One evening he found Nana in tears. She took off her dressing jacket in order to show him her back and her arms, which were black and blue. He looked at her skin without being tempted to abuse the opportunity, as that ass of a Prulliere would have been. Then, sententiously dermes vs medilase:
"My dear girl, where there are women there are sure to be ructions. It was Napoleon who said that, I think. Wash yourself with salt water. Salt water's the very thing for those little knocks. Tut, tut, you'll get others as bad, but don't complain so long as no bones are broken. I'm inviting myself to dinner, you know; I've spotted a leg of mutton."
But Mme Lerat had less philosophy. Every time Nana showed her a fresh bruise on the white skin she screamed aloud. They were killing her niece; things couldn't go on as they were doing. As a matter of fact, out of doors and had declared that he would not have her at his house in the future, and ever since that day, when he returned home and she happened to be there, she had to make off through the kitchen, which was a horrible humiliation to her. Accordingly she never ceased inveighing against that brutal individual. She especially blamed his ill breeding, pursing up her lips, as she did so, like a highly respectable lady whom nobody could possibly remonstrate with on the subject of good manners SmarTone.
"Oh, you notice it at once," she used to tell Nana; "he hasn't the barest notion of the very smallest proprieties. His mother must have been common! Don't deny it--the thing's obvious! I don't speak on my own account, though a person of my years has a right to respectful treatment, but YOU--how do YOU manage to put up with his bad manners? For though I don't want to flatter myself, I've always taught you how to behave, and among our own people you always enjoyed the best possible advice. We were all very well bred in our family, weren't we now?"
In her opinion that explained everything. She was too fond of Fontan to betray him with one of his friends. The other people ceased to count the moment there was no pleasure in the business, and necessity compelled her to it. In view of her idiotic obstinacy Prulliere, as became a pretty fellow whose vanity had been wounded, did a cowardly thing.
"Very well, do as you like!" he cried. "Only I don't side with you, my dear. You must get out of the scrape by yourself SmarTone."