Mme. de Sacqueville-Danglars and Lothien de Brie were playing a very interesting game of croquet on the baroness's bed, whilst de Brie tried unsuccessfully to discover what had so perturbed her at the Count's soirée, when M. de Sacqueville-Danglars suddenly appeared and, to de Brie's astonishment (for he had never known the banker actually to oppose his wife's will), politely but mercilessly ordered him to go. The baroness gave her husband a look that would have given him pause, had he not been engaged in reading a blogue, so that her proud glance failed entirely to make an effect. Lothien left, musing that husbands, however ridiculous they might seem, yet so easily gained the upper hand over lovers.
M. de Sacqueville-Danglars struck a horribly pretentious pose and began playing with the baroness's poodle Bill-Pony, who, however, was so unused to his presence in her boudoir that it tried to bite him. The banker promptly hurled the dog across the room.
"Do you know, monsieur, that you are making progress?" said the baroness. "Normally you were only crude; tonight you are brutal. Kindly leave your bad moods in your offices; what are they to me? Do they concern me? Let your clerks deal with them; it is, after all, what you pay them for, is it not?"