And he at once took down from the shelf Emmas boots, all coated with mud, the mud of the rendezvous, that crumbled into powder beneath his fingers, and that he watched as it gently rose in a ray of sunlight.
How afraid you are of spoiling them! said the servant, who wasnt so particular when she cleaned them herself, because as soon as the stuff of the boots was no longer fresh madame handed them over to her.
Emma had a number in her cupboard that she squandered one after the other, without Charles allowing himself the slightest observation. So also he disbursed three hundred francs for a wooden leg that she thought proper to make a present of to Hippolyte. Its top was covered with cork, and it had spring joints, a complicated mechanism, covered over by black trousers ending in a patent-leather boot. But Hippolyte, not daring to use such a handsome leg every day, begged Madame Bovary to get him another more convenient one. The doctor, of course, had again to defray the expense of this purchase.
So little by little the stable-man took up his work again. One saw him running about the village as before, and when Charles heard from afar the sharp noise of the wooden leg, he at once went in another direction.
It was Monsieur Lheureux, the shopkeeper, who had undertaken the order; this provided him with an excuse for visiting Emma. He chatted with her about the new goods from Paris, about a thousand feminine trifles, made himself very obliging, and never asked for his money. Emma yielded to this lazy mode of satisfying all her caprices. Thus she wanted to have a very handsome ridding-whip that was at an umbrella-makers at Rouen to give to Rodolphe. The week after Monsieur Lheureux placed it on her table.
But the next day he called on her with a bill for two hundred and seventy francs, not counting the centimes. Emma was much embarrassed; all the drawers of the writing-table were empty; they owed over a fortnights wages to Lestiboudois, two quarters to the servant, for any quantity of other things, and Bovary was impatiently expecting Monsieur Derozerays account, which he was in the habit of paying every year about Midsummer.
She succeeded at first in putting off Lheureux. At last he lost patience; he was being sued; his capital was out, and unless he got some in he should be forced to take back all the goods she had received.
Oh, very well, take them! said Emma.
I was only joking, he replied; the only thing I regret is the whip. My word! Ill ask monsieur to return it to me.
No, no! she said.
Ah! Ive got you! thought Lheureux.
And, certain of his discovery, he went out repeating to himself in an undertone, and with his usual low whistle
Good! we shall see! we shall see!
She was thinking how to get out of this when the servant coming in put on the mantelpiece a small roll of blue paper from Monsieur Derozerays. Emma pounced upon and opened it. It contained fifteen napoleons; it was the account. She heard Charles on the stairs; threw the gold to the back of her drawer, and took out the key
Three days after Lheureux reappeared.
I have an arrangement to suggest to you, he said. If, instead of the sum agreed on, you would take
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