Samuel Brohl and Company

Victor Cherbuliez
Samuel Brohl and Company

The Project Gutenberg EBook of Samuel Brohl & Company, by Victor
Cherbuliez This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and
with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away
or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at
Title: Samuel Brohl & Company
Author: Victor Cherbuliez
Release Date: March 28, 2006 [EBook #2470]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1

Produced by Dagny; John Bickers

By Victor Cherbuliez
Were the events of this nether sphere governed by the calculus of

probabilities, Count Abel Larinski and Mlle. Antoinette Moriaz would
almost unquestionably have arrived at the end of their respective
careers without ever having met. Count Larinski lived in Vienna,
Austria; Mlle. Moriaz never had been farther from Paris than
Cormeilles, where she went every spring to remain throughout the fine
weather. Neither at Cormeilles nor at Paris had she ever heard of Count
Larinski; and he, on his part, was wholly unaware of the existence of
Mlle. Moriaz. His mind was occupied with a gun of his own invention,
which should have made his fortune, and which had not made it. He
had hoped that this warlike weapon, a true chef-d'oeuvre, in his opinion
superior in precision and range to any other known, would be
appreciated, according to its merits, by competent judges, and would
one day be adopted for the equipment of the entire Austro-Hungarian
infantry. By means of unremitting perseverance, he had succeeded in
obtaining the appointment of an official commission to examine it. The
commission decided that the Larinski musket possessed certain
advantages, but that it had three defects: it was too heavy, the breech
became choked too rapidly with oil from the lubricator, and the cost of
manufacture was too high. Count Abel did not lose courage. He gave
himself up to study, devoted nearly two years to perfecting his
invention, and applied all his increased skill to rendering his gun lighter
and less costly. When put under test, the new firearm burst, and this
vexatious incident ruined forever the reputation of the Larinski gun. Far
from becoming enriched, the inventor had sunk his expenses, his
advances of every kind; he had recklessly squandered both revenue and
capital, which, to be sure, was not very considerable.
Mlle. Antoinette Moriaz had a more fortunate destiny than Count
Larinski. She did not plume herself on having invented a new gun, nor
did she depend upon her ingenuity for a livelihood; she had inherited
from her mother a yearly income of about a hundred thousand livres,
which enabled her to enjoy life and make others happy, for she was
very charitable. She loved the world without loving it too much; she
knew how to do without it, having abundant resources within herself,
and being of a very independent disposition. During the winter she
went out a great deal into society, and received freely at home. Her
father, member of the Institute and Professor of Chemistry at the

College of France, was one of those savants who enjoy dining out; he
had a taste also for music and for the theatre. Antoinette accompanied
him everywhere; they scarcely ever remained at home except upon
their reception evenings; but with the return of the swallows it was a
pleasure to Mlle. Moriaz to fly to Cormeilles and there pass seven
months, reduced to the society of Mlle. Moiseney, who, after having
been her instructress, had become her demoiselle de compagnie. She
lived pretty much in the open air, walking about in the woods, reading,
or painting; and the woods, her books, and her paint-brushes, to say
nothing of her poor people, so agreeably occupied her time that she
never experienced a quarter of an hour's ennui. She was too content
with her lot to have the slightest inclination to change it; therefore she
was in no hurry to marry. She had completed twenty-four years of her
existence, had refused several desirable offers, and wished nothing
better than to retain her maidenhood. It was the sole article concerning
which this heiress had discussions with those around her. When her
father took it into his head to grow angry and cry, "You must!" she
would burst out laughing; whereupon he would laugh also, and say:
"I'm not the master here; in fact, I am placed in the position of a
ploughman arguing with a priest."
It is very dangerous to tax one's brains too much when one dines out
frequently. During the winter of 1875, M. Moriaz had undertaken an
excess of work; he was overdriven, and his health suffered. He was
attacked by
Continue reading on your phone by scaning this QR Code

 / 95
Tip: The current page has been bookmarked automatically. If you wish to continue reading later, just open the Dertz Homepage, and click on the 'continue reading' link at the bottom of the page.