But M. de Tregars had foreseen the difficulty:
"I beg you to believe, madame," he went on, "that my questions arenot dictated by an idle curiosity. Here are the facts. A relativeof ours, a man of a certain age, of whom we are very fond, and whosehead is a little weak, left his home some forty-eight hours since.
We are looking for him, and we are in hopes, if we find these trunks,to find him at the same time."With furtive glances, the husband and wife were tacitly consultingeach other.
"The fact is," they said, "we wouldn't like, under any consideration,to commit an indiscretion which might result to the prejudice of acustomer.""Fear nothing," said M. de Tregars with a reassuring gesture. "Ifwe have not had recourse to the police, it's because, you know, itisn't pleasant to have the police interfere in one's affairs. Ifyou have any objections to answer me, however, I must, of course,apply to the commissary."The argument proved decisive.
"If that's the case," replied the woman, "I am ready to tell all Iknow.""Well, then, madame, what do you know?""These two trunks were bought on Friday afternoon last, by a man ofa certain age, tall, very thin, with a stern countenance, andwearing a long frock coat.""No more doubt," murmured Maxence. "It was he."And now," the woman went on, " that you have just told me that yourrelative was a little weak in the head, I remember that thisgentleman had a strange sort of way about him, and that he keptwalking about the store as if he had fleas on his legs. And awfulparticular he was too! Nothing was handsome enough and strongenough for him; and he was anxious about the safety-locks, as hehad, he said, many objects of value, papers, and securities, to putaway.
Tips, opportunities to make money：Is it true that online investment make money?"And where did he tell you to send the two trunks?""Rue du Cirque, to Mme. - wait a minute, I have the name at the endof my tongue.""You must have it on your books, too," remarked M. de Tregars.
The husband was already looking over his blotter.
"April 26, 1872," he said. "26, here it is: 'Two leather trunks,patent safety-locks: Mme. Zelie Cadelle, 49 Rue du Cirque.'"Without too much affectation, M. de Tregars had drawn near to theshopkeeper, and was looking over his shoulder.
"What is that," he asked, "written there, below the address?""That, sir, is the direction left by the customer 'Mark on each endof the trunks, in large letters, "Rio de Janeiro."'"Maxence could not suppress an exclamation. "Oh!"But the tradesman mistook him; and, seizing this magnificentopportunity to display his knowledge,"Rio de Janeiro is the capital of Brazil," he said in a tone ofimportance. "And your relative evidently intended to go there; and,if he has not changed his mind, I doubt whether you can overtakehim; for the Brazilian steamer was to have sailed yesterday fromHavre."Whatever may have been his intentions, M. de Tregars remainedperfectly calm.
"If that's the case," he said to the shopkeepers, "I think I hadbetter give up the chase. I am much obliged to you, however, foryour information."But, once out again,"Do you really believe," inquired Maxence, "that my father hasleft France?"M.de Tregars shook his head.
"I will give you my opinion," he uttered, "after I have investigatedmatters in the Rue du Cirque."They drove there in a few minutes; and, the cab having stopped atthe entrance of the street, they walked on foot in front of No. 49.
It was a small cottage, only one story in height, built between asanded court-yard and a garden, whose tall trees showed above theroof. At the windows could be seen curtains of light-colored silk,- a sure indication of the presence of a young and pretty woman.
Tips, opportunities to make money：Joining it to make money online storeFor a few minutes Marius de Tregars remained in observation; but,as nothing stirred,"We must find out something, somehow," he exclaimed impatiently.
And noticing a large grocery store bearing No. 62, he directed hissteps towards it, still accompanied by Maxence.
It was the hour of the day when customers are rare. Standing inthe centre of the shop, the grocer, a big fat man with an air ofimportance, was overseeing his men, who were busy putting thingsin order.
M. de Tregars took him aside, and with an accent of mystery,"I am," he said, "a clerk with M. Drayton, the jeweler in the Ruede la Paix; and I come to ask you one of those little favors whichtradespeople owe to each other."A frown appeared on the fat man's countenance. He thought, perhaps,that M. Drayton's clerks were rather too stylish-looking; or else,perhaps, be felt apprehensive of one of those numerous petty swindlesof which shopkeepers are constantly the victims.