became as parsimonious as she had been prodigal in days 
gone by. 

D'Albigny then tried some bold strokes on 'change, but his 
ventures were unlucky ones, and in three months' time he lost 
three quarters of what remained to his accomplice. The winter 
went by, spring returned again, and in April the bill which Nana 
had given to her upholsterers fell due. D'Albigny had made 
arrangements with some unscrupulous firms who had paid him a 
commission of fifteen thousand francs, cash, on Nana signing 
bills for fifty thousand ; the furniture supphed to her being worth 
barely more than half of that amount. On the eve of the setthng 
day Nana scarcely had five hundred napoleons before her; so 
she called on the upholsterers and asked them to renew her bill. 
They declined to do so, but offered to take back the furniture, 
valuing it at just one-half of the original price; Nana flew into a 
rage, not unnaturally; called the dealers a pack of Jews, and 
returned home to write a note to the Prince of Mulhausen. " My 
little Mulhausen," she said, " I am giving a little soiree in my 
rooms to-night. Ton are fond of music, I believe. I shall have 
a famous pianist ft'om your country, and two or three vocalists of 
mine. Come and hear them, we will make a great ado about 
nothing. Your very, very old friend, Naxa." 

Mulhausen arrived in evening dress. Irreproachably elegant, 
strongly scented, and with his mustaches waxed into formidable 
points. But he found Nana alone ; and he looked so frightened 
when Luc ushered him into the room that she could not help 
laughing at him. Although he had been half ruined ])y her in 
the days of her opulence ho was in reality very avaricious, and 
since the the fire ho had seldom visited her. He scented a snare 
in the tete-:\-teto interview which she had now prepared, for 
there was not even tlio shadow of a i)iauo in her new drawing- 
room, which was simply furnished in the Louis Quinze style a^ii" 
hung with Aubusson tapestry. Her greeting was most cordi*. 


and indeed she bcf^an to flatter, coax and wheedle him at once. 
This was all the more extraordinary as in past times she had 
treated hhu as a bufloon, and had never once shown him such 
marked favor as she now displayed. 

"You must see by my dress, my dear fellow," she began, 
" that I don't expect any other guest than you. Not even 
D'Albigny. Will you have a cigarette V " And ringing the 
bell, she ordered Luc to servo some tea. 

Mulhausen had accepted the cigarette with sullen resignation. 
Nana's engaging maimers smelled strongly of borrowing, and the 
prince's instinct warned him that he had been drawn into a 
trap. By a stock broker, who belonged to the same club as him- 
self, he had already heard about D'Albigny's losses on 'change, 
and since then he had very seldom met the marquis. He had 
even made bold enough to declare before a number of people at 
the Cafe Riche that D'Albigny had become a compromising 
acquaintance. As for Nana, he found her very changed, 
extremely aged, in his opinion, and he decided that the great 
courtesan was only the shadow of her former self. The fact is 
that anxiety had silvered a few of the golden hairs which Mul- 
hausen would have paid five napoleons apiece for in the days 
when his acquaintance with Nana flattered his vanity as a 
woman-killer. But since she had sold her equipages, and dis- 
missed her retinue, she was, in his estimation, only an ordinary 
harlot whom a man could treat without the slightest cere- 

" My dear fellow," she said, as she poured him out a cup of 
tea, " you find me in a wretched hole here." 

"I have been here before," interrupted Mulhausen, sul- 

" Yes, I know that, and I am grateful for your kindness ; but 
remember it is a mere moment of transition and nothing more. 
We have exchanged vows, the rajah and I, and very shortly I 
shall return to my old style. " 

Mulhausen parried the thrust at once. " I have heard it said 
that the rajah is in love with a Mademoiselle Naviel who has 
the reputation of being your daughter, and who, by the way, is 
rather like you were some years ago. Folks even add that the 
rajah is wasting away because the girl is going to marry another 
suitor who had the first start. 

" I see that you arc fully acquainted with my family aflfairs, 
prince. They couldn't be in better hands, and the proof 
is " 

" This tea is excellent, my dear Nana, but your cups are of 
almost common china. What has become of your old Sevres ? 
And look at that furniture ! How can you think of receiving 
people who respect themselves in such an apartment as this f 
How many rooms have you got here? " 

i82 nana's daughter. 

" Ten in all. Two drawing-rooms, a dining-room, a library, 
a dressing-room, a bath-room, and four bedrooms. Then there 
are the servants' rooms upstairs, but Virginie sleeps here. I 
have never liked to be alone at night-time since the day my 
gorilla was killed while I was asleep. I have grown almost 
timid. But then you know one is always a woman in some 
respects. " 

'' Ah I so much the better," said Mulhausen, heaving a sigh, 
and, having finished his cup of tea, he rose up in brutal haste. 

" What ! are you going? " asked Nana, in surprise. 

" Yes , there's a little dance at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs 
and I am expected there. " 

Nana rose to her feet and approached Mulhausen. Seized 
with a vague apprehension, he glanced behind him and saw her 
eyes burning with feverish energy. If she did not succeed in 
galvanizing the prince, in conquering his Teutonic coldness and 
kindling a spark of passion in his fatty heart, she might set him 
down as lost for good. He would surely never return to her 
again. So rising on tip-toe, and throwing her arms around his 
neck, she looked into his eyes with the seductive feline power 
of fascination she possessed, letting a sort of disturbing magnetic 
warmth filter between her black lashes which were partly low- 
ered. As she stood there in this attitude, the serpentine 
voluptuous grace of her bosom and loins became fully apparent. 
Her undulating hair sparkled more brilliantly in the radiance of 
the blue crystal chandelier, her soft, fleshy hands, on which two 
sapphires gleamed, were clasped behind his neck, and her 
mouth, the voluptuous raillery of which had still a strange 
attraction, murmured carressingly, with that coaxing tenderness 
which she alone knew how to assmne to conquer a virile will : 
" Come why are you going? I am alone, I am still beautiful, 
and well disposed toward you. Why are you going, I ask? 
Leave your ministry alone 1 I was sometimes unkind to you, 
and we have never been happy together. You have spent 
money on me out of vanity while others spent it out of love, and 
I was greatly vexed at that. In fact it was for that reason that 
I amused myself in teasing you. But now I want to reward you 
for all your trouble, and console you for all my naughtiness. We 
aro alone, so stay with me. In reality I have never cared for 
any one but you, and that was why I resisted the advances you 
so seldom made. I did not want you to be what the others 
were. You had a place in my heart — the place one reserves 
for the friend one looks and longs for — a little dear and secret 
comer 1 All that which has been forbidden you so far, shall be 
yours now and yours alone, my prince. I have never seen a 
man who better deserved that beautiful title which women so 
much admire. " 

nana's daughter. 183 

Miilliansen romninod frigid. " I can't give you this evening," 
ho stammered, " I will return another day." 

" No, not another day ; stay this evening. I might perhaps 
be dead to-morrow, and you as well, Mulhausen." 

" It is impossible for me to remain with you, Nana; I have 
given a promise and I must keep it. " And he added cruelly, 
" A charmuig woman is expecting me. " 

" In that case, my dear fellow, " said Nana, sinking hack into 
her arm-chair, " I won't detain you. Go where charming 
women await you ; I have only some advice to ask of you and 
then you shall bo free. " 

" Some advice about what? " 

" About two thousand napoleons which I have to pay 
to-morrow, although I have barely a quarter of the amount by 

" Obtain an advance on your secmities or other property if 
you have any. " 

" But D'Albigny has absolutely ruined me ; all my bonds have 
gone in stock exchange transactions. I certainly have some 
house property worth five hundred thousand francs left, but 
between now and to-morrow I haven't time to borrow forty 
thousand francs on it. The formalities would require two or 
three days, and besides, they are distasteful to me. " 

" Pawn your jewelry, then." 

" But that means misery," 

"What can't be cured must be endured," said Mulhausen 
shrugging his shoulders. 

" But couldn't you lend me the amount I need?" asked Nana. 

" I haven't got it — not even the quarter of the sum. I have 
bled myself in every limb for your sake, my beauty, and now 
I'm quite used up. This is all 1 can do for you." And taking 
five napoleons out of his trouser pocket, Mulhausen laid them in 
the saucer of Nana's teacup. 

An angry flush spread over the courtesan's cheeks, and 
springing to her feet she flung cup, saucer and gold in the 
prince's face. The tea rained down his white shirt-front, and 
ho stood dripping, utterly confoimded by the sudden assault, while 
Nana imperiously rang the bell. 

" Bring this gentleman's hat and overcoat," she said to Luc. 

" The gentleman's hat," grumbled Luc as he returned to the 
ante-room. " He looks in a nice state, that German, with his 
mustaches curved like fish-hooks! Hum, I don't think that 
Nana has made much by her angling to-night." 

Bringing the prince's hat and overcoat, which had been 
deposited on a bench in the ante-room, Luc silently helped him 
on with them. Mulhausen was soon ready, and he then held 
out his hand to Nana, but she turned her back upon him and 
pointing to the gold coins strewed on the caxpet : " Give the 

1 84 nana's daughter. 

prince these coppers," slie said to Luc, " You see lie is waiting 
for them. " 

Mulhausen began to button up his overcoat so as to lend him- 
self a countenance and conceal his soiled shirt-front, and while 
Luc stooped down to pick up the napoleons he effected his 
retreat in good order. Nana then threw herself in an easy 
chair with her legs crossed. Her rage had not yet subsided, 
and her little white teeth grated together ominously. A fire 
had been lighted although it was springtime, and the ruddy 
glow of the incandescent coal played over her blue-silk stockings, 
as, enveloped in a black-satin dressing-gown lined with yellow 
silk and edged with lace, with her feet encased in red- velvet 
shppors, and her hands clasped behind her head, she leaned back 
thinking of how she could meet her engagement on the mor- 
row. The jewels she still possessed were worth about a hundred 
thousand francs. K she could pawn them for two-thirds of their 
value she would be able to pay the upholsterers. It was the 
best plan, she thought; she would pawn the jewels early the 
next morning. That is, unless D'Albiguy could help her, and on 
reflectiou she decided to have a talk with the marquis before 
coming to a final decision. 

D'Albigny's abode comprised some eight or ten rooms, five of 
which were altogether empty. The others were hung with blue 
chintz, and scantily furnished with simple furniture which 
strangely contrasted with this fast-hver's former luxurious 
tastes. There was merely an iron bedstead in his sleeping-room, 
with a divan upholstered in chintz similar to the hangings, a 
leather arm-chair and a writing-table. The largest room was 
reserved for fencing, and its appointments merely comprised 
three or four pairs of foils and duelling swords, three masks, a 
few gloves, aud a couple of jackets ; the floor being covered 
with a gray-felt carpet. D'Albiguy kept no servant; he Uvod 
alone; ho never took his meals at home, but lunched at a 
restaurant or with Nana and dined at his club. 

" Anything serious the matter 'I " he asked when he opened 
the door in response to Nana's ring, and saw her standing on 
the threshold. 

*' No — except that I am threatened with an execution. " 

** Ab, yes ! by the way I was thinking of it. Come in, my 
dear. It's about the furniture, isn't it ? " 


" And you haven't the money? " 

" No, I haven't a quarter of the sum. " 

" Nor I either. You are suflQciently acquainted with my 
affairs to know how I really stand. " 

" Yes, I'm aware of all that. And I didn't come to ask you 
for money, but for advice. Shall I pawn my jewelry ? " 

" No, certainly not. There is something better to bo done 


ufian that. Bring everything precious here — your jewelry, 
your papers and so on. They will be quite in safety in my 

" You are wonderfully fertile in resources, marquis. " 

" The worst that could happen would be an execution after 
your bills have been protested. And then your furniture would 
be sold. The landlord would begin by claiming his rent out of 
the proceeds, and the upholsterers would have to content 
themselves with the surplus. " 

** Yes, they don't know that I have still some house property 
left. That means half a million to finish with." 

" By the way, I will explain to you a plan which wiU set us 
on our legs again. I warn you, however, that you must play 
double or quits, and be prepared to sacrifice everything. Have 
you courage enough to chance it ? " 

" Of course I have." 

D'Albigny began striding up and down with his arms crossed, 
while Nana stretched herself on the divan in a careless attitude. 
" Well, and MuUiausen?" asked the marquis, stopping short in 
front of her. 

" What do you want to do with him ? " she asked with an 
ironical smile, as she raised herself up on her elbow, resting her 
head on her hand. 

" Do with him ? why, go into partnership with him, my dear. 
I mean to start a theatrical newspaper which Mulhausen shall 
be director of. In exchange for the title he will have to supply 
the funds. I shall show him all the advantages of such a posi- 
tion, the acquaintances he will make among the actresses, the 
free admissions he will obtain to all theatres, the life he'll see 
behind the scenes, and so on. He will go into an affair of that 
kind readily enough; it will tickle his vanity. We shall get 
hold of one or two famished scribes — needy joiu-naUsts are 
easily found — and we'll turn the writing over to them. Only 
we shall retain the management ourselves. We shall give some 
balls and dinners at the expense of the capital, take some styhsh 
oflBces, and advertise largely. All Paris shall hear about us. 
We'll pubUsh some smutty stories with illustrations, boudoir 
tattle and green-room anecdotes. It will be amusing, very 
amusing, you shall see. 

" And what will you call the paper? " 

" We must think over that. The title is a matter of great 
importance. Titles are not wanting, of course, but we must find 
one that will tickle the middle classes, and excite curiosity. 
However, wo have not come to that point yet. What we need 
first of all is Mulhausen's cash. " 

" By the way, I saw him this evening. I had asked him to 
come as I wanted to tell him about my position, and beg him to 
do me a favor. " 

Nona's Daughter 12. 

tS6 Nana's daughter. 

" Then of course he didn't come ? '^ 

" Yes, he did ; for I had taken care not to let him suspect 
why I wanted to see him. However, my first words put him to 

"A woman like Nana only borrows on her decline," said 
D'Albigny, *' and Mulhausen " 

" Oh ! you know him, D'Albigny, you know he hasn't any 
courage, or even any blood. Do you know he had the impu- 
dence to offer me five napoleons ? I flung them in his face. " 

" Oh ! I'll find him again and make it all right. But you 
must get hold of your daughter. She belongs to you, and you 
must claim her. Do you really object to playing the comedy of 
maternal love, and the tragedy of repentance ? You would still 
make an adorable Magdalen. Try to catch her with contrition. 
You must get her away from that young counter-jumper. The 
rajah's fancy will serve us finely. We can pit the two suitors 
against each other. There will be a clash between them, and 
at least one of them will be broken, and we won't undertake to 
mend him. Remember, Nana, you will be lost if you let your- 
self drift along ! Only courage and audacity can sustain you, 
and help you onto your feet again. Go boldly to those people, 
the Naviels, and claim Andr6e. If she is deaf to your prayers, 
throw yourself at her feet, kiss them, shed tears, real tears — do 
you hear? Strike your head on the floor, tear out your hau-; 
that will have a great effect ! I should hke to be there to 
applaud you, for I am certain that you will be as dramatic as 
Sara Bernhardt in Hernani, or as Madame Favart in Marion 
Belorme. You have already played Marion, Mauon and Mar- 
guerite, on the stage of life, with a talent and spirit which have 
aroused the hatred of your rivals, and the admiration of your 
lovers! One must struggle, my dear, against misfortunes, 
against age, against indiiferenco, agamst forgetfulness, against 
everything, in fact I A woman like you must die young and 
beautiful, enacting some admirable scene of passion which will 
bring tears even to the eyes of sceptics. Come, let me see you 
walk, let me see if you still have your old style about you. " 

Nana rose and walked across the room. Her dressing-gown 
trailed behind her, with a serpent-like undulation and rustie ; 
and she laughed gaily as she rehearsed her part before her cus- 
tomary manager. 

"That's good — very good — that's it — bravo!" said D'Al- 
bigny, approvingly. " Perfect ! perfect ! That look of sovereign 
haughtiness becomes you divinely, my dear. Come, you are 
still superb, and whenever you choose your old mansion shall be 
rebuilt for you. And it's necessary ! D'Albigny doesn't exist 
without Nana's mansion. People no longer know him at the 
club, they scarcely deign to recognize him on 'change ; and they 
giv<^ him a patronizing nod if they meet him on the boulevard. 

nana's daughter. 1F.7 

All tliat must finish, or we must take the last leap, you and T. 
So, lot us sell what rcuuiins to you, rent a stylish mansion, set 
up another establishment, and launch out in the old stylo again. 
We will give some fetes as we used to do, and plenty of trades- 
people will be foolish enough to give us credit. We will live on 
the footing of a million a year. Ill arrange it all ! " 

" And afterward f " 

" Oh ! before we get to the end of our tether you will have 
found some Russian grandee or English peer to pluck. Your 
I'ves used to bedim your diamonds, now yom* diamonds will 
make people admire your eyes. And then if you only had 
Andreo — think of it I And you shall have her, you must — you 
must have her, do you hear ? I'm determined on it. " 

" I don't think I shall succeed," said Nana, after a moment's 
reflection. " However, I will try." 

"When? " 

" To-morrow." 

*' Very good. And now don't talk to mo of the pawnshop for 
a woman like you. " 

Nana felt warmed afresh by the fiendish spirit of her titled 
swindler. This man was the fire of the infernal locomotive, 
which for twenty years had borne her onward amid mad enjoy- 
ment and senseless triumphs. " Come," she said to D'Albigny, 
" I thank you, marquis. I will give you power to sell what 
remains to me, and we will have the old life for another year. 
We shall find the gutter, or a throne at the end of the road. 
To-morrow, I will go to claim Andre6 — that's understood — 
and if she won't come with me — woe to her and to her's, for 
depend upon it I will have my vengeance ! " 

" You say that splendidly, my dear, splendidly. Now go to 
bed early, and husband your powers. I will think over the 
means of setting us afloat again. " 

" Good-night, marquis." 

" Good-night, marchioness — your hand." 

She gave it to him with graceful pride. He stifled a smUe of 
cold irony in a kiss, and then they separated. 

Once alone, D'Albigny laughed drily, rubbed his hands 
together, and muttered between his teeth: "Eh I eh! It will 
succeed, it will succeed. Another year conquered from the 
enemy I The last half million will dance a pretty jig. But no 
more gambling on 'change 1 It's stupid. I've had enough of it. 
It's a game of chance, and one can lose at it. I prefer the game 
of love, at which I have always won. What a farce life is, and 
how easily fools are plucked ! All the same, I regret I wasn't 
able to have that brute of a Naviel kept in jail, six months ago. 
As for the girl, if ever she falls into my hands again, I shall 
resort to extreme measures ! I have always succeeded with 

1 88 nana's daughter. 

them both m business and love, and I may very well do so 
again. " 

Having lighted a cigar, he opened his window and began to 
smoke slowly. The sky was flecked with ruddy clouds, lUmni- 
nated by the lamps of Paris. Far above, the stars were twink- 
ling in the night air. Along the house -fronts lighted windows 
overlooked tlie street, and between the curtains one could see 
the graceful heads of women, who were leaning forward, trying 
to recognize the footfall of the men approaching over the pave- 
ment. From time to time D'Albigny heard some window swiftly 
closed, and then, as the curtains were drawn behind it, a hght 
vanished from view. Little by little every casement was shut 
in turn, save one, on the fourth floor, overlooking the marquis' 
room. His cigar was finished, for he could feel the stump 
heating his long mustaches, so he threw it away, and closed his 
own window for the night. 

" What a set of Nanas ! " he muttered, shrugging his shoul- 
ders. " Good evening, pretty girls ! Pleasant di'eams, young 
men. " 


Pierre Naviel declined to return to the foundry where his 
arrest had caused such a scandal. He apphed to the Western 
Railway Company for employment, but the whole winter elapsed 
before he found a new berth. In the meantime he stopped at 
home, talking very little but smoldng a great deal ; saddened by 
the thought that he was of no use to the household, and humil- 
iated that his probity should have been impugned. As for 
Lucieu Despretz, his recovery was delayed longer than had been 
expected. A fortnight elapsed after his adventure with the 
marquis before he was fit to resume work ; and when he repaired 
to the establishment in the Rue Montmartre he found his seat 
occupied by a new bookkeeper. 

The winter was a gloomy one. The artificial-flower business 
was by no means prosperous, for Andreo had to contend against 
the German flowers sold under their real value by the largo 
shops and the competition of several convents. The Naviels 
and the Despretzs began to feel the eflfects of hard times more 
and more keenly, and it was evident that they must wait several 
months before they cordd incur the expenses of a wedding. 
Andr6e at the same time desired and feared the arrival of her 
marriage day. Luc's words to her had in reality made a pro- 
found impression upon her mind. Still she had none the less 
gathered together her marriage toilet bit by bit. The white 
robe was ready, and the wreath of orange blossom also. She 
kept them in her wardrobe, carefully sheltered from the dust. 

nana's daughter. 189 

Luc had not returned to the Naviels', but Lucien spent ahnost 
every evening there. Whenever ho was by chance called else- 
where he wrote to Andree to warn her. The rajah's visits took 
place of an afternoon, as his physician had forbidden him to go 
out of doors after sunset. He was discreet enough not to call 
too often ; but on each occasion he brought Andree a bouquet of 
camelias and then sat down in the work-room in front of her, 
with his back to the light, watching his shadow as it spread 
across the table and played over the young girl's nimble fingers. 
Mademoiselle Naviel's beauty appeared to him in the ideal 
splendor of pure and chaste simplicity. He was not disturbed 
in his contemplation by the other girls who worked at a second 
table in a corner near the window and chatted together in an 
undertone. The rajah himself talked but little, for he feared 
that he might say too much, he preferred to sit watching Andr6e 
in silence. An internal fire was consuming him. His largo 
black eyes shone like the windows of a forge where a furnace is 
lighted. But whenever he felt the feverish power of passion 
growing within him, he subdued this momentary revolt of the 
senses by a stern effort of will. He did not even allow his 
trouble to be divined, but silenced the cry of hopeless desire, 
and plunged into the soft ecstacy of sidereal love and the mystical 
contemplation of a vision of unobtainable happiness. 

At the beginning of April Naviel obtained employment from 
th6 Western Railway Company, and Lucien Despretz became 
cashier in a newspaper office at a salary of three thousand 
francs a year. Andree's fete day fell upon the 1st of May ; 
and on the previous evening Lucien, who was detained at his 
office by the necessity of making up the monthly accounts, sent 
her a bunch of white roses with a note in which he promised 
a visit for the following morning. That same evening the rajah 
chanced to come, after sending a bouquet of violets and orange 
blossom on before him. Andree's work-girls had all brought 
some floral ofl'ering, and the Naviels as weU, so that the parlor 
was full of flowers. The rajah seemed even thinner and sadder 
than usual. '' When is your wedding to take place ? " he asked 
Andree as he entered the room. 

" Very soon, " replied the girl with a blush. 

" I shall go to the ceremony. " 

" You ? " 

" Yes, I want to see you happy. " 

" I hope I shaU be so, as I love my future husband. " 

" You act rightly, he is a worthy young man, and he lovea 
you also. Have you received my flowers ? " 

" Yes, your bouquet is a marvelous one, and I thank you for 
it. But you must wish me many happy returns of my fete day. 
You have the right to kiss me on such an occasion as this. " 

** Since the customs of your country allow it I will do so," 

190 nana's daughter. 

sighed the rajah; and he kissed Andr6e very gently on the 

They remained for some moments alone in the parlor, and the 
Hindu, who had seated himself in an arm-chair near Andr6e, 
murmured : "I think that I feel better. " Then with a sudden 
start he exclaimed : "I hear some one at your front door. '' 

Scarcely had he spoken than the haU bell began to ring, and 
An dree, who felt somewhat nervous, remarked: "It is very 
singular, but I am not expecting any one " 

" Not even Nana I " cried the courtesan, suddenly entering the 
parlor and walking straight toward Andr^e. 

Mademoiselle Naviel rose to her feet. " You less than any 
one," she rejoined. 

" And yet I have to speak to you. " 

" Speak, madame." 

" What I have to say can only be heard by yourself. " 

" Excuse me, madame, but we have no secret to share, you 
and I. You have come here with an object I am ignorant of. 
It is only fitting that my parents should be fuUy acquainted with 
the motive of your visit. I am going to call them." 

So saying Andree left the parlor, leaving Nana and the rajah 
alone. *' I congratulate you, prince, " sneered the comrtesan. 

" About what ? " he asked, with haughty disdain. 

" On your choice. At aU events your preferences don't leave 
the family. The daughter after the mother. So, that's your 
style, and Andree takes pity on the lovers I dismiss." 

" I am not anything to her, nor shall I ever be so — she docs 
not love me." 

" What does that matter ? I didn't love you, and yet " 

" Oh, you 1 " 

" I know what you are going to say. I am a degraded 
woman and I belong to whomsoever that buys me. But that's 
false ! " 

" I should not have employed so many words to express the 
same idea. But I do not intend to talk with you any further," 
With these words the rajah rose up and began walking up and 
down the parlor, draped in his mantle with his arms crossed, 
his head lowered, and his brow cahn with the serenity of 
fatahsm. Andree soon retm-ned accompanied by M. and 
Madame Naviel. " My parents consent to listen to you with 
me, " she said, in a firm voice. 

" I am going," remarked the rajah, " for nothing which that 
woman can have to say to you could possibly interest me." 
Then he bowed low to Mademoiselle Naviel, took leave of her 
adoptive parents, passed in front of Nana without looking at 
her, and left the house. 

The courtesan at once drew near to the young girl, looked 
into her eyes, and tried to take hold of her hand ; but Andr6e 


swiftly withdrew it. " It is useless, madamo," she murmured, 
with an emotion she vainly tried to hide. "You would do 
better to refram from demonstrations which are quite out ot 
place here. Say what you have to say as briefly and as speedily 

as possible." i,. ,» 

" I have come to fetch you, my daughter. " 

« I am accustomed to your audacity, madame, and yoTir 
impudence does not surprise me." T,„f t orv, fn 

"You wretched child I Have you forgotten what 1 am to 

^^" What you are? What does that matter to me ? I believe 
that you gave me birth and that you threw me mto the gutter 
almost as soon as I was born. That is what you are to ^^Z I 
beheve that if you could have destroyed me before my birth you 
would have done so. I beheve that you became a mother ui 
spite of yourself, and I have been told that it was on account of 
nie that you discarded my unfortunate father, although Je loved 
you like a madman. I beheve that you have always detested 
me, and that you have tried to do me all the harm m your 
power. I believe that you have done your best to bequeath me 
your shame and drag me into your own disgraceful hfe. It I 
have not become as contemptible, as venal, as utterly lost as you 
are, it is certainly not your fault, or that of your Marqms 
D'Albi-ny! And you dare to speak of what you are tome! 
Do you imagme that I am wantmg in contempt for Jou? 

''Despite all you may say, you will not prevent the truth from 
bemg the truth. Ask those who brought you up, ask your 

^^« They^toM^me the facts, and I cannot change them. But I 
have done my duty. I warned my betrothed even before I had 
Tearaed tSe tru?h from any one but you. I feared that my ties 
of relationship would disgust him with a marriage on which my 
hpart and hones were set. But I considered that loyalty 
requLd I sWdalthkethat, and I did so. Andmy betrothed 
the man whom your marquis tried to murder, did not shrink 
HiTthe idea of marrying a girl who owes her birth to you! 
iHien woSd not have had the same confidence, for when one 

has the blood of sucTi a woman as you m one s veins 

Nana drew herself up, rebelhng agamst the contempt of her 
vktuJus daughter. She tried to stifle the shame which she 
^cretlv experienced in presence of this purity of soul and body, 
rwhJSiSrownhnpurllyhad given ^-th. " Mademois^^^^^^^^ 
she cried, in a bitter voice, " you have not the right to insult 
me! Evei if the lowest ackanapes spat insulting epithets m 
SyfaceJ it would be Jour duty to set yourself pretty and pure 
as you are — do you hear my chaste young lady — between the 
filth and me. If you have been taught anything difi-erent here, 
fou have been badly brought up ; for the first respect of all, even 

192 . nana's daughter. 

before self-respect, is respect for the woman who risked death 
to give you life. " 

" No, madame, no, " exclaimed Pierre Naviel, " we are not 
wrong in teaching Andreo to distinguish between you and what 
is right. We have brought her up as weU as we could, my wife 
and I ; we have taught her how to earn her living honestly by 
work; we have set her the example, and when chance brought 
her together with you and she asked us what you were I did not 
hesitate to answer what I thought. * That woman is a degraded 
creature ! ' I said to her ; and yet I knew that she was your child. 
I had been told so at the Foundling Hospital. Still that didn't 
prevent me from taking her home, for I thought that everything 
depended on the way children were brought up ; and, the fact 
is, I was right. The little one has .rewarded us by her good 
conduct, and this proves that it is all folly to pretend that one 
can't escape vice when one is born in it. However, as you are 
here, make haste and explain yourself, for we have no time to 

'' I have come to claim my daughter in accordance with my 

" No, no, madame, you have neither right nor law in your 
favor. You may have succeeded in surprising Andree and 
forcibly detaining her in your house. But you can't take her 
from us now — unless she herself consents to go with you, for we 
don't wish to impose our views on her. " 

As Naviel finished speaking he turned to Andree with a 
questioning glance. " In speaking hke that, father," she said, 
" you know very well what I should answer. " 

" But, no, no ! " exclaimed Nana, '' I can't suffer that you 
should hate and despise me. Listen to me, Andree. I have 
been very guilty, " and so saying the courtesan fell on her knees 
at her daughter's feet, " yes, very guilty, very cowardly, very 
vile. I deserve all that you have said to me, but to hear you 
repeat it is an expiation above my strength. I suffered before I 
finally fell into the abominable life I have led. I suffered fright- 
fully. I had not always had good examples before my eyes like 
you have had ; and yet I felt ashamed of myself before I suc- 
cumbed, and resolved to brave everything. As long as I was 
young I was protected and urged onward, and told, over and 
over again, that I was right. All the men around me were so 
many servants, so many slaves ; and now there is not one but 
who proclaims his contempt for me ! And even D'Albigny, yes, 
the Marquis D'Albigny, insults me after having ruined me ! " 

" You have only what you deserve, madame, " said Andree, 

" Yes; I deserve that passers-by should throw mud at me ; I 
deserve being dragged in the gutter by that Hindu who just 
went away ; but I don't deserve the same treatment from you, 


Andr6e, aa from the lovers who have abandoned mo in my 

" I am not obhged to tell you the contrary of what I think." 

" And if you morally kill mo by saying it, if you extinguish 
the last spark of repentance in my heart, if you thrust me back 
into the inftimy from which I would escape — will you not then 
be responsible for the evil I may do ? Come to me, come back 
with me, Andree. You will save me, you will purify me, you 
will teach me virtue and chastity, you will be my mother, we 
will reverse the natural order of things, I will be your child, you 
will tell me how I ought to live, you will teach me how to work. 
Come, Ajidree, come, I had never wept before, but now, see my 
tears, the tears to which my eyes are unaccustomed. Your 
hatred, your contempt have crushed me. Come, I beg of 
you. " 

" As for your tears I don't beheve in them ; your new -bom 
love, your sudden affection, your repentance, are only so much 
falsehood and comedy. If it was to act this scene that you 
called on people who don't esteem you, you would have done far 
better by remaining at home ; and it is advisable that you should 
return there at once, now that I know what you wish of me. " 

At the first words spoken by Anflree, Nana drew herself erect. 
Her nostrils dilated with sudden anger, and she again became 
beautiful with the splendor of yore. Lashed into vicious revolt, 
the blood now coursed more swiftly through her veins. It was 
as though the spring-tide of her nature had been renewed. She 
was strong, powerful again with her hateful, railing energy, and 
her raging, infernal jealousy of vhrtuous beauty. Bursting into 
a fierce laugh and pointing to the flowers which filled the 
room: " From whom and for whom is all this homage?" she 
asked. " Does each bouquet represent a lover ? Are the young 
fellows well off? Do they pay you handsomely? For monej 
alone is true and real in fife ; isn't that so, mademoiselle ? That 
was why you robbed me of my richest lover, the rajah who just 
went away ; and little Lucien will make a profitable investment; 
by marrying you. Oh ! he's in the swing, little Lucien is, and I 
shall compliment him on his betrothed. You may rely upon it, 
pretty rival, pretty thief who steals my exotic princes from me. 
Yes, rely upon it ! " 

" Take yourself off ! " cried Madame Naviel who was flushed 
with anger. 

Nana, still furious, went out with her head erect ; and as she 
crossed the threshold she exclaimed in a ringing voice : " You 
shall hear of Nana, all of you. " 

" And you, if ever you try to harm Mademoiselle Andree, you 
shall hear of me, " exclaimed Margot who was waiting for the 
courtesan at the door off the work-room, and who gave her a 
look like that of a wild cat about to spring upon its prey. How- 

194 nana's daughter. 

ever, Nana did not deign to turn her head. She went slowly 
down the stairs raising her lace train with aU the graceful 
haughtiness of yore. 

On the following morning Andr6e rose at her accustomed hour 
and set to work. At noon the house-porter brought her up a 
letter. She at once recognized the handwriting of the address, 
and foresaw that some terrible grief was in store for her. Still, 
with cold resolution, she tore the envelope open, and found that 
it contained two letters — one from Nana to Lucien Despretz, 
and the second from Lucien to herself. The former missive ran 
as follows : 

" Dear Sm — You did not think fit to beheve what I told 
you respecting Mademoiselle Andreo Naviel, whom you persist 
ui marrying despite all the warnings you have received. I have 
already told you, personally, that she was the Marquis 
D'Albigny's mistress on two occasions. First, when she lunched 
with him at my house, and secondly when I detained her there, 
after your quarrel with the marquis and before the fire broke 
out. You can beheve this or not as you choose ; D'Albigny and 
I, alone, are able to certify the truth of this statement which 
the interested party not unnaturally denies. But Mademoiselle 
Andree Naviel has not confined herself to the marquis. During 
the fire which destroyed my house she was saved by a man who 
had been my lover, and who was to have lived with me, for he 
had left in my charge a considerable sum to defray the expenses 
of our connection. This sum disappeared during the fire, and 
after suspecting that Pierre Naviel, the young woman's adoptive 
father, had then appropriated it by theft, we have now every 
reason to believe — D'Albigny and I — that the said Naviel has 
devised a less dangerous but more infamous scheme, in view of 
effecting his object. He is simply speculating on the girl's 
beauty and the rajah's love for her— a love to which she lends 
herself with a readiness unknown to you alone. Pray, inquire, 
dear sir, at what hour the rajah is in the habit of going to see 
Andree, and you will ascertain that he carefully calls when you 
are not in the house. For instance, last night, when you were 
miable to visit your chaste betrothed as usual, you were ' advan- 
tageously' replaced by the rajah, who had been duly warned 
of your absence. I write you all this because I beheve that you 
are as loyal as you are simple, and as confidmg as you are 
ignorant of women. If I have by chance made a mistake, and 
you are fuUy acquainted with the rajah's frequent visits to 
Andree, you will have a right to ask mo to apologize ; for in 
that case you would be far more artful and far less scrupulous 
than I supposed. 

" P. S. Isn't the delay in bringing about your marriage due 
in some respects to Andr6e's intrigue with her prince?" 


The second letter, which came from Lucien, was written in a 
trembling, irregular hand, as if it had been composed in the 
midst of a fit of passion. Still at the outset it had some preten- 
sions to dignity, and the first words were not lacking in apparent 
calmness : 

" Mademoiselle — I do not know if the much-hoped-for 
marriage between us can take place. I fancy not. Obstacles 
arise on all sides, and denunciations rain upon me, as witness 
the enclosed letter. I knew that the rajah — the ex-lover of the 
woman who is your mother — had abandoned his old mistress for 
you. I knew that he had ofl'ered you his fortune, just as he had 
previously offered it to Nana. You told me, no doubt intention- 
ally, and to anticipate my suspicions, that he had gone to 
]\Iadame Naviel's to buy some flowers, whereas the truth is, that 
he only goes to the house to see you. Finally, I learned by 
chance that you had been seen with him at the Grand Hotel and 
in his brougham. I do not know why you have made a mystery 
of this acquaintance and these meetings, but I conclude that, as 
you have kept them secret, you had certain reasons which can- 
not be confessed. The enclosed letter shows that as I was 
imable to go and see you last night, I was ' advantageously ' 
replaced by a wealthier rival. I now divine the real motive of 
all the delay which has taken place in fixing the date of our 
wedding. This motive is evident enough, and one must be a 
lover not to see it. Listen, Andr^e, I have greatly sufiered for 
you and through you since we first met. My situation has 
become intolerable- I no longer believe in anything. I doubt 
of the existence of God, of the sun itself, since I can no longer 
trust in you. As I told you on the day when you came to my 
mother's, had you even been Nana herself, I loved you so much 
that I would have married you all the same. But you ought to 
have told me the truth, you ought not to have deceived me ! I 
might forget past errors, but I should be unable to close my eyes 
to present shame. I forgive you for all the sutteriug you cause 
me by yoiu- waywardness or irreflection. I love you like a 
coward, for I lack the heart to hate you. I would drag myself 
on my knees to beg forgiveness for this letter, for maybe I accuse 
you wrongly. My head whirls as I write this, at the thought 
that I am sending such a missive to you. Oh! Andr6e, why 
were we not married sooner ? Now it is too late ; the holy bona 
which carmot be severed has become an impossibility ; doubt hab 
crept in between you and me. I could no longer offer you my 
former honest love. Despite myself, my desires would be purely 
material, you would no longer be what you were, the little saint, 
the little fondly-worshiped madonna — you would be — shall I 
dare to write it — a coveted mistress and nothing more. So it is 
better not to sully the ethereal dream we made together. Good- 

196 nana's daughter. 

by, then, my own love, for without you I cannot live ; good- 
by, Andree, think nevermore of 

*' Your old friend, 

'' LuciEN Despretz." 

As pale as a wax eflBgy of the virgin, with dilated eyes and 
trembhng hands, Andree had the courage to read this cruel 
letter to the end. When she had finished she placed both mis- 
sives in her bosom, called Margot, and in the harsh voice habitual 
to her in moments of anger, said : " Bring me my bonnet and 
mantle. " 

'' Where are you going ?" asked Madame Naviel, eagerly. 

" To the Grand Hotel, mother, " 


When Lucien Despretz received Nana's letter, he at first tried 
to conceal from his mother the deep impression which it made 
upon him. It arrived while he was dressing in the intention of 
going to wish Andree many happy returns of her fete day. 

He read the letter twice, and perceived that it was in his 
power to verify the charges which it enunciated respecting the 
rajah. The latter certainly went to the Naviels', and took 
Andree heaps of flowers, which she accepted, so that it seemed 
as if she encouraged his assiduity. It was also true that the 
rajah only called at an hour when he was certain not to find 
Lucien in the house. On the previous day he had gone there in 
the evening, contrary to custom, and as Lucien had warned his 
betrothed that his work would detain him at the ofQce, it 
seemed as if Andree connived with the rajah to inform him of 
her suitor's absence. Overcome by the weight of the doubts 
which assailed him, Lucien sank onto a chair with his head in 
his hands. At times it seemed to him as if Andree purposely 
hesitated to conclude the marriage already so often deferred. 
Obstacles arose on all sides. Even Luc had declared, in his 
presence, that such a marriage was impossible. Madame 
Despretz also was opposed to it, since she knew that Andree 
was Nana's daughter, and that the rajah was a constant visitor 
at the Naviels'. By degrees, her own visits to Andree's adop- 
tive parents had become less frequent, and it seemed as if there 
were some estrangement between them. Besides, she had fits 
of misanthropy which lasted for entire months, when she led a 
silent, retired life, avoiding every one, even her own son. It 
seemed as if in the depths of her ulcerated heart, some secret 
recollections subsisted, as bitter and as tenacious as remorse, 
some mystery which she concealed as carefully as if it were a 
so-QTce of shame. When she surprised Lucien, absorbed in his 


reflections, with his head in his hands, she hastened to him and 
drew his liands aside, so as to try and read his thoughts in his 
face. His convulsed features and dry eyes, to which the virile 
austerity of a sudden resolution had imparted an unusually 
harsh ex])ression, bespoke the most intense grief. She felt 
frightene(l at the sight, and then perceiving the letter which he 
f.till held in his right hand, she snatched it from him and read 
it at a glance. 

" Ivisten, Lucien," she said, as she kissed him on the forehead; 
" listen, my poor hoy ; you have fallen into a perfect wasps' 
nest. In my opinion the mother and the daughter fully under- 
stand each other ; the one is as bad as the other ; and Nana 
must ha\'e written this letter with Andree's consent, so as to 
make you give up the marriage. It is evident that they now 
have other views, shameful but profitable ones. Sure enough, 
that woman Nana has passed the rajah over to her daughter ! '' 

" You exaggerate, mother. I think that Andree is virtuous, 
although she is a great deal too coquettish. I will make the 
rajah speak; I will force him to do so; yes, force him, mother, 
or else " 

" Come, that girl will end by breaking your heart and blastinf; 
your life. Haven't you already lost a position and risked youit 
life on account of her ? Am I nothing to you ? Don't you ever 
think of the grief and anxiety you cause me ? Ah ! that 
wretched Nana, what need had she to write and upset you with 
that letter? You wish to speak to the rajah, you say; well, be 
it so. And I will go and say a couple of words to his ex-mistress. 
What cause can she have to hate me so, that she persecutes me 
even in the person of my son ? I had pardoned her, I had ibr- 
gotten them both, herself and her D'Albigny. She wants to 
revive my recollections, does she ? So be it, then ! I will go to 
her house, and before her marquis I will tear the mask from off 
her face. For I also, I have an arm against her in my hand ! 
But, first of all, Lucien, if you will take my advice, you will 
write to Mademoiselle Naviel to give her back her promise. 01 
course you must tell her why. If she is guilty, she won't try to 
prove the contrary; and if she is innocent and really loves Tou, 
she will surely find a means of showing it. " 

" You want me to write to Andree ? " 

" Quite so. " 

" But if I release her from her promise, even if my suspicions 
are unfounded, she will remain proudly silent, as is usual with 
her, and then it will be all over between us." 

" So much the better." 

" You don't like Andree, mother. " 

" Because I fear that you love her too much." 

" Well, as you wish it ; I will write to her. " 

Lucien did not have the time to reflect that this letter, written 


on Andr6e's fete day, was even a more grievous offense than the 
barely-expressed doubt which had almost resulted in a rupture 
on the day of the fire, in which Audree would have perished 
but for the rajah's succor. The young fellow wrote the first 
few lines with studied coldness, and without any positive inten- 
tion of really sending the letter; but as he approached the 
finish, he gave way to the true passion which inflamed him, and 
strove to be as energetic as possible in the hope that Andr6e 
would give way in presence of his violent jealousy, as she had 
already done in the case of the marquis. However, each harsh 
word that he addressed to her proved a blow to his own heart, 
and he suffered cruelly as he felt his faith in her give way under 
the weight of slander. When his letter was finished, he folded it 
up with Nana's and placed them both in an envelope on which 
he rapidly wrote Andr6e's address. Meanwhile Madame Des- 
pretz had been dressing ; she was the first ready to go out, and 
she entered Lucien's room to kiss him. 

" You are really going to that woman's? " he asked. 

<< Yes." 

"What is the use of it?" 

" I wish to have an explanation with her, and request her to 
leave us in peace. " Then noticing Lucien's letter to Mademoi- 
selle Naviel, she added : "Ah! so your note is ready? I con- 
gratulate you, my boy. Now you will be mine and only mine. I 
will post it for you if you like. " 

Lucien did not dare refuse. For a long while he had not seen 
such an expression of triumphant maternity on his mother's face. 
A ray ot egotistical joy illuminated the eyes of the old woman, 
who, as if her mourning were perpetual, wore the same black 
dress that he had seen her in for years and years already. She 
threw her arms around his neck, and weeping with happiness, 
kissed him on the forehead and the eyelids. " Do you see, 
Lucien," she said to him, " we shall be very happy now. We 
shall be alone to love each other. Believe me, let the rajah be. 
Andr6e would think that you regretted her. I shall post your 
letter in the Rue Crozatier, unless I take it to BatignoUes and 
leave it with the porter at the Naviels' house. " 

" It would be better to post it, mother." 

" As you like. " 

She then went off almost cheerfully, while Lucien began to 
dress. He left the house a few minutes afterward, and walked 
on scarcely knowing where he was going, but with his mind still 
full of Andr6e. Suddenly he thought of the letter which he had 
just written to her, and stopped short as if he had received a 
blow on the skull. This letter really implied a ruptiu-e; he had 
not carefully weighed all the terms of it, but he now felt that 
8ome of them were too harsh, and would appear positive insults 
lo Andr^e. W[\y had his mother, so to say, almost torn that 

nana's daughter. 199 

letter ffoiu him ? As he began to measure the void which the 
loss of xVndree would creates in his life, he was astonished to feel 
that he would be quite unable to exist without her. Full of 
regret for his broken love, he dwelt painfully on his former 
dreams, crushed by the recollection of the delightful i)lans they 
had formed together. She again appeared to him as ho had seen 
her the first time, in that box at the Theatre des Bouffes, radiant 
with her fifteen summers, candid and charming amid the vicious 
homage which Nana had prompted, and which went rather to 
the courtesan's daughter than to Andree's true, chaste beauty. 
How pretty she had looked that evening in her light, liac-tinted 
dress, with gloves of the same shade, and suimy hair which fell 
to her eyes in wavy ringlets, veiling her Grecian forehead. Then 
he saw her again as she had been that day, that lovely spring 
morning, when ho had ventured to speak to her of love. And 
corresponding impressions were aroused in his mind as in a 
dream ; he had a vision of the Boulevard Beaumarchais, which 
they had walked along together j and he could see a gentleman 
in a dressing-gown, who was taking his ease on his balcony, 
reading the Vie Parisienne. 

And now it was all over? Was that possible? He had 
deceived himself, he had been deceived ! Even his mother did 
not like Andr6e, and that miserable fellow Luc, Nana's valet, 
had, in connivance with his mistress not doubt, dared to declare 
that a marriage between Andree Naviel and Lucien Despretz 
was impossible. As for Nana, her opinion could have no weight ; 
and Lucien did not even try to think what could have been her 
real object in wilting that letter. And yet at this very moment 
he submitted to this woman's influence ; he was conquered by 
her desperate attacks upon Andree, and gave credit to the state- 
ments she made — she, the unnatural mother, who slandered the 
virtue of her own child ! With these contradictory thoughts 
revolving in his mind, Lucien drew near to the Jardin des 
Plantes. He stopped short on the quay and gazed fixedly at 
the distant pile of Notre Dame rising up against the pale azure 
of the chilly sky. At last he averted his eyes, and leaning over 
the parapet of the quay, he began to watch the gliding moire- 
like ripples of the river, which here expanded ere it wound 
ribbon-like around the island of La Cite. It seemed to the 
young fellow that over there, near the island, the water with its 
smooth, silky reflections assumed the tint of Andree's dress. 
Could he live like this without going mad? he asked himself. 
No, it was impossible. He must repair what he had done — he 
must annihilate that fatal letter. 

This decision taken, he hastened to the postoflSce in the Rue 
Crozatier, which he found full of people. He had to wait twenty 
minutes before ho could speak to a clerk in view of recovering 
the letter, and he was then told that he was too late. The letter 

200 nana's daughter. 

had already gone off to the central office in the Rue Jean Jacqiie3 
Rousseau, whither he immediately hurried. After various 
mquiries there, he was at length sent to the proper department, 
the manager of which made him write a fac- simile of the address 
in view of having the letter looked for. Then half-an-hour'8 
tedious waiting followed, and finally Lucien was told that the 
missive could not be foimd, although a very careful search had 
been made by the sorters. The young fellow hurried off almost 
without thanking the obliging officials, and hailing the first cab 
he spied, he told the driver to take him to the Square des 

The porter of the house in which the Naviels resided readily 
informed him that an old lady, whom he recollected having seen 
a few times before, had called at noon, and given him a letter 
for Mademoiselle Andree. He had taken it up-stairs at once, 
and shortly afterward Mademoiselle Andree had left the house 
without saying where she was going. The misfortune was irre- 
parable ! Lucien's passionate soul was inflamed with a violent 
attack of rage. His despair was changed into jealous hatred 
against the rajah, the marquis, Nana, and even his mother her- 
self. He rushed out of the house like a madman, sprang into 
the cab again, and called out to the driver : " To the Grand 
Hotel ! " 

When Andr6e, on leaving Batignolles, reached the palatial 
caravansary on the Boulevard de Capuciaes, she found the rajah 
alone in the room in which he had aheady received her, when 
she had sohcited his testimony in favor of Pierre Naviel, imjustly 
accused of theft. It was a comfortable and even luxurious room, 
but quite destitute of charactenstic elegance. The furniture, 
upholstered in blue and yellow satin, comprised some arm-chairs 
and a sofa with tassels and fringes, and near the window stood 
a writing table covered with open letters and unfinished answers. 
As soon as the rajah perceived Andr6e he realized by the ex- 
pression of her featui'es that some unexpected misfortune had 
overtaken her. 

"Nana?" he cried in a deep voice. "I can guess it — I see 
Nana's hand in this — You have been crying, Andree — tell me, 
do you wish for that woman's blood ? 

" I wish for nobody's blood, prince ; but I am slandered on 
account of you. Our acquauitance is incriminated. But read these 
two letters. " 

He held out his hand. " This one," ho said, " comes from 
Nana. I will not read it — I have no doubt of its contents. And 
this one from your betrothed. Let us see it. " He neghgently 
let Nana's note slip on the floor, and began to peruse the letter 
written by Lucien. When ho had finished two tears coursed 
down his sunken cheeks. " Poor fellow, " he muttered. "You 
have come to ask me not to see you again — is that not 8o, 

nana's daughter. 201 

Anrlrcc f 1 forosaw it. " His broad cliost hoaved. with a sol), 
and in a low hissing voice he added : " Yes, I understand : I 
did wrong ; it is I who am guilty. I ought not to have gone to 
your homo ; I ought not to have taken you any flowers. Ho 
thought — the unfortunate fellow — how does he understand love 
then f Does he think that any evil ideas had entered my mind 
when I was with you? Does ho think that, tell me, Andree? 
Ho must be mad then ! But each flower I took you said in its 
perfumed, blooming language what I myself was jDowerless to 
say. It was the essence of my being, my very soul that went 
toward you — my soul which I had deposited in the pure chalices 
of the flowers when I kissed their virgin petals before taking 
them to you. " 

'' I know that you love mo, rajah — Why did I not meet you 

" Why, yes, why? You would have been mine now, Andrde, 
yes, mine ; while he sends you those letters fit to crush you. 
Poor fellow ! ho sutlers — he has written that with his life-blood. 
Do you still love him?" 

" Why do you ask me that ?" 

" Answer me frankly — do you love him in spite of all the 
sorrow he has caused you whilst struggling against his agony ? 
Andree, do you love him — tell me — answer?" 

His eyes dilated with ardent hope, and the flame of fever rose 
to his cheeks, drying his burning tears. Everything in him 
begged, watched, prayed, even to the broken sighs exhaled by 
his lips, curved into an expression of pain, even to his hands, 
which tremblingly pressed those of Andree. And what he 
asked — this man whose very silence bespoke high, powerful 
passion, was whether he might hope and hvo, or whether he 
must sacrifice himself and die. 

" You ask me if I love him, prince?" rejoined Andr6e, whose 
voice vibrated deeply, " I love him too well. I crush my pride 
under foot to come and beg of you to sacrifice your friendship for 
me to his unjust suspicions. " 

" It is well. You shall not see me at your house again. Bid 
your father and mother, all those whom you love, good-by for 
me. I wUl leave France. Perhaps I shall still have time enough 
to reach my country, and die where I was born. " 

" No, stay, prince." 

" But why should I stay now ? I hoped I should be able to 
■witness your ha])piness. I longed to die under the pale sky of 
France, in the shade of her cypresses. But I am denied that 
resting-place. Why should I stay, since my presence causes 
your tears to flow, since you do not love me, since you love 
him " 

" I do not know. I have no longer the courage to think; or 
even to live. " 

Nana's Dau^kier 13. 

202 N ana's daughter. 

" What can I do to console you ? I offer to go away, T offer 
to die, if you wish it. From the land of death no travelers 
return, and your betrothed will not be jealous of a phantom. " 

While speaking he had passed one arm around Andree's 
waist, and sustained her as she wept on in silence, with her 
madonna-hke hands pressed to her brow. As the Hindu's words, 
at once chaste and ardent, descended toward her, as his breath 
stirred the curls of her tawny hair, he himself leaned forward, 
attracted by the suave perfume of her person. Half intoxicated 
by the scent, he stood with parted mouth, his hps seeming to 
kiss the very air around him. Andree, on her side, despite her 
recent contact with the courtesan, felt an ardor of generous 
ideality steal over her. A world of new sensations was awakened 
in her mind. She had known nothing like it in her previous hfe, 
which, from the first sentiment of vague sympathy inspired by 
Face-to-Smack, down to the honest, sincere love she felt for 
Lucien, had been of a realistic character. Lucien had given her 
the first fruits of his reserved mind and chaste nature, which 
had not spent itself in facile intrigues. And for Andree, who 
wished to be a man's one and only love, it was everything to be 
his first sweetheart, for she was proud enough to beheve that 
once distinguished by her a lover would never seek elsewhere. 
Thus Lucien had this immense advantage over the rajah, that 
he had never loved any woman but Andree. The Hindu had 
shown himself to all Paris in the courtesan's company. He had 
been seen at the opera with her, in the Bois de Boulogne, and at 
various entertainments. He had ruined himself for her on a 
former occasion, and he would have done so over again if Andree 
had not crossed his path. Then without more ado he had aban- 
doned Nana for her daughter, love in flesh and bones for Platonic 
ethereality. The rajah's imexpected idealism would have seemed 
ridiculous for many women, but for Andi-ee it had all the attrac- 
tion of the unknown — that unknown which intoxicates free 
hearts and independent imaginations. Still it could not counter- 
balance the perfectly defined and openly confessed affection of 
the young fellow whom Nana was trying to turn from Andree 
by a system of patient, perfidious slander. 

" You see, " said the Indian, pointing to the unfinished letters 
lying on his writing-table, " you see when I wanted to write I 
tried to collect my ideas but I could not find them. They had 
flown away with you and will remain with you. Who can see 
them and be jealous of them? Tell your friend that since you 
love hira I leave you to him. If some day you changed, if you 
regretted having lost me — but no, that is impossible, it would 
be too late for me, too late for you. Oh ! If I ever learned 
that he made you unhappy, if I ever knew that he abused his 
happiness to torture you, I would go to you, no matter where I 
might be. My will would be powerful enough to raise even the 

nana's daughter. 203 

earth of the grave. And dead, T would chitch hold of him with 
my skeleton hands and drag him away with me. Ahve, I would 
kiil him, and then carry you oil' in my mantle, near my heart, 
and warm your jjrctty hands and feet with my love. We would 
go far, far away together, to the country of the sun, where you 
would hear me children, so that the type of perfect heauty 
might not perish with you." 

" Don't talk like that, rajah — leave me," said Andr6o, mak- 
ing an etfort to free herself. " I should almost justify the 
jieoplo who slander mo if I hstened to you, if I allowed you to 
talk and look at me as you are doing. Your eyes really hurn me. 
"Wo must separate. You have been a very kind friend to me, I 
have never had to complain either of your w^ords or of your 
acts ; you have respected my early afi'ection and I thank you 
for doing so. Write and tell M. Lucien Despretz that you know 
through me that he is jealous on account of your visits, and 
that you intend to cease them. You will add that you have 
entertamed great friendship for me, but that you have loved 
Nana too much to care for any other woman. " 

" What ! Andree, you want me to wi'ite and sign a lie ! But 
lying is contemptible, and I cannot tell an untruth." 

" You will do so for my sake, and I shall esteem you all the 
more. " 

" Well, I will do as you bid me." 

" Then write this evening. " 

" Tell me what to say. I will write and sign it before you. " 

" So be it, prince, I accept the offer. Those who accuse me 
of betrayal must be confoimded." 

The rajah sank into an arm-chair, which he rolled to his 
writing-table, took up a gold pen, encrusted with precious 
stones, and wrote, while Andree dictated to him as follows : 

" Sir — I learn with extreme surprise that you wish to break 
off your marriage with Mademoiselle Andree Naviel on account 
of me. I need not tell you, I presume, that my acquaintance 
with your betrothed has been entirely prompted by friendly 
politeness. Mademoiselle Naviel rendered me a great service 
when her mother's house was on fire, and I should have liked to 
acknowledge it otherwise than by ceremonious visits which have 
been by no means frequent. I have felt, and still feel great 
esteem for yoru" betrothed, but nothing more. My passion for 
her mother is not yet extinguished, and it has taken up too 
much room in my life for me to feel a similar sentiment for any 
other woman. I consider Mademoiselle Andree to be a charm- 
ing girl, but I have never raised my eves to her, for I knew that 
she loved another man who reciprocated her affection. I will 
give you what, in my eyes, is an irrefutable proof of this. If I 
felt the passion which is ascribed to me in connection with 
Mademoiselle Naviel I should not be disposed to share her heart 

204 nana's daughter. 

with another or to tolerate the existence of a rival. And in 
that case either you or I would be dead at the present time. Do 
not interpret the step I now tali;e as an act of cowardice, for it 
is but the outcome of the calm, natural sympathy which I feel for 
Mademoiselle Naviel. I cease seeing her because I know that 
she loves you; if it were otherwise it would be you who " 

Andr6e stopped short. " Oh! no," she muttered, " I cannot 
dictate that to you. Scratch out everything after the words J 
cease seeing her.' And wait a minute, I will arrange another 
conclusion. Meantime you can write the address : Monsieur 
Lucien Despretz, 22 Rue Crozatier, Paris." 

While the rajah directed the envelope she reflected, and then 
exclaimed, " Finish the letter hke this : • Love yom- betrothed 
as she deserves to be loved, and refrain from feeling jealous of a 
stranger, who, far fi-om being a rival, would like to be your 
friend.' And then sign your name. " 

The Hindu complied and fastened up the letter. 

"Thanks, prince," said Audr6e, ''and now good-by. I 
intend to post this at once. He will receive it to-morrow 

At this moment a servant abruptly entered the room. " I did 
not ring for you," said the rajah. 

" I have just knocked, prince, and I thought you called out to 
me, ' Come in.' There is a tall young fellow outside who insists 
upon seeing you. " 

At the same moment Lucien Despretz brushed past the 
servant and entered the room. The Hindu released Anch-ee's 
hand, which he had taken in his own, and quietly approached 
the young fellow, saying : " Who are you ? It seems to me that 
I have met you before. What do you desire If " 

" I desired the proof of a betrayal, and I need not go any 
further. " 

" A betrayal ! You cannot find anything of the sort here, 

"I at least find a perjured woman, prince," said Lucien, 
pointing to Andr6o with an accusing gesture. 

" Lucien, you are mistaken I " cried Mademoiselle Naviel, 
springing toward her lover. 

" I am mistaken, mademoiselle, do you say? Mistaken, when I 
surprise you here? No, no, I am not mistaken : I cannot deceive 
myself or be deceived by others any longer. I have been candid, 
good-natured, and stupid, eh ? And you must have had a nice 
laugh together, you, the marquis, the rajah and the others, a 
nice laugh at such a foolish young fellow as myself ! I confess 
that I am not inclined to laugh ; and as your marquis half killed 
me I hope that this gentleman in his quahty as a prince; will 
deign to finish me. That is what I ask for. " 

nana's daughter. 205 

" I am not disposed to kill any one, sir; a man's life is sacred; 
nothing is more worthy of res])eet in the whole world." 

" You are mistaken, prince, there is something more worthy 
of respect than a man's life, and that is a woman's honor." 

** No woman's honor is imperiled by the rajah, and as for tho 
yomig lady who is here, and who has asked me to forget tho 
affection I felt for her, she will leave this room as pm:e and as 
honored as when she entered it half an hour ago." 

" I dare say. She wasn't your mistress for the first time 

" A^Tiat infamy and cowardice ! " cried Andr6e. I ought to 
have sufficient contempt for you not to answer you — not to givo 
you the proof that you are insultmg a girl who deserves your 
respect, and who deserved your love; but I have not prido 
enough it seems, and as I can clear myself I will do so. " 

She then took up the letter which she dictated to the rajah, 
and handed it to M. Despretz. A tragical silence followed. 
Leaning against the wall near the window, Lucien slowly 
perused the missive. The rajah, crushed by the grief of losing 
Andree, had sunk into an arm-chair. She, standing erect in 
front of her betrothed, waited for him to acknowledge his errors, 
and implore her forgiveness for having misjudged her. But as 
Lucien continued reading, his features assumed an expression of 
intense sarcasm, blended with bitter indignation. When he had 
finished he put the letter in his pocket, and turned to the rajah, 
exclaiming : " My congratulations, sir ; the farce is well played. 
I keep this letter as a model of duplicity. And I congratulate 
you, also, mademoiselle, for I presume that it was to dispel my 
suspicions, and deceive me, that you came to request your new 
lover to write me that parcel of lies. " 

" I pity you, sir," said the rajah, " for I see that you cannot 
distinguish truth from falsehood. " 

" You ought rather to pity me for not having known how to 
keep tho love of the woman who was mine, and whom you have 
stolen from me. As for me, I don't pity myself. I mean to be 
revenged. One of us two must disappear." 

" It is I who intend to disappear." 

" Yes, this letter says so, but your word does not suffice." 

" Why do you insult me, young man? My hfe is over. The 
old tiger-killer is at your mercy, you can strike him, he would 
not even try to defend himself." 

" I wish to fight with you, not to murder you. " 

" And I — I can't fight with you, for I have no motive for 
killing you. " 

" But I have one. " 

" Well, here I am then. Kill me. Are you frightened? " 

" Ah ! I will compel you to fight me." 

" No you will not, sir. And yet it would rather be for me to 

2o6 nana's daughter, 

desire your death, for you are loved and I am not. It would be 
for me to hate you, and yet I don't. On the contrary, I want 
you to live happily with her. " 

'* That man with me, prince ! " cried Andree. " Ah, no 1 a 
thousand times no, never, never ! Andr6e Naviel cannot be 
insulted with impunity. She is too proud to forget. This is 
the second time in six months that this gentleman doubts my 
honor. " 

" No, no, I doubt no longer. Your presence here is a 
proof " 

" Well, be it so I It is you who have willed it ! And now 
leave me ! I am no longer yours. I belong to the man who 
knows how to love me, I am " 

*' Do not say that, Ajidree, in heaven's name, do not say that ! " 
interrupted the rajah. " You know very well that it is false, 
that you are not mine, and that you don't love me. It is he 
whom you love. Do not speak an untruth ; for each he that 
pride extorts fi'om you rends your heart. " 

" I tell you, rajah, that it is you not he whom I admire; that 
it is you not he who deserve my love. I tell you that I love you 
now, and that I know that man no longer I Order him to go 
away so that I may remain with you forever and forever ! " 

The Indian, who was very pale, rose up and gently placed his 
hand over Andree's mouth to silence her. " Be quiet," he said 
in a whisper. 

'' Since there is only cowardice and betrayal here, I am going," 
cried Lucien, " but to tell the truth, mademoiselle, I should like 
to know where you fish for your princes and marquises. One of 
them fights like a burglar, and the other refuses a duel. Try to 
make a better choice in the future, for among all these titled 
lovers of yours there isn't one even worthy of you. " 

Andr6e approached Lucien with an implacable gleam in her 
green eyes : " Go, go, sir, you wlU repent of all that you have 
just said when it is too late," she exclaimed. "You wiU shed 
tears of blood, for I know that you love me, and that will make 
me strong to punish you for your disgraceful suspicions. Leave 
me, I have a friend here who is worth more than you. Go, I 
say, go. " 

"I regret, sir," said the rajah, "that you refuse cither to 
believe or understand me. We might have been friends — for a 
short time, for the doctors say that my case is hopeless. It would 
be a pity to risk your life, which will probably be long and 
happy, against mine, which can only be a short and dreary one 
now. Come, sir, give me your hand. The rajah is loyal. Why 
should he wish to deceive you ? I repeat the truth for the last 
time. I love yoiu" betrothed, but she does not love me. " 

" Ah ! you love her! You confess then ! But you wrote quite 
the contrary in youi* letter. So you see that you are lying, that 

nana's daughter. 207 

you are deceiving mc, both of you. Well, keep her, prince, keep 
her for good ! " And scarcely able to restrain his sobs Lucien 
fled along the passages of the hotel, till he reached the boule- 
vard, thronged with people. 

The spring-tide scene was full of the gaiety of active life. 
Bright flowers bedizened the hats and bonnets of the women ; 
light dresses shone joyously in the sun rays which filtered 
between the early fohage of the trees, and open vehicles passed 
by at a swil't trot, conveying grave-looking gentlemen, who 
talked theatricals or speculation on their way to the Bois 
de Boulogne. Lucien crossed the boulevard and turned down 
the Rue de la Paix. He traversed the Place Vendome, followed 
the Rue Castighone, and then cut diagonally across the Tuileries 
gardens. Under the old chestnut trees groups of children were 
playing, carelessly watched by white-aproned nursery-maids, 
who chatted together or listened to a regimental band, which 
was playing the Overture of William Tell. The spring flowers 
bloomed iu clumps around the lawns, where tribes of sparrows 
were disputing over the crumbs thrown them by some ill-clad, 
misanthropical, lonely men, whom these urchins of the air fol- 
lowed about, with the bold persistency of Italian beggars. Spring 
had set her hand even on the blackened skeleton of the imperial 
palace, fired by the Communists, which rose up beyond the gar- 
den like a vision of evil times; here and there the ruins were 
decked with parasitic creepers and verdant weeds. 

Lucien crossed the Pont Royal, scarcely knowing why, but 
seized with a vague desire to go on and on before him, so as to 
escape from the past. The rapid Seine, murmuring mider the 
arches of the bridge, also seemed to have put on its spring attire 
now. Covered with golden spangles by the sun, it reflected the 
verdant foliage of the plane trees on the quay which extended 
far away in long, regular lines, here and there broken by a bridge 
or by a flight of steps leading to the water. The far-reaching 
vista seemed to attract Lucien, and he began to follow the quay, 
brushing past the loitering book-worms who were looking at 
the second-hand volumes exposed for sale on the parapets. As 
he approached Notre Dame, the thought of entering it occurred 
to him. Perhaps some supreme consolation was in store for him 
amid the solemn peacefuLness of the house of worship. The 
huge facade, peopled with statues and pitted with niches, hav- 
ing light columns supporting a high gallery with a tracery of 
rosaces and ogival windows of stained glass, rose up betwen the 
two colossal towers bristling with quaint gargoyles, the fantas- 
tic outlines of which stood out against the mist rising from the 
river. A door on the left-hand side was open, and the young 
fellow went in and fovmd himself in the dim, shadowy nave, 
where the frigid silence was disturbed from time to time by a 
beadle moving some chairs. The towering organ cast a shadow 

2o8 nana's daughter. 

over the entry, the stained-glass -vrindows shed a melloTV luster 
between the columns, the golden chandeliers hung, unUghted, 
from above, and in the damp side-chapels one could faintly hear 
the sleepy prayers of some old women, who, with lowered eyes, 
were mumbling some words in Latin, which they did not under- 
stand. Near the choir the light was increased by the golden 
splendor of the glorious rosaces of the transept. Peaceful calm- 
ness slowly descended into Lucien's soul. The perfume of the 
incense intoxicated him, and he felt a vague feeling of childhke 

He had advanced as far as the choir when the beadle came 
towards him and said : " If you wish to go round the abside or 
visit the treasure, it costs a franc, sir." 

Lucien felt indignant at the priestly rapacity which trans- 
formed a masterpiece into a shop, vergers into showmen, and the 
great cathedral into a relic fair. The peacefulness which the 
silence of the nave had momentarily brought him, was dispelled. 
He left the church and found himself in front of the Morgue, 
in presence of his mourning, the bitter certainty of which was 
strangling him hke a murderer's hand. 

" What is the use of hving? " he asked himself. " Would it 
not be better to sleep there in the Morgue on one of these marble 
slabs?" And, with his brow resting on his hands, leaning on 
the parapet of the quay, he stood watching the gliding, moire- 
like ripples of the river, which in the early twilight re-assumed 
its silky aspect of the morning. 


Whek Lucien entered the rajah's room, Madame Despretz 
was ringing Nana's beU. Luc opened the door, and ushered her 
into the drawing-room. '' Whom shall I announce, madame ? " 
he asked, as if he did not recognize her. 

" Ad61e Despretz," she answered drily. 

''Hum! what can she want?" the valet grumbled as he 
went to inform Nana of this visit. " She's capable of telling my 
worthy mistress wlio I really am, and if she did that I should be 
discharged in disgrace. The deuce ! That would be unpleasant, 
for I have business to attend to here! I've not yet finished 
amusing myself with the marquis and Nana. I must find some 
means of parrying such a thrust as that. " 

He knocked at the door of the bedroom where Virginie was 
dressing Nana's hair. '' Who is it ? " asked the courtesan. 

" A Madame Despretz. I told her that madame was very 
much occupied and could not see her. " 

" On the contrary; show her in." 

nana's daughter. 209 

Luc at once Tvent in search of Lucien's mother. 

Nana's new bedroom communicated both with the hall and 
with a dressmg-room, huug with pink chintz, thi-ough which the 
vestibule might also bo reached. When Adele Despretz 
entered, the courtesan was seated in front of a wardrobe with 
a plate-glass door, while Virginie plaited her hair, still falling in 
part over her black satin dressing-gown, which showed up the 
roseate pallor of her complexion and the brilliancy of her tawny 

" Pray be seated, madame, " said Nana to Lucien's mother; 
and then assuming a haughty air, she added : " Explain to mo 
what you desire. " 

" The explanation I wish to have with you, madame, must 
remain between you and I. " 

" Virguiie, make haste and finish. In five minutes I shall be 
at your disposal, madame. " 

The maid finished plaiting her mistress' hair and left it 
hanging in a double tress down her back. " I will finish this 
evening if madame desires it, " she said. " But this style suits 
madame's beauty very well." And then, after darting a 
piercing glance at the visitor, she disappeared behind the door- 

" Well, we can talk now," said Nana. 

" I had frequently heard speak of you, but I had never seen 
you except from a distance," rejoined Madame Despretz, " now, 
however, I can tmderstand why I was abandoned for you. And 
yet in former times I was considered beautifid. But sorrow has 
made me what you see — an old woman ! " 

" Who was it, pray, that abandoned you for me ? " 

" The father of your child." 

" What ! you were — well ! that's altogether too funny ! I 
must tell that to D'Albigny, it will amuse him and no mistake. 
Ah ! so that fool turned you up to follow me ? Well, do you 
know, you bequeathed me a nice lover in him, and I must com- 
pliment you on your old flame. Do you happen to know what 
has become of that interesting personage? " 

At this moment the door of the room was softly set ajar, and 
Luc's pale face peered under the yellow curtain. 

"You wish to know what has become of him, madame? " 
rejoined Lucien's mother. 

But before the courtesan could reply, Luc altogether entered 
the room and asked, " Did madame ring! "• 

" Leave us along ! Can't you see that we have to talk ? " 
cried Nana. 

" I beg madame to exciLse me, but I thought I heard her 
ring," And drawing near co Ad61e Despretz, Luc rapidly 
whispered as he passed her, " Silence and mystery if you caro 
for your son's honor." 

2IO nana's daughter. 

"Oh! I've little doubt about the fellow's fate," resumed 
Nana. " He has i^robably gone wrong altogether. He stole 
some money, pretending that it was for me, and he was shut up 
in Mazas in consequence, but somehow or other he was let oil 
before the trial came on. I had quite lost sight of him for ten 
years or so, when one day I met him dressed as a mountebanli 
at the fete of St. Cloud. He was a scoundrel of the deepest dye, 
and I feel happy that I have never heard of him since." 

Luc had closed the door, but instead of leaving the room he 
had slipped behind the hanging which fell to the floor. Neither 
Nana nor Madame Despretz had noticed this false exit. 

" And now, madame, " added Nana, " I suppose you did not 
come here merely to ^e^ive an unpleasant recollection which has 
nothing flattering about it for either of us. If you have never 
had any other lover than that fellow, I can understand how it 
happens that you have remained all your life in needy circum- 
stances. And I would bet that if it were a question of beginning 
again — but no matter; I have certainly not been more 
virtuous than you, perhaps less, but taught by experience I have 
known how to select my lovers, and so I have had a fine time of 
it. I don't at all repent of what I have done, and my only 
regret is that it must all come to an end. The moral of this, 
madame, is that a woman ought never to compromise herself 
with needy fellows. As Dumas fils says, a woman's virtue is 
her capital ; and it is a question of investing it advantageously. 
Isn't that your opinion ? " 

" No, madame." 

" Really ? Then I don't understand you. One of two things 
— either a girl must remain a virgin until she is married, or 
if she takes a protector, he must at least keep her in proper 
style. " 

" A virtuous woman is certainly above everything else, 
and there is nothing more worthy of respect than the duly 
married mother of a family ; but if a young girl yields to a man 
by weakness of heart or a surprise of the senses, or if she 
becomes the victim of a snare, she can only urge one excuse and 
people will only admit of one extenuating circumstance — that 
she was guided by no spirit of calculation, that she gave herself 
up freely and did not soil herselt. " 

" You talk very well, but remember that it is necessary to 
live. If the gentleman abandons you, what becomes of you 
then? And suppose he leaves you a child, what do you do 
with it? " 

" One must look for work, toil with one's fingers, and give the 
child the breast. The sight of the little one proves consolation 
for everything, " said Madame Despretz. 

" But then a woman can't earn enough to eat, even ? " 

*' Earnings are small, no doubt, very small, but one doesn't 

NANA'S daughter. 211 

dio of hunger. Tlio little money one can earn by work suffices 
while one is young, and later on, the child, reared in the school 
of poverty, does something for himself, aud ends by helping his 
mother. I fed my son when he was a child and now ho feeds 
me. It is on his account that I called on you, madame. Ho 
loves your daughter. TVTiat is the use of putting obstacles in 
their way ? " 

" Ah I so you are the mother of the impertinent yoimgster who 
came to insult me in my house ? " 

*' He is very young, remember, and madly in love with 
Andr6e. In revenging yourself on one of them you punish them 
both, for Andree loves my son." 

" Oh ! a mere fancy of hers, she will get cured of it. She 
does not love him as much as she says. Do you swallow those 
stories? Do you lend a hand to lovers' nonsense at your age? 
In the interest of both of them you ought to help me to prevent 
this marriage. Besides I shall prevent it without you. Nana's 
daughter ought not to marry. " 

" I fear, alas ! that by acting as you are doing, by slandering 
your own child so as to disgust my son with her, you will only 
succeed in fanning their passion and bringiug about some 
catastrophe. If you had only seen ray son this moruiug when 
your letter was brought to him. Do we know what may be the 
result of it? Come, leave them free to marry each other. I 
hardly believe in happiness myself, but, after all, who knows ? 
It might rather be foimd in a regular life than in a disorderly 
one. Be a mother, madame. A great many persons in your 
position try to keep their daughters from the fatal path they 
themselves have chosen. Do as they do. My son is a worthy 
fellow, he would let himself be cut to pieces for Andree's sake ; 
l)Ut if he doesn't get her he will surely do something foolish. 
Come, madame, I beg of you not to trouble the young folks any 
more. Despite what you have written, I prefer to believe in 
your daughter's virtue, and to respect her as if she were my own 
child, since my son wishes to marry her. 

" Come, come, all tliat is so much folly. I have told you 
already that the stupid little thing mustn't marry at all. I have 
other views for her, and I shall never give my consent to such a 
senseless proposal, " replied Nana. " 

" But remember that having renounced your duties as a 
mother you have also renounced your rights. Andrco docs not 
owe either respect or obedience to the woman who abandoned 
her to pubhc charity. " 

" If she refuses to obey me I shall compel her to do so ; I have 
the means at my disposal. 

" You will be the cause of her death, then." 

" What does that matter? I prefer her dead, rather than see 
her a pauper." 


" My son earns his living, madame, and your daughter 

" That is jus t what I won't tolerate. I wish Andree to be 
rich before anything else. I wish her to be courted by a gentle- 
man, and not by counter-jumpers." 

" I see that in coming here to plead for peace, I was destined 
not to succeed. But justice exists, madame, and if you con- 
tinue attacking honest folks, you will one day be struck in your 
implacable pride. Kuin has already begun to overtake you — 
you and the Marquis D'Albigny — old age will hnish you, and 
whatever you may do to hide your white hairs, and your 
wrinkles, I can perceive them, madame, I can see them. You 
wiU soon learn what the fidelity of your flatterers is worth! " 

'* I think, madame, that we have nothing agreeable to say 
to each other, and it happens that I wish to speak to one of ray 
friends, the Marquis D'Albigny, whom your son has no doubt 
mentioned to you. " With these words Nana stretched out her 
arm and pulled the bell. The door was opened on the inner 
side and then closed again, and finally Luc appeared. " Tell 
the marquis that I wish to speak to him as soon as possible," 
said Nana. 

The valet bowed while Madame Despretz rose up, and in a 
tone of aggrieved dignity, exclaimed: " I will make room for 
him." She then left Naua's presence followed by Luc, wbo 
went down the stairs behind her. 

When they were on the lower landing he touched her on the 
arm and whispered, " Listen; never tell any one who I am, and 
I will revenge you both on the woman who has made you suffer, 
and on the man who struck your son. " 

" Be it so. If you do that I will forgive you," and she held 
out her hand to the ex-clown, who pressed it with his long, 
bony fingers. He then rang the marquis' bell. 

Madame Despretz was already at the bottom of the stairs 
when D'Albigny opened the door. His face was white with 
shaving soap, and he held his razor in his hand. " Madame 
Nana wishes to speak to you, sir," said Luc. 

" Toll her that I shall be up-stairs in five minutes. " 

Luc darted up the flight, four steps at a time, and bending 
low before Naua's unperious glance, he said respectfuUy, 
" Monsieur le Marquis will bo here in five minutes, madame." 

" Very good. Leave us. " 

The valet awaited D'Albigny in the hall, and after ushering 
him into Nana's room, ho again opened the door and glided 
behind the silken curtain as he had already done during 
Madame Despretz's visit. 

After the latter had retired a strange idea had occurred to 
Naua. "This woman," she thought, "says that she had but 
one lover, and in that case Andree and Lucien would be the 


children of tlie same father. Chance has come to our assistance, 
and I can't understand liow this v.oman Despretz can think of 
allowing such a marriage to take place. " In the evil joy which 
this discovery caused her, the courtesan burst into a peal of 
shrill laughter which filled the room with sardonic gaiety. And 
drawing up her figure, which was still superb, bending her 
panther-like loins with juvenile flexion, she stationed herself in 
front of the mirror, loaning back and clasping her fleshy han(b 
behind her neck, down which her weighty tresses glided simila • 
to trailing serpents. 

The ^larquis D'Albigny surprised her, still attitudinizing in 
this style. " Are you rehearsing your return to the stage? " he 
asked, ironically. 

" Yes, lam trying my strength." 

" Ton sent for me, I believe. Was it for me to witness your 
exercises ? " 

" No, I need the advice of your experience." 

" Speak then. I am listening, and I will answer you. " 

" Do you know who has just been to see me ? " 

" No, I have no idea. " 

" Well, Madame Adide Despretz, the mother of Andres's 

" Ad61e Despretz — is she young? " 

" No, her hair is quite white, she must be nearly sixty." 

" Oh ! then, it isn't the one that I knew. " 

" You knew some one called Adele Despretz ? " 

" Yes, very intimately. A case of first love, my dear. Ah ! 
by the way, I made a bold stroke there. But I have never 
boasted of it or tried to see the woman since, for I might have 
been seriously compromised. " 

"Indeed! you interest me. Tell me the story, pray. " 

" What's the use. Tell me rather why you wished to see 

" Well, this is the case at point. The Ad^le Despretz whom 
I have just seen here is, as I have told you, the mother of 
Andree's lover. Now she states that she herself has only had 
one lover in her life, and that lover was precisely Andree'i 

"What! that fellow you had arrested — that old flame Ol 
yours ? " 

" Quite so ; and now do you understand the situation? " 

" Of course I do; Andree and Lucien have one and the same 
father. The coincidence is a curious one — a very curious one, 
upon my word. " 

" Yes,'t it ? Well, I see that we understand each other. 
I am not at all sorry that this old woman, who talked to me like 
a witch, should be prevented by force of circumstances from 

214 nana's daughter. 

carrying out her little plans. As for the Naviels, they will make 
a nice grimace. " 

" I thuik that luck is coming back to us, Nana. I finished 
deahng with several matters yesterday. I have had the lease 
of your new house di-awn up. I have seen the upholsterers, and 
everything will be done lii style. I shall arrange a card-room 
like the old one — green and gold — the Imperial colors, you 
know, they will bruig you luck. Before a mouth is over every- 
thing will be ready for the house-warming. I shall have all the 
horses, eight in number, including a couple of saddle ones, over 
from England, together with the coachman. I will undertake 
to organize the estabhshment and bring people to your fetes. 
It will be for you to detain them, for, of course, I can't do every- 
thing, and my assistance is in some matters limited. " 

" AJl right, marquis, you shall seen the Nana of yore again. 
In a common frame, amid petty surroundings, I don't feel like 
myself. What I need is the grand style, some exciting game for 
heavy stakes. Come, marquis, at the worst we shall at least 
have another gay year." 

" Not a year, my dear, let us say siz months unless " 

" Six months ! " 

" Well, understand : the rent of the house, the furniture, the 
stables, your toilette, and the inaugural fetes, will represent three 
hundred thousand francs. We shaU have a hundred thousand 
in cash which we can dispose of. If we are lucky at play wo 
shall get on all right, otherwise we shall be in debt at the outset, 
and there will be an execution at the end of it. The great point 
will be to prolong the situation and defer the final crash as long 
as possible ; and maybe another rajah will fall from heaven, or 
Andree may return to you, but I hardly think that, after the 
reception she gave you the other day. Sooner or later, one of 
these fine afternoons, she will learn what it costs to keep me 
waiting, just as that Ad61e Despretz I spoke about learned it 
some years ago." 

"Ah! by the way, tell me the story; it must be rather 

" Oh ! it's the simple tale of a girl who was employed at a 
glove shop in the Passage de rOp(§ra, and who lived with her 
parents at Asnier^s. One evening, when it was snowing hard 
and we w'ere in a cab together, I committed a rape upon her. 
The little fool resisted, and wounded me rather badly in the 

" And you have never seen her since? " 

"Oh, no." 

" I can imderstand that it was a nasty aflfair, and it might 
have cost you dear. " 

" If I had been prosecuted, it would have been all u, p, with 
me. I still carry a scar on my nock— there, look I " So saying 

nana's daughter. 215 

D'Albigny turned liis collar down and showed Nana a white 
mark ou his neck. 

" The girl probably said nothing about it, " remarked the 

" That was it, I fancy. However, a short time afterward I 
learned that her father had turned her out of the house, and 
that she had given birth to a child. I never knew whether it 
was a girl or a boy, besides, I never bothered myself about it. " 

" You were (luite right. You might have compromised your- 
self. As for my Ad61e Despretz, who is at least sixty years old, 
she can have nothing in common with your one. " 

Passing into her dressing-room, Nana took up a green crystal 
bottle with a silver stopper containing some essence of violets, 
and scented her cambric handkerchief, which was embroidered 
with a coronet and a Gothic N. "Come, D'Albigny," she 
called, " let me perfume you." 

The marquis consented. She sprinkled some of the essence 
over his coat collar and his handkerchief, and they then passed 
out of the dressing-room by a door leading into the hall. Half 
a minute later one could hear theu' steps as they went down the 
stairs together. The yellow hanging of the bedroom door was 
then drawn aside, and Luc's tall, slim figure appeared. Once 
again there was a tragical gleam in his black eye. " Faugh ! " 
said he, << how nasty this place smells ! " 


" Good-bye, prince," said Andree to the rajah, when Lucien 
Despretz had gone off; and she held out her hand with 
apparent calmness. 

" So it is all over between us? " he asked. 

" No doubt. " 

" And we shaU never see each other again? " 

" Perhaps, if one is re-born. " 

" And then you would love me ? " 

" Yes, for you are good." 

Then she went ofl" without looking at him, while he stood 
there with his arms crossed, and the shadow of the curtains 
falling over his face. His eyes followed her as she went toward 
the door, and long after she had gone he stood there, stiU 
staring into space. 

Andree went across the Place de rOp6ra toward the Chauss6e 
d'Antin ; she was walking very fast without noticing it, as if she 
were wafted along by some immaterial spirit. It seemed to her 
as if all ties were severed that had bound her to human things. 
Among the faces she saw, she did not distinguish which were 

2i6 nana's daughter. 

gay or sad or evil-looking ; but she thought she noticed that 
every one divined the intensity of her despair, and that universal 
pity followed her stops. In the square in front of the church of 
La Trinite she espied some children rolling and plajdng in the 
dust, while their mothers sat hard by, knitting or embroidering. 
Pigeons were cooing as they flew from tree to tree, and over the 
front of the church there hung a white mortuary drapery. A 
hearse was ascending the incline. A coffin, covered with a 
white cloth, and buried beneath crowns and flowers, lay upon it, 
and behind there came a double row of women in mourning, 

Andree stopped short, and a strange feeling took possession 
of her. It seemed to her as if her own body reposed in that 
maidenly bier under the spring flowers. It was only when the 
cortege had passed under the porch into the church that she 
again set off at a swift walk toward Batignolles. On reaching 
home she found Madame Naviel waiting for her anxiously. 
Nobody asked her a single question, but they all seemed sur- 
prised that she was so cahn. She worked as usual until the 
evening, scarcely speaking a word; but once, when Madame 
Naviel slowly muttered : " It is strange that Lucien hasn't been 
here," she rejoined, with Ja singular laugh : " Yes, mother, it's 
strange, isn't it? " 

After dinner, as the work was not pressing, the girls went up 
to their garrets, and the Naviels retired into their room. Andr6e 
remained for some time in the parlor, leaning back in an arm- 
chair, broken as it were by the useless struggle she had engaged 
in, and feehng a strange torpor steal over her. All around, her 
fete-day flowers were exhaUug their soft, intoxicating perfumes. 
She woidd have liked to die like this ; her death ought to be 
such a one, now that life had no further need of her. This idea, 
this longing for eternity, gradually became stronger and stronger, 
and carrying all the bouquets into her room, she piled them on 
her bed. 

The orange blossom, the white roses, the violets, mingled in a 
perfumed heap with the large cliunps of lilac which her work- 
gn'ls had given her on the previous evening. She slowly unfas- 
tened the bouquets, for it seemed to her as if these children of 
the spring would breathe more freely when released from their 
bonds. Having carefully closed her door, she stopped up the 
chimney, and every aperture or crack by which the air could 
penetrate from outside. Opening her wardrobe, she removed 
her wedding-dress from the shelf assigned to it and laid it over 
the arm-chair. Then, taking a seat in front of the looking-glass, 
she let down her hair, which fell in wavy locks about her knees, 
aod placed the wi-eath of orange blossom upon her head. She 
looked so pretty like this that she could not help smiling to 
herself in the mirror. At the same moment, however, she began 
to feel a kind of dull pain on her temples. She took off her 

nana's daughter. 217 

walking-dress, the short skirt of which fell to the ground ; and 
next she removed her cotton stockings and put on others of 
white silk. At each movement she made, a fresh glimpse of 
beauty was aft'orded. At one moment she let her shift slide 
down over her bosom and donned her wedding chemise, embroi- 
dered with real lace and fastened with a bow of blue ribbon. 
Then she imprisoned her waist in her white satin stays, put on 
an embroidered petticoat, and finally her wedding dress, which 
was of white faille with a long train. Throwing her hair back 
over her shoulders, she looked at herself for the last time. She 
saw that she was rather i)alo, with a dark circle round her eyes. 
She was feeling more and more oppressed, and breathed with 
increasing difficulty. 

Thus arrayed in her bridal robe, beautiful with the blonde 
tragical beauty of Ophelia and Marguerite, she experienced a 
supreme, painful satisfaction on seemg that she looked so 
desirable. Then, taking a sheet of note-paper and an envelope, 
bearing her initials, she first wrote Lucien Despretz's address, 
and next penned this last testament of her love, in which, whilst 
giving her body to death, she ofi"ered herself in thought to the 
man whom she adored. 

*' My friend, you almost killed me this afternoon, and I com- 
plete the work of destruction myself. Now that the hope we 
formed so long ago, of living side by side, has vanished, there is 
no reason why I shoidd continue to exist. By to-morrow I shall 
have passed away. I did not think that I loved you so much, 
and yet I had entire faith in you. Why were you not the same 
with your Andree ? Yes, your Andree, for I was really yours, 
Lucien. Above and before everything, I was sincere. I should 
not tell you that unless I had formed a firm resolution to die, 
and had already disposed everything with that object in view. 
So I can think of you without false prudery, and picture you 
such as you were to me, such as I knew and loved you. It now 
seems to me as if it had always lasted. I cannot recall a moment 
of my girlhood, a dawn of thought with which you were uncon- 
nected. I can see you as I saw you that morning when you 
went with me to the railway station, and when for the first time 
you spoke to me of love. The words we then exchanged are 
still present in my mind. Yes, I see you as you were that day : 
you had put on a gray summer suit for the first time. And after- 
ward we loved each other for months and years, each day more 
and more. You loved me then, Lucien, you did not think of 
breaking off our engagement — and I, I can own it now, dear 
friend, I would have cut off my hair to stretch it as a carpet 
under your feet. I am no longer proud, as you have known me 
to be, my eyes are no longer stern. You have reproached me 
for their harshness ever since our first quarrel. But now every- 

Nana^s Daughter 14. 

2i8 nana's daughter. 

tlimg ill my nature iias become more gentle ; it is as if my body 
were softening and melting away. 

" I feel that I am falling asleep. Shall I suiler in dying? I 
hope not ; I have suffered enough in life. I have put on my 
wedding-dress and my bridal wreath, for I want to look pretty. 
I thought of you whilst I was dressing, and wished that you 
could see mo as I am, as you would have seen me on the happy 
day, which you could neither wait for nor understand. Oh, wiiy, 
why did you lack confidence ? Why did you listen to slander f 
You met me at the rajah's, and you at once thought that what 
cannot happen had occurred. Your letter had maddened me, and 
without knowing what I was doing, I wished to beg the inince 
to forget me and refrain from visiting our house. I was saying 
good-by to him when you came in. He wished to marry me 
and make me rich, but I sacrificed everything to the happiness 
of belonging to you. When I perceived you I was so suri)rised 
that I was hardly able to justify myself. And you would not 
believe me ! That is why, Lucien, my dear, dear Lucien, why I 
write to you a last time to tell you the truth. I have laid all my 
flowers on my bed. I shall stretch myself under the blooming 
shroud, and, before daylight, its perfume will have sent me to 
sleep forever. You will never more see my eyes open to gaze 
into yours ; my lips will never more part to speak to you. Be'^ 
my parents to forgive me, to bury me in my wedding-dress, and 
kiss me lovingly before I am placed in the coflin — I scarcely 
know what I am writing — my ideas are becoming confused — I 
feel a hammering on my temples, a ringing in my ears — one 
would think that the lamp was going out — good-bye, my Lucien, 
my well-beloved good-bye, I love you—" 

An attack of weakness ijrevented her from writing farther. 
She l)arely had the tune to stretch herself on the white bed, 
under the perfumed sliroud. She buried her shapely legs and 
tiny feet under a pile of lilac, made herself a sash of the rajah's 
violets and orange blossom, and placed Lucien's Avhlto roses on 
her bosom and her neck. Taking one of them in her right hand, 
she frequently kissed it, thinking of her lover. Slie was now 
more heavily oppressed, and her breath came short and hard. 
She seemed to be dreaming. She thought that she was very 
happy, very rich, and married to Lucien, and that they lived ' 
togeth(!r in a lonely house in the depths of a forest. Tney rose 
at break of day, and went to breathe the air of the woods on the 
margin of a sheet of water. There was no breeze to rufllo the 
smooth surface which gazed at the trees and the sky, like a largo 
deep eye, fringed with iris leaves as with long green lashes. 
BehiiKl the low branches hanging across a pathway the sun 
appeared, scintillating betwixt the foliage, like some golden 
rosace at the end of a cathedral nave. An(l hand in hand to- 
gether, they strolled along imder the shadow}^ oak trees. A 

nana's daughter. 219 

poworful woodland scout was exhaled with intoxicating effect by 
tlie moss, the lichen, the ivy, and the nut-trees, and she and 
Lucien were seized as with tin; vcnligo of love. Clasped iu a 
tight embrace they kissed each other, and then it seemed to her 
as if slio fainted in his arms. How tall he was, her darling Lu- 
cien, and how much in love witli her! His kisses strayed from 
her linger tips, from her polished, almond- shajied nails, to her 
neck, and even to her bosom. Ho threw her fallen hair around 
him, and plunged his brow, his cheeks, his mouth, into the living 

At this moment the final consciousness of reahty passed away 
from her. The sulVering was of brief duration. She closed her 
eyes. The last thing she vaguely heard was the clock of the 
church of Sainte Marie striking four o'clock. Then the lamp 
Vv-ent out, and soon afterwards a pale gleam of light stole iu 
through the casement. The first stir of the great city waking 
up was wafted into the room, and the daylight spread over the 
bed. Andree's body had been stifiened by a spasm of pain, but 
there was soft calumess now upon her slmubering brow, l)uricd 
amid the roses, upon her lowered eyelids, the black lashes ol 
which stretched almost to her tightened nostrils. Her pa rted 
mouth, which seemed to await some kiss she had dreamt of, had 
an expression of enraptured beatitude, although the short pang 
of physical agony had somewhat drawn the lower part of her 
face together, thus tampering with its pure outline. The white 
rose she had kissed had long since slipped from her right hand 
onto the pillow ; and the bloodless fingers which had held it now 
had the transparency of alabaster. Her left hand, partly closed, 
rested on her bosom, the firm contour of which was visible iu the 
pale dawn. 

Leanhig over the parapet on the quay near the Morgue, 
Lucien Despretz waited for the night to come. All the events 
of the day filed past, one by one, before him. The letter which 
the rajah had written, the last words which he and Andree had 
spoken, the tone m which they had been pronounced, the slight- 
est incidents of the scene, were all engravc^d on Lucien's mind. 
He was conscious that iu the fit of jealousy which had overtaken 
him, ho had behaved with fatal injustice, which his whole 
life would not suflico to expiate. Remorse was awakened 
in his mind, suiDine at first, but soon keen and galling, wi'inging 
his very heart. Ho began to understand that he had crushed 
his happiness, the love and pride of a virtuous girl under his 
heel, and that it was all over. He had driven the most adorable 
and best of sweethearts out of his life. 

Then he began to walk again, and retracing his steps, he passed 
down the old Eue du ChMtre beside Notre Dame, crossed the 
river, and reached the Rue de Rivoli. An houi" later lie arrived 

220 MANA'S daughter. 

at BatiguoUes. He wished to throw himself at Andr^e's feet, 
implore her pardon for his unjust suspicions, beg her to forget 
the wrong he had done her, and consent to a final reconciliation. 
lie entered the house and asked the porter : " Has Mademoiselle 
Naviel come back I " 

" Oh, yes, " replied the man, '* she returned some time ago. 
Tou can go up-stairs. You will find her there." 

"I will come back by-and-bye," said Lucien; and he fled 
along the Hue Legendre to the Pare Monceau, which was still open 
and sat down on an unoccupied bench. 

" You can go upstairs ! " Those few words had terrified him. 
But five stories separated him from the girl whom he had mor- 
tally olfended in presence of the rajah. No doubt she would 
never pardon him. If he dared to present himself in her abode, 
no matter how humble and repentant ho might be, she would 
refuse to see him. Still he hesitated to believe in the certainty 
of her implacable resentment, and, like a coward, he tried to 
persuade himself that he would obtain the pardon ho no longer 
hoped for. When the Pare Monceau was closed he again returned 
toward the Square de BatignoUes; and, on reaching the Rue do 
Rome, he followed the iron railing above the railway cutting, as 
far as a spot whence he knew he would be able to see Andree's 
window. This window was already lighted up, although it was 
by no means late. Andree was not in the habit of retiring to 
bed so early. But who could tell ? — she was perhaps ill. This 
thought frightened him, and at one moment ho was even seized 
with the idea : Andree is dead ! 

He then began to ask himself what means he should employ 
to rid himself of life, if he were forever parted from his betrothed. 
The means were at his feet. He had only to jimip over the rail- 
way bridge in the Rue Legendre, and choose the moment when 
a train was approaching to be crushed by the engine. Such a 
death would at least bo a swift one. 

Ho decided on it. It was too late to go to the Naviels, so ho 
went down as far as the station, entered a cafe, and ordered ,i 
glass of brandy and some writing materials. He then wrote a 
few lines to his mother to apprise her of his determination, in 
case it became a necessary one, and to beg her to inform the 
Naviels of his fate. Towards midnight he once more ascended 
the Rue do Rome in the direction of BatignoUes, and on reaching 
the railing of the railway line, in front of the square, he again 
saw a liglit burning in Andree's room. Something unusual was 
evidently hai)pening in that maidenly chamber to which all his 
thoughts and desires went forward. Until the dawn ho 
wandered along the railing, in view of that soUtary flame which 
seemed to be watching mournf-illy in mid-air. But as the day- 
light broke the lamp went out, and Lucien's supreme fear that 
Audr6e might be dead almost vanished at the same time. 

nana's daughter. 221 

The morning trains were now arriving at fall speed. The 
engines with their lamps still lighted passed by lilie fantastic 
visions enveloped in fluffy smoke. Now that Luciou had less 
fear tliat Andree was dead, ho began to tremble at the thought 
that she might be in danger of death. Her adoptive mother 
had no doubt sat up watching her since the previous evening. 
The liglit he had i)erceived had not been a funeral taper, but 
rather a night-light, inchspensablo in a sick-room. Ho turned 
l)ale Avith apprehension at the thought of the truth he longed to 
learn, and afraid of what might await him, he still lingered near 
the railing, not daring to go to the Naviels. 

For two mortal hours he hesitated. At last he gave himself 
till six o'clock, and sitting down on the stone ledge below the 
railing, he waited, worn out with fatigue and suspense. Shortly 
before the appointed horn* ho crossed the railway bridge and 
hastened to the Naviels' house. The outside door was open : 
I'ierre Naviel had no doubt already gone off to his work. Lucien 
passed before the porter's lodging without saying anything, and 
went np-stairs. He paused on each landing, striving to contain 
the beatings of his heart by pressing his trembling hands to his 
chest. When he reached the fifth floor he gazed at the bell- 
rope in utter terror. How many times had he fearlessly, joyfully 
rung at that door before him I He listened, breathlessly. The 
work-girls had evidently not yet come down, for he could only 
hear the heavy tread of Madame Naviel and the clatter of the 
crockery and the ringing of the spoons which she was taking 
out of the sideboard in the kitchen. Nothing seemed altered 
in that peaceful home, and this apparent serenity lent him a 
moment's courage. He rang the bell. 

It was Madame Naviel who opened the door. ''What! you 
already ? " she said, quietly. 

So Andree had not revealed what had taken place at the 
Grand Hotel ? That seemed to indicate that she had formed 
some secret, perhaps fatal resolution ; and so Lucien immediately 
exclaimed : " I wish to speak to Mademoiselle Andree. " 

'' She is not yet up, the lazy girl. Wait for her in the 

As Lucien entered the sitting-room he at once noticed that 
the fete-day flowers were no longer there, and turning to 
Madame Naviel, he asked: ''What has become of the bou- 

" Why, yes, they are not here; where can she have put them? 
In her room, no doubt. " 

The old woman went to Andree's door, and tried to open it. 
But the young girl, contrary to her usual habit, had shpped the 
bolt on the inner side. " Andree ! Andrde ! " cried Madame 

All was tragically silent behind that closed door, and a ter- 


rible conviction entered Lucien's mind. He threw hiraself 
against the door, the bolt gave way, and in front of him he saw 
Andree as white as a wax Madonna, and clad in her bridal robe, 
stretched upon her bed amid the flowers. An mifolded letter 
and an envelope addressed to Lucien lay upon the table. He 
understood everything at a glance, snatched up the letter, and 
springing to the window, threw it wide open, while Madame 
Naviel darted toward Andree, sobbing. 

" Take the flowers away,'' she said to Lucien, " and leave the 
room a moment while I undress her. Call Margot. She must 
go for a doctor." 

Lucien hastily carried all the flowers into the work-room, and 
then bounded up to the attic. Meanwhile Madame Naviel suc- 
ceeded in taking off Andree's bodice and unfastening her stays. 
She had just put her in the bed with her head well raised on the 
pillows, and she was bathing her temples with cold water when 
Lucien returned. A moment afterwards Margot came in, crying 
out in despair. Lucien had begun to tap and rub Andree's 
hands in view of re-establishing the circulation of the blood. 

" Quick, Margot, go for the doctor ! " cried Madame Naviel ; 
and she gave the medical man's address to the work-girl, who 
immediately hurried off. 

Lucien was beginning to feel more hopeful. He said to him- 
self that Andree was certainly not dead, for her lips were still 
ruddy. Taking a small looking-glass from a table, he held it in 
front of the young girl's lips, which were still smihng at her last 
dream. After a few seconds he withdrew the glass and saw 
that it was shghtly bedimmod. " She lives, " he muttered. 

The fresh morning breeze swept in through the open window, 
making the curtains flutter. Lucien took Andree in his arms 
and raised her up, with her head reclining on his shoulder. 
She heaved a sigh and gently moved her lips. Five minutes 
later she opened her eyes, her big eyes, still astonished by the 
vision of death. She looked dreamily at her lover, and 
whispered faintly : " Lucien ! my Lucien ! " 

The words died away between her lips, but at all events her 
respiration was becoming more regular. Her pulse began to 
beat, a pale roseate tinge suffused her cheeks; and, shghtly 
raising her right arm, she began to complain : " Oh ! how I 
suffer ! " 

" "Where do you suffer, Andree dear '? " asked Lucien. 

" My head," she murmured. 

Margot soon came back with the doctor, the same one who 
had attended Andr6o after the accident in the Champs Elysees. 
He requested Madame Naviel to explain matters to him, and 
when she had done so, he grumbled, shaking his head : " Yes, 
that's it; an exceptionally romantic and nervous nature — a 
terrible temperament, in ftict. A love aflair, no doubt 1 It is a 


case of intoxication rather than asphyxia. What flowers 'u-ere 
they ? " 

" Lilac, orange blossom, violets an.d roses." 

" That was enough to kill her. It ought to have killed her. 
Ilov.ever, it seems that there is a providence for lovers." And 
so sayiug the doctor gave Andreo and Lucieu a keen glance. 
Taking the young gh'i's arm, he next felt her pulse. " Well, 
^Ycll,"ho exchihucd, '• we shall cscaiie death this time. Will 
you please give mc some writing materials. I will leave you a 
prescription. " 

Lucieu oliered the doctor some paper similar to that on which 
Andreo had written her hust farewell. At this moment she 
turned her h.ead, recognized the medical man, and asked : " Am 
I going to die, doctor ;' " 

" N(S mv child, vou wou'L die, hut (»n one condition." 

"What "is that?"" 

" That you take what I'm going to prescrihe for y^u, and that 
you don't begin over again. " lie rose up as ho spoke, bowed 
all round, and left the room. Madame Kaviel went with him to 
show him out. 

Lucien had fallen beside the bed, and his hot tears rained 
upon Andree's drooping hand. "Andree," ho stammered, 
looking at her with appealing despair; "Andree, my Andree, 
will you forgive me ? " 

She gazed deeply into her lover's eyes with her own green 
orbs. " Read my letter," she said, " you will see — that I had 
forgiven you. Wliat have you done with my beautiful white 
roses if " 

"I have put 'them far away — I will never give you any 
more ! " 

" Oh, yes, you must ; (mly I will never use them like that 
again. " " 

" I, also, had resolved to die, Andree. I was determined on 
it if we had been parted." Then, taking from his pocket the 
letter he had written the night before at the cafe near the rail- 
way station, he added : " Read this, will you f I informed my 
poor dear mother of my resolution. What can she think, for I 
have not been home all night ! I spent my time near the railway 
watching your window, which was lighted up. I foresaT^', I 
(uvined that .something would happen. Ah, what a temble 
night, Andree! And meanwhile you were writing to me and 
preparing for death. We have both been mad, I think." 

At this moment Madame Naviel returned into the room, fol- 
lowed l)y Margot, whom she sent to the chemist's to have the 
prescription made up. A few minutes later there came a ring 
at the bell, and Lucien went to open the front door. He found 
himself face to face with his mother. " Do you want to kill 
rue, Lucieu f " sho cslic". lA..-., coldly. 

224 nana's daughter. 

By way of answer, he threw his arms around her neck and 
kissed her on her white hair. 

'* Then you still love her ? " she asked. 

" I must love her since I still live. And, mother, you must 
wish that I may always love her, wish it for me, for if I ceased 
to care for her, my heart would no longer beat. '-' 

" Well, I resign myself since this girl is your only joy. Where 
is she ? " 

" In her room. She wanted to die — she is very ill.'^ 

" Ah, poor girl ! And on account of you ? " 

"Yes, mother." 

*' Then she must love you — let us go and see her." 

Madame Naviel now appeared at the parlor door. " Come in, 
Madame Despretz, " she said. "Our lovers are causing us no 
end of grief and worry. " 

The two women entered Andree's room, rollowed »y Lucien. 
Bright fever spots were now glowing on the young girl's cheeks, 
and she complained of violent pains in her forehead, and of 
intense heat in her chest. Lucien approached the bed and 
passed his arm behind the pillows, so as to sustain her, for she 
was sinking with fatigue. When Margot returned with the 
medicme it was he who gave it to his darling Andree, and all 
day long he remained there watching over her. By the evening 
she felt somewhat better. 

On returning from the chemist's, Margot had hurriedly gone 
up-stairs to her attic on the floor above. She carefully closed 
her door, raised the shght-made mattress of her iron bedstead, 
and rent the covering underneath with her bony fingers. Her 
romid glowing eyes sparkled with cruel satisfaction. From the 
skylight above her a pale light fell upon her bony profile and 
freckled forehead. Her hair, which she had not had time to 
comb, hung entangled over her eyebrows, and little, if anything, 
remained to her of the charms which had taken Paillardin's 
fancy in years gone by. Drawing from her bosom a flat bottle 
containing a somewhat brownish liquid, she spelt out the 
inscription on the label, and muttered between her yellow teeth 
with a shudder : " Yes, that is it. " And then she shpped the 
bottle into the mattress through the rent she had just made, 


A TEW days afterward Nana and the marquis were installed 
in a little mansion of the Louis XIII. style in the Avenue do 
Friedland. It was quite new, with a wrought iron gateway in 
front, and a large lawn decked with clumps of rose trees. The 
coach-house was on the right hand, and above it rose a conserva- 
tory which communicated with the grand reception room. 


A double flight of six steps conducted to the vestihulo on the 
ground tloor. This vestibule, paved with alternate slabs of 
black and white marble, was decorated with some modern 
paintings and statuary purchased at the last Fine Art Show. 
On the right hand side you entered the fencing hall, which was- 
very richly adorned with trophies of weapons and suits of armor 
of various periods. To the left you found the cardroom — all 
green and gold in the marquis' taste — and at the rear, the 
library with its appointments of carved oak. The spacious 
dining-room, in ebony encrusted with silver, was on the first 
floor ; and you passed from it through a boudoir saloon into the 
grand reception room communicating with the conservatory. 
Overhead, the bedrooms and the bathrooms were to be found, 
and there was ample accommodation for the servants under the 
eaves. In the rear of the house there was a courtyard, which 
had proved just wide enough to enable the landlord to pierce 
several windows with a view over some neighboring grounds. 
In three days' time Nana was fully installed in her new abode. 
Luc became the marquis' valet. Yirginie still acted as the 
courtesan's maid, and in addition D'Albigny had engaged a head 
cook with two assistants, a coachman, a groom, a footman, and 
a porter, who was to help Luc and wax the floors. 

On the fourth day the marquis, who had luckily won ten 
thousand francs at cards at his club the night before, chanced 
to meet Mulhausen, and the latter invited him to lunch at the 
Cafe Anglais. After the repast, D'Albigny, who had telegraphed 
his instructions to the coachman, took Mulhausen for a drive 
round the lake in the Bois de Boulogne, in a bran new victoria 
which had left Binder's that very morning. The reappearance 
of the marquis with the prince caused quite a sensation in the 
Bois, and D'Albigny was greeted with all the more favor as he 
was supposed to have made another fortune. He was received 
with a salvo of obsequious bows, which he acknowledged with 
haughty pride. It was a splendid afternoon, and the green 
lawns, the hght dresses, and the stylish equipages round the 
lakes, made up a fitting May-day scene. The horses trod softly 
over the sand, their harness shining through the dust in the fuU 
sunhght. White six-oared rowing boats darted across the lake, 
leaving a silvery trail behind them ; and above the water the 
islands rose up, with hardy full-fohaged trees planted on their 
sloping lawns, which were decked with tufts of scarlet and pink 
geraniums. Under the larches on the margin of the lakes people 
of the middle classes, seated on campstools, were watching the 
handsome equipages as they filed past. Now and then, from 
one of the shady bridle paths specially reserved for equestrians, 
some feminine rider emerged, leaning over the arched neck of 
her spirited horse, who impatiently pawed the ground with hia 
polished hoofs. Soon he went off at a canter again, and the fair 

226 nana's daughter. 

rider's white veil and black habit receded down some verdant 
avenue waving in the dusty air. The forest guards, in green 
uuitbrms with silver lace, stopped short, with their arms crossed 
and watched her till she disappeared in the shade, when they 
slowly resumed their promenade, with their left hands resting on 
the hilts of their swords. 

" Listen to me, Mulhausen," D'Albigny was saying. " I have 
decided to profit by my new spell of luck to try another style of 
life. Speculation on 'change no longer favors me. I mean to 
have a try in another direction, and I'm half inchned to ask you 
to join me in my new scheme. " 

" Well, my dear feUow, what is your plan ? " 

'' Wo must have a newspaper, half liuancial, half theatrical, 
you understand. You could invest a huudred thousand francs in 
the affair. What are a himdred thousand francs to you ? In 
exchange you would have the title of director, with a salary of 
twelve thousand francs a year. " 

'' That's little enough. " 

" The salary's nothing. The influence is everything in a 
matter of this kind. It would give you admission behind the 
scenes. You would be in your element there — a woman-killer 
hke you. You would see all the girls at your feet, my dear 
prince. Then, in addition to the feminine business, we might 
have a financial bulletin, in Avliich for a consideration we would 
puff and patronize some rather shady companies. Do you 
understand ? " 

"Yes, yes, I understand. It is a matter to be considered. 
You are a very clever fellow, my dear D'Albigny ; you know 
how to turn your hand to anything. But what would you do on 
the pai^er ? " 

" I should be the manager, and as I understand accounts and 
financial matters generally better than you do, I would act as 
cashier and write the financial bulletin. " 

" But who would take the theatricals in hand ? " 

" Why, you, of course. Unless you prefer to give a hundred 
francs a month to some reporter who would scribble the articles 
ready for you to sign them. " 

" But if the paper went to smash, my himdred thousand 
francs would go to the dogs. " 

" The paper won't smash, with you and I at the head of it. I 
will arrange to keep the pot boiling merely with financial puffs. 
Besides, if the aflair took a bad tm-n in a few months' time, if 
instead of making any profit we merely paid our expenses, there 
would always bo time to sell the paper, and you would certainly 
save the greater part of yoiu" investment." 

" That's true, no doubt. Well, the proposal pleases me in 
principle, but I want twenty-four hoiurs to reflect over it. " 

" A^d I — I will engage to start the paper in a week, just the 


time to take some offices, engage a printer and clerks, give 
notice of tlie title to the prefecture of police, print enough bills 
to cover the blank walls in Paris, and prepare circulars for 
distribution — in fact, everything that is needed for i)roperly 
laimching an aflair of the kind. You shall see that I understand 
the matter, my dear prince — you shall see." 

They had now reached the end of the larger lake, and the 
coachman turned to ask the marquis for his instructions. 
" Home, " replied D'Albigny. 

They retm-ned along the Avenue du Bois de Boulogne, with 
their heads held erect by their stiff shu't collars, and looking 
very serious as they slowly pufted at the cigars which they had 
]!aid two francs apiece at the Cafe Anglais. D'Albigny had 
r.ow changed '.he conversation. After starting Mulhausen on 
this track, he pretended not to care whether he joined hmi or 
not, for he had several other persons in view who would readily 
invest plenty of money in such a scheme. It was out of pure 
friendship that he had si)oken of his plan to the prince , at 
least he led the latter to suppose so. Mulhausen, on his side, 
was reflecting over the many advantages which his vanity 
would certainly derive from such an investment. He would be 
a newspaper director and proprietor, and although he would 
have to risk a himdred thousand francs, they would bring him 
at least twelve per cent, profit ; besides, if the paper was not as 
successfid as they anticipated, they could sell it. Even if he 
lost fifty thousand francs over the aflfair, the personal advan 
tages he intended to reap from it would prove compensation. 
Such a modest sum as that would have soon melted in the heat 
of the footlights, if he had tried to penetrate behind the scenes 
and become familiar with the women there by any other path 
than that of theatrical journalism. 

As they passed the Arc de Triomphe, he asked the marquis : 
"I say, D'Albigny, what about your own salary! Of course 
you won't work for nothing. " 

" I shall relinquish my salary to insure the paper's success. 
By-and-by, if it's successful, we'll see. But at present I want 
to cut down the expenses, and so I suppress all charges for my 
management. " 

" But if you think that six thousand francs would be of use to 
swell our cash in hand, I would willingly relinquish half of what 
you suggested I should take. You can understand very well, 
D'Albigny, that if I go into the affair, the amount of the salary 
won't have much importance for me. No , what would rather 
induce me to fall in with your views is the question of 

*' Yes, naturally ; own it at once. The influence you would 
have over the women, the control you would exercise over 
theatrical reputations, and so on. You have spent three hun- 

228 nana's daughter. 

dred thousand francs in Nana's boudoir, MuUiausen, but come, 
now, the hundred thousand you might advance for this affair 
would certainly yield you a more productive, flattering and 
agreeable result — although, of course, I don't mean to say 
anything against the queen of the day, for that would be 
ungi'ateful on my part. " 

He tossed his cigar onto the pavement as he spoke, and 
indulged in a bitter laugh. The victoria was at this moment 
drawing up in front of the courtesan's new house. The coach- 
man whistled and the porter came to open the gate, whereupon 
the vehicle entered the grounds, whisked round the sweep, and 
drew up again in front of the steps. The prince was the first to 
spring heavily on the marble slabs, and D'Albigny followed him 
with juvenile agility. Luc saw them under the verandah, and 
opened the glass door to admit them into the vestibule. 
D'Albigny began by showing the prince the card-room and the 
fencing-haU, and then taking his arm he led him into the grand 
drawing-room, at the same time saying to Luc : " Go and tell 
your mistress that the Pruice of Mulhausen wishes to present 
her his respects." 

Luc bounded up the stairs, four steps at a time, with the 
agihty of a tumbler, and while he was informing Nana of the 
prince's arrival, D'Albigny showed his futiue partner over the 
grand reception-room, which was decorated in the Louis XIII. 
style, and profusely fui'nished with credences, cabiaets, stools 
and arm-chairs. A chandelier of the period hung from the 
panelled oak ceiling, adorned at the corners with figures carved 
in relief, and the doors and windows had curtains of old Aubus- 
son tapestry, the faded tints of which were in perfect keeping 
with the brown woodwork. Some old Spanish paintings, a few 
canvasses of the Venetian school, and two copies after Rem- 
brandt — notably, a superb one of the " Night Patrol " — com- 
pleted the adornments, which would have been of unblemished 
harmony but for a Chinese screen, too brightly colored with 
fantastic birds and butterflies soaring in a glaring sky. Mul- 
hausen examined everything like a connoisseur, and made no 
remark until he had finished his inspection, whereupon he 
cordially complimented D'Albigny. 

'It is here," said the marquis, "that we shall give our 
winter fetes. "We will have a few masquerade balls, to which 
we will invite all the pretty actresses, with our colleagues of the 
press, the artists of the brush, the chisel, and the graver, the 
composers and musicians — in fact, everyone with a name in 
Paris. You shall see what an advertisement that will prove 
for the paper ! " 

" Good, very good; quite so," repeated Mulhausen, nodding 
his head. 

Nana at this moment entered the room. She wore a superb 

nana's daughter. 229 

(lr<>as of S'^nict satin, triuinied with llouiiccs of ^om< cV AngJeterrc, 
bigh-lioeled shoes, a triple ueckhxce of piuk coral, a lace /raise 
aiul corresi)ondmg ruffles, which half concealed her velvety 
hands and pink nails. Mulhauscn was faMy dazzled. He went 
toward the courtesan, and kissing her hand with Teutonic 
grace, exclaimed : " I need your forgiveness, my dear, for many 

" Not at all, not at all. It is I who must apologize for having 
mistaken a gratuity intended for my servant for a i^rince's pres- 
ent to myself. 

The German accepted the courtesan's complimentary irony as 
sterling gold, and touched in his princely love of ostentation, he 
rejoined: " I am going to invest a bundled thousand francs in 
the newspaper D'Albigny has spoken to me about, and I mean 
you to share the profits." 

Nana was hardly able to repress a smile, but in view of hiding 
her delight she pretended to know nothing of the matter, and 
asked the marquis : " Pray, what is this affair which our friend 
is talking to me about ? " 

" You shall learn that later on, madame, when things are in 
full swing. For the moment, it is a secret between myself and 
Mulhausen." And turning to the prince, D'Albigny added: 
'' Women are all the same, they invariably want to know every- 
thing. " 

" Ah ! I can guess it ! " exclaimed Nana. " It is some finan- 
cial enterprise that D'Albigny is suggesting to you, Mulhausea. 
Well, if you don't care to invest any funds in it, I know some 
one who'll only bo too glad to do so — a serious capitalist, a 
perfect Croesus, in fact. " 

" You are mistaken, madame," said Mulhausen, who began tp 
fear that Nana, impelled by feminine spite, might try to pre- 
vent him from becoming the director of the projected news- 
paper, and propose some new friend of hers in his stead. " The 
marquis made me the proposal, I accepted it, and the matter is 
settled. " 

" It is evident enough, " remarked D'Albigny in an authorita- 
tive tone, ** that you can't interfere with our private conven- 
tions. I have various profitable schemes in view, and it is only 
natural that I should propose to Mulhausen to join me, since he 
has always been my friend." 

" Quito so, " observed the prince, who had struck the attitude 
of a connoisseur in front of the copy of the Night Patrol. 

"We have landed the German," whispered the marquis to 
Nana, while Mulhausen still stood with his back to them. 

" Madame is served, " announced Luc, who now appeared on 
the threshold, in a black dress coat and red silk stockings. 

Mulhausen turned roimd on his heel and bent his right arm to 
offer it to Nana. Followed by the marquis, they passed togethei 

230 nana's daughter. 

under the Anbiisson door-hanging, vrhich Luc had raised with 
his long, bony fingers. 

A week afterward the newspaper was ready to appear. It 
was simply called the Gazette des Coulisses,* and the prince and 
the marquis installed themselves in some stylish offices in one of 
the grand new houses of the Avenue de I'Opera. As D'Albigny 
had given a grand " press" dinner at Nana's the evening before, 
almost all the Parisian newspapers wished success to their new 
compeer. In the course of the first week, however, twenty 
thousand francs of the hundred thousand so rashly advanced by 
Mulhausen, were skillfully transferred by D'Albigny to Nana's 
private purse, to enable her to keep uj) her present style. On 
the other hand, as the paper did not pay its way, it became 
necessary to break into the reserve fimd so as to discharge 
current expenses. The contributors brought their articles 
already prepared, and they were paid in iiromissory notes, which 
a banker had agreed to discount if the paper patronized a shady 
financial venture which he had just launched. 

D'Ali)igny cimningly gamed three months' grace by this 
arrangement, and the banker, who believed that the house 
where Nana resided was rented in the marquis' name, looked 
upon the furniture it contained — worth a far larger amount 
than the annual rental — as his security. Besides, ho was 
delighted to have a paper to pufi' his enterprise, and as he w;is 
preparing to bolt in case of failure, he readily consented to 
spend other people's money in the hope of reaping persouiil 
profit. So all the clerks, contributors, and serious creditors 
of the Gazette were from the first paid in paper, on which tho 
moneymonger charged a tolerably high discount. Even Mul- 
hausen took to flying kites, not that he was altogether used 
up, for he still had a few hundred thousand francs remaining 
to him, but he considered it more convenient for the time 

From tho very outset the prince's specialty Avas to give audi- 
ences to actresses. This semi-connection with the stage flat- 
tered his gross vanity, and ho considered himself a more 
dangerous woman-killer than ever, although, to tell tho trutli, 
the women who came to l)Cg a pulf of him resigned themsehcs 
to his familiarities all tho more readily, as they had sacrificed 
their last principles long l)efore entering his office. 

While tho Gazette, planned by D'Albigny and carried on, 

* For the benefit of the reader unacquainted with French, it may be 
mentioned that the word Coti/isse lias a double meaning — a tlieatrical and 
a financial one. In the parlance of the stage it means the j/z/j, and in 
connection with the Bourse it applies to the fraternity of unaathonzed 
stockbrokers and jobbers. So the title selected by D'Albigny for his news- 
paper cut both ways — appealing alike to mummers and money mongers. 
— Trans. 


tlmnks to ^FnlhriuRcn's moucy, was thus issuing its first numbers, 
Nana spL-nl the cash she had obtained from the manager's strong 
box in jewehy, dresses and suppers. Gold slipped once more 
tlirough the fingers of this evil fairy. She re-appeared in the 
Bois and at the races, at tlie Cu'cus on Saturdays and at the 
Theatre Franyais on Tuesdays, at all the first performances, in 
fact, contrinng by dint of art to hide the threatening symptoms 
of senility. She had a final flash. \^Tiile D'Albigny patronized 
clul)s and fashionable gambling dens, bet at the races, and com- 
pelled tottering financial companies or embarrassed theatrical 
managers to pay him for articles which were written by anony- 
mous scribes, Nana received Mulhauseu en tete-^-tete, and 
exerted her seductive powers to retain him near her. 

The German prince had seemingly forgotten how she had 
railed at him in the days of her real splendor. lie was intensely 
flattered by her present amiability, which proved so much 
incense to his vanity ; for although middle age had overtaken 
him, ho was still most abominably conceited. He was half 
inclined to believe that *' irregulars" and theatrical stars of the 
third magnitude only smiled engagingly for his especial behoof; 
and he tried to make people believe that he had supplanted 
D'Albigny in the good graces of Nana, who was still the queen, 
even in her decline. 

Since her coroneted initial shone once more on the panels of 
her carriage in the full sunlight of the Bois de Boulogne, she 
had again become a woman for Mulhauseu. He often accompa- 
nied her on her afternoon drive, or went shopping with her to 
her jeweler's, her modiste's, her dressmaker's, or the large 
establishments like the Louvre and the Printemps. Nana 
profited of his readiness to act as her cabellero servante to make 
him pay for costly trifles which seriously diminished his last 
resources. It is true that she made a pretense of borrowing 
the money which she laid out in this style, but as she never 
spoke of returning it, it was really the prince who paid the 

One evening she gave a little tea party at her new residence. 
D'Albigny and Mulhauseu introduced a few journalists, the 
director of a cafe-concert, the secretaries of two theaters, and 
three financiers. The marquis speedily called their attention to 
the annability which Nana showed toward the prince ; and he 
did so purposely in view of stimulating Alulhausen's conceit. 
He even complimented him ^\1th mocking exaggeration on his 
many presumed conquests ; and the German swelled out with 
vanity, his sanguine, sensual face beaming with satisfied enjoy- 
ment, while D'Albigny spoke of certain lengthy " audiences" 
at the oliice of the Gazette — audiences granted to pretty 
actresses, and which the clerks laughed over in spare moments 
behind their desks. 

232 nana's daughter. 

The tea was served, on tbis occasion, in silver gilt cups, with 
spoons of rock crystal, worth a hundred francs apiece, and 
which D'Albigny had purchased that same day with Mulhau - 
sen's money at a curiosity shop in the Avenue de I'Opera. Luc 
waited on the company with the assistance of an extra servant. 
A few " Ijlue stockings " had come to witness what all Paris 
was calling Nana's return to fortune ; and toward the close of 
the evening, three feminine vocahsts and a couple of petty 
actresses put in an appearance so as to please Mulhausen and 
not to vex D'Albigny, Nana received them with a patronizing 
smile and a grand display of haughty distinction. She willingly 
promised to stimulate the success of those who had just come 
out, treating the newspaper, management and editorship, as h'i.T 
property, and Mulhausen, D'Albigny, and their assistants, as 
her clerks. After tea the prince and the marquis passed into 
the card-room with some young swells, while tlie other men 
remained with the women in the drawing-room. 

By three o'clock the last guest had retired, and D'Albigny 
joined Nana in her room. He remained there for ten minute? or 
so while Virgiuio arranged her mistress' hair for the night. 
" How much did you make in the card-room to-night "/ " Nana 
asked him abruptly. 


" The devil you did ! " 

" One can't always win, you know. Besides, it would end by 
seeming strange." 

" How much did you lose ? " 

" Two hundred napoleons. " 

" There isn't as much as that left in the whole house. " 

" We must resort to credit, my dear ; it is the right moment. 
Confidence is established. And, besides, now that Mulhausen 
has tasted the sweets of his directorship, I shall tell him that it 
is absolutely necessary he should advance another hundred 
thousand francs to keep the paper going. And he'll advance 
them, sure enough," added the marquis sneering, " if only 
through fear of losing his first stakes. " 

" Of course, he has his finger in the machinery, and he must 
pass through it altogether. Besides, I hold him, on my side, 
and 1 shan't let him go until he is as dry and as flattened as a 
donkey's hide reduced to parchment. " 

Virginie had nearly finished, when Luc entered the room and 
asked: " Am I to light the tapers in the room of Monsieur le 
Marquis ? " 

" Wait for my orders, " replied D'Albigny. 

Luc stood still, rigid and silent. 

" Before leaving you." said the marquis to Nana, " I must 
give you some news. " 

naxa's daughter. 233 

" Wliat about? " asked Nana, springing up so suddenly that 
a pinch of her hair remained in Virgmie's hand. 

" Your daughter is on the point of marrying." 

" Well, I shall bo at the wedding," cried Nana, whose gvean 
eyes flashed fire. 

*< We shall all be at it, of course." 

Luc was standing near the door, with his slim, dark, fantastic 
figure in full relief against the pmk curtain. He started despite 
hnnself on hearing what Nana and the marquis said, and 
D' Albigny, recollecting that the valet was waiting, turned round 
and saw that his eyes were fixed with strange persistency on 

" Luc," he said, " go and hght up my room." 

The valet retreated backwards under the door-hanging, and 
Virginie, who had now finished di'essing her mistress' hair, was 
dismissed for the night. A few moments later Luc returned and 
said: *' I have lighted up Monsieur le Marquis' room." 

D' Albigny kissed Nana's hand, and then turning to his servant 
he harshly exclauned: '' Well, go to bed then." 

" Monsieur le Marquis is very kind," remarked the ex-clown, 
with a nasal twang; and he mentally added: " And I shall be 
at the wedding also, my fine fellow." 


Atter seeing despair and death so near, Andr^e and Luclen 
returned to the delight of hving with perfect faith in one 
another, hopefully looking toward the peaceful happmess of the 
future. Nothing could henceforth shake Lucien's conviction 
that Andree loved him. All his doubts had vanished in presence 
of that supreme proof of affection which she had given, by wish- 
ing to die when she thought herself parted from him for ever. 
Now, too, he on his side had to win her forgiveness for having 
doubted her, and he strove to do so by dint of cha.ste, respectful 
tenderness, such as first love only can evince. 

They strolled every evening to the Pare Monceau, and sat 
down near the ornamental water there. Amid the yellow glow 
of the lamps in the neighboring avenues a fragment of blackened 
wall rose up, with a gaping window, besides which a charred 
shutter hung downward by one hinge. This was all that 
remained of Nana's former mansion. In the stretch of sky 
behind the paneless window a star appeared, regularly at the 
same hour every evening, shining out like a silver tear in the 
black vault. Lucien and Andree had finished by adopting and 
loving this star, and when they reached the sheet of water of 
an evening they both of them sent it a kiss, pressed close to one 

/Sana's Daughter 15. 

234 nana's daughter. 

another. They took a pure, childish deUght in sending these 
kisses through the constellated space to meet upon this star 
It- seemed to them as if these true-love kisses purified the 
gloomy souvenir of Andree's mother, which the ruined wall 
evoked amid their evening happiness. Under the starry con- 
stellations which flashed like diamonds upon the brow of night 
they wended their way homeward, calm in mind, their hearts 
full of joy, their senses tranquillized by the approaching 
certitude ol satisfied desire. Andree leant upon her betrothed ; 
her shoulder, at once soft and firm, rested against his arm, and 
she walked along so close to him that her hips touched his. 
Still she had not yet accustomed herself to giving him her arm ; 
her steps were shorter than his ; she made two to one. There- 
upon Lucien would shorten his stride while she lengthened hers, 
and they taught themselves to walk together- Sometimes Andree 
bent her head on one side and let her cheek rest upon her lover's 

All the needful formahties had been accomphshed, and they 
were to be married on the foUowing Saturday. They had 
obtained their certificates of birth, and the consent of Madame 
Despretz , and Lucien was fortunately exempted from military 
service. On the Sunday preceding the wedding the two famihes 
went to spend the day in the woods of Meudon ; and when the 
lamps of Paris shone out upon the horizon, they descended to 
the terrace of the chateau and gazed upon the valley full of 
light. The view stretched over the nocturnal splendor of the 
superb city. The sinuous line of tbe quays, the broken line of 
the fortifications, were in turn illuminated. A soft radiance 
ascended toward the sky over the boulevards and round about 
the opera house and the Bourse, while the massive towers of 
Notre Dame, the twin spires ofSainteClotilde and the campanila 
of the Pantheon grew indistinct In the dark expanse. The gilded 
dome of the Invalides alone was prominent, with its pointed 
apex, and arched framework scintillating with luminous 

It was ten o'clock when Lucien and Andree separated at the 
Na\'iels' door; and early the next morning the young fellow 
returned to see his betrothed. A few minutes afterward the 
house-porter came up-stairs with a letter, which he handed to 
the young giri. The address was written in an irregular hand, 
which she did not recognize. However she opened the envelope, 
and found that it contained a short note, worded as follows ; 
" I have learned that you wished to die. How dearly you must 
love him! You are right in doing so, for ho is worthy of you. 
I myself am going. I have confided to Maitre Redoul, notary, 
a deed by which I bequeath you three millions of francs. You 
will find it at his office. You can accept this dowry from a 
friend; who will soon only need a little soil. Before long I shall 

nana's daughter. 235 

liavo roturncd to Ibo spirit land. Good-by — Bo happy ! Such 
is the hist thought, the hist wish of 0110 who loved you, without 
evil thought or forbidden hope." The signature was in Sanscrit 

When Andree bad read the letter she banded it to Lucien, 
saying " I cannot inherit from a man who is alive. What do 
you think of it, Lucien f 

He perused the rajah's letter in turn, and answered ; " Since 
this man is dead for you, Andr6e, you can accept bis gift. You 
can have no other interest than afiection in i)referriug me to the 
rajah. If you refused the gift, you would seem to doubt of my 
faith in vou. " 

" So be it then ! We will decide. " 

One of her dreams was about to be realized. She would be 
able to ensure the happiness of her adoptive parents, of Lucien 
and his mother. She darted into the work-room, crying: 
"Mother, little mother, read this." She held the open letter 
above her head, and her delight sparkled in her eyes. She would 
have liked to see the rajah to thank him. She would have 
liked to see him happy also — he who assured the hapi)iness of 
others. But it was impossible, since she did not love him. Ho 
was too good and too handsome, perhaps, and also too cold with 
his pure friendship. So he must disappear, misunderstood like 
some being of etberial nature. His love for Andree was not a 
passion but a fraternal friendship. The flesh of this man of the 
East had seemingly not even quivered in presence of this youth- 
ful beauty, arrived at the puberty of heart and senses. He was 
not even jealous of the rival who was preferred to himself, and so 
in Andree's estimation he did not really love her. She bad remained 
Ignorant of all the internal struggles of this higb-niiuded man, 
who, above everything else, wished to see her happy. She did 
not know that his heart's blood had flowed droj) by drop in the 
frightful battle between mind and flesh, between will and passion ; 
that Infinite love alone had enabled him to conquer himself ; that 
he was mortally wounded and was really dying. Each day be 
spat a little of his life, and bis embroidered handkerchief was red 
with the blood be wiped away from his lips. 

But in Andree's joyful effusion, thought of the rajah's fate left 
barely a sbad!)W upon her brow She loved Lucien Despretz — 
less generous than the Hindu, less gifted morally, but in her eyes 
more of a man. And she, Andree, was a woman to the tips of her 
little almond-shaped nails, to the lobes of her shell pink ears. 

As Madame Naviel remarked that it would be necessary to 
make inquiries at the notary's, the young girl hastily dressed, so 
as to profit by Lucien's oflFer to accompany her before going to 
his work. The notary happened to live m the vicinity, and at 
eleven o'clock they reached his office. Lucien asked one of the 
clerks for Maitre Redoul, 

236 nana's daughter. 

" He is occupied," replied the clerk in question, a little shrill 
voiced, bald-headed old fellow, who raised his spectacles from 
his eyes, and shpped his i)en behind his right ear before attend- 
ing to the visitors. 

"And the chief clerk?" 

" The chief clerk is out," resumed the scribe, who propor- 
tioned his politeness to the scarcely stylish appearance of his 

However, Andr6e, who felt impatient, hastily exclaimed : " I 
must ask you, sir, to be kind enough to inform your employer 
that I am entitled to a sum of three million francs, which I 
believe he holds on trust for me, together with the deed of 
gift. " 

The clerk sprang up as if impelled by a spring, and his eyes 
dilated as he gazed with respectful admiration on Andree Naviel. 
These three million francs which she spoke about so quietly had 
galvanized the little man. His eyelids quivered for a moment, 
as he examined the yoimg girl, like an astronomer contemplating 
a new planet, and then he hastened into the private room of 
Maitre Redoul, who shortly afterward came to receive Andreo 
with a diplomatic smile on his face. He ushered her the first 
into his private room, and Lucien afterward. " Is this gentle- 
man your brother, mademoiselle?" he asked with a knowing 

" No, sir, my betrothed, " rephed Andr6e, with a gentle 

" I congratulate him, mademoiselle." 

The notary had the act in a drawer and he read it in a loud, 
clear voice, carefully articulating each syllable in the hope of 
making the legal phraseology intelligible. Then, when Andree 
had shown him the rajah's letter, he handed her the document. 
" I have the securities at your disposal, mademoiselle, " he said. 
" And whenever you desire it I will send them to your residence. 
I am quite at your orders to execute any transactions, or make 
any investments which you may desire. " And with old fashioned 
gallantry, he added: " For whatever concerns the notarial pro- 
fession I place my old experience at your feet. " 

Audr6e thanked him with a smile, put the deed in her pocket, 
and left the room, giving her arm to Lucien. The notary 
escorted her as far as the street door, and when she passed 
through the outer office all the clerks rose up and bowed to her, 
ranged in a line. 

While Lucien and Andr6e were thus engaged at the notary's, 
Madame Desprctz sat in her little parlor, mending one of her sou's 
office coats. Hearing a ring at the bell she went to open the 
door and found Luc standing on the mat. " You ! " she exclaimed. 
'* Am I already revenged, then? " 

nana's daughter. 237 

" Not yot, but it doponds on yourself. You have only to say 
a word to send tho Marquis D'Albiguy to the galleys." 

" Explain yourself! " 

" Well, this is tho situation: The noble Marquis D'Albigny — 
whom the thunder of heaven confound — related the other day, 
while I was listening to him, that he had commenced his dis- 
graceful exploits when ho was yet very young. And he related 
— what funny comcidences there are in life, all the same! — and 
ho related, I say, that several years ago he had paid his atten- 
tions to a very pretty girl who was employed at a glove shop in 
tho Passage de I'Opera, and who hved with her parent at 
Asniibres. " 

Madame Despretz turned rather paler. " Well, what interest 
can this story have for me? " she asked. 

" Wait a moment and you shall see. The girl in question was 
j^ung and pretty as I have had the honor to tell you, only, sho 
was well conducted, well conducted like the little virgin that 
she was. This greatly worried the noble marquis, who was then 
one or two-and-twenty, and already in possession of his patri- 
mony. So after courting the charming girl " 

" Once more how can this scoundrel's story interest me? " 

" Wait just one moment longer. This fellow, D'Albigny, a 
scoundrel as you very justly say — a thoroughly good-for-nothing 
fellow in short — courted the girl for three weeks or so, waiting 
for her at the end of the Passage de I'Opera every evening until 
sho left the shop. Well, one fine winter evening, when the snow 
was falling as thickly as if the Holy Virgin had plucked all tho 
geeso in Paradise, this kind and noble marquis, who had a 
vehicle in readiness, and who had previously given a handsome 
gi'atuity to the driver, almost forced little Adele Despretz inside. 
For the funniest part of the afl'air is that this girl's name was 
Adele Despretz, just like your own. Well, tho beauty did her 
best to cry out, she called for help, and begged and prayed and 
threatened. But it was all of no use. The marquis didn't need 
assistance, and in the result — some months afterward a child 
was born. Do you understand my meaning, Adele ? " 

" I don't understand why you should come here to reveal the 
atrocities perpetrated by a man whom I have other reasons for 
despising ami hating." 

" No doubt; and whenever you like I am prepared to behevo 
that there is a mere similarity of name between you and the 
Adole Despretz I speak of — for I never knew you in a glove 
shop in the Passage de I'Opera. Only, don't you think we might 
utilize the similarity of name ? " 

"How and why?" 

"Why? Well, so that your son may marry, so that my 
daughter may live, since she tries to kill herself when tho 
engagement is broken off, poor, loving httle thing that she is I 


And you ask how? Well, in passing yourself off as the AdMe 
Despretz whom the honorable Marquis D'Albigny violated one 
evening on leaving the Passage de I'Opera. " 

"What! I do such a thing as that ? Never!" 

" Then your son is our son, Ad61e? " 

" You never acknowledged my son by any legal act, did you? 
So you are nothing to him! " 

" Heaven preserve him from any such acknowledgment, the 
poor fellow. Really now, he would be nicely off if I acknowl- 
edged him in my position. It is better to be nobody's son than 
to be the son of such a fellow as Face-to-Smack. I love your 
son too much to acknowledge him, it suflSces that he is your 
child. However, you won't say what I ask? " 

"Never! Their marriage certificate will set forth that their 
fathers are unknown. Poor children, may they be happier than 
I have been! " 

" And than I ! Well, if you think it can be arranged that way 
I don't care ; it would be better, certainly. A little while ago I 
thought I had a son and a daughter, and now it seems that I 
am nobody's father at all — all the same, I regret that it wasn't 
you whom the marquis " 

" You are mad ! " 

" No, no, I had my plan; but no matter, I will do for him yet. 
The principal thing is for the chUdren to marry. If there is any 
bother at the wedding, if, as I fear, Andree's mother tried to 
intervene, I think I should strangle her." 

" She wouldn't dare go alone, and D'Albigny won't accompany 
her, for he can scarcely care to find himself in presence of Mon- 
sieur Naviel. Men like the marquis are only audacious with the 
weak; they are cowardly with the strong. Besides, if Nana 
dares to go to the mayor's office, I shall tell the truth and cry out 
aloud that she only wishes to prevent the wedding so as to sell 
her daughter to her own lovers." 

" And I, too, have arms against her; and I will be your ally 
in the battle, do you hear me, Adele Despretz ? I have a par- 
don to win; I wish to change my skin, and become again what 
I was, so as to be worthy of you, Ad61e. You promised to 
pardon me ; so allow me to ask for the honor of supporting you 
in your old ago, of being the father of your son — your husband 
in fact — your husband, Adele, if you will " 

While the old moimtebauk spoke, ho had taken the old 
woman's wrinkled hands between his long bony fingers. She 
did not withdraw them but remained silent, nlimged in bitter 
thought. Then falling on his knees before her, his heart full of 
real grief and sincere repentance, feeling honest love born anew 
within him and pm-ifying his nature, Luc stammered out amid 
his sobs : " I promise you I will become a man again — I promise 
you I will try to find some honest work. Don't engage yourself 

N ana's daughter. 239 

t.) TOO, let me re-cast, re-make myself. I shall become honest 
and serious again, and I will love you, my poor old dear, as 1 
loved you before I met that strumpet Nana. But give me the 
time, for I wish to revenge you on her, and settle that scoundrel 
the marquis." 

" What is the use of it? Let them be. Leave the house. 
That w^oman is almost ruined, people say ; old age and poverty 
will revenge me quite enough. As for the man, I hope he will 
be caught in one of his swindles " 

Luc sprang to his feet again. " And I hope it as well," he 
said. "Well, till Saturday! That will be lAie great day. I 
shall be at the wedding, for I want to witness my daughter's 
happiness ; and if Nana tries to speak I shall have the means of 
shutting her mouth. So till Saturday, then, at the mayor's — 
and I hope we shall soon go there on our own account. " With 
these words he put on his hat and gravely took his leave. 

Shortly afterward Lucien Despretz came home. " Do you 
know what has happened ? " he asked his mother, as ho kissed 

" No, tell me at onco what you refer to. I am worn out with 
thinking. " 

" Andree has come into possession of three millions." 

" Then she does not mean to marry ?" 

" Excuse me, mother." 

" Marry you ? " 

"No doubt." 

" And do you accept the money which falls no one knows 
whence, or from whom?" 

" I accept it because I know it is spotless. Besides, Andree 
feared so much that I might be displeased that she wanted to 
refuse the gift. " 

" And did you encourage her to accept it ? " 

" I know that Andree loves me — and that is all I want. She 
has given me proof enough of it. " 

" Well, I will say nothing more, the rest is your affair." 

Madame Despretz sat down again near the window and 
resumed her sewing. Her white hair and spotless cap stood out 
in full relief, in the oblique light falling from above. Her pale 
face had the serenity of one of these saintly portraits, scarcely 
distinguishalile in shadowy chapels, but the eyes of which follow 
you with vacant fixity. 

Her bony hands were wrinkled, and her fingers, the nails of 
which were worn by daily toil, bore the marks of assiduous ob- 
stinate work. As a rule, when Lucien came home of an evening 
it was he who lighted the fire and prepared the supper while his 
mother continued sewing. But now when she heard him blow- 
ing the charcoal fire in the kitchen with a pair of bellows, she 
hastily called out : " Leave that, my boy, leave all that; I will 

240 nana's daughter. 

go and attend to it. It's my business now. Besides my cooking 
won't take long when I'm alone. " 

" You will come and live with us, mother, and we will serve 
you and love you together. You will have two children in heu 
of one. 

" Oh ! I shan't do that. As your wife is rich and I am poor it 
would look as if I were dependent on her. " 

'* Andree would never think that." 

" But I should think it and I should feel humiliated. Do you 
8ee, my boy, lovers like solitude, and the presence of an old 
woman who no longer believes in love would chOl your effusions. 
I don't want to bring coldness or discord into your home, and so 
I prefer to live and die alone. " 

" I won't dispute the point with you, mother, but I am sorry 
that you have such fancies," rejoined Lucien, as he laid the cloth 
in the dining-room. 

The daylight was waning fast. Madame Despretz rose up, 
and walking softly across the room in her felt- soled shppers, she 
approached the open doorway to watch her Lucien. He was at 
this moment laying his mother's place, simple and kind-hearted 
as usual, ever intent on sparing her a task. To see him engaged 
in these petty household duties, no one would have believed in 
the sudden change of fortune that had befallen him. Madame 
Despretz thought of all the proofs of affection that he had given 
her, and asked herself with a feeling of jealous egotism what 
would become of her when he was married. Then almost imme- 
diately afterward, she reproached herself with the narrowness 
of heart which impelled her to be Andree's rival, and the reso- 
lution of self-sacritice gained the mastery in her mind. 

At this moment, as Lucien chanced to raise his head, he saw 
his mother leaning against the door and watching him, her eyes 
moist with resigned tenderness. He divined so much courageous 
abnegation, so much sublime forgetfulness of self in the painful 
expression of her eyes, that he went towards her, and, taking 
hold of her hands, exclaimed with affectionate authority : " I 
can't allow you to be sad, mother, when I am happy. " 

Then raising herself on tiptoes Madame Despretz clasped her 
fingers behind his neck, and drawing his face down to her hps 
she kissed him, replying: ''You bad fellow! How can your 
happiness make me sad ! You shall have her, yoiu* Andree, you 
shall have her. And if any one tried to take her from you, I 
would sacrifice everything to defend her ; yes, everything. " As 
the old woman spoke she drew back to gaze upon her son 
agam, and her face assumed the radiant expression of martyr- 

nana's daughter. 241 


Ain)ll6E Naviel's sudden change of fortune did not modify 
the preliminaries of the wedding. Everything was of charming 
simphcity; and on the evening before the ceremony the two 
famihes dhied together quietly at BatiguoUes. Andree and 
Lucien had appointed M. Naviel manager of some house prop- 
erty which they had purchased in Paris, and Madame Naviel 
had taken a shop on the Boulevard des Italiens in view of 
extending her artificial-flower business. As for the young 
couple, they did not make any alterations in then- mode of life 
for the time being, but it was arranged that they should go 
away together on the evening of the wedding and remain for a 
month at the seaside. 

The evening that they all spent at Batignolles was almost a 
farewell reunion. After dinner Madame Naviel served the coffee 
in the parlor, and Andree, having sent for the work-girls, 
informed them that in futm-e her mother would manage tbc 
business with the assistance of Margot; she added that in honor 
of her wedding they would each receive a present of a hundred 
francs. After these good tidings she dismissed them, but not 
without inviting them to the wedding dinner. Then she decided 
to prepare her toilet for the morrow. She had not removed her 
wedding-dress from the wardrobe since that terrible night when 
in her despair she had chosen it for a shroud. As she left the 
parlor she made a sign to Lucien and added: " Come ! " 

He rose and followed her. She stretched her skirt of white 
faille over an arm-chair so as to take out the creases. Lucien 
assisted her; and it was ho who laid the bodice over the back 
of the chair, bringing the sleeves forward. Andree amused 
herself by watching him, and was astonished to see how well ho 
understood these little matters. " Is yom- dress-coat ready? "* 
she asked him. 

" Yes ; it is the first dress-coat I have ever had made. My 
mother says that it fits me very well, but I don't entirely rely 
upon her taste in what concerns me; she always finds me 
superb, and looks at me with absolute indulgence. But perhaps 
my wife will be more severe." 

" I sliall i)crhaps bo severe for your coat or yom* tailor, but 
never for you. " 

" I know that love is blind. That is perhaps a reason why 
my dear little wife should see clearly." 

She gave him a reproachful glance. You ought not to say 
that here," she answered, "before this dress which I turned 

*As a general rule, French bridegrooms are attired in evening dress.— 

242 nana's daughter. 

into a shroud, and before this bed where you saw me lying almost 
dead on account of you. " 

She had bought a pair of high-heeled, white-satin boots 
which she now deposited in front of the arm-chair ; and then 
over the skirt she stretched the white-silk stockings which she 
had already worn on the night she had meant to kill herself. 
The wedding-gifts were few in number, but they were all 
exqmsitely tasteful. Lucien offered Andree an enamelled watch 
on the case of which the initials of their Christian names were 
entwined in pearls, a brooch forming a diamond rose, a pair of 
earrings of similar design, a ring, and finally a serpent bracelet 
with scales of emeralds and ruby eyes. Ajidree, on her side, 
had given Lucien a pair of sleeve-links, ornamented with 
sapphires of considerable size and value. 

It was a dehghtful May evening, and the first heat of the year 
was wafted through the open casement. Lucien leant over the 
balustrade of this window which he had gazed upon in such 
anguish but a couple of weeks previously, and the various inci- 
dents of that dreadful night were presented in succession to his 
mind. By the light of a street-lamp near the railway station, 
he could distinguish the spot where he had spent so many hours 
in [agony. All the ideas which had then darted through his 
brain hke poisoned arrows returned and troubled him. He felt 
a pang at his heart, and his knees shook. He asked himself 
how he had been able to support such frightful, moral suffering, 
without dashing out his brains, and the memory of this terrible 
crisis made him tremble to such a degree that his teeth chat- 
tered. He did not hear Andree, who surprised by his silence, 
now drew near to him, but he started as she laid her hand upon 
his shoulder, " What is my Lucien thinking of? " she asked; 
" he is as silent as if he were sad this evening." 

" Ask me rather whom I am thinking of, or ask me nothing. 
I was looking at the railway railing — at the spot where I was 
so tortured for hours a fortnight ago, when I watched the light 
in your window. And you, darling, while I was dying of anguish 
on the pavement, you were agonizing here, alone. Ah ! we were 
very mad, were we not ? " 

" Yes, yes, very mad." 

'' And yet, suppose that for some reason or another our mar- 
riage became impossible, that at the last moment an obstacle 
arose, an unconciuerable obstacle — that we could not be mar- 
ried in fact — what should wo do then? " 

'' We would leave the rajah's milhons to our parents, and go 
and drown ourselves in the sea," rejoined Andr6e simply; and 
as she spoke of dying with her lover, a gleam of feverish energy 
flashed from her eyes. 

" Yes, yes, both together, " said Lucien. 

" I have sometimes thought of that kind of death," resumed 


Andr^e. " I once saw the sea at Le Havre. I should prefer to 
sleep in the blue waves rather than m a coffin, for in the sea 
nothing would separate us. " 

*' Well, yes : we would do as you say ; we would go oflf alone, 
to some rugged shore, some deserted spot, and at night time, so 
as not to be disturbed. You would be miue before wc died, and 
we would fasten ourselves together solialy — then holding each 
other in a close embrace we would throw ourselves into the 
water, Andr6e, and our last sigh would bo a kiss. " 

" I should prefer such a death a thousand times to living 
without you ! " 

" Ah 1 how long it is, a night and a day — so many things can 

" Listen, Lucien, if we are determined on it no human power, 
no power of heaven or hell, can separate us. We must swear to 
die together, as we have said, if any obstacle should arise, if ray 
unatural mother should have any weapon against our happiness, 
if any infamy or fatahty should wreck our ho s at the final 
moment. " 

'' I swear it," said Lucien Despretz, " I swear it on the honor 
of my saintly mother, whose life has been one of devotion to 

" And I swear it my love for you, Lucien. " 

They each raised an arm toward the sky where their familiar 
star was shining with a greenish brilliancy like Andree's eyes ; 
and then Lucien, catching his well-beloved in a powerful though 
chaste embrace, pressed her to his heart with reverent respect 
And leaning toward her he hid his burning face in her warm 
abundant hair. " Oh, Andree, Andree, Andree, " he murmured 
amid the silky curls, " Andree, I love you better than aught 
else. " 

They were interrupted by a prolonged sigh, and as Lucien 
turned his head, he perceived his mother. " I heard you," .she 
said ; " you love her better than aught else, and you will die 
together if the wedding is prevented. 'Tis well, 'tis well, 'tis 
well." And then raising her thin hands above her head with a 
grievous gesture, she stammered, checking a sob by an efibrt 
of proud will: "0 God! I have nought left to me but 
Thee ! " 

Lucien wished to take her in his arms with his betrothed to 
unite them in the same affectionate embrace, but she softly 
repulsed him and said, resignedly : " I don't complain, my 
lad, it was bound to be thus. I will leave you alone. " And she 
then rejoined the Naviels in the parlor. 

Then they forgot themselves in making happy plans, their 
minds at ease since they had sworn to die together. They felt 
as if they were already married, aiul in the enjoyment of mutunl 
possession. They mentally anticipated their happiness. Lucien 

244 nana's daughter. 

did not breathe any unseemly word or reveal aught unduly, and 
yet he wished to make Andree understand the full extent of 
sacrifice which love imposes on a woman, he wished that she 
might realize what self-abandonment her promise would entail. 
She partly understood him, and blushed for having done so. 
And to hide her blushes from him she turned her face toward 
the night. So that was marriage? What solemn, charming 
mystery, what delight awaited her ! She trembled, and felt 
almost afraid at being thus alone with Lucien. It seemed to her 
as if he were going to carry her down into an abyss. A feeling 
of intense timidity rose from her heart to her face, and weighed 
upon her long chaste eyelids. She no longer dared to meet her 
lover's glance. She could see him through her silky lashes, and 
felt an unknown warmth pass throughout her system, bending 
ber knees and oppressing her virgin bosom. 

At this moment a nightingale poised itself on one of the chest- 
nut trees in the square ; and amid the nocturnal pcacefulness 
they heard a pure trill rise through the air like a winged vibra- 
tion, then a velvety note was prolonged, a scale rang out like a 
peal of clear youthful laughter, ending in a vocal flourish of 
exquisite delicacy. There came a pause ; and then the crystal- 
line voice was raised anew, modulating with inihiite art, a strain 
full of melancholy passion. But suddenly the feathered songster 
ceased his lay. The whistle of a railway engine broke upon the 
silence, seemingly spreading as it grew nearer. The huge 
steam-horse appeared round the curve of the line under the iron 
bridge which leads to the Batignolles Station. For a moment 
the train stopped. The blacl: funnel pufled precipitately, its 
smoke rising like breath from the depths of the cutting into the 
lighted street — dense and flufly at first, but dispersing as it 
rose and mingling with the atmosphere above the houses. 
Then, as the passengers had alighted on the platform, one 
heard the signal of the station-master, which the engine whistle 
answered like a formidable echo. The wheels began to revolve 
slowly at first, and socm the whole train was in motion, journey- 
ing onward at increasing speed. Lucien and Andree saw the 
carriages pass along one after another, many an unknown face 
flitting by in the lighted compartments which, in turn, dis- 
appeared from view under the dark ■wault of the tunnel. Then 
silence reigned once more around the square, where the dark 
foliage of the horse-chestnut trees grew indistinct ainid tlie mist 
which was now slowly gliding over the dewy expanse of the 
lawns, in phantom-like procession. The winged songster had 
fled off afar into the peace of the woods where everything is 
hushed to listen to him. 

Andree reflected that on the moiTow she also would journey 
to unknown happiness in an unknown land. It seemed to her 
that she was about to leave the world and fly on the wings of 


tlio niffhtingalo to a land of colostial molody and infinite love. 
Sonu'thiny passionate and saintly, cliasto and troublous, a 
supremo, yet timid ardor took possession of her whole being. 
She gazed on the man she loved by the light of the lamp which 
lent a Hame-like brilliancy to his short hair, and illumined his 
thin profile. Lucieu Despretz was the perfect type of masculine 
comeliness in her eyes. He pleased her such as he was. She 
needed all her proud will not to throw her arms around his neck 
and cover him with endless kisses. And he I He was thinking 
that he would soon be free to carry her away like something 
belonging to him, to tell her all that he had not yet dared to 
tell her, to teach her everything, to kiss her little feet, and hold 
her in a tight embrace. And as he anticipated in his mind the 
promised delight soon to bo realized, he felt a very vertigo of 
joy lift him up and carry him away through days, and months, 
and years, of which he was no longer conscious. 

But he was suddenly roused from his dream by Andr6e, who 
uttered an exclamation, and pointed with her forefinger to the 
Rue de Rome. A tall, slight, shadowy form was approaching 
swiftly beside the railway railing. "Look over there," said 
Andree to Lucien. 

" Yes, there is a man passing." 

" Don't you recognize him "? " 

"Not at all." 

" It is Luc coming here ! Nana is plotting some new infamy 
against us. " 

" What of that ? "We can take refuge in our oath ! " 

" Don't let us stop alone ! " pleaded Andr6e, with a shudder. 
"I feel afraid." 

Shortly afterwards Luc rang the bell. The two families were 
reassembled in the parlor. It was M. Naviel who went to open 
the door for the valet, who, after hanging his hat on a peg, 
went into the sitting-room. He bowed respectfully to Madame 
Naviel and Madame Despretz, and then, approaching Lucien, 
he took his hand and said: "So it is for to-morrow? Be on 
your guard. There will be a fight, for the marquis will be there 
and Madame Nana also." 

" We shall all be there," interrupted Pierre Naviel, " and so 
much the worse for your marquis if he tries to create a disturb- 
ance ! He has been warned once already. I don't suppose that 
it is he who sent you here ? " 

" No, I have come on my own account. I thought that I 
should find you all together this evening, including a person 
whom T particularly wish to speak with. It is to you, Madame 
Adele Despretz, that I should like to say a word or two in 
private. It is a question of your son's happiness, of chpping 
the nails and filing the teeth of a man you know, and of a 

246 nana's daughter. 

woman wiio wishes to profit by what you told her to prevent 
the wedding and separate our young folks for good. " 

" Come into the work-room, we shall be alone there," replied 
Madame Despretz. 

She opened the door and passed out the first. Luc followed 
her, but in the work-room they found Margot, who was finishing 
a garland of orange blossom for the bodice of Andree's dress. 
"Leave us alone for a moment, my girl," said Madame Des- 

However, Margot asked permission to finish her work ; she 
did not need another five minutes, she said, and the garland 
must be completed that evening. AVben the last leaf had been 
set in its place, she rose in silence, and went round the room so 
as to avoid Luc, who always inspired her with a feeling of repul- 
sion. She entered the parlor carrying the garland in her hand, 
for she wished to try its effect round Andree's waist. The 
young girl thanked her, and taking tlie pretty, white flowers in 
her fingers she laid tliom on the table beside the jewel cases 
brought by Lucien, and said to Margot : " I shall always keep 
this garland in memory of you, my girl." 

"Ah! what can I do to thank you, mademoiselle?" asked 
Margot, in a voice full of feeling. " I was very wicked toward 
you, and I have been severely punished. But you are so good, 
mademoiselle; and, instead of letting me rot in the filth you 
found me in, you did not hesitate to go to my hovel to take mo 
away from it. And on the day of the review, too, you remon- 
strated with the man who is now talking to Madame Despretz. 
Whenever I see him I always feel a shiver right down my 

" Never mind about that, Margot, you are a good girl. I 
always thought that you would become one again, and that was 
why I took you with us. I can promise you a position if you 
continue to answer my anticipations, which are altogether in 
your favor. " 

" You are very kind. Mademoiselle Andree ; but I have some- 
thing to do, and I fear I shall have to leave Madame Naviel to 
go to prison. " Margot spoke these words with a black look and 
an evil gleam in her eyes; and then hastily added: "Good- 
night, ladies and gentlemen all." 

She had just gone up to her attic when Luc and Madame 
Despretz returned into the parlor. Lucien's mother was 
extremely pale, and her smile had that painful contraction 
which indicates resignation to fate. She had evidently been 
crying, for her eyelids were very red. Her poor hands, spoiled 
by work, hung down against hor black dress, painfully 
emaciated, and deadly white with prominent blue veins. 

" Are you suffering, mother? " asked Lucien and Andree in 
the same breath. 

nana's daughter. 247 

" No. my children, it is over," she answered, with <i sigh. 

"Come, my friends, to-morrow means happiness or misery," 
exclaimed Luc. " It all hangs on a thread. At what time shall 
you be at the mayor's * " 

" At noon precisely. " 

" Very good. I will be punctual. " And looking at the yoimg 
couple, seated side by side, he said to them with feeling gravity : 
" Always love each other as you do now, little ones — for do you 
know, despite all that people say, love is the only true thing in 
life. But I must be ofl'. Until to-morrow ! " Aiid he abruptly 
hastened out of the room. 


At noon on the morrow an attendant ushered the Naviels, the 
Despretzes and their witnesses into the room set apart for the 
celebration of marriages at the Batiguolles municipal oflBces. 
Lucien had invited two clerks belonging to the newspaper office, 
where he was employed; and M. Naviel had secured the 
services of the doctor who had attended Andree and of one of 
his colleagues of the Western Railway line. Andree and Lucien 
sat down side by side awaiting the mayor, who had not yet 
arrived. Near by Andree's work-girls were standing. A chilly 
silence reigned in the room ; but out of doors a sudden blast 
swept by literally howling as it shook the window panes. Night 
seemed descending from the sky across which a party of rooks 
flew cawing, and the large white bust of the Republic was barely 
distinguishable against the green-wall hangings. At last the 
mayor, wearing his tricol<»r sash of office, came forward gravely. 
The bridal pair rose to their feet, and the simple ceremony 
began. The mayor read the articles of the code concerning the 
duties and obligations of matrimony, explaining their sense and 
bearings in a short address. Then he asked the usual questions. 
Turning at first to Lucien he said: "Do you consent to take 
Mademoiselle Andree Naviel for your wedded wife ? " 

" Yes, sir, " answered Lucien, in a loud voice. 

The magistrate next asked Andree a similar question respect- 
ing Lucien, and she quietly gave an affirmative reply. The 
mayor then began to pronounce the customary formula. " In the 
name of the law, I declare you to be " 

" Excuse me, sir! " at this moment cried a bitter voice, pro- 
ceeding from the doorway, " but I oppose this marriage ! " 
And, followed by Luc and giving her arm to the Marquis 
D'Albigny, Nana entered the room with a haughty step. She 
was arrayed in a rol)e of blue plush with a long train behind, 
and flounces of point d'Angleterre in front. Six massive gold 

24» nana's daughter. 

bracelets spanned her writs, and two emerald bees with diamon " 
wings sparliled in her ears. 

*' Who are you, madame'? " asked the mayor, 

" I am the bride's mother, sir. The parents who figure here 
are spurious ones, and this is the proof of it." So saymg she 
handed the mayor the letter which set forth that Andree had 
been left at the Foundling Hospital in the Rue d'Enfer, on the 
14th of August, 18G0, according to the instructions of the com- 
missary of police of the district where she, Nana, then resided, 
that the deposit had been effected by Virginie, the said Nana's 
maid, and finally that Andree had been handed over to Pierre 
Naviel, a mechanic, residing in the Eue Crozatier, on the 20th 
of the same month. 

The mayor read this communication attentively and then 
asked, " Is Monsieur Pierre Naviel here ? " 

" Yes, sir," replied Andree's adoptive father. It was I who 
brought up the young girl with my wife's assistance, and if we 
are spurious parents I should like to know what can be thought 
of the real mother. " 

" Are you the woman Nana ? " asked the mayor, turning to 
the courtesan. 

" Of course I am. You must know me at least by name. " 

" Well, I must inform you that in accordance with the law 
you have forfeited all rights over your daughter. Besides, the 
commissary whom you applied to cannot have left you in doubt 
upon the matter. He must have warned you that in abandon- 
ing your child you relinquished all your rights over her, that 
the Poor Relief Board became her legal guardian, absolutely as 
if she were an orphan and you were dead. " 

" I have no recollection of it, sir. I was so young at the 
time that I was quite unaware of what I was really doing when 
I abandoned my child. But now I know what one suffers on 
seeing one's own flesh and blood in the hands of such a mercen- 
ary set. " And so speaking she stretched out her hand toward 

He rose to his feet with his eyes blazing like live coals. " I 
think," said he, striking his broad chest with his fist, " that an 
honest workman is better able to rear a child properly than :: 
woman who trades on vice. " 

"Don't answer that woman. Monsieur Naviel," said the 
mayor ; and then turning to the courtesan again, he added : 
" The commissary of your district must also have warned you 
that by the hospital regulations you would not be allowed to see 
your daughter or learn what had become of her. I am very 
astonished therefore that the authorities should have written 
such a letter, which is in direct contradiction with their own 
rules. " 

He thereupon returned Nana the letter, which she placed In 

nana's daughter. 249 

her pocket, saying, " "Well, sir, since my consent signifies noth- 
ing, I have merely a declaration to make and I fancy you will 
take it into consideration. " 

" Speak," said the mayor. 

For a moment Nana seemed to reflect. The darkness had 
become so great that one of the ushers was lighting the gas. A 
painful silence oppressed the lookers on. The wind alone raised 
its voice with a prolonged howl as it swept past outside. A 
shutter was slammed to with such force that the rust- eaten 
hook parted, breaking a window pane, the ft-agments of which 
fell upon the floor. Then the blast rushed in, throwing the fold- 
ing doors back with a bang, and extinguishing the gas, so that 
the spacious room was plunged in gloomy darkness. Luc had 
drawn near to Madame Despretz, and Margot, whose right 
hand was hidden behind a corner of her shawl, had stationed 
herself erect just behind Andree. 

" Well," resumed Nana, biting her words so to say, " I aflirm 
that this young man and this young girl are the children of the 
same father. To convince yourself of this, sir, it is only neces- 
sary for you to question Mademoiselle Ad^le Despretz, who is 
here present. She will tell you that she never had but one 
lover, and this lover being the bride's father, as I have good 
reason to know, is also father of the bridegroom ! " Nana fin- 
ished with a burst of iusolent laughter which rang throughout 
the lofty room. 

Luc was begging Madame Despretz in a low voice : " Cour- 
age, Adfele, courage ! You must tell the truth." 

Lucien's mother rose up. Her eyes glanced round the room 
and then gazed with implacable fixity upon the Marquis D'Al- 
bigny. She stood rigid, pale, hke a cloistered nun in the glim- 
mer of the gas which an usher was lighting again. There was 
a moment of solemn expectancy. Outside the rain was now 
falling in torrents, beating noisily on the window panes. The 
hght shed by the unpolished globes glided over the anxious 
faces around, casting golden radiance upon the brow of the 
courtesan, lending diaphanous pallidity to the veil of the bride 
— as beautiful as a vision of ideal love — and ascending to the 
bust of the Eepubhc, which overlooked this drama with its 
vacant stare. 

" I must ask your permission to make a public revelation, sir, " 
said Madame Despretz to the mayor in a firm voice. 

' Speak, madame." 

" My son's father is not the man whom this person has spoken 

" Really, my dear ! " said Nana, " so you had several lovers 
then? " 

" Let me continue, madame, I am not making this painful 
confession to you When I was very young I was courted for 

Nana' s Daughter 16. 

250 nana's daughter. 

some time by a handsome fellow of good birth who called him- 
self a marquis and who tried all sorts of promises, and even 
swore to marry me so as to induce me to part with my only for- 
tune, my honor. He seemed so sincere and frank, so affectionate 
and tender, that I loved him, but without consenting to what he 
asked. " 

Oppressed by her painful recollections, Ad^le Despretz pauJ3ed 
for a moment to collect her ideas and strengthen her resolution 
she had taken to sacrifice all her pride as a woman and a mother 
to her son's happiness. D'Albigny was gazing insolently at this 
martyr of maternal duty; but without allowing herself to be 
intimidated, she resumed ; " I imprudently allowed this scoun- 
drel to perceive the influence he exercised over my heart, and 
as he could not conquer my resolution to remain unmarried 
rather than take a lover, he set a trap for me ; and when I 
defended myself against his violence, he stifled my cries with his 
handkerchief, seized me by the throat and almost throttled nie. 
I lost consciousness — and thus he triumphed over my resist- 
ance. But in defending myself I inflicted upon him with my 
nails a wound of some depth of which he must still bear the 
mark, although five-and-twenty years have elapsed since 
then. " 

" Did you never know this man's name ? Did you never make 
any charge against him?" asked the mayor. 

" He had taken a false name to deceive me, sir, and I did not 
dare to complain even to my parents. And they drove me igno- 
miniously out of doors, when I became a mother, and my lover 
abandoned me. But now that circumstances and a false state- 
ment have compelled mo to make this confession, I recognize the 
scoundrel who dishonored me, and I denounce him to you so that 
you may have him arrested. There ho stands!" And with a 
gesture as threatening as a sword thrust she pointed with her 
right hand to the Marquis D'Albigny. 

Lucien Despretz, who was very pale, sprang from his place 
and shook his fist in D'Albigny's face. *' Ah ! I had forgotten 
you!" ho cried, " but I will kill you, if you are not even more of 
a coward than I believe. I will kill you, do you hear?" 

"Leave him, my son," said Ad61e Despretz, "you cannot 
fight with your fiither !" 

" All this," rejoined D'Albigny, with cold irony, " seems to be 
a skillfully planned and clever-acted comedy. Evidently enough, 
these honest folks have been plotting together to blackmail the 
Maniuis D'Albigny ; but the Alarquis D'Albigny is not the man 
to allow himself to be blackmailed — do you hear. Monsieur 
Lucien, I — don't — know — what ? Do you hear, madame, I — 
don't — know — whom? You pretend, I believe, that you were 
my mistress, but 'pon my word, I never had any tasto for grand- 

nana's daughter. 251 

mothova, andifyoa aro not au adveuturcsS; my good woman, 
you imist simply be a lunatic !" 

Adi'lo Dcsprotz walked, with her arms crossed, toward th« 
marquis. " The proof that I spoke the truth — see, there it is ! " 
she cried ; and before D'Alblguy could foresee her intention, shft 
pulled oil' his necktie, and with feverish energy tore his collai- 
ai)art. A scar, more than an inch long, was plainly visible on 
his neck. *' There it is!" continued Madame Despretz, ''see, 
there it is ! Look, Monsieur Naviel, look, gentlemen, and you 
too, Lucien, the son of a coward, of a man who robs women of 
their honor — look, there is the mark left by the dishonored 
gh"l upon this jail-bird's neck." 

" Oh ! oh I madame !" exclaimed D'Albigny, turning pale with 
rage, " you are evidently quite mad, and I advise your estimable 
otfspring to have you bled for — " 

But he stojjped short. A long hand had fallen upon his coat 
collar, and on turning his head he saw his valet, Luc, standing 
behind him. The expression of the ex-clown's ashy face had 
suddenly changed. An implacable, sinister purpose shone in his 
eyes, which were flaming like those of some bird of prey : 
*' In the name of the law I arrest you, Marquis d'Albiguy !" ho 

" You ! And by what right ? " 

" Because you are guilty of the crime to which this poor 
woman fell a victim ; and I know it, for you betrayed yourself, 
marquis, by relating the story to your unworthy accomplice, in 
my hearing, I also know that you attempted to sequestrate 
Mademoiselle Andree Naviel, and that you and Madame Nana, 
her mother, formed odious plana respecting her, which only 
failed thanks to me. " 

" All this is false ! " cried the marquis, " and I don't acknowl- 
edge your right to arrest me. So release your hold, or I will 
break your back over that bench. " 

" If you want a helping hand, comrade," said Pierre Naviel, 
approaching the two men, " I'm here to give it. The marquis is 
acquainted with my hold, already." 

" There must be an end to all this," interrupted the mayor. 
" I cannot tolerate acts of violence here." 

" I am only doing my duty, sir, " rejoined Luc. '' I belong to 
the detective service. Here is my card. " 

*' Ah I very good ; then have this man locked up at once. " 

Two policemen in umform immediately entered the room and 
seized hold of D'Albigny. All the scoundrel's arrogance van- 
ished in a moment. Pale and with trembling knees he allowed 
himself to be led away like a child. His teeth were chattering 
with sudden cowardice. Nana, however, remained haughty in 
presence of this fall of unhallowed fortune and baffled audacity. 
She abruptly abandoned D'Albigny, and addressing herself to 

252 nana's daughter. 

tbe mayor: " I did not wish to denounce the marquis," she 
said, " but since lie has already one rape on his conscience, I can 
confess the other for him ; and it is my right to do so, as I am 
the victim's mother ! " 

" Nana ! it's false ! Be quiet ! " cried D'Albigny, " you are 
ruining me. " The policemen, at this moment, pushed him out of 
the room ; but he could be heard on the stairs still shouting, " It's 
false ! That woman lies ! " 

" And I — I say that it is the truth," resumed the courtesan, 
'' and that the beautiful Andree, called Naviel " 

Whilst she spoke Margot had silently drawn near to her, with 
her round eyes sparkling feverishly under their heavy lids. She 
still had her right hand hidden under the point of her shawl. 
" Take that, you beast! " she shouted, and with a sudden jerk 
she throw the contents of a flask of vitriol in Nana's face. 

The harlot raised a terrible cry, fell backward and rolled upon 
the floor, giving vent to inarticulate shrieks. Two other police- 
men entered and carried her into the guard-room, while a third 
arrested Margot. The ceremony, which had been interrupted 
by these dramatic incidents, was then hastily concluded, and, 
the mayor having declared the young couple to be duly married, 
Lucien ofl'ored his arm to his wife, and they left the room, followed 
by their relatives and witnesses. 

Andree felt serene strength and confidence as she leaned on 
the arm of the man who would henceforth be her inseparable 
companion and friend. Nothing could ever more disturb her 
happy dream. Life was stretched out before her with a fair 
and smiling horizon. She had borne the insults and slander of 
her own mother with a calm disdain. She understood that 
Lucien's faith in her could never more be shaken. 

Indeed all her future reposed upon a firm basis ; the love of 
the man slie loved. And at the thought that the horizon of her 
ardent youth would spread to the full compass of her desires, 
her whole being quivered with eager joy. She had come with 
calm bravery to face this battle which might have cost her her 
life. She had relied implicitly upon Lucien, confident in the 
oath which she had exchanged with him. That supreme reso- 
lution had lent her a proud, serious strength. She had resisted 
the advice of her infamous mother and escaped the snares set 
for her by the marquis ; she had not listened to the yearnings of 
nature or to the passionate instincts of the temperament which 
she owed to her worthless mother. 

The example of surrounding honesty had definitely assured 
the triumph of chaste resolve and virtuous education. And 
\iow she could follow the man she loved without false prudery 
»r the timid shame of unconscious virtue. Had there been 
need for it she would have dipped her pen in her heart's blood 

nana's daughter. 253 

to sign the act by which she abandoned her being and conse- 
crated her life to Lucien Despretz. 

When she appeared on the stops outside the municipal offices, 
the crowd assembled in front of the railing could not restrain a 
murmur of admhation. Parted by the wind the clouds were 
speeding eastward like a flight of gloomy crows. The rain had 
ceased falling and a sun ray darted from between two cloudlets 
and beamed over Andree's beauty. 

The sudden effulgency lighted up her large green eyes and 
played over her long white veil, while a radiant, gentle smile 
parted her ruddy lips. She descended the steps leaning on her 
husband's arm, and in doing so displayed the tiny proportions 
of her feet and the feUne grace of her walk. The crowd warmly 
applauded her as she passed along. 

Scarcely had she taken her seat in the wedding carriage than 
a woman, whose head was bandaged up, and whose face was 
covered with lint, was carried by four policemen to a brougham 
waiting a short distance off. At intervals she gave vent to 
frightful shrieks, which filled the whole street around. Her 
carriage started off at a walk, followed by a band of pale 
urchins, who bawled aloud : " Serve her right ! Serve her 
riglit ! " 

" Poor woman ! " sighed Andree, who was touched with 
emotion, and then she slowly took off her left glove to look at 
her wedding ring. 

The cries of the courtesan could be heard growing fainter 
and fainter in the depths of the street. Lucien saw that 
Andree was saddened by the terrible punishment which had 
overtaken her unnatural mother. He took her tiny bare hands 
in his and printed a long kiss on the tips of the pink fingers 
which the work of toilsome years had sanctified. Then as the 
whole wedding party was seated in the vehicles, the white 
horses, decked with ribbons, started off at a trot, and conveyed 
the bridal pair to the Naviels' home. 


Nana's calamity proved irreparable. The vitriol burned her 
eyes so frightfully that each orbit was positively emptied. Her 
eyelids remained closed over the sightless cavities. Her nose 
had been eaten up by the corroding liquid, as if by a cancer, 
and the nasal apertures appeared hke two black holes amid the 
ruddy callosity of her tumid face. Her upper hp, slit apart like 
a hare's lip, reveal'^-d her teeth which caries swiftly covered 
with yellow tartar. A brown leprosity, pitted with blue, spread 
all yver her face, ou which the smile of beauty had one© 

254 nana's daughter. 

beamed, and a putrid stench was exhaled in sickening puffs hy 
all the horrible sores from which the matter flowed. 

Since D'Albigny's arrest and his accomplice's calamity, the 
mansion in the Avenue de Friedland had been abandoned by 
every one. Mulhausen, on examining the marquis' accounts, 
had discovered a large deficit, and had denounced his ex-partner 
to the PubUc Prosecutor. He had then vainly tried to manage 
the Gazette by himself, cutting down the staff of clerks, and 
the remimeration of the writers. But he had nevertheless been 
obliged to invest more money in this enterprise, which lacked 
vaiability from the outset. Demands for money rained upon him 
from all sides. D'Albigny had used up every method of getting 
into debt. Creditors became arrogant, subscribers refused 
further patronage, and newsvendors bundled the paper out of 
sight, or declared that they did not sell it to the few purchasers 
who chanced to ask for it. On June 15th the last number of the 
Gazette des Coulisses was issued. Mulhausen, dunned by his 
creditors, and without a hundred thousand fi-ancs left to him, 
fled from France to Germany, where his estates were on the 
point of being sold. Since Nana'a terrible adventure he had 
only been to the Avenue de Friedland on one occasion, and then 
to make sure if the lease was really in her name. 

Nana, on her side, closed her doors to every one, and abso- 
lutely refused to see the prince when he called. In the midst of 
intolerable physical suffering, she also found herself besieged by 
creditors whom she was unacquainted with, by bills falling she 
knew not whence, by drafts which sprung up out of the earth, 
by promissory notes, the signature of which she could not verify 
owing to her horrible cecity. To face the many demands made 
upon her purse she successively entrusted all her jewelry to 
Virginie to pawn, and the maid profited by the occasion to set 
aside for her old age a considerable portion of the money which 
Nana thus raised on the remaining fragments of her wealth. 
On July 15th the courtesan could not collect the sum necessary 
for the payment of her rent. The servants, seeing ruin ahead, 
had already demanded their wages and left the house. Virginie 
alone remained, intent on securing the last available spoils of 
the fallen harlot. Tall and thin, with a nose like a crow's beak, 
crooked fingers, like vulture's claws, yellow, round eyes, black, 
frizzly hair, and a scraggy, wiry neck, she hovered about the 
courtesan like a bird of prey about a carcass. A week later 
Nana received a lawyer's summons to pay her landlord the sum 
of six thousand francs due for the July quarter, imder penalty 
of being forced to do so by all legal means, and notably by the 
seizure of her furniture and personal efiects. Wlien Virginie 
read her the summons she flew into a hideous fit of rage ; she 
sprang out of her bed, in which the running sores of her face 
bad hitherto kept her in agony, and, bounding almost naked 

nana's daughter. 255 

over the carpet, she darted blindly here and there, until reach- 
ing a chair of gilt becchwood she hurled it into space. It struck 
a Louis XV. mirror, cracked it, and fell broken on the floor. 
Then seized, in her despair, with a mad desire to destroy every- 
thing/ Nana rushed right and left, breaking the furniture and 
tearing down the hangings. She even smashed one of th& 
window panes with her fist, which was badly cut by the broken 

'' Madame has gone mad," said Virginie, who stood watching 
her with her arms crossed. 

" Ah ! you say that I am mad ! " cried the courtesan in a 
quivering voice. " Ah ! you say that I am mad ! Well, you 
shall just see." And springing upon her maid, she caught her 
by the hair and threw her backward upon the bed ; then, low- 
ering her own hideous, putrescent face, she bit Virginie on the 
neck with the ferocity of a wild beast. 

The maid gave vent to a cry of indescribable agony and 
horror. Calmed now that she had satisfied her bestial cruelty, 
Nana let her go , and Virginie retreated to the door, exclaiming ; 
" Since that is the way that madame rewards me for my fidelity 
I'm going to take myself off, for good." 

Tlais threat brought the prospect of absolute abandonment 
and utter solitude before the harlot's mind : and throwing her- 
self in front of Virginie to intercept her, " No, stay, don't 
abandon me, " she begged. " I should die of hunger without 
you. Wliat could I do in my position ? " 

" That's no business of mine. Madame is very ungrateful 
to treat me as she has done, and she had better look for another 

" Where can I look for one ? I am alone, abandoned by 
every one, blind — where can I go, tell me ? But I feel that you 
only tell me this so as to obtain better wages. I will double 

" How ? Madame hasn't five napoleons left in the whole 

" I will sell my horses." 

" They are sold already, madame." 

" I will sell my furniture." 

" It belongs to the landlord. " 

" My jewels! " 

" All pawned, all at my uncle's, madame." 

" My dresses " 

" They are the landlord's, just like the furniture. For the 
moment madame is quite stripped, and, in her present stata, it 
is hardly probable that she will find any one to " 

" But, come, you can't leave me like this, Virginie, my little 
Virginie. You have made your fortime with me ; yes, you have 
really made your fortune. Well, if you won't stay for what I 

256 nana's daughter. 

may be able to give you, stay, stay out of friendship. I was 
always kind to you. " 

" Madame is mistaken when she says that I have made my 
fortune in her service. I have always looked after her interests 
to the detriment of my own. " 

" No matter, you will stay out of friendship for your old 
friend, Nana, you will stay, won't you, my good Vu'giuie? 
What would become of mo without you ? " 

As she spoke like this, begging Yirginie to stay, not to 
abandon her, not to leave her to die of hunger, the once proud, 
disdainful courtesan, the fallen queen of vice, the whilom 
empress of beauty, now so monstrously hideous, tried to speak 
in the caressing tone of yore, but even her voice had changed. 
The absence of an upper lip made her lisp and stutter gro- 
tesquely. She held Virginie's hand in her own, which trembled 
with fear at the thought of remaining alone in this house, which 
the lawyers were about to strip, and whence the landlord would 
drive her out into the street, hideous, eyeless, dying of hunger, 
reduced to implore the pity of policemen, and to seek a refuge 
at the Depot of the prefecture, among the pack of jades, sluts, 
and street walkers, in stinking misery and bestial vice. 

" I have told madame what I had to say," said Virginie. " I 
cannot continue serving madame. I am free to dispose of 
myself, I suppose." 

On hearing this. Nana, conquered by despair, fell on her knees 
at the feet of this dried-up, scraggy girl, and yellow tears oozed 
from between her eyelids, and coursed hideously ever her turner - 
ous face. And sobbing, crushed, terrified, she cried : " Forgive 
me, forgive me, Virginie ! That is what you want, is it not ? 
You wish me to humiliate myself before you, and ask your 
pardon for having hurt you as I did, a little while ago ? Well, 
you see I am on my knees, and I beg your forgiveness, my little 
Virginie ! " 

" I have no spite against madame, and I beg her to forgive 
me, for it is quite impossible for me to remain any longer with 

Having said this very drily, Virginie tried to withdraw her 
hand which Nana was slill holding. But she did not succeed, 
for the courtesan clung tightly to this last human being who 
had remained with her, like a shipwrecked mariner to a spar. 
" You really think of going ? " she said. " Then I shall detain 
you despite yourself; I will shut you up in my room ; you will 
be my prisoner. " 

" Ah ! you end by bothering me ! T haven't let myself out on 
lease, I suppose, and I have the right to leave a house, where 
my only wages are ill-treatment." 

She again made an effort to free herself, but Nana clung 
despairingly to her skirts — " You shan't go," she voeiferatedi 

nana's daughter. 257 

The T7ords came husky, crowding one upon the other. Her 
bosom heaved with fierce emotion, she was breathless with 

" I'm going, so release me. " 


Virginio was, in her turn, seized with a fit of rage. With her 
bony hands she caught hold of one of Nana's fingers and twisted 
it in her own until she felt it crack. Overcome by pain the 
courtesan let go of Vlrginie's skirt, and fell backward, fainting 
on the floor. Then the maid, furious, eager for revenge upon 
this sightless woman, whom she had felt so frightened of but a 
moment previously, caught up a stray boot and belabored her 
on the stomach and the legs. Kneeling upon the carpet she 
unfastened her hair — the supreme splendor, the one abiding 
remnant of former beauty, which lingered as a consolation to the 
harlot. Nana loved to cast it as a mantle over the horror of her 
face, to hide her ruin in the thick golden locks — the only gold 
that she possessed. It was her last delight to pass her tapering 
fingers through the warm, tawny silk. Virgmie thought of this, 
and drew from her pocket a pair of scissors which she always 
carried about her. For a moment she contemplated this luxur- 
iant hair, and amused herself by stretching the wavy folds over 
the carpet ; then taking them between both of her hands, which 
were scarcely large enough for the purpose, she twisted them 
into a single coil and opened her scissors. At first the hair 
defended itself against destruction. The scissors were not sharp 
enough to cut through the compact mass. But Virginie 
patiently separated it into several locks, which she cut off one 
after the other, and then rolling the whole of the hair around 
her left arm, she carried it oil' like a trophy. 

Shortly afterward Nana regained consciousness. She vainly 
tried to open her eyelids, but night weighed upon her, implaca- 
bly, eternally. Dead to noontide, she was condemned to five 
like a phantom, conscious of hght, and momming for the sun. 
" Virginie ! Virginie ! " she cried. 

But heavy silence reigned in the rooms around. Afar, the 
hum and stir of out-door life could be distinguished, and she 
heard a clock striking. She recognized what clock it was ; how 
often had she passed before the church where it was placed — 
reclining in her blue-tinted carriage, drawn by English trotters, 
driven by a coachman in her colors, and attended by a footman 
in knee breeches. " Virginie ! Virginie ! " she called again. 

No answer ! Nothing ! The girl had gone ! 

However, Nana suddenly sprang to her feet again. She was 
astonished that her head should feel so light, and she instinct- 
ively raised her hands. Then, as she touched her skull, she gave 
vent to a cry of appalling, superhuman rage, which resounded 
throughout the empty houesi 

258 nana's daughter. 

Although her feet were bare she began to wander up and 
down knocking against the walls and the furniture without 
noticing it, clinching her fists and setting her teeth, and burst- 
ing, at intervals, into hoarse shouts as she entered the reception 
rooms, whore her voice awakened a deep echo and where she 
iuhaled a smelly of solitude, stagnant moisture, and moldliness, 
as if the leprosy of abandonment already covered the walls. 
Entering the dining-room she followed the waiscoting until she 
reached the sideboard. She was hungry, and felt a terrible 
apprehension lest she should not find even a bit of bread in the 
house — first pillaged and then abandoned by servants, friends, 
and parasites of every kind. She only found half a dozen 
glasses in the sideboard, and did not recognize them as hers 
Avheu she tapped them with her thumb nail to make them ring. 
Plainly enough her service of Baccarat crystal— her Sevres 
porcelain, decorated with her coronetted initial — had all gone. 
After this discovery she went down into the basement. The 
pantry was utterly empty ; and merely a few dirty plates were 
lying on the fireless range in the kitchen. 

Returning up-stairs she went into her dressing-room, over the 
floor of which a silk skirt was trailing. On feehng along the 
wall she found that a dozen dresses or so were still hanging 
from the pegs. Dancing shoes, odd boots, and lace petticoats 
were strewn here and there, and a " niniche" bonnet lay upon a 
chair with its strings hanging down to the floor close to a couple 
( f silk stockings of different colors and a black mantilla, which 
she wrapped over her head. She put on six of her best dresses, 
one over the other, a couple of stockings, and the first pair of 
boots she came across, dressing herself as well as she could. 

The wound inflicted on her wrist when she had smashed the 
pane of glass, and the finger which Virginie had almost broken, 
caused her horrible suffering at each movement of her hands, 
and at intervals she felt shooting pains throughout her whole 
body. She knew where to find the key of the outside gate, so 
she took it, and for twenty minutes or so she waited on the 
threshold for an empty cab to pass along. A stranger, who was 
walldng down the Avenue de Friedland, helped her into the 
vehicle, and she asked him to request the cabman to drive her 
to the Rue de Provence. It was there that La Saint Amand, 
who had relinquished fast living on her own account, and who 
now only served as a go-between in carrying on questionable 
Intrigues, kept a second-hand clothes' shop. She did not recog- 
nize Nana at first, but as soon as the blind woman began to 
speak she guessed the object of her visit. She took her into the 
back shop and treated her fairly well. They had seen but little 
of each other in the days of their splendor, when they were fight- 
ing for the scepter of vice, and no the hour of decline had 

nana's daughter. 259 

arrived for lioth of them ; and for Nana, decline was a sudden 
and tremendous fall. " I bring you my spoils, " she said. 

** Let us see them, my dear," replied La Saint Amand. 

Nana successively took olf five of the dresses she was wearing, 
and which were all of them nearly new. However, the one in 
l)luo plush, which she had worn on Andr^e's wedding-day, had 
been burned by the vitriol about the bodice. La Saint Amand 
examined them minutely one after the other, and spread them 
out in the full light to judge of their color and effect. " I will 
give five hundred francs for them," she said, as she rejoined her 
cx-rival in the room behind the shop. 

" Very well, " replied Nana, who had retained her habit of not 
haggling over money matters. 

She put the five hundred francs in her pocket, and La Saint 
Amand then conducted her back to her cab. As they parted, 
Nana's old rival whispered in her ear : " If you get well again, 
my dear, come and see me, and we will have a talk together. If 
not, I'll buy your pawn-tickets, your jewels, paintings, works of 
art, everything you like in fact. Only make haste about it, 
before an execution is put in, and don't let yourself be taken 
unawares. Always have your diamonds about you. " 

On leaving the second-hand clothes' shop Nana had herself 
driven to a swell restaurant where she lunched for a napoleon, 
in a private room. She gave a couple of francs as a gratuity to 
the waiter, who helped her into the cab and said to the driver, 
as in the days of her splendor, " Home! " 

When she found herself alone once more in her deserted house, 
she was overcome by gloomy fancies. The noise of Paris, the 
motion of the vehicle, the succulent repast of which she had just 
partaken, had for a moment dispelled the clouds gathering over 
her mind. But now, once more a prey to the sadness reigning 
in the empty house, she thought with terror of the future. In 
the evenuig her physical sufferings, which she had mastered for 
a few hours, thanks to the nervous energy of her nature, 
returned and overcame her will. She took refuge in her room 
and went to bed. Fever almost invariably disturbed her slum- 
bers, and on that particidar night the acute pain of her new 
wounds was added to the burning sensation which she felt upon 
her face. She rolled about the bed until daylight, utterly 
imable to sleep. Extreme fatigue at last brought her the repofe 
of slumber, but at nine o'clock in the morning she was awakened 
by a ring at the house bell. " It is Virginie, " she thought, " it 
is Virginie coming back. " And feeling almost gay, now that 
she had partaken of a little repose, she hastily dressed and went 
to open the gate. 

" Is it here that Madame Nana resides "? " asked a voice which 
ehe did not recognize. 

26o nana's daughter. 

" I am Nana," she answered in a harsh tone. " What do you 
want ? " 

" We have come to inform you that a judgment has been 
issued against you, and is to be executed this very day, in virtue 
of which, I, Maitre Bouasse, huissier, residing in Paris, assisted 
by the Commissary of Police of this district, have come to seize 
your furniture and effects. " 

Behind the man of the law and the commissary, a couple of 
witnesses and a clerk were standing. They had placed them- 
selves near the gate in such a way as to prevent Nana from 
closing it, and the huissier had even set one of his huge feet 
between the portal and the wall. Nana choked down her rising 
anger and curtly exclaimed : " Come in. " 

Then she drew back, leaving the passage free. The men of 
the law entered the house. It was the last blow. All the 
remnants of her past sovereignty, all the vestiges of her van- 
ished splendor, were examined, appraised, and catalogued. 

The huissier, Maitre Bonasse, was a character. He was 
short and stout, with a clean-shaven face, carroty hair, and a 
bald patch on the summit of his head. His broad-brimmed hat 
was very rusty ; his black trousers weie shin}' at the knees; his 
long frock coat had an extremely seedy look; and his dirty 
shirt — with frayed wristbands, which he tried to hide under 
his coat-sleeves — instead of being buttoned in front, gaped 
open, revealing his hairy chest. Aroimd his neck he wore a 
very broad white cravat, which was tied in front in an impercep- 
tible bow, and his feet were encased in low but well-blacked 
Blucher shoes. He looked like a priest with the tonsure-like 
patch on his head, his fat, shaven, sanctimonious face, his flabby 
hands, which he rubbed togetber complacently, his Pharisaical 
gestures and beatified smile. He at once rummaged everywhere 
with his dirty fingers, opening cupboards and wardrobes and 
imfolding Nana's chemises, of which he felt the fine texture, 
smacking his lips and laughing sensually. 

At the very outset Nana hastened into her room to place her 
pawn tickets in safety in her pocket. And when M. Bonasse 
followed her so as to prevent any misappropriation of property, 
she hastily slammed the door in his face, exclaiming: "Do 
what you like in the rest of the house ; take everything if you 
choose ; but I forbid your entering my room, as I mean to 
dress. " 

However, instead of dressing, she went to bed. This last 
emotion had made her sufferings all the more acute. Her 
finger had swollen since the previous day, and was quite desti- 
tute of strength or action. Moreover, moral torture was now 
added to physical suffering, as if to make her life one intolerable 
agony. She felt crushed in every limb, and the slightest move- 
ment was painful to her, Frightful vertigo seized her in he? 

nana's daughter. 261 

weakness, and she was (inite nna1)lo to deoido on any course of 
action. Still she could hear ]M. Honasse, who, with resigned 
conii)unotion, was dictating the inventory of the marquis' apart- 
ment to his clerk in a sing-song tone. D'Albigny had occupied 
the next room to Nana's, and so the huissicr was perfectly 
audible as ho said : " Primo, two krm-chairs in green velvet 
and stained pearwood ; secundo, four chairs also in green 
velvet and stained pearwood; tcrtio, an ebony writing-table 
incrnsted with lacquer; quarto, two pairs of foils." 

The harlot was beginning to feel hungry again. She had not 
had anything to eat since her lunch at the restaurant, and 
appetite was cruelly torturing her empty stomach. In her dis- 
tress she mechanically rang the bell, and the man of the law 
profited of the occasion to invade her room. 

" You must excuse my importunity, madame," he said, in a 
whining voice; '' but my duties compel me to ask you to allow 
us to glance round this apartment." Ashe spoke he stood in 
the threshold looking at Nana's bulky form, the outline of which 
could be distinguished among the folds of the satin counterpane. 
She did not answer him, however, and taking her silence for 
consent, he at once entered the room. 

" It wouldjae very kind of you, sir," she said at last, " if you 
would let one of your men go and fetch me something to eat 
and drink. I am dying of thirst and hunger. " 

" That matter is quite beyond the scope of our functions and 
oflSce, madame," said the huissier, who emphasized the words, 
" our functions, " with the gravity of a prelate pronouncing the 
Benedicat vos over the lowered brows of a pious throng. And 
then he added: ''How sincerely I regret having to trouble 
you ! " 

The inventory was continued ; M. Bonasse dictating and the 
clerk still taking notes. Now and then the huissier indulged in 
some higenious or suggestive remark respecting the use of 
certain objects of which he dictated the names, while the clerk, 
a tall yoimg fellow with a girhsh face, blushed and glanced 
timidly at the bed where Nana was rolling about, making the 
spring mattress groan beneath her. Since the previous day she 
had concealed the grotesque and hideous horror of her face 
under a black mantilla, which covered her lineaments like a 
thick mask. And the clerk, with his youthful imagination, 
pictured this woman, huddled together in sudden cowardice, as 
invested with superhuman beauty. At one moment she mur- 
mured in a despairing tone : " Ah ! how hungry and thirsty I 
feel. I would sell myself for a crust of bread ! " 

Her voice broke as she uttered these words. The courage 
which had momentarily sustained her on the previous day, had. 
fled again. The last vestiges of pride and shame had been 
destroyed by the physical sufferings of the night, by the moral 

2^2 NANA'S daughter. 

torture she experienced at this sudden invasion of ruin, personi- 
fied by the unctuous huissier, who, after entering her room, was 
now blockading her very bed. Slie felt herself sliding down to 
miserable shame, to low abandonment, to brutal and foul 
provocations. All the old haughtiness of the harlot was crushed 
by the sledge-hammer blow which now precipitated her fall. 

"When the procds- verbal of the seizure was duly drawn up 
and signed, the huissier withdrew, followed by the commissary, 
the clerk and the witnesses; and Nana found herself alone 
again in the silent immensity of the house. Hunger and thirst 
tortured her entrails and burned her tongue. She was just 
thinking of getting up to ask the first passer-by to take her to 
some eating-house, when she heard a timid footstep near her 
door. Some one knocked, and then came in. It was the 
huissiefs clerk returning with a bottle of common wine and a 
four-pound loaf of bread under his arm. " Here, madame," he 
said, placing the loaf on the counterpane and the bottle on the 
carpet near the head of the bed. 

" Who are you? " she asked. 

" I am Maitre Bonasse's clerk." 

"Ah! yes, the huissier. He has a funny name for his profes- 
sion. What do you want ? " 

" I have bought you some bread and wine, as you told me that 
you were hungry and thirsty, and that " 

" Ah ! yes ! where is it ? Give it me ! '' 

She stretched herself on her stomach so as to eat and raise 
her veil without the young fellow seeing her face. But she was 
unable to break the bread, owing to her finger, which almost 
made her cry out aloud with pain. Thereupon the clerk assisted 
her, and as he touched the velvety skin of her tiny hand, in 
which the gold of a generation had melted as in a magic cruci- 
ble, he began to tremble strangely. However, Nana continued 
eating, and when her hunger was appeased she lowered her veil 
over her face and said : " Thanks, iny lad, I shall never 
forget " 

" You promised " starmnered her beardless lover. 

But Nana burst out into sardonic laughter. " Ah ! yes," she 
said ; it's true I owe you something. There, take that and bo 
off." And feeling in the pocket of her dress, which lay over an 
arm-chair within her reach, she flung a napoleon to the love- 
sick clerk. 


One day early in July, D'Albigny was removed from his cell 
and brought to the Assize Court to be tried. He had been pi-e- 
viously questioned by the investigating magistrate, and had 

nana's daughter. 263 

foi-uially denied all knowled^o of tlie I'apc of which ho stood 
accused. Murgot, the llower-girl, was to be tried at the same 
sitting of the court, for having blinded Nana ; and the two cases, 
thus grafted one onto the other, had attracted a compact throng 
of ladies and harlots to the I'alais do Justice. It was known 
that Nana would give evidence in lioth ti'ials, and the women 
were curious to see this hving ruin once more. Folks also 
wished to hear that strange fellow^ Luc, who was one of the 
leading witnesses against the marquis, and whose connection 
with the affair, in his double capacity as a servant and a 
detective, seemed altogether fantastical. 

During forty-eight hours Andree and Lucien were obliged to 
absent themselves from the villa which they had rented at Din- 
ardles- Bains, so as to come to Paris and give evidence in this 
trial, destined to remain one of the most celebrated cases of a 
period remarkable for its judicial dramas. Madame Despretz 
had also been subpcenM, and it seemed likely that her evidence 
would not prove the least interesting for those who were fond of 
emotion. A certain number of fashionable harlots occupied 
reserved seats round the hall, and several young swells, in light 
coats and gaudy neck-ties, sat in the well of the court munching 
their crutch sticks. For them the interest of the proceedings 
centred in D'Albigny, whom they had often met hero and 
there — shaking hands with him many a time at his club, at the 
fencing-hall he attended, at the Bourse, In the Boisde Boulogne, 
and during the entfactes of first performances. They were cur- 
ious to see how Nana's ex-lover would conduct himself in the 
presence of justice ; and they felt especially interested in the 
fate of this man, who, far better than any woman, had taught 
them how to ruin themselves. 

The counsel for the defense was seated below the dock, examin- 
ing his brief ; and below the bench the public prosecutor was 
installed. When the prisoner was placed in the dock the whole 
throng of sightseers rose up, the women even climbing onto the 
benches, so as to get a better view. " Silence ! " cried the 
ushers, and tranquility was gradually restored. 

The charge-sheet, which the clerk of the court at once began 
to read, may bo briefly summarized as follows : " In the mouth 
of December, 185 — , the prisoner D'Albigny became acquainted 
with Mademoiselle Adele Despretz, who was then employed at a 
glove shop in the Passage de I'Opera, Boulevard des Italiens. 
For nearly a month the prisoner, who had given the young girl 
a false name, solicited her to become his mistress, but in presence 
of her constant refusals he finally decided to effect his purpose 
forcibly. Under the pretext of seeing her home, he persuaded 
her, one evening at eleven o'clock, to enter a cab, the driver of 
whicli he had In-ibed beforehand. He then renewed his solici- 
tati.ius, and made the complainant an offer of marriage if she 

264 nana's daughter. 

would accede to his entreaties. But she persisted in refusing, 
whereupon he resorted to violence, pressing his handkerchief to 
her mouth in order to stifle her cries. From that night until the 
day of D'Albigny's arrest, Mademoiselle Despretz lost sight of 
him, and never heard him spoken of by the name which he had 
assumed while he was paying her his addresses. " 

As soon as the charge-sheet had been read the presiding judge 
looked at D'Albigny and exclaimed : " Prisoner, stand up. " 

The marquis obeyed. A number of opera-glasses were imme- 
diately levelled at him, and indeed from every corner of the hall 
attention was turned upon his tall and still graceful figure. He 
had greatly aged during the few weeks of detention he had 
experienced. His hair and his mustaches had become quite 
white, and there were several fresh wrinkles round about his 
eyes. As he rose up he turned his head toward the public seats 
and glanced over them. But his attention was speedily recalled 
to the bench by the judge asking him; '* Your Christian name 
and your surname ? " 

He gave them in a low voice. 

" Where were you bom? " 

"In Paris." 

"Your age?" 

" I was born in July, 1833, so that I am now forty-seven. " 

" Do you admit having known a Mademoiselle Ad61e Des- 
pretz ? " 


" Under what circumstances did you know her? " 

" I was young and rich. Mademoiselle Ad^le Despretz was 
employed at a glove shop in the Passage de I'Opera. She 
accepted my offers and my presents, and I never had any need 
to resort to any violence to obtain her favors. As for the person 
of the same name who profits by the coincidence to try and make 
me support the consequences of a misfortune with which I had 
no connection, I formally impeach her evidence. " 

" But on the day of her son's marriage. Mademoiselle Ad^le 
Despretz publicly made a confession such as no virtuously- 
minded woman would have made, had she not been forced to it 
by the necessity of assuring her son's happiness. " 

" She, no doubt, made this statement to insure his happiness, 
as you say, but nothing proves that she spoke the truth." 

" How do you explain that she recognized you after a lapse of 
twenty-five years? " 

" She hed ! " 

" That is easy to say. Did she not allude to a scar on your 
neck, a scar left by a wound which she had inflicted while defend- 
ing herself against your ^iolence ? How could she have guessed 
the existence of this scar, which was hidden by your collar, if 
she had not known and recognized you ? " 

nana's daughter. 265 

" Slio xras informed of this particular by one of her old lovers, 
who was also my valet. It was this man who arrested me. As 
you can realize, Monsieur le President, the people who placed a 
bottle of vitriol in their work-girl's hand are not the sort of folks 
to shrink from perjury. All means are good to them, to rid 
themselves of the mother who claimed her daughter and of that 
mother's last friend ! " 

Nana rose up lugubriously in the black veil which shrouded 
her face, and stretching out her arm in the direction whence 
D'Albigny's voice proceeded, she cried : " I'm not yom- friend ! " 

" Have not these people tm'ned the yoimg girl into an instru- 
ment of fortune ? " resumed the marquis. 

" Enough, prisoner. You are not here to accuse other people, 
or even to defend yourself, at present. You are here to speak 
the truth, and not to pervert it. Sit down ; if I have any other 
questions to ask of you, it will be for you to answer them. " 

The prisoner sat down. The principal witnesses were Madame 
Despretz, Nana, Luc, Andree, Lucien Despretz and Pierre 
Naviel. Madame Despretz was heard the first. Her evidence 
was short, but crushing for D'Albigny : " I have nothing to add 
to what I said on the day of my son's wedding. The court will 
understand how painful these declarations are to me. I only 
repeat that I knew the man who is seated there" — and she 
pointed to D'Albigny — " when I was employed at a glove shop 
in the Passage de I'Opera. I have found some of the letters he 
sent me at the shop, and here are two of them. They are not 
signed, but if the handwriting is compared with that of Monsieur 
D'Albigny, proof of their true origin will no doubt be obtained. 

The presiding judge handed the letters which Madame Des- 
pretz had brought with her, to an expert who was in court. It 
happened that several documents in D'Albigny's handwriting 
had been taken fi'om him when he was arrested, and after a 
minute comparison, the expert declared that the handwriting of 
the docmnents and that of the two letters addressed to Ad61e 
Despretz was identical, 

Eising up with unconcealed emotion, the marquis cried : " I 
swear that those letters are the work of a forger ! " and so saying, 
he stretched out his hand toward the tall ivory figure of the 
Saviour, which, nailed upon a broad crosS; soared with open 
arms above the bench. 

" You are still playing the part of an accuser, " said the pre- 
siding judge, sternly. "But I did not question you, and you 
had nothing to answer. "Witness Nana, approach, and give 
your evidence. " 

^ " I don't know if this man is capable of ravishing a virtuous 
girl, " said the ex-courtesan, " but I know that he is capable of 
robbing a woman like me, for he has plundered me most 
abominably. I am now certain that he forged my name to 

Nana^s Daughter 17. 


several promissory notes, which I will submit to the court. So 
if there be a forger here, it must be the man you are now judg- 
ing ! Here are other notes signed by me, and I beg the experts 
to compare the signatures. Besides, the notes reaUy signed by 
me are in my handwriting from fli'st to last. I have shown them, 
together with the forgeries, to several persons who are skillful 
m judging handwriting and whose statements have left me no 
room for doubt. Yes, I have been robbed, and I have had to 
pay the notes which that scoundrel forged. " 

D'Albigny became very pale, and rising up, despite the guards 
beside him, " You lie ! you lie!" he cried. " Do you hear me, 
you unnatural mother? I beg the court to take that woman's 
declaration for what it is worth. She is revenging herself 
because she knew that I wished to leave her after being ruined 
by her! " 

" Compel the prisoner to sit down, " said the presiding judge 
to the two guards; and he added: "Witness Luc step 
forward. " 

While Nana was being conducted to a seat, Luc approached 
the bar where witnesses stand in giving evidence. He wore a 
long black frock coat and gloves. He gave his evidence very 
slowly, so that the marquis might hear every accusing syllable. 
" I was a valet in the service of Madame Nana, here present, 
and it was specially my duty to attend on the prisoner, who, by 
the way, lived at his mistress' expense. I was acquainted with 
various attempts which the prisoner made to seduce my 
daughter. Mademoiselle Andree Naviel, now Madame Lucien 
Despretz. The first attempt took place when Mademoiselle 
Naviel brought some flowers to the house the day before a fete 
which was given by Madame Nana. The second attempt took 
place on the same day that the house was destroyed by fire. 
Mademoiselle Andree was then forcibly detained in the house 
by the marquis, who locked her up hi the boudoir, and almost 
caused her death. Fortunately she was saved by one of Madame 
Nana's lovers — a very brave and worthy man " 

"Confine yourself to the simple facts, witness," said the 
judge. " The court's time is precious. Did you or did you not 
hear the prisoner state that he had committed a rape on the 
person of Mademoiselle Ad61e Despretz ? " 

" I heard him as I hear you, Monsieur le President. Madame 
Despretz called one day on Madame Nana to beg of her not to 
stir up any trouble between M. Lucien Despretz and my 
daughter. Madame Nana refused to make any promise, and 
ordered me to call the marquis. Thereupon Madame Despretz, 
not wishing to meet the man, who, on a previous occasion, had 
almost killed her son, went away. Otherwise she would have 
found herself face to face with the marquis, and would have 
recognized him at once. That would have prevented the 

nana's daughter. 267 

scandalous scene -which took place on the wedding day. But 
to return to what I was saying, I went to fetch the niarqnis in 
his rooms. Madame Nana was dressing to go and visit the 
house which he had just rented for her in the Avenue de Fried- 
land, and, while she finished her toilet, Monsieur D'Albigny 
related how ho had committed a rape on Mademoiselle Adclo 
Despretz several years previously. The particulars are consigned 
in my report. " 

" Very good; you may retire. Witness Nana, do you 
acknowledge that the e%idence of the last witness is exact If " 

" Quite exact, ^lonsieur le President." 

" Madame Andree Despretz ! " called the judge. 

Andr6e rose up, looking very charming, for happiness had 
made her radiant. She wore a mauve silk dress trimmed with 
black lace, black gloves extending to her elbows, black sathi 
boots, and a black straw " Merveilleuse " hat adorned with a 
feather of the same shade, while a lace fan hung down over her 
skirt, cut tight at the hips and rather short in front. A murmur 
of admiration sped through the throng as she rose up before the 
court in all the splendor of her youthful beauty. 

" The jury require some information on a delicate matter, 
madame, " said the presiding judge. " To assure the definite 
triumph of justice and truth it is necessary that you should tell 
us, in all sincerity, if the prisoner wished to offer you violence, 
as he seems to have done with Mademoiselle Ad^le Despretz. " 

" I cannot say if he wished to act in that manner, Monsieur le 
President, as he did not do so. " 

" However, he sequestrated you, and treated you with moral 
violence t " 

" He detained mo in spite of myself, and threatened me with 
violence to compel me to do as he wished; but I can only accuse 
him of threats. " 

*' Yes, he did not put them into execution, but the manner in 
which he sequestrated you fully establishes his premeditation in 
what concerns you. You may retire, madame. " 

The other evidence had no importance as regards the charge 
of rape, but it furnished abundant proof of the prisoner's brutality 
and profligacy, and of the infamy of his position in Nana's house. 
The truth was already dawning upon the minds of the jury, 
while black night descended into D'Albigny's soul. Re now 
felt all the weight of his shame, and realized the depth of his 
fall. Nothing could save him now. The evidence was too 
precise and crushing. He had long thought that he could afford 
to defy Justice, but she had called him to account at last. 

Suddenly a black gown rose up in front of him. The Public 
Prosecutor was on his feet, about to address the jury. lie 
examined in turn all the proofs of guilt which were furnished by 
the evidence of the witnesses, the victim's statements, and the 

268 nana's daughter. 

prisoner's own antecedents ; and he wound up Ms long address 
as follows : " From all these acciunulated proofs, gentlemen of 
the jury, I conclude that D'Albigny is guilty, and I ask that the 
highest penalty fixed by the law may be inflicted upon htm. 
For remark this, gentlemen of the jury, either the prisoner is 
guilty or he is innocent. If he be innocent, acquit him, but if 
he be guilty, no extenuating circumstance can be admitted in 
favor of such a scoundrel ! The teachers of vice and the robbers 
of feminine honor must learn that society is armed against them, 
and that justice is implacable in dealing with such offenses as 

As soon as this speech was finished D'Albigny rose to his 
feet. He had reflected while the Public Prosecutor was speak- 
ing — reflected as to the decision of the jury in presence of all 
these accumulated charges and proofs, in presence of the pubhc 
disdain now reared upon the ruins of the diabolical " luck" 
which had shielded him for twenty years. The jurymen would 
certainly not doubt his guilt ; it was fully established by the 
declarations of Adele Despretz, Luc and Nana, who had 
betrayed her ex-lover's cause. The letters which Addle Des- 
pretz had produced had fallen hke a last infallible proof upon 
the prisoner's head. What course could he adopt ? Would it 
not be best to try and touch his judges by a pul)lic confession, 
an eloquent, repentant speech, which would no doubt win him 
the admission of extenuating circumstances, and consequently a 
more lenient sentence? He thought so, and accordingly he 
asked the presiding judge's permission to plead his own cause, 
before his advocate addressed the court. 

" Speak! " replied the judge. 

Thereupon D'Albigny, placing his hand on his heart and rais- 
ing his eyes to heaven, began as follows, in a voice which 
quivered with assumed emotion : " I owe the truth to every one, 
and I will pay that debt of honor. The charge brought against 
me is correct. I am guilty, so condemn me. But I ask that 
extenuating circumstances may, at least, be admitted in my 
favor. Five-and-twenty years have elapsed since the event 
which has to-day brought me to this dock. I am now in my 
forty-seventh year, and I was then barely two-and-twenty. 
My early youth had been very austere ; but suddenly, scarcely 
of ago and without experience, I became the master of a fortune, 
and found myself in Paris in the midst of temptation, among a 
corrupt and frivolous society. I met Addle Despretz and fell 
madly in love with her. I told her of my love, but she in no 
wise returned it; I offered her to marry her, she derided me, 
and yet, while she refused my offers and laughed at my hopes, 
she played the coquette with me, and fanned the fire of a nature 
which was full of blood, ardor, and love for herself — a nature 
which had not then spent its energy in debauchery and orgies. 

nana's daughter. 269 

She accepted my arm to escort lier every evening to the railway 
station, she even accepted the oHer of the cab in which I was 
guilty of the act for which you are no doubt about to condemn 
me. It was there that I renewed to her the loyal avowal of my 
love and my oifer to marry her, but she again resorted to the 
raillery which had so far proved successful. To the first slight 
audacity, to the first petty familiarity to which my own desire 
and her taimts impelled me, she replied by inflicting the wound 
which she has spoken of, and of which this is the scar. Who of 
you, gentlemen, carried away by love and desire, by the kind of 
rage with which I was filled by this woman's coquetry and the 
sight of my own blood — who of you could have remained calm ? 
Seized with sudden madness, I perhaps abused the physical 
strength with which nature had endowed me, but I did not 
realize it ; there are moments in life when one is irresponsible. 
Ad6l6 Despretz fell a victim to the madness she herself had 
prompted. In such a matter who can say what is the limit of a 
woman's will, and at what exact point rape begins? Gentle- 
men, judge and sentence me, it will be a salutary example, but 
remember that many of you have been as guilty as myself, if not 
in fact, at least in intention; for I was young, an orphan, with- 
out iDarental advice, without the guidance of a mother, whose 
example would have taught me to respect women — I had lost 
her, my good and saintly mother. Poor dear woman 1 Would 
you have ever thought that one day your son " 

D'Albigny stopped short, his voice broke, and bursting into 
sobs he fell heavily onto his bench, as if crushed by the weight 
of his repentance. A hvely emotion spread throughout the 
court, and a couple of gay women began to cry. Three or four 
young fellows in the swell circle, alone remarked : " It is shame- 
ful. This man doesn't know how to conduct himself. Who 
would have believed in such cowardice on D'Albigny's part." 
And one of the party, imitating the voice of a street loafer, 
exclaimed, " Dash it all 1 Why, he has turned on the water- 
spout ! " 

However, there was an energetic " Hush I " and the counsel 
for the defense rose to his feet. His speech was very weak, for 
in the behef that D'Albigny would persist in denying the charge, 
ho had based the whole system of defense upon his client's 
innocence. Now, however, every argument that he had pre- 
pared was annihilated by the marquis' public confession, and 
all that he, the advocate, could do, was to plead for the benefit 
of extenuating circinnstances. The presiding judge summed up, 
with perfect impartiality, and retired into his private room with 
his assessors, while the jury withdrew to deliberate. 

There was a loud buzz throughout the court. The young 
swells discussed the case with jjhlegmatic nonchalance, or made 
bets together concerning the severity of the sentence which 


was about to be pronounced upon the prisoner. Opera glasses 
were levelled insolently at the public prosecutor, and laughing 
remarks were exchanged respecting the comical appearance of 
some of the advocates who, duly arrayed in their black gowns, 
had come to hear the case and criticize their learned brother's 
speech. The harlots, scattered through the throng, gave most 
of their attention to Andree, analyzing her toilet through 
their eye-glasses, mounted in tortoise-shell with incrustations of 
gold. All eyes finally converged upon the young wife, as upon 
some luminous point. The men admired her and envied Lucien 
Despretz, who sat beside her in a somewhat stiff attitude, with 
his slight figure arrayed in a black frock coat. He and Andree 
talked together in whispers, and now and then Lucien gazed 
upon her in the grayish light which softened the outline of her 
profile, blending the rosy tint of her cheeks with the marble- 
like paUor of her forehead. Her curly hair cast a slight shadow 
over her dark eyebrows, beneath which her limpid, green eyes 
were beaming. They seemed larger since her happiness, and 
the golden strios of their ardent pupils had acquired a living 
flash. The jury returned, the judge resumed his seat, and the 
verdict was given. Then D'Albigny, foimd guilty of having 
committed a rape upon the person of Ad61e Despretz with pre- 
meditation, and, in whose favor no extenuating circumstances 
were recorded, was sentenced to undergo a term of five years' 
hard labor. 

A loud clamor arose as the judge ceased speaking, and one of 
the young swells called out : " You must kill yom-self, marquis, 
you must kiU yourself! " 

D'Albigny gave the fellow who thus spoke to him a hateful 
glance, and rejoined in a loud voice : " You ought to go to the 
galleys before me — do you hear? — and remain there after I 
have left. " 

The two guards closed beside the marquis to lead him away. 
But ere he passed through the doorway behind the dock he 
turned for one moment to glance at the society he was leaving ; 
and stretching out one of his soft, white, idle hands toward the 
harlots who were watching him through their eye-glasses, he 
murmured with a bitter smile : " Good-by, my duckies, good- 

The case of Margot, the flower-girl, now came on for trial. 
She simply confessed the facts, and did not even try to deny the 
premeditation with which she was charged. Andr6e related 
what had occurred on her wedding day, and spoke very highly 
of her work-girl, who had been impelled by devotion to her 
mistress to commit the criminal act which had caused Nana's 
final ruin. 

Luc's evidence was altogether in the prisoner's favor. " This 
girl, "he said, "began life badly. She was employed by an 

nana's daughter. 271 

artificial fliower manufacturer named Paillardin, who had seduced 
nearly all his work-girls, and she became his favorite. After he 
died under tragical circiunstances, Margot found herself out of 
work, and fell into the clutches of Paillardin's valet, a scoundrel 
who still lives on prostitution — a lodging-house D'Albigny, so 
to say. One day, however, thanks to Providence, the wretched 
girl met Mademoiselle Andree Naviel, who rescued her from her 
bully and from the filthy life she was leading. Since then Mar- 
got has worked hard and become a well-conducted girl. You 
see, gentlemen of the jury, there is nothing like honest toil to 
keep one in the straight path. "Well, this girl is as attached as 
a faithful dog to her mistress, for she is grateful for having been 
saved ; and so when she saw that there was a i)lot on foot to 
harm her benefactress she only listened to her heart, which 
called out to her : ' Defend your mistress, defend the woman 
who saved you, defend her with your teeth, your nails, no mat- 
ter how ! ' Well, she defended her with vitriol, and I am con- 
vinced that she didn't think she was doing wrong. " 

After Luc, a physician attached to the i^ublic prosecution serv- 
ice was heard. He simply said : " I have examined the 
prisoner, and find that she presents all the symptoms of 
hysteria, so I conclude that her share of responsibility was 
limited when she committed the act of which she now stands 

Nana, whose head was still shrouded in a black vail, gave 
evidence the last : " I don't know this girl, " she said, ** she had 
no motive of personal vengeance against me. Her employers 
alone can have induced her to do what she did." 

The jury retired, and after a lengthy dehberation Margot was 
acquitted. The presiding judge at once gave orders for her to 
be set at liberty. Scarcely was she free than she hastened to 
Andree, threw herself at her feet and kissed the hem of her 
dress. Luc approached her with Madame Despretz. " Well, " 
said ho, " you are out of Saint Lazare once more; try to avoid 
going there again. Follow Madame Naviel's advice, it was she 
who brought up my daughter, and to tell the truth, she brought 
her up far better than I could have done myself." 

Margot looked at him with her roimd eyes, which were beam- 
ing brightly, and stammered with comical embarrassment : " I'm 
no longer afraid of you now. Monsieur Luc, and if you will allow 
it I vii]\ even love you, yes, love you." 

Wliile this conversation was going on, the crowd of sightseers 
left the court-room. Nana went off, erect and lugubrious under 
her black vail, and guided by a policeman whom she had asked 
to conduct her to her cab. The judge and the jury had with- 
drawn, and, alone, above the bench, the bare figure of Christ 
stretched out its ivory arms in the waning dayhgiit. 



That same eveiiing Anclree and her husband took the tram 
■hack to Brittany. Madame Despretz left the Rue Crozatier for 
eome comfortable rooms in one of the houses which the young 
couple had purchased in Paris, and which were entrusted to the 
care of M. Naviel. Luc was employed as a commission agent 
in the flower business, and Margot resimied her work. The 
newly-married pair were thus left to themselves. At eight 
o'clock on the following morning they reached St. Male, and the 
railway omnibus conveyed them to the port where they 
embarked for Dinard. A little steamer transported them to 
the point of the promontory of St. Enogat, just below the villa 
they had rented. 

This villa was built on the blue-granite rock stretched at the 
mouth of the Ranee. A terrace, planted with ash trees, extended 
in front of the house, where the walls were covered with Vir- 
ginian creeper, the young shoots of which clambered up here 
and there from amid the mass of dehcate foliage. From their 
room on the first floor the lovers could view these flexible 
branches, twining around the window, and swaying in the 
breeze from the sea. They often woke up at daybreak, and 
watched the sunrise tmging their white bed-curtains with a 
purple glow. The sky slowly cleared above the pine woods of 
La Brillantais ; Aurora opened her fan of light ; large clouds, as 
buoyant as feathers and as rosy as flamingoes' wings, hovered 
above the trees; and the pale yellow band across the sky 
expanded, until it became merged in the soft azure overhead. 
Below the woods stretched the mouth of the Ranee, down which 
came heavy barges laden with timber from Plouer. At times 
JLucien and Andree were awakened by the matutinal ditty of 
eome fishermen, raising the anchor and hoisting the sails of their 
boat. And they awoke in full happiness with laughter and 
kisses, while the pigeons cooed lovingly imder the roof. They 
had engaged a peasant woman of the coast to serve them, and 
felt no need of a tribe of lackeys. Their loneliness in this lost 
corner of Brittany, where the echo of Paris does not penetrate, 
delighted them. They saw nobody ; but what did that matter 
since they saw each other? Their souls seemed blended 
together, and they no longer needed to speak to understand 
one another. There were charming spells of silence between 
them, ineffable truces to talking which expressed everything 
more eloquently than words. And as the days elapsed, the 
more did they enjoy the dehght of living together, and the 
more infinite did this delight become to them, ^\■nen tliey heard 
the first whistle of the steamboat arriving from St. Maio, they 
rang for the servant, who came in carrying two bowls of com- 

nana's daughter. 273 

mon crockery, full of hot coffee, covered with thick cream, and 
flanked by two slices of buttered toast. And sometimes Lucien 
said to the woman : " Only bring me one bowl of coffee, if you 
hko, but bring three slices of toast." 

" Well, sir, I fancied that the Parisians didn't eat anything, " 
rephed the servant one morning; ''but now I begin to think 
that they eat as much as we do." 

After taking their coffee they rose. Lucien sprang out of bed 
the first, fetched Andree's silk stockings and gave them to her ; 
brought her slippers and poised them on the tips of her little 
feet stretched out toward him. Then he wrapped her in her 
dressing-gown of blue cashmere, embroidered with flowers and 
lined with pink china silk ; and while he dressed her like a doll, 
he covered her so often with mad kisses and caresses, that nine 
olclock struck before they were ready to go out. Every morning 
they went for a saU before breakfast. They had engaged a 
solid boat and two men by the month. The master, named 
Camisard, was an ex-pilot who now took tourists about during 
the summer, and rested during the winter. 

Andr6e put on a coarse straw hat with a broad brim, and 
Lucien, clad in a linen suit, gave her his arm. They reached 
the water from their terrace by some steps cut in the rock. 
When the water was high, the boat awaited them just below, 
but when the tide was out they had to walk some distance over 
the sands. Once on board they sat down astern near the master, 
while the sails were hoisted and the boat pushed off. As they 
got under way the master settled the sails and attended to the 
helm. Soon the coast seemed to recede from them, and on the 
terrace, behind the Italian balustrade of white stone, they could 
see their Breton servant placidly watching them, with her large 
white cap standing out in bold relief against the Virginian 

A couple of days had elapsed after then* return from the trial 
in Paris, when Camisard proposed to take them to C6zambre on 
the morrow. " What is to be seen there ? " asked Andr6e. 

"Nothing, madame, it is a rock; but talking of rocks, you 
will see plenty of strange ones there. There's the Devil's Tooth, 
for instance — a kind of peak which is only accessible to sailors 
and seagulls. However, there is a foreign prince buried on the 
summit — a strange idea ho had there. He had hired a room in 
the custom-house station, and it was there that he died." 

" What was his name ?" asked Andr6e, eagerly. 

" To tell the truth, I don't know. I was only told that he had 
come from India, and that he had died of sorrow." 

" Ah ! well, have the boat ready at nine o'clock to-morrow 
morning, and we will go and see C6zambre. " 

That evening Lucien and Andree entered the Dinard casino 
for the first time. A ball was taking place there. They danced 

274 nana's daughter. 

together alone, lost in the crowd of strangers, and enjoying the 
egotistical pleasure of belonging to each other, without having 
to make any concession of politeness to folks whom they did not 
know. Andree looked charming in her plain dress of light-blue 
silk. The only articles of jewelry that she wore were the dia- 
mond roses which Lucien had given her in her ears ; a massive 
gold bracelet, studded with torquoises, aroimd her right wrist ; 
and a diamond aigrette, which scintillated as it fluttered above 
her brow, amid her frizzy hair. They greatly amused them- 
selves in dancing alone together, carried away amid the intoxi- 
cating whirl of a waltz, the graceful undulation of a mazurka, 
or the spirited steps of a polka. Several young fellows who felt 
jealous of Lucien's happiness, hovered around Andr6e, and 
barely concealed their indiscreet admiration. Some even ven- 
tured to ask her to dance with them, but she refused with a 
smile ; and when they insisted, taking her for an unmarried girl, 
Bhe maliciously rejoined, *' I have promised all the dances to 
this gentleman, " meaning Lucien. 

One young fellow, who was more audacious than the others, 
laughed rather spitefully on hearing this, and with a sudden 
disregard for the proprieties, exclaimed : ** Take care, mademoi- 
selle, that gentleman's good fortune will lay you open to 
remark. " 

"That gentleman has a right to lay me open to remark," 
rephed Andree, quickly. 

"Then he is " 

" My husband. " 

The yoimg fellow bowed and carried his importunities else- 
where. Andr6e let herself glide along with Lucien amid the 
whirl of bare shoulders, light bodices, long trains, and black 
coats, around the dancing-haU. She waltzed admirably and 
almost by intuition. She surrendered herself to the vertigo 
which had taken possession of her heart, leaning on the arm 
which sustained her with its firm pressure ; and the murmured 
avowals she overheard, the puffs of saline air which entered 
through the open windows, the perfimio emanating from hair 
and skin, the feminine scent which arose in the evening warmth, 
increased her emotion, her trouble and vertigo, and intoxicated 

When they had seen enough of this indifferent throng they 
went home afoot, along the boulevard lined with plane trees, 
and overlooking the shore. They walked slowly, listening to 
the murmur of the rising tide, to the harmonious ripple of the 
wavelets spending their force on the soft sand, and to the rustle 
of the leaves shaken by tlie breeze. The sigh of the tide, tbo 
regular rolling of the water toward the sand, seemed like tbo 
breathing of some monster asleep under the starry expanse of 
sky. They stopped for a moment and listened dreamily. 


" It Bounds like a kiss, " whispered Aiidr6e. 

" Yes, that is it; Usten, darling," repUed Lucien, kissing her 
on the eyelids. 

She returned him the kiss on his lips, and for a couple of min- 
utes they amused themselves by alternating their kisses with 
those which the water printed on the shore — the simple pleas- 
ure of children in love, as pure as the ethereal expanse in which 
the silver moon was rising. 

'* Then you love me as much as on the first day? " asked 

" A great deal better." 

" Truly f " 

*' Yes, truly ; I am no longer frightened. " 

" Yes, I understand. And I, Andree, I ask myself at times if I 
am dreaming or if I am awake. Shall we really live hke this 
for always t Is it possible ? " 

" If it pleases you, Lucien, it is possible; if your Andr6e's love 
does not seem monotonous " 

" Enough. That is blasphemy 1 " 

" No, let me speak. If you wish us to be happy you must love 
me always. Did you notice how proud I was to decUne the 
invitations of the young fellows who asked me to dance with 
them this evening ? I laughed at their vexation, and I clung to 
your arm very tightly so as to prevent you from escaping rae 
and inviting some other women. There were some very pretty 
girls at the Casino — English, Parisians and Bretons. I was 
almost afraid of being thought ugly beside them. " 

" No, no; you are not saying what you think, or you don't see 
yourself as I see you. Where were they, the lovely women you 
talk about ? I never noticed them. I only saw your eyes, the 
sparkle of which almost turned my head while we were waltz- 
ing. I dived into their depths, I could read thoughts of love 
there; and I saw myself in them, and almost fancied I was 
handsome. " 

While talking hke this they reached the villa, and went up 
into their room. A letter was lying on the mantlepiece. It bore 
the Paris postmark, and came from Luc. Lucien read it aloud 
to Andr6e : 

" My Dear Friends — I write to tell you that we are almost 
all of us getting on pretty well, and that we are freshly installed 
in our new quarters. The flower trade is brisk, and it seems 
that I am a good commission agent. Madame Naviel is pleased, 
and Monsieur Naviel is very busy looking after your property. 
What an excellent worthy man he is, and what a fist he has I 
He could throw all the tenants out of the window if they failed 
to pay their rent ; but at the same time he is so kind-hearted 
that he would prefer to throw himself out, or else to i)ay tho 
rent for them. There is also Madame Despretz, who is ailing. 

2/6 nana's daughter. 

All the emotion of the wedding day has crushed her; she is as 
old as the streets now, and barely drags herself along. How- 
ever, we shall be married in a month's time. It will be a nurse's 
situation for me ; but I love her so much, poor, dear Adfelo — I 
am so grateful to her for having forgiven me that it will be hap- 
piness to watch over her, and attend to her as if she were my 
daughter. Alas ! why are we not both of us younger ? We are 
like two old coins which have lost currency. However, it can't be 
helped. You will come to the wedding all the same. I rely 
upon you. It is to inform you of it, and at the same time to 
invite you, that I scrawl these few lines? And now, little ones, 
I kiss you both, and beg you to do the same for your old 
monkey. Luc. " 

Lucien laid the letter open on the mantelshelf. Andr6e, tired 
by the dancing, had stretched herself on the sofa and begun to 
doze while he was stiU reading. Her right arm was bent under 
her head, and her left one was hanging down to the floor, in all 
its sculptural beauty. Her bosom could be seen between her 
partially unfastened bodice, as Lucien softly drew near to her. 

At the end of the pier Saint Malo the lighthouse was flashing. 
The town, huddled together within its ramparts slept heavily on 
its rocky island; while its sister, Saint Servan, gently stretched 
at the foot of the semaphore, reposed in the moonlight. Far 
away amid the breakers one could hear the grave murmur of the 
open sea, which. In its lunar clearness, hmited the horizon with 
a luminous streak. 

Then Andr^e's husband bent down beside her, contemplating 
her pure profile — to which the softened light lent ineflable pal- 
Udity — her hps which smiled at some happy dream, her lowered 
eyehds, and her open nostrils ; and without her knowing it he 
took off her dancing shoes and carried her, still sleeping, to her 
bed, strewing the lace petticoats and silken skirt on the way. 

At nine o'clock on the following morning, Andr6e and Lucien 
embarked with Camissard and his man. A fresh wind was 
blowing from the northwest ; the sea was slightly rough, and 
the waves had an emerald transparency. Little white clouds 
were darting along with extreme rapidity in the limpid sky. As 
the boat started off in the direction of Saint Malo, the sun cov- 
ered the bay with golden spangles, and the windows of the old 
seaport town blazed with a yellowish hght, which made them 
look like large topazes incrusted in the blue granite of the walls. 
A brig and a schooner were coming out of the basin with their 
sails duly set. 

At a few cable lengths from the pier, Camissard tacked, steered 
his course for Harbor Island and took in the sails. The waves 
became larger as the boat got farther out to sea, scudding along 
with prodigious speed and skimming through the green water, 
Which plashed against the sides. At times a higher wave than 

nana's daughter. 277 

the others riished forward with a growl — striking the bows with 
such force that the timber creaked — aud passed under the keel, 
raising the boat to a height at which the horizon seemed to 
exiJand. And then, like visions of fantastic fish, big black rocks 
aud reefs revealed their jagged summits, around which the foam 
of the breakers was seething. At a mile from Harbor Island, 
Camissard put the helm aport, and called out to his man: " Get 
ready to tack. " 

The seaman shifted his sails, the boat settled down, and with 
the wind to larboard scudded under press of canvas toward 
C6zambre. The young folks landed there at about eleven 
o'clock. They had brought sufficient provisions for four-and- 
twenty hours, together with a tent, which they set up beyond 
reach of the high tide. Having thrown the anchor, the two 
seamen came on shore in their turn, and sat down on the sand 
near the tent. Audree and Lucien passed them a couple of 
bottles of claret and half a leg of mutton. The lunch was very 
gay. In a cavity formed by a rock a fire was lighted with some 
dry rushes, and Audr6e warmed some cofiee which she had 
brought with her. Now and then the wind raised a shower of 
sand which beat upon the canvas of the tent. After the coffee, 
Andr6e asked Camisard, " Where is the Devil's Tooth? " 

" At the other side of the island. It overlooks the sea; and 
I've heard say that at the foot of it there are still a himdred 
fathoms of water at low tide. If you want to visit the tomb, the 
coast-guards will point it out to you. You'll find their place up 
that path there, which leads from the shore through the island. 
Only, with this breeze on, you had better not venture onto the 
Devil's Tooth. " 

Andr6e took Lucien's arm, and they began to climb the steep 
sea bank, where their feet were embedded in the sand at each 
step they took. The pathway leading to the coast-guards' sta- 
tion was fringed with some patches of poor soil planted with 
carrots, potatoes and cabbages, the stunted leaves of which were 
so preyed upon by snaUs that they looked like perfect cobwebs. 
Elsewhere the ground was covered with short, dry herbage 
interspersed with clumps of heather which the wild rabbits nib- 
bled. The coast-guard station was some three hundred yards 
ahead in a hollow well sheltered from the nor'-westers. Andrde 
and Lucien could see a coast-guard sitting outside the door, 
reflectively smoking his pipe. He rose up as they approached 

" What was the name of the foreign prince who died hero a 
month ago ? " asked Andr6e, whose voice trembled with 

" He would never tell us his name, madame ; we only knew 
that he was a kind of prince in his country. Would you hke to 
see the room where he died ? " 

278 nana's daughter. 

" Madame Despretz looked at her husband as if to consult 
him. " Yes, " answered Lucien, who saw that she wished to 
go in. 

The coast-guard guided them up a dark staircase which led 
to a little landing, and opened a narrow door. The room waa 
small, and lighted by two white-curtauied windows looking 
toward the shore. The bedstead was of cherry wood, and two 
rush chairs served as seats. On a chest of drawers against the 
wall, a manuscript was lying open, and Madame Despretz took 
it up and read upon the cover these simple words : '^ To 
Andree. " 

She recognized the handwriting of the man who had died for 
love of her. " Will you seU me this manuscript ? " she asked. 

" Willingly, madame. When we buried the young fellow, 
I thought of burying the writing with him, but my comrades 
preferred to keep it to show to strangers. If you care to buy 
it I will leave you judge of what it is worth." 

Andr6e handed a hundred francs to the coast-guard and 
opened the pages, which had remained there like a dead man's 
mil. They were few in number. 

" He kept on writing till his last day," resumed the coast- 
guard. " He was as gentle as a girl, and for our care and 
services he left us each a thousand francs. It waa all that 
remained to him when he died. " 

** Where is ho buried 1 " 

" On the Devil's Tooth. It isn't easy to get up there, 
especially with such a wind on as there is to-day. You must 
follow the path which passes before our door across the island, 
and then, when you get to a cistern, turn to the right. " 

M. and Madame Despretz left the mortuary-room and followed 
the road as far as the cistern. They then descended a kind of 
glacis, on which the herbage was dry and slippery and which 
sloped down toward the northern shore of the island, conducting 
to a granite crag which rose some thirty feet above the lower 
part of the decUvity. On the summit of this towering mass 
there was a platform of a hundred square feet, in the center of 
which one could discern a black and unhewn stone, raised erect 
on one end like a menhir. Below the peak on which arose the 
primitive monument raised to the foreigner by his grateful 
friends the coast-guards, the cliff hung over the sea. The high 
waves coming from the open broke two himdred feet lower down, 
rismg up wall-like, capped with white foam, and then sinking 
into the gulf which seemed to yawn until another mass of water 
fiUed up its growling depths. To reach the summit of the 
Devil's Tooth, it was necessary to chmb an almost vertical wall 
of rock, and Lucien was afraid that some accident might befall 
Andr6e if she attempted this dizzy ascent. The tempests had 
slowly isolated this mass of granite, which only held to the «oU 

nana's daughter. 279 

on ono side, ■while on the other it overtopped the watery abyss 
like a huge portculUs fixed to the high chii" beaten by the sea. 

" Androe," said her husband, gravely, " you must not +empt 
death ! " 

" He who lies there sacrificed himself for both of us. "We 
owe him the liberty we enjoy and the fortune we did not refuse. 
If I were pious, I should say to you, ' we owe him a prayer.' I 
tliink that we owe him at least a souvemr, so let us take it to 
him, Lucien." 

The coast-guards had cut in the rock a double series of holes, 
large enough for one to set the tips of one's feet in them. 
Andree was the first to engage in the adventurous ascent, say- 
ing to her husband, " Come, who loves me, follows me." 

He climbed up after her, clinging to the rock with one hand 
supporting her with the other. Below them stretched the steep, 
slippery glacis, cut atwain, right and left, by the hollow where 
the sea-gulls hovered and the white foam whirled around. At 
certain moments the gusts of wind which swept over the island 
clung to the young wife's dress as if seeking to carry her ofl' into 
the abyss. But brave, like a true child of the people, she 
quietly waited until the blast had passed by, clinging with both 
hands to the anfracturosities of the granite. At last she profited 
by a momentary lull to spring onto the platform, and Lucien 
followed her. 

The funeral stone rose up before them. The coast-guards 
had roughly painted the date of the rajah's death upon it in 
red letters and figures. The two happy lovers sat down, side- 
by-side, in the grass growing around this block of unpolished 
porphyry, partially embedded in the cavity which had been dug 
with pickaxes to receive the rajah's remains. 

The sea stretched away to the horiz(m before them. To the 
north it was imbounded ; westward Cape Frehel ; and eastward 
the Pointe de la Varde alone limited the bay. To the south, 
the low, gray coast of Brittany could scarcely be distinguished. 

Before leaving the villa Andree had plucked a black heart's- 
ease on the terrace. The flower was fading on her bosom, its 
petals rolling up. She took it in her hand, tore one of her long 
fair hairs from her head, and with this golden string she 
fastened the faded flower to the culminating point of the lofty 
grave-stone. Then drawing the rajah's manuscript from her 
pocket she began to read it aloud, while the sea-birds screeched 
around her : 

Cezambre, June 5th. 

" It is still I ! I am astonished to find myself living since 
Andree is lost to my fraternal friendship. Does life care more 
for me than I care for it ? I have come here to die, near a 
mighty scene, dreaming of you, Andree ! My last thought will 
be for you I It must be surrounded by the infinite 1 You will 

28o nana's daughter. 

never know wliat lias become of me ! Why should I sadden 
you? For you would think it your duty to feel sad — you will 
fancy that I have returned to my coimtry — and perhaps it is 
true — for death is the country of those who sufl'er " 

Andr6e was abruptly interrupted. A sudden gust, coming 
from the open sea, had snatched the rajah's manuscript from 
her hand. She saw it fly away, soaring at a tremendous height, 
the white leaves fluttering in the wind like the wings of a sea- 
gull carried along by the blast. At the same time, Lucien per- 
ceived a black line stretched across the horizon just above the 
sea, in the direction of Cape Fr6hel. Two coast-guards were 
hastening down the glacis, and one of them, approaching the 
Devil's Tooth, called out : '' Make haste and come down ! 
There is a squall coming on. Come down at once if you don't 
want the wind to carry you ofi"." 

It was far more perilous to descend than to climb up, for one 
had to look below for the holes in which to set one's feet, and in 
doing so one could not help perceiving the granite wall on 
which the Devil's Tooth was reared. The wild seething of the 
beating foam attracted one's eyes and fascinated one with gid- 
diness. Just as Lucien began to lower himself he found nothing 
by which he could cling to the upper part of the rock, his 
hands slipped across the grass, and he felt himself impelled 
downward by his own weight. But Andrde saw his peril, 
caught hold of his arm, and succeeded, with the nervous 
strength of will, in drawing him toward her. 

At the same moment the hurricane predicted by the coast- 
guards burst forth. One of them hastened to the rescue, and 
managed, at the peril of his life, to reach the young couple. A 
long, solid rope was coiled around his waist, and they succeeded 
in knotting it securely to the grave-stone. The black line 
which had extended between Cape Fr6ht>l and the Pointe de la 
Varde was now rising over the sky. The sea had changed its 
color, assiuning a leaden tint, and the wind swept over the chfif 
of the Island with a furious roar and whistle. The rushes and 
bushes, torn away by this sudden blast, flew about like the 
wings of a lark in the clutches of a hawk. The coast-guard 
fastened Andr6e by the waist to the rope which he had brought 
with him, and let the end of it slip down to the glacis. 

Then turning to Lucien Despretz, he said : " Hold on well till 
I'm below. When there's a lull you can come down yourselves. 
One must be a bit of a sailor to trust oneself to a rope, and it 
would be dangerous for your lady to try it as long as the squall 
lasts. Fortunately, it won't last long la this season, but In 
October or December you might have to stop up here for a 
couple of days. " 

So speaking, he let himself down to the glacis. Raised by 
the wind, the water was now gathering in dark masses, which 


bounded across tho bay. Andrde and Lucien were obliged to lie 
down OQ the grass behind tho rajah's tomb, whore, secured to 
the upright stone, they could gaze in comparative seciirity upon 
the tempest breaking around them. The roll of the waves 
acquired furious intensity, and across the sky, which tho clouds 
tinged with mky stains, the blast flew wildly onward. Toward 
the evening, however, the wind fell, the sky became blue once 
more, and the sea regained its beautiful emerald tint of the 
morning. Still, huge waves burst from time to time through 
the passes, and poured across the roads, breaking on tho shore. 

" Let us go down, " said Andreo ; and with the help of tho 
rope fastened to the rajah's tomb, they descended to the glacis. 
As they climbed the pathway leading to the coast-guard 
station, Andree paused, and casting a look upon the primitive 
mausoleum which stood out in its blackness against the sea, she 
murmm'ed : '' Good-by ! " 

Then taking her husband's arm, she drew him along the 
pathway toward the boat, which was waiting to take them back 
to their villa of endless love. 


Na2TA sold her remaining fine linen, together with her last 
dresses and pawn tickets, to La Saint Am and, for a few thou- 
sand francs, and installed herself at a lodging-house in Rue 
Lafayette. She had a bedroom and a dressing-room for eighty 
francs a month, and paid an additional hundred for a copious 
dinner, which was served her every evening. She usually got 
up at four o'clock in the afternoon and eat no breakfast. She 
did not trouble to invest her smaU capital, but kept it by her. 
She scarcely ever went out ; indeed, what was the use of her 
doing so ? 

And yet life clung most obstinately to her harlot's robust 
frame. Her muscles became hardened for the strife, and her 
magnificent constitution battled against decrepitude, preventing 
it from setting hold upon her flesh and tampering with the fhm, 
round contours of her form. The sores upon her face had by 
degrees become cicatrized. Frightful ugliness had taken the 
place of her once marvelous beauty, but her physical sufferings 
had dimimshed; still she often felt atrocious neuralgic pains, 
which prevented her from sleeping, in the empty orbits of her 
eyes. The finger which Vkginie had twisted remained inert. 
She now wore her hair short and curly, and she covered her face 
with a black- velvet mask whenever she went out at the close of 
day to breathe a httle fresh air in the Square Montholon. 

The frequenters of the square had finished by knowing who 
she was, but she was habitually called " the masked woman." 
She had a strange appearance, as she passed by, phantom-like, 
with a mantilla falling over her eyes and half concealing her 

Nona's Daughter 18. 


mask, and her figure draped in a black faille dress, the lace 
skirt of which she still held up with haughty grace. She was 
usually accompanied by a servant from the lodging-house, who 
took her to a seat, and returned to fetch her when the square 
was shut up for the night. Dm'ing the eariier days, her appear- 
ance frightened the children who were playing in the pathways, 
but they soon grew accustomed to seeing her. Their mothers 
and nurses had learned who she was : a kind of pity surrounded 
her, folks drew aside from her, stopped talking when she 
approached, and however deserved her misfortune may have 
been, they carefully refrained from laughing in the presence of 
this human ruin, whose gait still retained much of the majesty 
of yore. The shopkeepers' wives who met in the little square to 
talk about their private affairs and slander their husbands, 
I)aused in their cackle to whisper one to another : " Do you see 
that woman in black? That's Nana." 

Nana I The name roused a world of lascivious fancies and 
senseless luxury in their minds. Nana, 'twas a royalty overturned, 
a queen hurled from her throne by the revolution of virtue. 
Nana ruined, it meant the end of the orgy, the supreme rout of 
the "mashers," the bankruptcy of gilded vice. And these 
women, who were charitable in their hearts, thought with sad- 
dened commiseration of the terrible fate of this flattered empress 
of beauty who in less than a year had become a poor, hideous, 
blind invalid, reduced to begging a lodging-house servant to give 
her his arm so that she might breathe a little dusty air in the 
noisy shade and turbulent gaiety of a public square. 

One morning at six o'clock Nana was awakened by the report 
of artillery. In the passage outside her room the servant was 
cleaning the boots of some women who lived on the same floor 
as herself, so the ex-courtesan sprang out of bed and set the door 
ajar. ''What is the matter?" she asked. "Why are they 
firing cannons ? " 

" Why it's the fete of the Repubhc to-day," replied the serv- 
ant. "It's the 14th July." 

" Long live the Emperor I " cried three or four girls who were 
dressing in their rooms with the doors open. 

" Just shut up 1 " said the servant. " You'll be bringing up 
the police. " 

This mention of the police alarmed the women and they at 
once closed their doors. Nana went to bed again and fell asleep. 
She had a frightful dream. She saw D'Albigny before her in a 
convict's costume, with a green cap on his head and a chain, by 
which he dragged a cannon-ball, around his ankle. He re- 
proached her for having betrayed him and having caused his 
condemnation. And springing upon her ho suddenly threw her 
down and fastened her to her old bedstead under the outspread 
wings of the eagle in massive silver. Then aroimd the coucli 

nana's daughter. 283 

where so many fortunes had evaporated ho heaped up any num- 
ber of hice skirts, silken lobes and satin curtains like a funeral 
pile which ho set on fire. And thereujjon ho went off, abandon- 
mg her to her fate. Sho could distinguish the soimd of his 
footsteps and the rolling noise of the heavy ball which he dragged 
over the floor behind his heel. The flames arose around her, 
sho could see the eagle soften and droop its head over her face, 
pouring tears of molten silver onto her eyes. 

The noise of a dispute in an adjoining room at last delivered 
her from this terrible dream. One of the women living in the 
house was fighting with a chance lover who was wanting to go 
off without paying his score. 

Outside, the growing hum of the fete-day crowd was rising to 
Nana's room. Every house was decked with flags from the roof 
to the ground-floor windows. Each side of the street was bril- 
liant with tri-color bunting, which fluttered in the gentle breeze 
above the human tide flowing toward the boulevards. Stands 
were being erected here and there for out-door concerts. Girls 
were decking their hair with tri-color ribbons, and men wore 
commemorative metals suspended by tri-color favors from their 
button-holes. A joyous fraternity reigned among the workpeople 
in Sunday clothes, who, jostling each other in friendly fashion, 
drew aside to let little children pass along. The warmth of 
vltaUty brought the blood to the young women's faces. There 
was a serene gleam upon every brow^ and the quiet crowd 
marched along elbow to elbow, confident m its peacoful strength. 

At the approach of evening the popular enthusiasm increased. 

The houses were illuminated, the fairy-like glow of a universal 
coruscation arose on every side, and from each culminating point 
the fire-works shone out amid the night. Bouquets of fusees 
streamed from the sky in ruby, emerald and golden rain. And 
through the illuminated expanse patriotic refrains vibrated. The 
Marseillaise and the Chant du Depart, sung in chorus by com- 
pact masses of people, rose amid the constellated friezes of tho 
pubUc buildings, amid all the domes and spires, the pavilions of 
the Louvre, the square towers of Notre Dame, the round ones 
of Saint Sulpico, and the radiant colonnades of the flat-roofed 
Grecian temples. 

There was no disorder, no hostility among the crowd. Proof 
of joyous peacefulness was furnished by the general politeness, 
the truly French urbanity, the generous respect which was 
shown for women and children, in the one desire to invest the 
fete with popular dignity and Gallic merriment. Housewives, 
clad in their hohday clothes, followed their husbands, leading 
such of their children as could walk by the hands. Fathers car- 
ried their younger offspring on their shoulders, and the delighted 
urchins clapped their Uttle hands right heartily when parties of 

284 nana's daughter. 

young men, with flags unfurled, marclied past singing tne 

The Marseillaise! You could hear it soaring everywhere, like 
some free bird in lofty flight. It burst forth at times on the 
Place de la Bastille, and following the Boulevards, hke a train 
of powder which rent the air ; it arose on the Place de la Con- 
corde, and re-echoed along the Champs Elyss6s as far as the 
Arc de Triomphe. " Come, children of your country, come I " 
sang the crowd ; " the day of glory has arrived ! " 

And the grand hymn ascended, in a formidable crescendo 
under the cupola of heaven. And it was not fratricidal war that 
the people celebrated with its generous lungs : it was universal 
hberty and fraternity, the proud declaration of faith in approach- 
ing justice, the pacific emancipation of a generation in travail of 
the future, the love of peace — not of peace at any price, but of 
proud, dignified peace, defended, if needs be, to the death by 
this million of men I 

Nana wished to go out, and rang for the servant to accompany 
her. But a holiday had been given him, and so she went out 
' alone. She wandered about, gloomy, disdainful and spiteful 
amid the general joy. She did not understand aught of the 
popular merriment, and so, having been shghtly pushed against 
by a party of young workmen — who were singing, as they 
marched along at double quick — she turned her masked face 
toward them and cried : " You set of blackguards ! " 

They stopped short on hearing this insult, and surrounded 
the masked harlot, more disposed to laugh at her, however, 
than to insult her; and then, joining hands, they danced around 
her. Wlien they had finished, they requested her to take off 
her mask. They all wanted to kiss her, to revenge themselves 
for the epithet which she had bestowed upon them. But she 
resisted, defending herself with all her wild beast's strength 
against these young fellows, in blouses smelling of sweat. 

" Take off her mask 1 It's perhaps the Empress 1 " sneered a 

" Yes, that's it. Take off her mask — no masks here I Every 
one must show his face. Why does she hide hers? — to insult 
the people ? " 

Thereupon, a young fellow of fifteen, who was more agile 
than the others, caught hold of the mask by the nose and tore 
it off. And suddenly — like the face of a leper amid some 
festival of the middle ages — Nana's hideous countenance 
appeared in the light of the girandoles, amid the magical glow 
cf the fete, the popular joy, and GalUc merriment. 

" You are a set of cowards to insult a blind woman I " she 
cried, in her rasping voice, which vibrated with rage at having 
been thus publicly uiimasked in her utter hideousoesa. ** YWf 

nana's daughter. 285 

you are all cowards ! " she repeated ; " and tlie proof of it is 
that not one of you will dare to kiss me now ! " 

There was a spell of deep silence, and then the young follows, 
somewhat confused, and sorry for having brought this humilia- 
tion upon a stranger, approached Nana and apologized. One of 
them offered to fasten her mask again, but no one accepted her 

" Well, do you know my name, you who have just asked for 
my forgiveness ? " she asked. 

" No matter who you may be, madame, pray go home quietly. 
If you are willing, wo wUl take you there. " 

" Thanks, but I have no further need of men where I reside — 
I Uve alone 1 I was born in dirt, vice was my father, and shame 
my mother ; and that is why I had a palace a year ago while 
you were starving of hunger, you pack of fools 1 Would you 
like to know who I am, you fellows who refuse to kiss me ? I 
am a woman whose kiss was worth a, million but a few months 
ago ! I am Nana ! " 

At sight of this haughty expiation the crowd was stupefied. 
Nana was allowed to go off alone. Popular generosity protected 
her misery in silk attire. " Ah 1 yes, go off, poor girl, " muttered 
an old man who had stopped to look at the scene ; and the 
ex-harlot disappeared through the crowd at the comer of the 
Rue Lafayette and the Boulevard Haussmann. Hereabouts the 
branches of the trees were hghted up, stalls and lotteries 
sohcited the attention of passers-by, and at one end an open-air 
orchestra was playing a waltz, which several young swells in 
evening dress, and ofl&cers in uniform were dancing with some 
pretty work-girls, duly proud of the 'Dnor. 

Nana foUowed the foot-pavement, keeping close to the houses, 
and guiding herself with the tip of her parasol, with which she 
touched the walls. And at times she thought of her old fetes, 
of the fragrance exhaled by her perfume burners during her 
nights of orgy, of her golden lamps encrusted with precious 
stones, of her boudoir mantelshelf in rock crystal, bearing her 
initials in sUver, surmounted by a topaz crown. She could 
again see, in her mind's eye, her various lackeys, her negroes, 
and her gorilla, the poor Yorick who had been murdered whUe 
defending her against some betrayed lover. She would have 
given all of the bitter, horrible hfe of abandonment that 
remained to her for another hour of that maddening existence 
amid her courtiers in the luminous splendor of the incessant fete 
and the lasciviency of night-time. Lust I She was maddened 
by the contempt of those proletarians who had disdained her 
insidts, and (shirked her challenge. Once more did her blood 
flow feverishly in her veins, and through her whole being 
coursed shivers of desire, vague at first, but growing more 
precise as she reahzed that even man, despite his bestiality, was 

286 nana's daughter. 

disgusted with her, and shrank from her. Once more did pas- 
sion burn her flesh, heated by the breath of youth still tarrying 
in her mutilated frame, which henceforth could only inspire 
physical horror and contempt 1 

And Nana began to regret the pleasures of the past. She 
wandered amid the crowd, happy to feel herself pushed against, 
pressed, and carried along; she followed the human tide, 
listened to the ardent flight of the Marseillaise along the 
Boulevards, and to the brass instruments which here and there 
were playing popular waltzes and polkas for merry-makiug 

At the end of the Boulevard Haussmann she turned down the 
Rue Taitbout, and then mechanically, without knowing where 
she was going, she again took the Kue Lafayette, and followed 
it to the Rue de Provence. By a sudden transition she found 
herself in a deserted street, where the noise of the fete barely 
penetrated. She had no idea where she was, and as nobody 
passed along, it was impossible for her to ask her way. So she 
went on, walking straight before her, tapping the walls with 
her parasol. Her pace was almost swift, for she was carried on 
by her old audacity and carelessness of peril, and by the sensual 
madness which was lashing her blood and her nerves. Sud- 
denly, however, she stumbled against what seemed to her to be 
a long pole stretched horizontally across the footway at the 
height of her waist. This pole, which was badly secured, gave 
way at one end, and Nana, thrown forward, stretched out her 
arms to clutch at something that might save her from falling. 
But she felt that she was descending. Where ? She could not 
tell. The pole, which the weight of her body had imfastened, 
was hanging down, and as she fell with outstretched arms, she 
succeeded in grasping it, and remained clinging by both hands 
above an unknown depth ! What danger threatened her ? She 
knew not. She only reahzed that there was empty space imder 
her feet, and silence above her head. 

The distant noise of the fete, with its shouts, songs and music, 
was wafted to her at intervals. " Help ! help ! " she cried. 

A window opened, and the courtesan called still more loudly. 
Then the window closed again. No doubt some one was coming 
to help her. She almost reproached herself for the sudden fright 
and weakness which the surprise of this fall had caused her. 
She waited impatiently. So far as she could calculate, it seemed 
to her that the window which had been opened was on the sec- 
ond floor. Her rescuerwould need the time to come down-stairs 
and rouse the porter of the house. She counted mentally: " One 
minute to come down, one minute to wake the porter, two more 
to pull me out. Let us say five minutes in all — in five minutes 
I shall be saved." 

At this moment she did not feel the slightest doubt of being 


rescued ; but she soon began to grow tired, and tried, by tlio 
mere strength of her wrists, to approach the edge of the exca- 
vation. She succeeded in doing so, despite the pain which the 
broken finger caused her ; and she felt a vertical surface against 
her knee. The pavemen and the orifice of the cavity into which 
lassitude was already drawing her, were situated just above her 
head. She realized that salvation was there, close by. If some 
one merely came and held her his hand, she would be easily 
helped up to the street again. But what could that person up- 
stairs be thinking of? She had been waiting for more than five 
minutes already. Perhaps the house-porter was asleep, and 
woukhi't open the door. At this thought she cried out again. 
** Help ! help ! " she called, in a voice which was strangled by 
growing fright. 

What ! did no one pass along this infernal street ? She tried 
to raise herself up by her arms, leaning against one side 
of the excavation. She grazed her knees against the stone-work 
in the efibrt, but she was unable to raise her body. Her fingers 
were becoming paralyzed. Inertness was stealing over her. If 
she had only been able to use her right hand freely she would 
certainly have managed to escape from this situation ; but the 
pain which her broken finger caused her was becoming insup- 
portable. She felt dizzy. A fatal helplessness was seizing hold 
of her. If she could only succeed in sustaining herself hori- 
zontally by both knees to the pole she clung to ! She made a 
supreme efibrt, hanging in space, clinging first by one foot, then 
by the other, and then by her knees. She remained thus, 
clutching the pole, the rough surface of which had badly grazed 
her hands. 

At this moment some one ran along the other side of the street. 
" Help ! help ! Pray help me to get out of here ! " begged Nana. 

The footsteps ceased. The man who had been running had 
evidently heard her. 

' Help ! help ! " she cried again. 

But a voice replied : " You want to catch me, you joker, do 
you ? Don't try it on with me ! " and the man then ran off again, 
the sound of his footsteps dying away far down the street. 

However, Nana could not possibly remain all night in this 
trying situation. She felt a sharp pain down her back and at 
the nape of her neck. There was a ringing in her ears, her 
numbed fingers began to slip, and suddenly she relaxed her 
hold, and remained hanging by her legs, with her head down- 
ward, and her mouth gagged, so to say, by her skirts, which 
fell over her face, stifiing her last cries. 

The consciousness that she would be unable to escape from 
this frightful yet grotesque position abruptly dawned upon her 
mind. She, the harlot, was seized with abominable despair, 
"^th a wild longing to five, and an intense fear of death. 


And still no one came ! The attractive scene on the grand 
boulevards had cleared the little streets. 

Congestion was gaining her brain, and it suddenly seemed to 
her as if all the blood in her body was raining into her skuU in 
a burning flood. Then vertigo mastered her, and she let herself 
faU ! Had it not been for the skirts hanging down below her 
head she would have broken her skull against the bottom of the 
pit into which she was precipitated. For a moment she 
remained half stunned, conscious of her condition, but without 
the strength to rise again. Her moans were stifled by the silk 
folds enveloping her face, and she lay there on her stomach, 
wallowing, as it were in filthy slime. 

She now realized where she was : She had fallen into a sewer 
which was being repaired. She could feel on her flesh the 
dampness of greasy mud, in which the vermin of filth were 

At this moment the rain began to fall through the aperture 
in the vault above her. The cold set it's grip on her limbs and 
penetrated to her blood and the marrow of her bones. She 

By an ironical contrast the memory of her life of mad enjoy- 
ment returned to her. She thought of the time when men fought 
for her, when Stog died amid one of her fetes, when Mulhausen 
ruined himself, when the rajah hghted her candelabra with bank 
notes, and when the old king who had become her jester, 
squandered his subjects' money to amuse her. Ah ! in those 
days everyone stopped to look at her, and the greatest lords, 
proudly erect on their spirited horses, besought the honor of 
escorting her when she drove up the Champs Elysees in her 
blue, silver-moimted landau, bearing her coroneted initial. Of 
an evening when she went to the theatre the whole house rose 
up; every opera glass was turned upon her in admiration; her 
eyes glanced round the boxes, and with a careless gesture she 
acknowledged the homage of her courtiers, who fi'om afar bent 
their bare heads before her diadem of brilliants. And the sup- 
pers ! And the nights of ruinous folly, of which all Europe 
knew the legend! What had become of that unheard-of dream 
of triumphant opulence? Where had it gone, her reign of lust? 
Was it all to finish like this ? She had once crushed the people 
with her insolence ; and now, on the night of this popular fete, 
while she was drowning amid the dregs of the great city, the 
crowd danced above the tomb in which she agonized. 

Nana — 'twas the rottenness of enervated generations, flowing 
through the stinking quagmire; her chastisements 'twas the 
revenge of vu-tuous women over insolent debauchery and tri- 
umphant \1ce ! She could still hear far away, outside, the joy- 
ous hum and shouting, the smging, and still the same waltz to 


which the dancers raised their feet while she was gasping for 

She suddenly felt a sensation of viscous cold on the soles of 
her feet. Thick filth was rising along her legs and hips, gUding 
under her belly, crawling between her titties, licking her throat, 
entering her mouth between her clinched teeth, penetrating 
into the empty orbits of her eyes, through her eyelids parted by 
sudden fright, and flowing into her nasal apertures — every- 
where! everywhere! She wanted to cry out but the filth 
rushed into her throat, stifling her voice. And this glue-like 
mud, rising aU around, at last submerged her. She felt herself 
impelled along, knocking against the slimy walls, drawn down a 
slope, as it were, with her whole body immersed in the slough 
of pollution. 

She was seized with rage. She revolted against this odious 
fetid death, and for one moment she regained her strength. 
Raising herself on her knees, with the water to her waist, as she 
remained in this attitude of humility, she drew her skirts 
impregnated with filth from her face and called aloud. Her 
cries were re-echoed under the arched roof in muffled sonority. 
Then she drew herself up against the wall, stretching out her 
arms under the low vault. On the left-hand side a dull noise, a 
long murmur of human voices descended by an aperture, from 
which some water was flowing. A gutter there communicated 
with the sewer. 

Despite the rain, despite the storm, the dancing continued 
outside, and the patriotic refrains still rose amid the night. 
The water also was now rising in the sewer less thick and dirty, 
but more swiftly and terribly. Nana could no longer struggle. 
Despite her resistance she felt herself dragged down the slope, 
and the current lifted her off her legs. Near the sewer flue she 
tried to stop and call for help, but she received the shower-bath 
from the street full in the face, and rolled away again with the 
current, crushed by the weight of the water, mingled with refuse 
and excrements. At last she raised herself once more, and 
clung despairingly with both hands to an arch above her. AU 
the force of the torrent was then directed upon her loins, with a 
power that increased as her own strength diminished. 

She was seized with abominable despair, a furious, madden- 
ing desire to live I Alone, buried ahve, almost stifled by the 
vile effluvia which passed along this putrid passage, she now 
thought with indescribable regret of the last weeks of her hfe, 
of the lodging-house, of the women who had slept near her, and 
whose disputes at night time had so often disturbed her, of the 
servant who had so often taken her to the square. Then at 
one bound she went back to the first year of her licentiousness, 
and tried to remember her first lover. But so many others had 
swept his lineaments from her memory. Of all those who had 

290 nana's daughter. 

held her in their arms, none appeared to her but Luc, whose 
pale ashy face now suddenly rose up amid her night of agony. 
In her feverish fancy he appeared to her with his fantastically 
lean figure, and his floured clown's face, as she had seen him at 
St. Cloud. 

Then through the darkness, in a voice which was broken by 
anguish she cried : " Luc, come and save me, come, my httle 
Luc ! Help me out of here. To die such a death — Ah ! it's 
frightful — for a woman like me! " 

Delirium made her temples throb. Amid the subterranean 
roar of the water faUing from the street, she thought she could 
detect the sound of a voice, which answered her with the old 
clown's nasal twang: "It is thy death, yes, thy death, thou 
harlot ! Thou art fallen where all strumpets of thy kind must 
fall ! Go, roll, roll away to the river, wash thyself, my girl, 
wash thyself! " 

" But no! I will not die, I won't, I won't " 

Then in her fright she began to shriek imder the vault ; and 
although she still instinctively tried to restrain herself, the last 
convulsion was near at hand, and madness abruptly burst forth 
in her brain. " Virginie! Virginie! " she suddenly roared, " my 
bath is too cold. I dismiss you ! " 

Her arms were growing weaker and weaker. The current 
had reached her shoulders, and the weight of the water was 
breaking her back. She bent, conquered, and rolled away 
amid the floating filth, while upon her, from the apertures 
above, there poured all the spittles of the streets, the slime of 
the boulevards, the slops of the city, the scourings of every 
shame, and the vomits of orgies which she swallowed until suf- 
focation and then spat forth again with blood I 

She sank to the bottom, and rose again further off — DEAD ! 

And her body continued rolUng onward, black with slime, 
swollen with mud, tm'ning hideous somersaults amid the whirl- 
pools in the Uvid light which fell fi'om the orifices above.