The Honor of the Name
The prospect of capturing Lacheneur, the chief conspirator, excited the Marquis de
Courtornieu so much that he had not been able to tear himself away from the citadel to
return home to his dinner.
Remaining near the entrance of the dark corridor leading to Chanlouineau's cell, he
watched Marie-Anne depart; but as he saw her go out into the twilight with a quick, alert
step, he felt a sudden doubt of Chanlouineau's sincerity.
"Can it be that this miserable peasant has deceived me?" he thought.
So strong was this suspicion that he hastened after her, determined to question her--to
ascertain the truth--to arrest her, if necessary.
But he no longer possessed the agility of youth, and when he reached the gateway the
guard told him that Mlle. Lacheneur had already passed out. He rushed out after her,
looked about on every side, but could see no trace of her. He re-entered the citadel,
furious with himself for his own credulity.
"Still, I can visit Chanlouineau," thought he, "and to-morrow will be time enough to
summon this creature and question her."
"This creature" was even then hastening up the long, ill-paved street that led to the Hotel
Regardless of self, and of the curious gaze of a few passers-by, she ran on, thinking only
of shortening the terrible anxiety which her friends at the hotel must be enduring.
"All is not lost!" she exclaimed, on re-entering the room.
"My God, Thou hast heard my prayers!" murmured the baroness.
Then, suddenly seized by a horrible dread, she added:
"Do not attempt to deceive me. Are you not trying to delude me with false hopes? That
would be cruel!"
"I am not deceiving you, Madame, Chanlouineau has given me a weapon, which, I hope
and believe, places the Duc de Sairmeuse in our power. He is omnipotent in Montaignac;
the only man who could oppose him, Monsieur de Courtornieu, is his friend. I believe
that Monsieur d'Escorval can be saved."
"Speak!" cried Maurice; "what must we do?"