Prudence opened the window, and we leaned side by side over the balcony. She watched the few passers, I reflected. All that she had said buzzed in my head, and I could not help feeling that she was right; but the genuine love which I had for Marguerite had some difficulty in accommodating itself to such a belief. I sighed from time to time, at which Prudence turned, and shrugged her shoulders like a physician who has given up his patient.
"How one realizes the shortness of life," I said to myself, "by the rapidity of sensations! I have only known Marguerite for two days, she has only been my mistress since yesterday, and she has already so completely absorbed my thoughts, my heart, and my life that the visit of the Comte de G. is a misfortune for me."
At last the count came out, got into his carriage and disappeared. Prudence closed the window. At the same instant Marguerite called to us:
"Come at once," she said; "they are laying the table, and we'll have supper."
When I entered, Marguerite ran to me, threw her arms around my neck and kissed me with all her might.
"Are we still sulky?" she said to me.
"No, it is all over," replied Prudence. "I have given him a talking to, and he has promised to be reasonable."
In spite of myself I glanced at the bed; it was not unmade. As for Marguerite, she was already in her white dressing-gown. We sat down to table.