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The Honor of the Name

Chapter 17
The Marquis de Courtornieu idolized his daughter. Everyone spoke of that as an
incontestable and uncontested fact.
When persons spoke to him of his daughter, they always said:
"You, who adore your daughter----"
And when he spoke of himself, he said:
"I who adore Blanche."
The truth was, that he would have given a good deal, even a third of his fortune, to be rid
of her.
This smiling young girl, who seemed such an artless child, had gained an absolute control
over him. She forced him to bow like a reed to her every caprice--and Heaven knows she
had enough of them!
In the hope of making his escape, he had thrown her Aunt Medea; but in less than three
months that poor woman had been completely subjugated, and did not serve to divert his
daughter's attention from him, even for a moment.
Sometimes the marquis revolted, but nine times out of ten he paid dearly for his attempts
at rebellion. When Mlle. Blanche turned her cold and steel-like eyes upon him with a
certain peculiar expression, his courage evaporated. Her weapon was irony; and knowing
his weak points, she struck with wonderful precision.
It is easy to understand how devoutly he prayed and hoped that some honest young man,
by speedily marrying his daughter, would free him from this cruel bondage.
But where was he to find this liberator?
The marquis had announced everywhere his intention of bestowing a dowry of a million
upon his daughter. Of course this had brought a host of eager suitors, not only from the
immediate neighborhood, but from parts remote.
But, unfortunately, though many of them would have suited M. de Courtornieu well
enough, not a single one had been so fortunate as to please Mlle. Blanche.
Her father presented some suitor; she received him graciously, lavished all her charms
upon him; but as soon as his back was turned, she disappointed all her father's hopes by
rejecting him.
 
 
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