‘Well,’ said he, ‘well?’
The older man had put his pistol back into the breast of his brown coat.
‘This is Lucien Lesage,’ said he.
The hussar looked with disgust at the prostrate figure upon the floor.
‘A pretty conspirator!’ said he. ’Get up, you grovelling hound! Here, Gerard, take charge of him and bring him into camp.’
A younger officer with two troopers at his heels came clanking in to the hut, and the wretched creature, half swooning, was dragged out into the darkness.
‘Where is the other—the man called Toussac?’
’He killed the hound and escaped. Lesage would have got away also had I not prevented him. If you had kept the dog in leash we should have had them both, but as it is, Colonel Lasalle, I think that you may congratulate me.’ He held out his hand as he spoke, but the other turned abruptly on his heel.
‘You hear that, General Savary?’ said he, looking out of the door. ‘Toussac has escaped.’
A tall, dark young man appeared within the circle of light cast by the lamp. The agitation of his handsome swarthy face showed the effect which the news had upon him.
‘Where is he then?’
‘It is a quarter of an hour since he got away.’
’But he is the only dangerous man of them all. The Emperor will be furious. In which direction did he fly?’
‘It must have been inland.’
‘But who is this?’ asked General Savary, pointing at me. ’I understood from your information that there were only two besides yourself, Monsieur—.’
‘I had rather no names were mentioned,’ said the other abruptly.
‘I can well understand that,’ General Savary answered with a sneer.
’I would have told you that the cottage was the rendezvous, but it was not decided upon until the last moment. I gave you the means of tracking Toussac, but you let the hound slip. I certainly think that you will have to answer to the Emperor for the way in which you have managed the business.’
‘That, sir, is our affair,’ said General Savary sternly. ’In the meantime you have not told us who this person is.’
It seemed useless for me to conceal my identity, since I had a letter in my pocket which would reveal it.
‘My name is Louis de Laval,’ said I proudly.