Bardelys the Magnificent
6. In Convalescence
Of the week that followed my coming to Lavedan I find some difficulty in writing. It
was for me a time very crowded with events - events that appeared to be
moulding my character anew and making of me a person different, indeed, from
that Marcel de Bardelys whom in Paris they called the Magnificent. Yet these
events, although significant in their total, were of so vague and slight a nature in
their detail, that when I come to write of them I find really little that I may set
Rodenard and his companions remained for two days at the chateau, and to me
his sojourn there was a source of perpetual anxiety, for I knew not how far the
fool might see fit to prolong it. It was well for me that this anxiety of mine was
shared by Monsieur de Lavedan, who disliked at such a time the presence of
men attached to one who was so notoriously of the King's party. He came at last
to consult me as to what measures might be taken to remove them, and I -
nothing loath to conspire with him to so desirable end - bade him suggest to
Rodenard that perhaps evil had befallen Monsieur de Bardelys, and that, instead
of wasting his time at Lavedan, he were better advised to be searching the
province for his master.
This counsel the Vicomte adopted, and with such excellent results that that very
day - within the hour, in fact - Ganymede, aroused to a sense of his proper duty,
set out in quest of me, not a little disturbed in mind - for with all his shortcomings
the rascal loved me very faithfully.
That was on the third day of my sojourn at Lavedan. On the morrow I rose, my
foot being sufficiently recovered to permit it. I felt a little weak from loss of blood,
but Anatole - who, for all his evil countenance, was a kindly and gentle - servant
was confident that a few days - a week at most - would see me completely
Of leaving Lavedan I said nothing. But the Vicomte, who was one of the most
generous and noble hearted men that it has ever been my good fortune to meet,
forestalled any mention of my departure by urging that I should remain at the
chateau until my recovery were completed, and, for that matter, as long
thereafter as should suit my inclinations.
"At Lavedan you will be safe, my friend," he assured me; "for, as I have told you,
we are under no suspicion. Let me urge you to remain until the King shall have
desisted from further persecuting us."
And when I protested and spoke of trespassing, he waived the point with a
brusqueness that amounted almost to anger.