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- The Mysteries of Paris V2 - 6/113 -

often appears to slumber it awakens some time or other."

"He is very rich, and very hypocritical, sir."

"In your deepest despair, a guardian angel came to your assistance, and plucked you from inevitable ruin; so, at a moment when least expected, the Almighty Avenger may call upon the lawyer to atone for his past crimes if he be guilty."

At this moment Miss Dimpleton came from the garret, wiping her eyes. Rudolph said to the young girl, "Will it not, my good neighbor, be better that M. Morel should occupy my room, with his family, until his benefactress, whose agent I am, shall have provided a suitable lodging?"

Miss Dimpleton regarded Rudolph with a look of unfeigned surprise. "Oh, sir! are you really in earnest when you make so generous an offer?"

"Yes, but on one condition, which will depend on yourself."

"Oh, depend upon all that is in my power!"

"I had some accounts required in haste, to arrange for my employers; they will come for them soon. Now, if you will be so neighborly as to permit me to work in your room, on a corner of your table, I should not disturb your work in the least, and the Morel family can, with the assistance of M. and Mrs. Pipelet, immediately be settled in my room."

"Oh, if it be only that, sir, most willingly; neighbors ought to assist each other. You have set so good an example by what you have done for that poor Morel, that I am at your service, sir."

"No, no, call me neighbor. If you use any ceremony toward me, I shall not have courage to intrude on you," said Rudolph.

"Well, then, it shall be so, I will call you 'neighbor,' because you really are so."

"Father, father!" cried one of Morel's little boys, coming out of the garret, "mother is calling you; come directly, pray do." The lapidary hastily entered the room.

"Now, neighbor," said Rudolph to Miss Dimpleton, "you must render me a still further service."

"With all my heart, if it be in my power."

"You are, I am sure, an excellent little housewife. It is necessary to purchase immediately all that is wanted for Morel's family to be properly clothed, bedded, and settled in my room, for there is only sufficient for myself as a bachelor, that was brought yesterday. How can we manage to procure instantly all I wish for the Morels?"

Miss Dimpleton thought for a moment, and answered: "In a couple of hours you can have all your want; good clothes ready-made, warm and neat, with good clean linen for all the family: two little beds for the children, and one for the grandmother--in short, all that is necessary; but it will cost a great deal of money."

"You don't say so! How much?"

"Oh, at least--at the very least--five or six hundred francs."

"For everything?"

"Yes, it is a great sum of money, you see," said Miss Dimpleton opening her large eyes, and shaking her bead.

"And we can procure all these things--"

"In two hours."

"You must be a fairy, neighbor."

"Oh, no, it is quite easy. The Temple is only two steps from here, where you will find all of which you are in want." "The Temple?"

"Yes, the Temple."

"What place is that?"

"Don't know the Temple, neighbor?"


"It is, nevertheless, here where people like you and I furnish our rooms, and clothe ourselves, when we would be economical. Things are cheaper there than elsewhere, and quite as good."


"I assure you. Come, now, I suppose--But what did you pay for this great-coat?"

"I do not know exactly."

"What, neighbor, can't tell how much your great-coat cost you?"

"I acknowledge to you in confidence," said Rudolph, smiling, "that I owe for it; now do you understand that I cannot know?"

"Oh, neighbor, neighbor, I fear you are a spendthrift!"

"Alas! neighbor!"

"You must alter in that respect, if you wish us to be good friends; and I already see that we shall be such, you appear so kind! You shall see that you will be glad to have me for a neighbor; for on that account we can assist each other. I will take care of your linen, and you will help me clean my room. I rise very early, and will call you, so that you may not be late at your shop. I'll knock at the wall until you say to me: 'Good-morning, neighbor.'"

"It is agreed; you shall wake me, take care of my linen, and I will clean your room."

"And you will be very neat?"


"And when you wish to make any purchase, you will go to the Temple, because here is an example; your greatcoat cost, I suppose, eighty francs; very well, you could have had it at the Temple for thirty."

"Why, that is marvelous! Then you think that with five or six hundred francs, these poor Morels--"

"Will be stocked with everything, first-class, for a long time to come."

"Neighbor, an idea has just struck me."

"Well, what is it about?"

"Do you understand household affairs--are you clever at making purchases?"

"Yes--rather so," said Miss Dimpleton, with a look of simplicity.

"Take my arm, and let us go to the Temple and buy wherewith to clothe the Morels; will that suit you?"

"Oh, what happiness! Poor creatures!--but where's the money?"

"I have sufficient."

"Five hundred francs?"

"The benefactress of the Morels has given me _carte blanche;_ nothing is to be spared that these poor people require. Is there even a place where better things are to be had than at the Temple?"

"You will find nowhere better; then there is everything, and all ready-made--little frocks for the children, and dresses for their mother."

"Then let us go at once to the Temple, neighbor."

"Oh! but--"

"What's wrong?"

"Nothing; but you see, my time is everything to me; and I am already a little behindhand, in occasionally nursing the poor woman Morel; and you may imagine that an hour in one way and an hour in another makes in time a day; a day brings thirty sous, and if we earn nothing one must still live all the same. But, pshaw! never mind; I must spare from my nights; and then, again, parties of pleasure are rare, and I will make this a joyful day; it will seem to me that I am rich, and that it is with my own money I am buying such good things for these poor Morels. Very well, as soon as I have put on my shawl and cap, I shall be at your service, neighbor."

"Suppose, during the time, I bring my papers to your room?"

"Willingly, and then you will see my apartment," said Miss Dimpleton, with pride; "for it is already put in order, and that will prove to you that I am an early riser, and that if you are sleepy and idle so much the worse for you, for I shall be a troublesome neighbor."

So saying, light as a bird, she flew down the stairs, followed by Rudolph, who went to his room to brush off the dust he had carried away from Pipelet's loft. We will hereafter disclose to the reader how Rudolph was not yet informed of the abduction of Fleur-de-Marie from Bouqueval farm, and why he had not visited the Morels the day after the conversation with Lady d'Harville.

Rudolph, for the sake of appearances, furnished himself with a large roll of papers, which he carried into Miss Dimpleton's room.

Miss Dimpleton was nearly of the same age as Goualeuse, her former prison-friend. There was between these girls the same difference that exists between laughter and tears; between joyful carelessness and melancholy reverie; between daring improvidence and serious, incessant anticipation of the future: between a nature exquisitely delicate, elevated, poetic, morbidly sensitive, incurably wounded by remorse, and a disposition gay, lively, happy, unreflective, although good and compassionate; for, far from being selfish, Miss Dimpleton only cared for the griefs of others; with them she sympathized entirely, devoting

The Mysteries of Paris V2 - 6/113

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