The Honor of the Name
Chupin had not taken time to sleep, nor scarcely time to drink, since that unfortunate
morning when the Duc de Sairmeuse ordered affixed to the walls of Montaignac, that
decree in which he promised twenty thousand francs to the person who should deliver up
Lacheneur, dead or alive.
"Twenty thousand francs," Chupin muttered gloomily; "twenty sacks with a hundred
pistoles in each! Ah! if I could discover Lacheneur; even if he were dead and buried a
hundred feet under ground, I should gain the reward."
The appellation of traitor, which he would receive; the shame and condemnation that
would fall upon him and his, did not make him hesitate for a moment.
He saw but one thing--the reward--the blood-money.
Unfortunately, he had nothing whatever to guide him in his researches; no clew, however
All that was known in Montaignac was that M. Lacheneur's horse was killed at the Croix
But no one knew whether Lacheneur himself had been wounded, or whether he had
escaped from the fray uninjured. Had he reached the frontier? or had he found an asylum
in the house of one of his friends?
Chupin was thus hungering for the price of blood, when, on the day of the trial, as he was
returning from the citadel, after making his deposition, he entered a drinking saloon.
While there he heard the name of Lacheneur uttered in low tones near him.
Two peasants were emptying a bottle of wine, and one of them, an old man, was telling
the other that he had come to Montaignac to give Mlle. Lacheneur news of her father.
He said that his son-in-law had met the chief conspirator in the mountains which separate
the arrondissement of Montaignac from Savoy. He even mentioned the exact place of
meeting, which was near Saint Pavin-des-Gottes, a tiny village of only a few houses.
Certainly the worthy man did not think he was committing a dangerous indiscretion. In
his opinion, Lacheneur had, ere this, crossed the frontier, and was out of danger.
In this he was mistaken.
The frontier bordering on Savoy was guarded by soldiers, who had received orders to
allow none of the conspirators to pass.