Bardelys the Magnificent
15. Monsieur De Chatellerault Is Angry
Within the room Chatellerault and I faced each other in silence. And how vastly
changed were the circumstances since our last meeting!
The disorder that had stamped itself upon his countenance when first he had
beheld me still prevailed. There was a lowering, sullen look in his eyes and a
certain displacement of their symmetry which was peculiar to them when
Although a cunning plotter and a scheming intriguer in his own interests,
Chatellerault, as I have said before, was not by nature a quick man. His wits
worked slowly, and he needed leisure to consider a situation and his actions
therein ere he was in a position to engage with it.
"Monsieur le Comte," quoth I ironically, "I make you my compliments upon your
astuteness and the depth of your schemes, and my condolences upon the little
accident owing to which I am here, and in consequence of which your pretty
plans are likely to miscarry.
He threw back his great head like a horse that feels the curb, and his
smouldering eyes looked up at me balefully. Then his sensuous lips parted in
"How much do you know?" he demanded with sullen contempt.
"I have been in that room for the half of an hour," I answered, rapping the
partition with my knuckles.
"The dividing wall, as you will observe, is thin, and I heard everything that passed
between you and Mademoiselle de Lavedan."
"So that Bardelys, known as the Magnificent; Bardelys the mirror of chivalry;
Bardelys the arbiter elegantiarum of the Court of France, is no better, it seems,
than a vulgar spy."
If he sought by that word to anger me, he failed.
"Lord Count," I answered him very quietly, "you are of an age to know that the
truth alone has power to wound. I was in that room by accident, and when the
first words of your conversation reached me I had not been human had I not
remained and strained my ears to catch every syllable you uttered. For the rest,