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?"
"I am very sorry not to have been here to receive you."
I expected that the sermon which my father's cold face threatened would begin at once; but he said nothing, sealed the letter which he had just written, and gave it to Joseph to post.
When we were alone, my father rose, and leaning against the mantel-piece, said to me:
"My dear Armand, we have serious matters to discuss."
"Am I not accustomed to be so?"
"Is it not true that you are living with a woman called Marguerite Gautier?"