And of a morning now, in his luxurious Louis Quatorze office, Saccard was forced to forbid his door when he wished to work; for there were endless assaulting parties, or rather a court procession, coming, as it were, to a king's levée—courtiers, business people, applicants of all kinds soliciting and adoring his omnipotence. One morning, during the early days of July, he was particularly inflexible, giving the most stringent orders to admit no one. Whilst the ante-room was filling with people, who, despite the usher, persisted in waiting and hoping that they would be received, he shut himself up with two heads of departments to finish planning the new issue of shares. After examining various projects, he pronounced in favour of a combination which, thanks to this new issue of a hundred thousand shares, would permit the complete release of the two hundred thousand old ones, upon each of which only one hundred and twenty-five francs had been paid. This result was arrived at by issuing the new shares—which were reserved for existing shareholders—at the price of eight hundred and fifty francs; that is to say, five hundred francs for the share itself and three hundred and fifty francs premium, this premium effecting the proposed release. However, certain complications arose, due to the large amount of its own stock which the Bank held, and it was necessary to find a means of filling up certain gaps, the worry of which acted upon Saccard's nerves. The sound of the[Pg 245] voices in the ante-room, moreover, irritated him. That cringing Paris, whose homage he usually received with the good-nature of a despot prone to familiarity, filled him on this occasion with contempt. And Dejoie, who served him as usher in the morning, having ventured to take a roundabout way and enter by a little door opening from a passage, he turned on him in a fury: 'What! I told you nobody, nobody; do you understand? Here! take my walking stick, place it at my door, and let them kiss it.'
Dejoie impassively ventured to insist. 'Excuse me, monsieur, it is the Countess de Beauvilliers. She begged so hard, and, as I know Monsieur wishes to be agreeable to her——'
'What!' cried Saccard in a fit of anger; 'let her go to the devil with the others.'
Then with a gesture of repressed wrath he immediately reconsidered the matter: 'Show her in,' said he, 'since it seems certain that I cannot be left in peace. And by the little door, mind, so that the whole flock may not enter with her.'
The welcome which he extended to the Countess de Beauvilliers was fraught with the abruptness of a man just recovering from excitement. Even the sight of Alice, who accompanied her mother, silently meditating, did not calm him. He had sent the two heads of departments away, and was only thinking of how soon he would be able to call them back so as to continue his work.
Tips, opportunities to make money：What skills online most profit?'Pray speak quickly, madame, for I am terribly busy.'
The Countess, always slow with her words and movements, always preserving the sadness of a fallen queen, stopped short in evident surprise. 'But if I disturb you, monsieur'—she began.
He had to offer them seats, and the girl, the braver of the two, sat down the first in a resolute way whilst her mother continued: 'I have come for some advice, monsieur. I am in a state of very painful uncertainty, and am afraid that I shall never be able to come to a decision by myself.'
Then she reminded him that at the time of the establishment[Pg 246] of the Bank she had taken a hundred shares, which she had doubled at the time of the first increase of capital and again at the time of the second increase, so that she now held four hundred shares, upon which, inclusive of premiums, she had paid the sum of eighty-seven thousand francs. Twenty thousand francs of this amount had been supplied by her savings, and the rest—some seventy thousand—she had been forced to borrow on her farm, Les Aublets.
'And it now happens,' she continued, 'that I have just found a purchaser for the farm. And I understand that there is to be a new issue of shares. If that is so, I may perhaps place our entire fortune in your house.'
Saccard was now calming down, flattered at finding these two poor women, the last members of a great and ancient race, so trustful and anxious in his presence. He went into figures and rapidly supplied them with information.
'A new issue—yes, there is to be one, I am just attending to it,' he said. 'The shares will be priced at eight hundred and fifty francs, inclusive of premium. You say that you now have four hundred shares; well, two hundred of these new ones will be allotted to you; so that you will be required to pay one hundred and seventy thousand francs. But all your shares will be released, and you will have six hundred belonging to you entirely without any further liability with regard to them.'
Tips, opportunities to make money：Promoting the money-making platform regular online part-time earning websiteThey did not understand, and he had to explain to them how the premium would release the shares; and they turned a little pale at the big figures that were mentioned, oppressed by the thought of what an audacious stroke they would have to risk.