Saccard entered the account office.But they did not even answer him. The head accountant[Pg 84] having gone out, three of the clerks were reading their newspapers, and two others were staring up at the ceiling; while the arrival of Gustave Sédille had just keenly interested little Flory, who in the morning made entries, and in the afternoon looked after the telegrams at the Bourse. Born at Saintes, of a father employed at the local registry office, he had started in life as a clerk to a Bordeaux banker; after which, reaching Paris towards the close of the previous autumn, he had entered Mazaud's office with no other prospect before him than the possible doubling of his salary in ten years' time. At first he had conducted himself well, performing his duties regularly and conscientiously. But during the last month, since Gustave had entered the office, he had been going astray, led away by his new comrade—a fellow of very elegant tastes, and well provided with money—who was launching out in no small degree, and had made him acquainted with women. With bearded chin and cheeks, Flory was pos It was there that the head accountant, the pivot of the business as it were, aided by seven employees, went through the memorandum-book, handed him by the broker every afternoon after the Bourse, and entered to the various customers the sales and purchases which had been effected according to their orders. In doing this, he referred to the numerous fiches in order to ascertain the customers' names, for these did not appear in the memorandum-book, which contained only brief notes of the transactions: such a stock, such an amount bought or sold, at such a rate, from such a broker.