The Honor of the Name
When Abbe Midon and Martial de Sairmeuse held their conference, to discuss and to
decide upon the arrangements for the Baron d'Escorval's escape, a difficulty presented
itself which threatened to break off the negotiation.
"Return my letter," said Martial, "and I will save the baron."
"Save the baron," replied the abbe, "and your letter shall be returned."
But Martial's was one of those natures which become exasperated by the least shadow of
The idea that anyone should suppose him influenced by threats, when in reality, he had
yielded only to Marie-Anne's tears, angered him beyond endurance.
"These are my last words, Monsieur," he said, emphatically. "Restore to me, now, this
instant, the letter which was obtained from me by Chanlouineau's ruse, and I swear to
you, by the honor of my name, that all which it is possible for any human being to do to
save the baron, I will do. If you distrust my word, good-evening."
The situation was desperate, the danger imminent, the time limited; Martial's tone
betrayed an inflexible determination.
The abbe could not hesitate. He drew the letter from his pocket and handing it to Martial:
"Here it is, Monsieur," he said, solemnly, "remember that you have pledged the honor of
"I will remember it, Monsieur le Cure. Go and obtain the ropes."
The abbe's sorrow and amazement were intense, when, after the baron's terrible fall,
Maurice announced that the cord had been cut. And yet he could not make up his mind
that Martial was guilty of the execrable act. It betrayed a depth of duplicity and hypocrisy
which is rarely found in men under twenty-five years of age. But no one suspected his
secret thoughts. It was with the most unalterable sang-froid that he dressed the baron's
wounds and made arrangements for the flight. Not until he saw M. d'Escorval installed in
Poignot's house did he breathe freely.
The fact that the baron had been able to endure the journey, proved that in this poor
maimed body remained a power of vitality for which the priest had not dared to hope.
Some way must now be discovered to procure the surgical instruments and the remedies
which the condition of the wounded man demanded.