"I wish to give you a bit of parting advice. The court will undoubtedly decide in your favor; I shall be placed in possession of my brother's estate; but neither you nor I will have the disposal of these millions."
"Because, though this fortune belongs to me, the control of it belongs to your father."
M. Wilkie was thunderstruck. "To my father?" he exclaimed. "Impossible!"
"It is so, however; and you would not have been ignorant of the fact, if your greed for money had not made you forget to question me. You believe yourself an illegitimate child. Wilkie, you are mistaken. You are my legitimate child. I am a married woman----"
"And my husband--your father--is not dead. If he is not here now, threatening our safety, it is because I have succeeded in eluding him. He lost all trace of us eighteen years ago. Since then he has been constantly striving to discover us, but in vain. He is still watching, you may be sure of that; and as soon as there is any talk of a law-suit respecting the Chalusse property, you will see him appear, armed with his rights. He is the head of the family--your master and mine. Ah! this seems to disturb you. You will find him full of insatiable greed for wealth, a greed which has been whetted by twenty years' waiting. You may yet see the day when you will regret the paltry twenty thousand francs a year formerly given you by your poor mother."
Wilkie's face was whiter than his shirt. "You are deceiving me," he stammered.
"To-morrow I will show you my marriage certificate."
"Because it is locked up in a room which is now full of people."