Solomon was 佛山桑拿男人加油站 scandalised by the mere mention of it. Hang like any clod or clown a man who had been a constant visitor at his master’s house! “Oh, but he–you don’t hang such as he!” he retorted. “The Captain of Vlaye? Tut, tut! You are a fool!”
“A fool? Not I! They will hang him!”
“Wait until he speaks!” Fulbert replied, nodding mysteriously in the direction of the Lieutenant, who, at no great distance from the group, was watching a band of peasants at their drill. “When he speaks ’tis the King speaks. And when the King speaks, it is hang a man must, whoever he be!”
“Whoever he be!” Fulbert repeated with stolid obstinacy. And then, “It is not for nothing,” he added with a menacing gesture, “that a man stops the Countess of Rochechouart on the King’s road! No, no!”
Not for nothing? No, and it is not for nothing, 佛山南海桑拿休闲会所 the Abbess cried in her heart, that you threaten the man I love with the death of a dog! Dogs yourselves! Dogs!
It was well that the Duke was not looking at her at that moment, for her heaving bosom, her glowing eyes, the rush of colour to her face all betrayed the force of her passion. Hang him? Hang her lover? So that was what they were saying, thinking, planning behind her back, was it! That was the camp talk! That!
She could have borne it better had the Lieutenant proclaimed his aim aloud. It was the sedateness of his preparations, the slow stealth of his sap, the unswerving calmness of his approaches at which her soul revolted. The ceaseless drilling, the arming, the watch by day and night, all the life about her, every act, every thought had her lover’s ruin for their aim, his death for their end! A loathing, a horror 佛山桑拿按摩一条龙那里好 seized her. She felt a net closing about her, a net that enmeshed her and fettered her, and threatened to hold her motionless and powerless, while they worked their will on him before her eyes!
But she could still break the net. She could still act. Two lives? What were two lives, lives of his enemies, in comparison of his life? At the thought a spring of savage passion welled up in her heart, and clouded her eyes. The die was cast. It remained only to do. To do!
But softly–softly. As she rose, having as yet no formed plan, a last doubt stayed her. It was not a doubt of his enemies’ intentions, but of their power. He whose words had opened her eyes to their grim purpose was a dullard, almost an imbecile. He could be no judge of the means they possessed, or of their chances of success. The swarm of unkempt, ill-armed peasants, 佛山桑拿按摩论坛 who disgusted her eyes, the troop of spears, who even now barely sufficed to secure the safety of her party, what chance had they against M. de Vlaye and the four or five hundred men-at-arms who for years had lorded it over the marches of the province, and made themselves the terror of a country-side? Surely a small chance if it deserved the name. Surely she was permitting a shadow to frighten her.
“Something,” the Duke murmured near her ear, “has interrupted the even current of your thoughts, mademoiselle. What is it, I pray?”
“I feel the heat,” she answered, holding her hand to her brow, that behind its shelter she might recover her composure. “Do not you?”
“It is like an oven,” he answered, “within these earth-walls.”
“How I hate them!” she cried, unable to repress the spirit of irritation.
“Do you? Well, so do I,” 佛山桑拿网蒲友交流 he replied. “But within them–it is nowhere cooler than here.”
“I will put that to the proof, my lord,” she returned with a smile. And, gliding from him, in spite of the effort he made to detain her, she crossed the grass to her father. Sinking on the sward beside his stool, she began to fan herself.
The Vicomte was in an ill-humour of some days’ standing; nor without reason. Dragged, will he nill he, from the house in which his whim had been law, he found himself not only without his comforts, but a cipher in the camp. Not once, but three or four times he had let his judgment be known, and he had looked to see it followed. He might have spoken to the winds. No one, not even his sons, though they listened respectfully, took heed of it. It followed that he saw himself exposed to dangers against which he was not allowed to guard 佛山桑拿论坛 himself, and to a catastrophe which he must await in inaction; while all he possessed stood risked on a venture that for him had neither interest nor motive.
In such a position a man of easier temper and less vanity might be pardoned if he complained. For the Vicomte, fits of senile rage shook him two or three times a day. He learned what it was to be thwarted: and if he hated any one or anything more than the filthy peasants on whom his breeding taught him to look with loathing, it was the man with whose success his safety was bound up, the man who had forced him into this ignominious position.
Of him he could believe no good. When the Abbess, after fanning herself in silence, mentioned the arrival of the Countess’s troopers, and asked him if he thought that the Lieutenant was now strong enough to attack, he derided the 黄岐南海桑拿 notion.
“M. de Vlaye will blow this rabble to the winds,” he said, with a contemptuous gesture. “We may grill here as long as we please, but the moment we show ourselves outside, pouf! It will be over! What can a handful of riders do against five hundred men as good as themselves?”
“But the peasants?” she suggested, willing to know the worst. “There are some hundreds of them.”
“Food for steel!” he answered, with the same contemptuous pantomime.
“Then you think–we were wrong to come here?”
“I think, girl, that we were mad to come here. But not so mad,” he continued spitefully, “as those who brought us!”
“Yet Charles thinks that the Governor of Périgord will prevail.”
“Charles had his own neck in the noose,” the Vicomte growled, “and was glad of company. Since Coutras it is the young lead the old, and the issue you will 佛山桑拿交流区 see. Lieutenant of Périgord? What has the Lieutenant of Périgord or any other governor to do with canaille such as this?”
Odette heaved a sigh of relief and her face lightened. “It will be better so,” she said softly. “M. de Vlaye knows, sir, that we had no desire to hurt him, and he will not reckon it against us.”
The Vicomte fidgeted in his stool. “I wish I could think so,” he answered with a groan. “Curse him! Who is more to blame? If he had left the Countess alone, this would not have happened. They are no better one than the other! But what is this? Faugh!” And he spat on the ground.
There was excuse for his disgust. Across the open ground a group of men were making their way in the direction of the Lieutenant’s quarters. They were the same men who had met him at the entrance on his return with the Abbess and Joyeuse: nor had the lapse of four or five days lessened the foulness of their aspect, or robbed them of the slinking yet savage bearing–as of beasts of prey half tamed–which bade beware of them. They shambled forward until they neared des Ageaux, who was writing at an improvised table not far from the Vicomte; then cringing they saluted him. Their eyes squinting this way and that from under matted locks–as if at a gesture they were ready to leap back–added to their beast-like appearance.
The Lieutenant’s voice, as he asked the men with asperity what they needed, came clearly to the ears of the group about the Vicomte. But the Old Crocans’ answer, expressed at length in a patois of the country, was not audible.
“Foul carrion!” the Vicomte muttered.
“What do they here?” while the Abbess and Bonne, who had joined her, contemplated them with eyes of shuddering dislike.
“What, indeed?” Bonne muttered, her cheek pale. She seemed to 佛山桑拿那里的技师好 be unable to take her eyes from them. “They frighten me! Oh, I hope they will not be suffered to remain in the camp!”
“Is it that they wish?” the Vicomte asked.
“Yes, my lord,” Solomon answered: he had gone forward, listened awhile and returned. “They say that eleven more of their people were surprised by Vlaye’s men three hours ago, and cut to pieces. This is the second time it has happened. They think that they are no longer safe on the hill, and wish to join us.”
“God forbid!” Bonne cried, with a strange insistence.
The Abbess looked at her. “Why so frightened?” she said contemptuously. “One might suppose you were in greater danger than others, girl!”
Bonne did not answer, but
her distended eyes betrayed the impression which the wretches’ appearance made on her. Nor when Charles–who was seldom off the ridge which was 佛山桑拿全套2014体验 his special charge–remarked that after all a man was a man, and they had not too many, could she refrain from a word. “But not those!” she murmured. “Not those!”
Charles, who in these days saw more of the Bat than of any one else, shrugged his shoulders. “I shall be surprised if he does not receive them,” he answered. “They are vermin and may give us trouble. But we must run the risk. If we are to succeed we must run some risks.”
Not that risk, however, it appeared. For he had scarcely uttered the words when des Ageaux was seen to raise his hand, and point with stern meaning to the entrance. “No,” he said, his voice high and clear. “Begone to your own and look to yourselves! You chose to go your own way and a bloody one! Now your blood be on your own heads! Here is no place for you, nor will I cover you!”