Jean Santeuil manuscript

   Then Jean is distracted. Now any means would seem favourable to him in order to inspire some esteem in the eyes of Mlle Kall. He had several letters in his hand, that he was going to post when he went out. One of them, that was a thank you letter in reply to an invitation to a hunt, had as its address Her Royal Highness Madame la Duchesse de Bourgogne, Château de Serigueux, near Sérigond, Seine-et-Marne. Jean slipped it lower down in the grip of his fingers so that it was only held in place by the pressure of the other letters and at the moment he passed in front of Mlle Kall he loosened his fingers, the other letters separated a little. The letter must have fallen out. He was not sure. He leaves the room, counts his letters, it is no longer there. He goes back into the room appearing to be searching the ground. In front of Mlle Kall he sees the letter still in the same place, she has not noticed it. She is reading. [...] He comes back half an hour later. The letter is still there. Mlle Kall has changed places and is now a little further away from it, but she might still be able to see it. Jean spots a waiter from the casino. I have lost a letter. Would you be so kind as to ask the young lady sitting over there reading if she has possibly seen it. The young lady replies that she has seen no letter, but Jean realizes that she has seen him talking to the waiter, that he was the one who had sent him over to her and that she could recognize in all this a new form of intriguing and intrusion. [...] He would never be able to show his face in front of her again.


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