Chance in Chains - novelonlinefull.com
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He turned up the electric lights, and locked the door. And then, from pocket and pocket, he poured out crackling, crumpled heaps of notes, heavy handfuls of gold--the wealth of which he had dreamed.
After a minute or two, without even locking the door of his sitting-room, he stumbled out of it and up the stairs to the servants'
He gave the signal knocks.
He was at once admitted to the dingy little bedroom-workshop.
Emile Deschamps was there. The Frenchman's face was as grey as evening ice.
He was staring at his apparatus in a sort of stupor, and by his side the chronometer ticked.
Emile gave a loud shout as Basil tumbled into the place.
"It is done, then?" he gasped. "_Mon ami_, it is a thing done?"
All grimy as he was Basil led his friend down into his sitting-room.
At two o'clock on the afternoon of the next day two English ladies, accompanied by a little, swarthy Frenchman, with a dressing-case which never left his hands, rolled out of the station of Monte Carlo, _en route_ for Paris.
For two days after this Monsieur Montoyer was observed to walk distractedly through the salons and occasionally to place a maximum upon a single number. Monsieur Montoyer did not repeat his successes, and those who followed his play cursed him and their own credulity deeply and silently.
The great night when Fortune smiled upon the "young Russian n.o.bleman" is still remembered by the a.s.siduous acolytes of Chance. It is talked about, and given as an instance to new-comers of what bold, indifferent play can accomplish.
n.o.body connects Sir Basil Gregory, Bart., the head of the great firm of Deschamps, Gregory and Co., which has revolutionised wireless telegraphy, with the spectacled, clean-shaven young gentleman who made such a sensation one night in the Casino at Monte Carlo.
Sir Basil and Lady Gregory spend almost all their days in the charming old house they have bought near Falmouth.
But on the Riviera there is an old, old lady--the well-known Madame McMahon--who still haunts the gambling h.e.l.ls of the Continent. She is a recognised figure. She has a marvellous system which never comes off, but when she gets into difficulties with the proprietors of her _pension_, mysterious telegraphic drafts upon the local bank always arrive in the nick of time, either from Cornwall or from Quimperle, in Brittany, where Monsieur Edouard and Monsieur Charles Carnet have a house, and are churchwardens of the unique cathedral.