Translated by Ellen Marriage
shing red. "Why all the girls in the room would be quarreling for him," she said, glancing at the quadrilles.
"And then," retorted the attorney, "Mlle. de Grandlieu might not be the one towards whom his eyes are always turned? That is what that red color means! You like him, do you not? Come, speak out."
Camille suddenly rose to go.
"She loves him," Derville thought.
Since that evening, Camille had been unwontedly attentive to the attorney, who approved of her liking for Ernest de Restaud. Hitherto, although she knew well that her family lay under great obligations to Derville, she had felt respect rather than real friendship for him, their relation was more a matter of politeness than of warmth of feeling; and by her manner, and by the tones of her voice, she had always made him sensible of the distance which socially lay between them. Gratitude is a charge upon the inheritance which the second generation is apt to repudiate.
"This adventure," Derville began after a pause, "brings the one
A countess's daughter wishes to marry a penniless man, Ernest de Restaud. The countess's lawyer knows a great deal about the man's family, especially the excesses of his mother, Anastasie (the daughter from the novel Father Goriot.) His story involves an old pawnbroker/moneylender named Gobseck and the family's dealings with him.
All the characters are real and each demonstrates his or her own "version" of honor and honesty. The plot moves inexorably to one ending, then another, then another.
Any other writer would need 250 pages to tell this story.