Ah! you see: you dont think yourself that it is safe even to speak of these thingshere in England! She clung to him suddenly with strong, almost motherly, passion: Dont go, Armand! she begged; dont go back! What should I do if if if
Her voice was choked in sobs, her eyes, tender, blue and loving, gazed appealingly at the young man, who in his turn looked steadfastly into hers.
You would in any case be my own brave sister, he said gently, who would remember that, when France is in peril, it is not for her sons to turn their backs on her.
Even as he spoke, that sweet, childlike smile crept back into her face, pathetic in the extreme, for it seemed drowned in tears.
Oh! Armand! she said quaintly, I sometimes wish you had not so many lofty virtues. I assure you little sins are far less dangerous and uncomfortable. But you will be prudent? she added earnestly.
As far as possible I promise you.
Remember, dear, I have only you to to care for me.
Nay, sweet one, you have other interests now. Percy cares for you.
A look of strange wistfulness crept into her eyes as she murmured,
He did once
There, there, dear, dont distress yourself on my account. Percy is very good
Nay! he interrupted energetically, I will distress myself on your account, my Margot. Listen, dear, I have not spoken of these things to you before; something always seemed to stop me when I wished to question you. But, somehow, I feel as if I could not go away and leave you now without asking you one question . You need not answer it if you do not wish, he added, as he noted a sudden hard look, almost of apprehension, darting through her eyes.
What is it? she asked simply.
Does Sir Percy Blakeney know that I mean, does he know the part you played in the arrest of the Marquis de St. Cyr?
She laugheda mirthless, bitter, contemptuous laugh, which was like a jarring chord in the music of her voice.
That I denounced the Marquis de St. Cyr, you mean, to the tribunal that ultimately sent him and all his family to the guillotine? Yes, he does know . I told him after I married him .
You told him all the circumstanceswhich so completely exonerated you from any blame?
It was too late to talk of circumstances; he heard the story from other sources; my confession came too tardily, it seems. I could no longer plead extenuating circumstances: I could not demean myself by trying to explain
And now I have the satisfaction, Armand, of knowing that the biggest fool in England has the most complete contempt for his wife.
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