I Will Repay HTML version
Chapter IV. The faithful house-dog
After supper they talked of Charlotte Corday.
Juliette clung to the vision of that heroine, and liked to talk of her. She appeared
as a justification of her own actions, which somehow seemed to require
She loved to hear Paul Déroulède talk; liked to provoke his enthusiasm and to
see his stern, dark face light up with the inward fire of the enthusiast.
She had openly avowed herself as the daughter of the Duc de Marny. When she
actually named her father, and her brother killed in duel, she saw Déroulède
looking long and searchingly at her. Evidently he wondered if she knew
everything: but she returned his gaze fearlessly and frankly, and he apparently
Madame Déroulède seemed to know nothing of the circumstances of that duel.
Déroulède tried to draw Juliette out, to make her speak of her brother. She
replied to his questions quite openly, but there was nothing in what she said,
suggestive of the fact that she knew who killed her brother.
She wanted him to know who she was. If he feared an enemy in her, there was
yet time enough for him to close his doors against her.
But less than a minute later, he had renewed his warmest offers of hospitality.
"Until we can arrange for your journey to England," he added with a short sigh,
as if reluctant to part from her.
To Juliette his attitude seemed one of complete indifference for the wrong he had
done to her and to her father: feeling that she was an avenging spirit, with
flaming sword in hand, pursuing her brother's murderer like a relentless Nemesis,
she would have preferred to see him cowed before her, even afraid of her,
though she was only a young and delicate girl.
She did not understand that in the simplicity of his heart, he only wished to make
amends. The quarrel with the young Vicomte de Marny had been forced upon
him, the fight had been honourable and fair, and on his side fought with every
desire to spare the young man. He had merely been the instrument of Fate, but
he felt happy that Fate once more used him as her tool, this time to save the
Whilst Déroulède and Juliette talked together Anne Mie cleared the supper-table,
then came and sat on a low stool at madame's feet. She took no part in the
conversation, but every now and then Juliette felt the girl's melancholy eyes fixed
almost reproachfully upon her.
When Juliette had retired with Pétronelle, Déroulède took Anne Mie's hand in his.
"You will be kind to my guest, Anne Mie, won't you? She seems very lonely, and
has gone through a great deal."
"Not more than I have," murmured the young girl involuntarily.
"You are not happy, Anne Mie? I thought..."
"Is a wretched, deformed creature ever happy?" she said with sudden
vehemence, as tears of mortification rushed to her eyes, in spite of herself.