The Honor of the Name HTML version
The Duc de Sairmeuse and the Marquis de Courtornieu had more time before them than
The rebels were advancing, but not so rapidly as Chupin had said.
Two circumstances, which it was impossible to foresee, disarranged Lacheneur's plans.
Standing beside his burning house, Lacheneur counted the signal fires that blazed out in
answer to his own.
Their number corresponded to his expectations; he uttered a cry of joy.
"All our friends keep their word!" he exclaimed. "They are ready; they are even now on
their way to the rendezvous. Let us start at once, for we must be there first!"
They brought him his horse, and his foot was already in the stirrup, when two men sprang
from the neighboring grove and darted toward him. One of them seized the horse by the
"Abbe Midon!" exclaimed Lacheneur, in profound astonishment; "Monsieur d'Escorval!"
And foreseeing, perhaps, what was to come, he added, in a tone of concentrated fury:
"What do you two men want with me?"
"We wish to prevent the accomplishment of an act of madness!" exclaimed M.
d'Escorval. "Hatred has crazed you, Lacheneur!"
"You know nothing of my projects!"
"Do you think that I do not suspect them? You hope to capture Montaignac-----"
"What does that matter to you?" interrupted Lacheneur, violently.
But M. d'Escorval would not be silenced.
He seized the arm of his former friend, and in a voice loud enough to be heard distinctly
by everyone present, he continued:
"Foolish man! You have forgotten that Montaignac is a fortified city, protected by deep
moats and high walls! You have forgotten that behind these fortifications is a garrison
commanded by a man whose energy and valor are beyond all question--the Duc de