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8. CHAPTER VIII
All at once, on the Promenade, as it was called--that is to say, in the Chestnut Avenue--I came face to face with my Englishman.
"I was just coming to see you," he said; "and you appear to be out on a similar errand. So you have parted with your employers?"
"How do you know that?" I asked in astonishment. "Is EVERY ONE aware of the fact? "
"By no means. Not every one would consider such a fact to be of moment. Indeed, I have never heard any one speak of it."
"Then how come you to know it?"
"Because I have had occasion to do so. Whither are you bound? I like you, and was therefore coming to pay you a visit."
"What a splendid fellow you are, Mr. Astley!" I cried, though still wondering how he had come by his knowledge. "And since I have not yet had my coffee, and you have, in all probability, scarcely tasted yours, let us adjourn to the Casino Cafe, where we can sit and smoke and have a talk."
The cafe in question was only a hundred paces away; so, when coffee had been brought, we seated ourselves, and I lit a cigarette. Astley was no smoker, but, taking a seat by my side, he prepared himself to listen.
"I do not intend to go away," was my first remark. "I intend, on the contrary, to remain here."
"That I never doubted," he answered good-humouredly.
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