me up and down as if I had been a strange animal, "you are very unfortunate. M. Belloc left town only an hour ago."
"But he will return?"
"That is quite likely."
"Can you tell me when?"
"If you can wait long enough for an answer I will ask the Cardinal," he replied with a laugh.
"It is a pity the Cardinal doesn't keep a school for manners," I exclaimed, and, turning on my heel, walked away.
Here was a pretty beginning to my venture! What should I do now? I had not once given a thought to Belloc's being away, and without him I was completely lost. After wandering about aimlessly for some time I remembered Raoul Beauchamp, and decided to seek news of him at La Boule d'Or. Without knowing it, I had strayed into the very street where the curious shopkeeper lived, and there he stood at his door.
"Monsieur has soon returned," said he.
"To beg a fresh favour. Will you direct me to the Rue de Roi?"
"The Rue de Roi?" he exclaimed in a tone of surprise.