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I Will Repay

Chapter XI. "Vengeance is mine"
The pretence of a headache enabled Juliette to keep in her room the greater part
of the day. She would have liked to shut herself out from the entire world during
those hours which she spent face to face with her own thoughts and her own
sufferings.
The sight of Anne Mie's pathetic little face as she brought her food and delicacies
and various little comforts, was positive torture to the poor, harrowed soul.
At very sound in the great, silent house she started up, quivering with
apprehension and horror. Had the sword of Damocles, which she herself had
suspended, already fallen over the heads of those who had shown her nothing
but kindness?
She could not think of Madame Déroulède or of Anne Mie without the most
agonising, the most torturing shame.
And what of him--the man she had so remorselessly, so ruthlessly betrayed to a
tribunal which would know no mercy?
Juliette dared not think of him.
She had never tried to analyse her feelings with regard to him. At the time of
Charlotte Corday's trial, when his sonorous voice rang out in its pathetic appeal
for the misguided woman, Juliette had given him ungrudging admiration. She
remembered now how strongly his magnetic personality had roused in her a
feeling of enthusiasm for the poor girl, who had come from the depths of her
quiet provincial home, in order to accomplish the horrible deed which would
immortalise her name through all the ages to come, and cause her countrymen
to proclaim her "greater than Brutus."
Déroulède was pleading for the life of that woman, and it was his very appeal
which had aroused Juliette's dormant energy, for the cause which her dead
father had enjoined her not to forget. It was Déroulède again whom she had seen
but a few weeks ago, standing alone before the mob who would have torn her to
pieces, haranguing them on her behalf, speaking to them with that quiet, strong
voice of his, ruling them with the rule of love and pity, and turning their wrath to
gentleness.
Did she hate him, then?
Surely, surely she hated him for having thrust himself into her life, for having
caused her brother's death and covered her father's declining years with sorrow.
And, above all, she hated him--indeed, indeed it was hate!--for being the cause
of this most hideous action of her life: an action to which she had been driven
against her will, one of basest ingratitude and treachery, foreign to every
sentiment within her heart, cowardly, abject, the unconscious outcome of this
strange magnetism which emanated from him and had cast a spell over her,
transforming her individuality and will power, and making of her an unconscious
and automatic instrument of Fate.
She would not speak of God's finger again: it was Fate--pagan, devilish Fate!--
the weird, shrivelled women who sit and spin their interminable thread. They had
 
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