"Very good; hand it over; and I will give it to the governor."
That was all.
Saint-Potin led away his new colleague, and when they were in the passage, he said to him:
"Have you seen the cashier?"
To draw your money.
You see you should always draw a month in advance.
One never knows what may happen."
"But--I ask for nothing better."
"I will introduce you to the cashier.
He will make no difficulty about it.
They pay up well here."
Duroy went and drew his two hundred francs, with twenty-eight more for his article of the day before, which, added to what remained of his salary from the railway company, gave him three hundred and forty francs in his pocket.
He had never owned such a sum, and thought himself possessed of wealth for an indefinite period.
Saint-Potin then took him to have a gossip in the offices of four or five rival papers, hoping that the news he was entrusted to obtain had already been gleaned by others, and that he should be able to draw it out of them--thanks to the flow and artfulness of his conversation.
When evening had come, Duroy, who had nothing more to do, thought of going again to the Folies Bergeres, and putting a bold face on, he went up to the box office.
"I am George Duroy, on the staff of the _Vie Francaise_.
I came here the other day with Monsieur Forestier, who promised me to see about my being put on the free list; I do not know whether he has thought of it."
The list was referred to.
His name was not entered.
However, the box office-keeper, a very affable man, at once said:
"Pray, go in all the same, sir, and write yourself to the manager, who, I am sure, will pay attention to your letter."
He went in and almost immediately met Rachel, the woman he had gone off with the first evening.
She came up to him, saying:
"Good evening, ducky.
Are you quite well?"
"Very well, thanks--and you?"
"I am all right.
Do you know, I have dreamed of you twice since last time?"
Duroy smiled, feeling flattered.
"Ah! and what does that mean?"
"It means that you pleased me, you old dear, and that we will begin again whenever you please."
"To-day, if you like."
"Yes, I am quite willing."
"Good, but--" He hesitated, a little ashamed of what he was going to do.
"The fact is that this time I have not a penny; I have just come from the club, where I have dropped everything."
She looked him full in the eyes, scenting a lie with the instinct and habit of a girl accustomed to the tricks and bargainings of men, and remarked:
That is not a nice sort of thing to try on me."
He smiled in an embarrassed way.
"If you will take ten francs, it is all I have left."
She murmured, with the disinterestedness of a courtesan gratifying a fancy:
"What you please, my lady; I only want you."
And lifting her charming eyes towards the young man's moustache, she took his arm and leant lovingly upon it.
"Let us go and have a grenadine first of all," she remarked.
"And then we will take a stroll together.
I should like to go to the opera like this, with you, to show you off.
And we will go home early, eh?"
* * * * * He lay late at this girl's place.