The Honor of the Name
The Duc de Sairmeuse had slept little and poorly on the night following his return, or his
restoration, as he styled it.
Inaccessible, as he pretended to be, to the emotions which agitate the common herd, the
scenes of the day had greatly excited him.
He could not help reviewing them, although he made it the rule of his life never to reflect.
While exposed to the scrutiny of the peasants and of his acquaintances at the Chateau de
Courtornieu, he felt that his honor required him to appear cold and indifferent, but as
soon as he had retired to the privacy of his own chamber, he gave free vent to his
For his joy was intense, almost verging on delirium.
Now he was forced to admit to himself the immense service Lacheneur had rendered him
in restoring Sairmeuse.
This poor man to whom he had displayed the blackest ingratitude, this man, honest to
heroism, whom he had treated as an unfaithful servant, had just relieved him of an
anxiety which had poisoned his life.
Lacheneur had just placed the Duc de Sairmeuse beyond the reach of a not probable, but
very possible calamity which he had dreaded for some time.
If his secret anxiety had been made known, it would have created much merriment.
"Nonsense!" people would have exclaimed, "everyone knows that the Sairmeuse
possesses property to the amount of at least eight or ten millions, in England."
This was true. Only these millions, which had accrued from the estate of the duchess and
of Lord Holland, had not been bequeathed to the duke.
He enjoyed absolute control of this enormous fortune; he disposed of the capital and of
the immense revenues to please himself; but it all belonged to his son--to his only son.
The duke possessed nothing--a pitiful income of twelve hundred francs, perhaps; but,
strictly speaking, not even the means of subsistence.
Martial, certainly, had never said a word which would lead him to suspect that he had any
intention of removing his property from his father's control; but he might possibly utter