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Showing: 1-10 results of 17

CHAPTER I. THE WAGER "Speak of the Devil," whispered La Fosse in my ear, and, moved by the words and by the significance of his glance, I turned in my chair. 1The door had opened, and under the lintel stood the thick-set figure of the Comte de Chatellerault. Before him a lacquey in my escutcheoned livery of red-and-gold was receiving, with back obsequiously bent, his hat and cloak. A sudden hush fell upon the assembly where a moment ago this... more...

CHAPTER I. MONSIEUR THE SECRETARY It was spring at Bellecour—the spring of 1789, a short three months before the fall of the Bastille came to give the nobles pause, and make them realise that these new philosophies, which so long they have derided, were by no means the idle vapours they had deemed them. By the brook, plashing its glittering course through the park of Bellecour, wandered La Boulaye, his long, lean, figure clad with a... more...

CHAPTER I. ON THE MARCH He whom they called the Tavern Knight laughed an evil laugh—such a laugh as might fall from the lips of Satan in a sardonic moment. He sat within the halo of yellow light shed by two tallow candles, whose sconces were two empty bottles, and contemptuously he eyed the youth in black, standing with white face and quivering lip in a corner of the mean chamber. Then he laughed again, and in a hoarse voice, sorely... more...

CHAPTER I. OF HOW A BOY DRANK TOO MUCH WINE, AND WHAT CAME OF IT Andrea de Mancini sprawled, ingloriously drunk, upon the floor. His legs were thrust under the table, and his head rested against the chair from which he had slipped; his long black hair was tossed and dishevelled; his handsome, boyish face flushed and garbed in the vacant expression of idiocy. "I beg a thousand pardons, M. de Luynes," quoth he in the thick, monotonous voice of a... more...

CHAPTER I. NOMEN ET OMEN In seeking other than in myself—as men will—the causes of my tribulations, I have often inclined to lay the blame of much of the ill that befell me, and the ill that in my sinful life I did to others, upon those who held my mother at the baptismal font and concerted that she should bear the name of Monica. There are in life many things which, in themselves, seeming to the vulgar and the heedless to be... more...


CHAPTER I. THE AFFAIR AT TAVORA It is established beyond doubt that Mr. Butler was drunk at the time. This rests upon the evidence of Sergeant Flanagan and the troopers who accompanied him, and it rests upon Mr. Butler's own word, as we shall see. And let me add here and now that however wild and irresponsible a rascal he may have been, yet by his own lights he was a man of honour, incapable of falsehood, even though it were calculated to save... more...

CHAPTER I. THE CARDINAL OF VALENCIA For three days I had been cooling my heels about the Vatican, vexed by suspense. It fretted me that I should have been so lightly dealt with after I had discharged the mission that had brought me all the way from Pesaro, and I wondered how long it might be ere his Most Illustrious Excellency the Cardinal of Valencia might see fit to offer me the honourable employment with which Madonna Lucrezia had promised me... more...

CHAPTER I. THE FANATIC Mr. Caryll, lately from Rome, stood by the window, looking out over the rainswept, steaming quays to Notre Dame on the island yonder. Overhead rolled and crackled the artillery of an April thunderstorm, and Mr. Caryll, looking out upon Paris in her shroud of rain, under her pall of thundercloud, felt himself at harmony with Nature. Over his heart, too, the gloom of storm was lowering, just as in his heart it was still... more...

CHAPTER I. POT-VALIANCE Then drink it thus, cried the rash young fool, and splashed the contents of his cup full into the face of Mr. Wilding even as that gentleman, on his feet, was proposing to drink to the eyes of the young fool's sister. The moments that followed were full of interest. A stillness, a brooding, expectant stillness, fell upon the company—and it numbered a round dozen—about Lord Gervase's richly appointed board. In... more...

CHAPTER I. VOX POPULI From the valley, borne aloft on the wings of the evening breeze, rose faintly the tolling of an Angelus bell, and in a goat-herd's hut on the heights above stood six men with heads uncovered and bowed, obeying its summons to evening prayer. A brass lamp, equipped with three beaks, swung from the grimy ceiling, and, with more smoke than flame, shed an indifferent light, and yet a more indifferent smell, throughout the... more...