This is another of Balzac's stories set around a dinner table. This time it is Cardot (a notary) and his mistress Malaga. They make witty conversation about how debts are rarely paid by the wealthy; in fact, if a milliner hassles about money that's owed, the tactic is to order another hat. Desroches tells a story about Maxime de Trailes' affair with Cerizet and how she fooled him into paying a debt.

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