Indeed, chèrie, I am not ashamed, rejoined Suzanne, softly; and it makes me very, very proud to hear you speak so well of him. I think maman will consent, she added thoughtfully, and I shall beoh! so happybut, of course, nothing is to be thought of until papa is safe
Marguerite started. Suzannes father! the Comte de Tournay!one of those whose life would be jeopardised if Chauvelin succeeded in establishing the identity of the Scarlet Pimpernel.
She had understood all along from the Comtesse, and also from one or two of the members of the league, that their mysterious leader had pledged his honour to bring the fugitive Comte de Tournay safely out of France. Whilst little Suzanneunconscious of allsave her own all-important little secret, went prattling on, Marguerites thoughts went back to the events of the past night.
Armands peril, Chauvelins threat, his cruel Eitheror which she had accepted.
And then her own work in the matter, which should have culminated at one oclock in Lord Grenvilles dining-room, when the relentless agent of the French Government would finally learn who was this mysterious Scarlet Pimpernel, who so openly defied an army of spies and placed himself so boldly, and for mere sport, on the side of the enemies of France.
Since then she had heard nothing from Chauvelin. She had concluded that he had failed, and yet, she had not felt anxious about Armand, because her husband had promised her that Armand would be safe.
But now, suddenly, as Suzanne prattled merrily along, an awful horror came upon her for what she had done. Chauvelin had told her nothing, it was true; but she remembered how sarcastic and evil he looked when she took final leave of him after the ball. Had he discovered something then? Had he already laid his plans for catching the daring plotter, red-handed, in France, and sending him to the guillotine without compunction or delay?
Marguerite turned sick with horror, and her hand convulsively clutched the ring in her dress.
You are not listening, chèrie, said Suzanne, reproachfully, as she paused in her long, highly interesting narrative.
Yes, yes, darlingindeed I am, said Marguerite with an effort, forcing herself to smile. I love to hear you talking and your happiness makes me so very glad Have no fear, we will manage to propitiate maman. Sir Andrew Ffoulkes is a noble English gentleman; he has money and position, the Comtesse will not refuse her consent But now, little one tell me what is the latest news about your father?
Oh! said Suzanne, with mad glee, the best we could possibly hear. My Lord Hastings came to see maman early this morning. He said that all is now well with dear papa, and we may safely expect him here in England in less than four days.
Yes, said Marguerite, whose glowing eyes were fastened on Suzannes lips, as she continued merrily:
Oh, we have no fear now! You dont know, chèrie, that that great and noble Scarlet Pimpernel himself has gone to save papa. He has gone, chèerie actually gone added Suzanne excitedly. He was in London this morning; he will be in Calais, perhaps, to-morrow where he will meet papa and then and then
The blow had fallen. She had expected it all along, though she had tried for the last half-hour to delude herself and to cheat her fears. He had gone to Calais, had been in London this morning he the Scarlet Pimpernel Percy Blakeney her husband whom she had betrayed last night to Chauvelin.
Percy Percy her husband the Scarlet Pimpernel Oh! how could she have been so blind? She understood it nowall at once that part he played the mask he wore in order to throw dust in everybodys eyes.
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