Monsieur Leon, he said, went to his room early.
She could not help smiling, and she fell asleep, her soul filled with a new delight.
The next day, at dusk, she received a visit from Monsieur Lherueux, the draper. He was a man of ability, was this shopkeeper. Born a Gascon but bred a Norman, he grafted upon his southern volubility the cunning of the Cauchois. His fat, flabby, beardless face seemed dyed by a decoction of liquorice, and his white hair made even more vivid the keen brilliance of his small black eyes. No one knew what he had been formerly; a pedlar said some, a banker at Routot according to others. What was certain was that he made complex calculations in his head that would have frightened Binet himself. Polite to obsequiousness, he always held himself with his back bent in the position of one who bows or who invites.
After leaving at the door his hat surrounded with crape, he put down a green bandbox on the table, and began by complaining to madame, with many civilities, that he should have remained till that day without gaining her confidence. A poor shop like his was not made to attract a fashionable lady; he emphasized the words; yet she had only to command, and he would undertake to provide her with anything she might wish, either in haberdashery or linen, millinery or fancy goods, for he went to town regularly four times a month. He was connected with the best houses. You could speak of him at the Trois Freres, at the Barbe dOr, or at the Grand Sauvage; all these gentlemen knew him as well as the insides of their pockets. To-day, then he had come to show madame, in passing, various articles he happened to have, thanks to the most rare opportunity. And he pulled out half-a-dozen embroidered collars from the box.
Madame Bovary examined them. I do not require anything, she said.
Then Monsieur Lheureux delicately exhibited three Algerian scarves, several packet of English needles, a pair of straw slippers, and finally, four eggcups in cocoanut wood, carved in open work by convicts. Then, with both hands on the table, his neck stretched out, his figure bent forward, open-mouthed, he watched Emmas look, who was walking up and down undecided amid these goods. From time to time, as if to remove some dust, he filliped with his nail the silk of the scarves spread out at full length, and they rustled with a little noise, making in the green twilight the gold spangles of their tissue scintillate like little stars.
How much are they?
A mere nothing, he replied, a mere nothing. But theres no hurry; whenever its convenient. We are not Jews.
She reflected for a few moments, and ended by again declining Monsieur Lheureuxs offer. He replied quite unconcernedly
Very well. We shall understand one another by and by. I have always got on with ladiesif I didnt with my own!
I wanted to tell you, he went on good-naturedly, after his joke, that it isnt the money I should trouble about. Why, I could give you some, if need be.
She made a gesture of surprise.
Ah! said he quickly and in a low voice, I shouldnt have to go far to find you some, rely on that.
And he began asking after Pere Tellier, the proprietor of the Cafe Francais, whom Monsieur Bovary was then attending.
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