About four o'clock an abrupt knock at the door struck sharply on theheart of Madame Grandet.
"What can have happened to your father?" she said to her daughter.Grandet entered joyously. After taking off his gloves, he rubbed hishands hard enough to take off their skin as well, if his epidermis hadnot been tanned and cured like Russia leather,--saving, of course, theperfume of larch-trees and incense. Presently his secret escaped him."Wife," he said, without stuttering, "I've trapped them all! Our wineis sold! The Dutch and the Belgians have gone. I walked about themarket-place in front of their inn, pretending to be doing nothing.That Belgian fellow--you know who I mean--came up to me. The owners ofall the good vineyards have kept back their vintages, intending towait; well, I didn't hinder them. The Belgian was in despair; I sawthat. In a minute the bargain was made. He takes my vintage at twohundred francs the puncheon, half down. He paid me in gold; the notesare drawn. Here are six louis for you. In three months wines will havefallen."
These words, uttered in a quiet tone of voice, were nevertheless sobitterly sarcastic that the inhabitants of Saumur, grouped at thismoment in the market-place and overwhelmed by the news of the saleGrandet had just effected, would have shuddered had they heard them.Their panic would have brought the price of wines down fifty per centat once. upart wig
"Did you have a thousand puncheons this year, father?" cheap real hair extensions
"Yes, little one."
That term applied to his daughter was the superlative expression ofthe old miser's joy.
"Then that makes two hundred thousand pieces of twenty sous each?""Yes, Mademoiselle Grandet."
"Then, father, you can easily help Charles."
The amazement, the anger, the stupefaction of Belshazzar when he sawthe /Mene-Tekel-Upharsin/ before his eyes is not to be compared withthe cold rage of Grandet, who, having forgotten his nephew, now foundhim enshrined in the heart and calculations of his daughter."What's this? Ever since that dandy put foot in MY house everythinggoes wrong! You behave as if you had the right to buy sugar-plums andmake feasts and weddings. I won't have that sort of thing. I hope Iknow my duty at my time of life! I certainly sha'n't take lessons frommy daughter, or from anybody else. I shall do for my nephew what it isproper to do, and you have no need to poke your nose into it. As foryou, Eugenie," he added, facing her, "don't speak of this again, orI'll send you to the Abbaye des Noyers with Nanon, see if I don't; andno later than to-morrow either, if you disobey me! Where is thatfellow, has he come down yet?"