existence. The fog of the preceding day had turned to a light, soaking rain. In many of the shops the gas was lit, although it was past ten o'clock.
Christophe lost his way in the labyrinth of streets round the Place des Victoires, but eventually found the shop he was looking for in the Rue de la Banque. As he entered he thought he saw Diener at the back of the long, dark shop, arranging packages of goods, together with some of the assistants. But he was a little short-sighted, and could not trust his eyes, although it was very rarely that they deceived him. There was a general movement among the people at the back of the shop when Christophe gave his name to the clerk who approached him: and after a confabulation a young man stepped forward from the group, and said in German:
"Herr Diener is out."
"Out? For long?"
"I think so. He has just gone."
Christophe thought for a moment; then he said:
"Very well. I will wait."
The clerk was taken abac