"Yet," interrupted Charles, who was slowly sipping his rum-sherbet, "they say that he is quite admirable in the last act. I regret leaving before the end, because it was beginning to amuse me."
"Why," said the clerk, "he will soon give another performance."
But Charles replied that they were going back next day. "Unless," he added, turning to his wife, "you would like to stay alone, kitten?"
And changing his tactics at this unexpected opportunity that presented itself to his hopes, the young man sang the praises of Lagardy in the last number. It was really superb, sublime. Then Charles insisted —
"You would get back on Sunday. Come, make up your mind. You are wrong if you feel that this is doing you the least good."
The tables round them, however, were emptying; a waiter came and stood discreetly near them. Charles, who understood, took out his purse; the clerk held back his arm, and did not forget to leave two more pieces of silver that he made chink on the marble.
"I am really sorry," said Bovary, "about the money which you are — "
The other made a careless gesture full of cordiality, and taking his hat said —
"It is settled, isn't it? To-morrow at six o'clock?"
Charles explained once more that he could not absent himself longer, but that nothing prevented Emma —
"But," she stammered, with a strange smile, "I am not sure — "
"Well, you must think it over. We'll see. Night brings counsel." Then to Leon, who was walking along with them, "Now that you are in our part of the world, I hope you'll come and ask us for some dinner now and then."
The clerk declared he would not fail to do so, being obliged, moreover, to go to Yonville on some business for his office. And they parted before the Saint-Herbland Passage just as the clock in the cathedral struck half-past eleven.