to us by the Comte de Guipatin and by LÃ©garÃ©. The Comte de Guipatin vouched for his moneymaking ability. He has a list of clients. After you threw him out, Raccamond came to William and said, âIâm out of a job due to the failure of Claude Brothers: why donât you give me a chance? I donât ask any salary. If youâll take me on for six months without any salary, or any claim from me afterwards, Iâll work for you for nothing for six months and show you I can bring money into the bank.â
âI said that,â said Raccamond.
âYou had no right to do that: neither had William,â said Jules acidly. âMichel, send Constant to London about sterling. Come upstairs, will you? And tell William I want to see him.â
Jules went lingeringly about amongst his clients, smiling and inclining his head to several of them. Their heads turned after him, smooth as gold, sweet as diamonds, supple and secret as a rope of emeralds. He glided between the pillars, passed through his own board room almost without being seen, and went upstairs to his own great room by a hidden staircase, without passing along the upstairs gallery.
Raccamond detained AlphendÃ©ry. âI am afraid Mr. Bertillon does not like the arrangement. Will you plead my case? Will you ask him to speak to the Comte de Guipatin? The Comte de Guipatin will explain to Mr. Bertillon that I know a great many society figures, distinguished peopleâI know the artistic people and the racing folk of Paris. It would be very rash to get rid of me. I like Mr. Bertillon and I want to be with him. I like this type of bank. I could go to a big bank but what would it profit me? My own way would be more difficult to make. Then those distinguished people do their big business with the big banks, but with a small personal bank they do their small personal business. And that is the most profitable. It can be made exceptionally profitable. You see, there is even smaller, entirely intimate business which I can do for them, in my own person, and so they begin to grow on me, I on them, I mean, and thus I can draw them in to your bank. Surely Mr. Bertillon will reconsider the case, if he sees this. I can be of infinite service to him â¦ â
AlphendÃ©ry patted his arm, smiled into his face, said obligingly, âSurely, surely, Aristide, donât you worry. Iâll put it to Mr. Bertillon as well as you do yourself, and I can do it better, for I am not you: I am a friend. I hope you think of me as a friend, Aristide. I believe in you, Aristide. I believe in you. You seem really to have excellent connections. Donât worry. Iâll do all that can be humanly done.â
âThe Comte de Guipatin,â said Aristide with the same rigmarole sobriety, âwill vouch for me. He saw how I organized Claude Brothers.â
âI think, if youâll take a little bit of advice, Aristide, that weâd better leave out Claude Brothers. Philippe and EstÃ¨phe Claude wereâareâintimate friends of Mr. Bertillonââ Aristide frowned formidably. AlphendÃ©ry rattled on, with the bells of benevolence in his tones, âNot your fault they went bankrupt: Oh, we all heard the rumors long before. But businessmen, especially bankers, are superstitious.â
Aristide raised foggy, absorbed eyes to AlphendÃ©ry.
âYes, yes. Thank you.â
AlphendÃ©ry ran upstairs and found William already there, tall, blond, lazy, plump, staid, leaning against the bookcase and talking in a low tone to his youngest brother, Jules. Jules raised his voice crankily, âWho told you to let that hard-luck into my bank? I donât want him, do you hear? He must go. I donât want guys who work for nothing. I donât like them: it sounds unnatural and I think itâs funny. What is he so anxious to clamp himself onto me for? Heâs got to go. I wonât have him. Heâs bad luck. He was with Philippe Claude