Chupin had foreseen this objection, and was prepared for it. "But there's money in the letter," he remonstrated. And opening the envelope, he showed the bank-note which he had taken from his own pocket-book.
This changed the matter entirely. "That is quite a different thing," remarked one of the waiters. "If you find money, you are, of course, responsible for it. But just leave it here at the desk, and the next time the viscount comes in, the cashier will give it to him."
A cold chill crept over Chupin at the thought of losing his bank- note in this way. "Ah! I don't fancy that idea!" he exclaimed. "Leave it here? Never in life! Who'd get the reward? A viscount is always generous; it is quite likely he would give me twenty francs as a reward for my honesty. And that's why I want his address."
The argument was of a nature to touch the waiters; they thought the young man quite right; but they did not know M. de Coralth's address, and they saw no way of procuring it. "Unless perhaps the porter knows," observed one of them.
The porter, on being called, remembered that he had once been sent to M. de Coralth's house for an overcoat. "I've forgotten his number," he declared; "but he lives in the Rue d'Anjou, near the corner of the Rue de la Ville l'Eveque."
This direction was not remarkable for its precision, but it was more than sufficient for a pure-blooded Parisian like Victor Chupin. "Many thanks for your kindness," he said to the porter. "A blind man, perhaps, might not be able to go straight to M. de Coralth's house from your directions, but I have eyes and a tongue as well. And, believe me, if there's any reward, you shall see that I know how to repay a good turn."
"And if you don't find the viscount," added the waiters, "bring the money here, and it will be returned to him."
"Naturally!" replied Chupin. And he strode hurriedly away. "Return!" he muttered; "not I! I thought for a moment they had their hands on my precious bank-note."