[With stern self-control.]
Monsieur, the double pass for George Leblanc and Diane his daughter has been fairly won.
[Hands the pass to the DUKE, bows coldly, and leaves the room without a look at DIANE, who falls into a chair and hides her face.
[Looking suspiciously at DIANE.]
Could there be warrant for his strange presumption? If so, this separation is none too soon.
Ah, Marquis, congratulate us. We are now released from all need of burdening even you.—See! Here is a pass which opens the doors of our prison. We fly to-night to Vendee, where we hope you may soon rejoin us, and our cousin Rochejacquelein.
You are fortunate, Duke. Alas that I cannot go with you!
Well, come, Diane; time flies. We must prepare for our escape.
[Going with DIANE.]
Au revoir, Marquis.
Au revoir, Monsieur le Duc, and bon voyage, Mademoiselle de Beaumont.
[Exeunt the DUKE and DIANE. GOUROC changes to a fierce and hurried manner.]
Ah!—Not so fast, dear Duke! You’re not out of France yet. This sudden flight destroys all my plans. Again this girl, the heiress of ten millions, will get beyond my reach.—No!—death, dishonour—nothing shall snatch her from me now!—Aye, but how to prevent it?
The Duke has not many years to live, and in these ticklish times old men’s days are easily shortened. He dead, his daughter’s at my mercy.
[With sudden triumph.]
I have it!—I see the way to place her wholly in my grip!—A brilliant move and easy to execute!—Kauvar knows nothing of my rank!
[Rings bell, goes to desk and begins to look at papers.]
Yes, these are what I need to guarantee my triumph!
Have you any blank warrants?
I have!—I keep them always handy, especially for the petticoat sex.
I say, Comrade, I hope it’s a she-man this time, for there’s nothing like this—[Making sign across throat] to stop the wag of a woman’s tongue.
Go.—Remain in the ante-room.—I may want you to summon a guard.