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Not to interrupt the current of events which are about to take placein the bosom of the Grandet family, it is necessary to cast aforestalling eye upon the various operations which the goodman carriedon in Paris by means of Monsieur des Grassins. A month after thelatter's departure from Saumur, Grandet, became possessed of acertificate of a hundred thousand francs a year from his investment inthe Funds, bought at eighty francs net. The particulars revealed athis death by the inventory of his property threw no light upon themeans which his suspicious nature took to remit the price of theinvestment and receive the certificate thereof. Maitre Cruchot was ofopinion that Nanon, unknown to herself, was the trusty instrument bywhich the money was transported; for about this time she was absentfive days, under a pretext of putting things to rights at Froidfond,,as if the goodman were capable of leaving anything lying about or outof order!

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In all that concerned the business of the house of Guillaume Grandetthe old cooper's intentions were fulfilled to the letter. The Bank ofFrance, as everybody knows, affords exact information about all thelarge fortunes in Paris and the provinces. The names of des Grassinsand Felix Grandet of Saumur were well known there, and they enjoyedthe esteem bestowed on financial celebrities whose wealth comes fromimmense and unencumbered territorial possessions. The arrival of theSaumur banker for the purpose, it was said, of honorably liquidatingthe affairs of Grandet of Paris, was enough to avert the shame ofprotested notes from the memory of the defunct merchant. The seals onthe property were taken off in presence of the creditors, and thenotary employed by Grandet went to work at once on the inventory ofthe assets. Soon after this, des Grassins called a meeting of thecreditors, who unanimously elected him, conjointly with FrancoisKeller, the head of a rich banking-house and one of those principallyinterested in the affair, as liquidators, with full power to protectboth the honor of the family and the interests of the claimants. Thecredit of Grandet of Saumur, the hopes he diffused by means of desGrassins in the minds of all concerned, facilitated the transactions.Not a single creditor proved recalcitrant; no one thought of passinghis claim to his profit-and-loss account; each and all saidconfidently, "Grandet of Saumur will pay."

Six months went by. The Parisians had redeemed the notes incirculation as they fell due, and held them under lock and key intheir desks. First result aimed at by the old cooper! Nine monthsafter this preliminary meeting, the two liquidators distributed forty-seven per cent to each creditor on his claim. This amount was obtainedby the sale of the securities, property, and possessions of all kindsbelonging to the late Guillaume Grandet, and was paid over withscrupulous fidelity. Unimpeachable integrity was shown in thetransaction. The creditors gratefully acknowledged the remarkable andincontestable honor displayed by the Grandets. When these praises hadcirculated for a certain length of time, the creditors asked for therest of their money. It became necessary to write a collective letterto Grandet of Saumur.

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"Here it comes!" said the old man as he threw the letter into thefire. "Patience, my good friends!" swiggs

In answer to the proposals contained in the letter, Grandet of Saumurdemanded that all vouchers for claims against the estate of hisbrother should be deposited with a notary, together with aquittancesfor the forty-seven per cent already paid; he made this demand underpretence of sifting the accounts and finding out the exact conditionof the estate. It roused at once a variety of difficulties. Generallyspeaking, the creditor is a species of maniac, ready to agree toanything one day, on the next breathing fire and slaughter; later on,he grows amicable and easy-going. To-day his wife is good-humored, hislast baby has cut its first tooth, all is well at home, and he isdetermined not to lose a sou; on the morrow it rains, he can't go out,he is gloomy, he says yes to any proposal that is made to him, so longas it will put an end to the affair; on the third day he declares hemust have guarantees; by the end of the month he wants his debtor'shead, and becomes at heart an executioner. The creditor is a good deallike the sparrow on whose tail confiding children are invited to putsalt,,with this difference, that he applies the image to his claim,the proceeds of which he is never able to lay hold of. Grandet hadstudied the atmospheric variations of creditors, and the creditors ofhis brother justified all his calculations. Some were angry, andflatly refused to give in their vouchers.

"Very good; so much the better," said Grandet, rubbing his hands overthe letter in which des Grassins announced the fact. swiggity swooty

Others agreed to the demand, but only on condition that their rightsshould be fully guaranteed; they renounced none, and even reserved thepower of ultimately compelling a failure. On this began a longcorrespondence, which ended in Grandet of Saumur agreeing to allconditions. By means of this concession the placable creditors wereable to bring the dissatisfied creditors to reason. The deposit wasthen made, but not without sundry complaints. r wiggins jockey

"Your goodman," they said to des Grassins, "is tricking us."Twenty-three months after the death of Guillaume Grandet many of thecreditors, carried away by more pressing business in the markets ofParis, had forgotten their Grandet claims, or only thought of them tosay:

"I begin to believe that forty-seven per cent is all I shall ever getout of that affair."

The old cooper had calculated on the power of time, which, as he usedto say, is a pretty good devil after all. By the end of the third yeardes Grassins wrote to Grandet that he had brought the creditors toagree to give up their claims for ten per cent on the two million fourhundred thousand francs still due by the house of Grandet. Grandetanswered that the notary and the broker whose shameful failures hadcaused the death of his brother were still living, that they might nowhave recovered their credit, and that they ought to be sued, so as toget something out of them towards lessening the total of the deficit.By the end of the fourth year the liabilities were definitelyestimated at a sum of twelve hundred thousand francs. Manynegotiations, lasting over six months, took place between thecreditors and the liquidators, and between the liquidators andGrandet. To make a long story short, Grandet of Saumur, anxious bythis time to get out of the affair, told the liquidators, about theninth month of the fourth year, that his nephew had made a fortune inthe Indies and was disposed to pay his father's debts in full; hetherefore could not take upon himself to make any settlement withoutpreviously consulting him; he had written to him, and was expecting ananswer. The creditors were held in check until the middle of the fifthyear by the words, "payment in full," which the wily old miser threwout from time to time as he laughed in his beard, saying with a smileand an oath, "Those Parisians!"

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