The Honor of the Name
Alone in his cell, Chanlouineau, after Marie-Anne's departure, abandoned himself to the
most frightful despair.
He had just given more than life to the woman he loved so fervently.
For had he not, in the hope of obtaining an interview with her, perilled his honor by
simulating the most ignoble fear? While doing so, he thought only of the success of his
ruse. But now he knew only too well what those who had witnessed his apparent
weakness would say of him.
"This Chanlouineau is only a miserable coward after all," he fancied he could hear them
saying among themselves. "We have seen him on his knees, begging for mercy, and
promising to betray his accomplices."
The thought that his memory would be tarnished with charges of cowardice and treason
drove him nearly mad.
He actually longed for death, since it would give him an opportunity to retrieve his honor.
"They shall see, then," he cried, wrathfully, "if I turn pale and tremble before the
He was in this state of mind when the door opened to admit the Marquis de Courtornieu,
who, after seeing Mlle. Lacheneur leave the prison, came to Chanlouineau to ascertain
the result of her visit.
"Well, my good fellow--" began the marquis, in his most condescending manner.
"Leave!" cried Chanlouineau, in a fury of passion. "Leave, or----"
Without waiting to hear the end of the sentence the marquis made his escape, greatly
surprised and not a little dismayed by this sudden change.
"What a dangerous and blood-thirsty rascal!" he remarked to the guard. "It would,
perhaps, be advisable to put him in a strait-jacket!"
Ah! there was no necessity for that. The heroic peasant had thrown himself upon his
straw pallet, oppressed with feverish anxiety.
Would Marie-Anne know how to make the best use of the weapon which he had placed
in her hands?