We went back joyously to Bougival, talking over our projects for the future, which, thanks to our heedlessness, and especially to our love, we saw in the rosiest light.
A week later, as we were having lunch, Nanine came to tell us that my servant was asking for me. "Let him come in," I said.
"Sir," said he, "your father has arrived in Paris, and begs you to return at once to your rooms, where he is waiting for you."
This piece of news was the most natural thing in the world, yet, as we heard it, Marguerite and I looked at one another. We foresaw trouble. Before she had spoken a word, I replied to her thought, and, taking her hand, I said, "Fear nothing."
"Come back as soon as possible," whispered Marguerite, embracing me; "I will wait for you at the window."
I sent on Joseph to tell my father that I was on my way. Two hours later I was at the Rue de Provence.
My father was seated in my room in his dressing-gown; he was writing, and I saw at once, by the way in which he raised his eyes to me when I came in, that there was going to be a serious discussion. I went up to him, all the same, as if I had seen nothing in his face, embraced him, and said:
"Did you come straight here, as usual?"