"Come, I am well pleased to see you thus reflecting upon what I have said; but lose no time, strike the iron while it is hot. Do as I have recommended either to-night or early to-morrow; possibly, after that time it may be too late. May I venture also to remind you of your friends, my dear countess. I am in great trouble just now, and I trust you will not refuse to obtain for me, from his majesty, a favour of which I stand in the utmost need--50,000 francs would come very seasonably; I have lost that sum at cards, and must pay it, but how I know not."
"Let not that distress you," said I, "for I can relieve you of that difficulty until the king's convalescence enables him to undertake the pleasing office of assisting your wishes. M. de Laborde has orders to honour all my drafts upon him, I will
therefore draw for the sum you require." So saying, I hastily scrawled upon a little tumbled piece of paper those magic words, which had power to unlock the strong coffers of a court banker. The marechale embraced me several times with the utmost vivacity.
"You are my guardian angel," cried she, "you save me from despair. But, tell me, my generous friend, do you think M. de Laborde will make any difficulty?"
"Why," said I, "should you suppose it possible he will do so?"
"Oh, merely on account of present circumstances."
"The illness--no, I mean the indisposition of his majesty."
"He is an excellent man," said I, "and I doubt not but he will act nobly and honourably."
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