How, sir! You suspect the loyalty of Monsieur Kauvar?
What if he has trapped you here only to betray you?
That’s impossible, sir! Monsieur Kauvar is the soul of honour and devotion.
Besides, his head is surety for ours. The discovery that he had sheltered us would entail his own death.
Precisely! And what if the sense of that danger had prompted a denunciation, while there still was some merit in it?
[The DUKE starts. DIANE turns aside with scorn.]
One thing is certain: an anonymous denunciation of you, describing your disguise and your retreat, has been made to our club.
[Clasping her father.]
What!—Discovered and denounced?
As Public Accuser, the denunciation fell first into my hands. I have risked my life by withholding it from the Tribunal until your safety is assured.
[Giving GOUROC his hand.]
Pardon, Marquis, that I did not realize before the motives of your course.
Grant me, then, the privilege of saving you.
We will. You belong to our own race; we may trust you.
Then prepare for sudden and secret flight.
Flight! Where can we be safer than under our present host’s protection?
Under mine, Mademoiselle. Kauvar is a man of the people. To him such words as loyalty, truth and honour are but empty puffs of air.
[Proudly and passionately.]
On whose lips is there meaning purer, or prouder, than on Paul Kauvar’s?
[With haughty surprise.]
Mademoiselle! When you speak so warmly, you forget the distance that separates you from one of his rank.
[Cries in the distance of “To the Guillotine!” with the roll of muffled drums.
[In solemn voice.]
Nay, father, listen!—Do we need more to remind us of the nearness of the protected to the protector?