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and field in which they move, his personages would have

2023-12-01 21:46:37 source:A Spring Dream Netauthor: knowledge click:816Second-rate

At first, at finding myself in bed without arms, and with people entering and leaving my room always on tip-toe, I again began to feel suspicious. I took advantage of a moment when I was alone to get out of bed and take from the table, which was only half cleared, the longest knife I could find. Feeling easier in my mind, I returned to bed and fell into a sound sleep, with the knife firmly clasped in my hand.

and field in which they move, his personages would have

When I awoke again the rays of the setting sun, softened by my red damask curtains, were falling on my beautifully fine sheets and lighting up the golden pomegranates that adorned the corners of the bed. This bed was so handsome and soft that I felt inclined to make it my apologies for having slept in it. As I was about to get up I saw a kindly, venerable face looking through the half-drawn curtains and smiling. It was the Chevalier Hubert de Mauprat. He inquired anxiously about the state of my health. I endeavoured to be polite and to express my gratitude; but the language I used seemed so different from his that I was disconcerted and pained at my awkwardness without being able to realize why. To crown my misery, a movement that I made caused the knife which I had taken as bedfellow to fall at M. de Mauprat's feet. He picked it up, looked at it, and then at myself with extreme surprise. I turned as red as fire and stammered out I know not what. I expected he would reprove me for this insult to his hospitality. However, he was too polite to insist upon a more complete explanation. He quietly placed the knife on the mantel-piece and, returning to me, spoke as follows:

and field in which they move, his personages would have

"Bernard, I now know that I owe to you the life that I hold dearest in the world. All my own life shall be devoted to giving you proofs of my gratitude and esteem. My daughter also is sacredly indebted to you. You need, then, have no anxiety about your future. I know what persecution and vengeance you exposed yourself to in coming to us; but I know, too, from what a frightful existence my friendship and devotion will be able to deliver you. You are an orphan, and I have no son. Will you have me for your father?"

and field in which they move, his personages would have

I stared at the chevalier with wild eyes. I could not believe my ears. All feeling within me seemed paralyzed by astonishment and timidity. I was unable to answer a word. The chevalier himself evidently felt some astonishment; he had not expected to find a nature so brutishly ill- conditioned.

"Come," he said; "I hope that you will grow accustomed to us. At all events, shake hands, to show that you trust me. I will send up your servant; give him your orders; he is at your disposal. I have only one promise to exact from you, and that is that you will not go beyond the walls of the park until I have taken steps to make you safe from the pursuit of justice. At present it is possible that the charges which have been hanging over your uncles' heads might be made to fall on your own."

"My uncles!" I exclaimed, putting my hand to my brow. "Is this all a hideous dream? Where are they? What has become of Roche-Mauprat?"

"Roche-Mauprat," he answered, "has been saved from the flames. Only a few of the outer buildings have been destroyed; but I undertake to repair the house and to redeem your fief from the creditors who claim it. As to your uncles . . . you are probably the sole heir of a name that it behoves you to rehabilitate."

"The sole heir?" I cried. "Four Mauprats fell last night; but the other three . . ."

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