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11. CHAPTER XI
THE chair, with the old lady beaming in it, was wheeled away towards the doors at the further end of the salon, while our party hastened to crowd around her, and to offer her their congratulations. In fact, eccentric as was her conduct, it was also overshadowed by her triumph; with the result that the General no longer feared to be publicly compromised by being seen with such a strange woman, but, smiling in a condescending, cheerfully familiar way, as though he were soothing a child, he offered his greetings to the old lady. At the same time, both he and the rest of the spectators were visibly impressed. Everywhere people kept pointing to the Grandmother, and talking about her. Many people even walked beside her chair, in order to view her the better while, at a little distance, Astley was carrying on a conversation on the subject with two English acquaintances of his. De Griers was simply overflowing with smiles and compliments, and a number of fine ladies were staring at the Grandmother as though she had been something curious.
"Quelle victoire!" exclaimed De Griers.
"Mais, Madame, c'etait du feu!" added Mlle. Blanche with an elusive smile.
"Yes, I have won twelve thousand florins," replied the old lady. "And then there is all this gold. With it the total ought to come to nearly thirteen thousand. How much is that in Russian money? Six thousand roubles, I think?"
However, I calculated that the sum would exceed seven thousand roubles--or, at the present rate of exchange, even eight thousand.
"Eight thousand roubles! What a splendid thing! And to think of you simpletons sitting there and doing nothing! Potapitch! Martha! See what I have won!"
"How DID you do it, Madame?" Martha exclaimed ecstatically. "Eight thousand roubles!"
"And I am going to give you fifty gulden apiece. There they are."
Potapitch and Martha rushed towards her to kiss her hand.
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