Calvert of Strathore eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 286 pages of information about Calvert of Strathore.
to the enterprise afoot; she found herself arguing passionately in behalf of Calvert, and at length succeeded in again imbuing the Queen’s mind with that faith in him which she herself had.  ’Twas curious how that old trust she had felt and acknowledged long before she had loved him animated her now, mingled with a pride in him, a passionate devotion, which she had thought never to experience.  As for the King, she saw but little of him, for he was either closeted with his ministers or else sat alone, silent and apathetic, as if in resignation of that fate thrust upon him.

Toward seven o’clock Beaufort and d’Angremont were admitted, and, shortly after, his Majesty prepared to go with them to the Assembly.  During the two hours which followed, a thousand hopes and fears agitated the two women left alone in a private chamber of the Queen’s apartments.  Her Majesty, unable to remain quiet, paced the room in the cruellest apprehension.  At exactly nine the King entered, pale and alarmed-looking, and attended only by Beaufort.  At sight of him the Queen arose and went to him with a little cry.

“They have refused—­all is lost,” says His Majesty, in a hollow voice.

“Impossible!” she exclaims, looking from the King to Beaufort, who stood by, deathly pale, also.

“It is only too true, your Majesty,” says Beaufort, for the King seemed incapable of speech.  “In spite of the enormous bribes offered and received, in spite of promises, in spite of his Majesty’s address, which should have mollified all parties and inspired confidence, the temper of the Assembly, which had appeared favorable to his Majesty, suddenly changed and an outrageous scene took place; humiliations and insults and threats were heaped upon his Majesty, who retired as speedily as possible.  D’Angremont was arrested as we left the Assembly, which has refused to allow the departure of your Majesties, and there remains nothing but to try the last expedient.”

The Queen stood gazing at the King and Beaufort, anger and despair written on every feature.  Her eyes blazed, and into the lately colorless cheeks a deep crimson sprang.

“Impossible,” she says again.  “The traitors!  To betray us at every turn!  Surely there is no one so friendless as the King and Queen of France!  And shall we trust ourselves again to flight?  Oh, the horrors of that last ride!” She shuddered and sank into a chair.  Adrienne knelt beside the despairing woman.

“All is ready—­your Majesties have but to follow the instructions—­to don the disguises prepared—­once at Courbevoie all is secure,” she says, speaking with the greatest energy and confidence and clasping the Queen’s hand in her own.

Suddenly her Majesty started up.  “Never—­never!” she bursts out, beginning to pace up and down the small chamber.  “Never will I again go through with the humiliation of flight and capture.  Better death or imprisonment at the hands of this ungrateful, mad people!”

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Calvert of Strathore from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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