Here my wife, who shared my anxiety, met me with a face full of meaning. I cried out to know if they had found the paper.
"No," she answered; "but if you will come into your closet I will tell you what I have learned."
I went in with her, and she told me briefly that the manner of Mademoiselle de Mars, one of her maids, had struck her as suspicious. The girl had begun to cry while reading to her; and when questioned had been able to give no explanation of her trouble.
"She is Vilain's cousin?" I said.
"Bring her to me," I said. "Bring her to me without the delay of an instant."
My wife hastened to comply; and whatever had been the girl's state earlier, before the fright of this hasty summons had upset her, her agitation when thus confronted with me gave me, before a word was spoken, the highest hopes that I had here the key to the mystery. I judged that it might be necessary to frighten her still more, and I started by taking a harsh tone with her; but before I had said many words she obviated the necessity of this by falling at my wife's feet and protesting that she would tell all.
"Then speak quickly, wench!" I said. "You know where the paper is."
"I know who has it!" she answered, in a voice choked with sobs.
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