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Steele MacKaye
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 58 pages of information about Representative Plays by American Dramatists.

DIANE.

Is he so hard to take?

LA ROCHE.

Yes.  Reptiles are worse to overcome than lions.  They bite unseen, and escape by crawling.  This Carrac is brave in words, but too craven to face fighting in the field.  Our soldiers rarely reach these civil sinners.

DUKE.

Let us forget them here.  For now we will task your hospitality for a time.

LA ROCHE.

I swear I have not felt the poverty that war entails till now.  My old chateau has been dismantled—­this hall alone is habitable.  I feel ashamed to offer you such shabby quarters.

DUKE.

Nay, cousin, a bed of stones with friends is better than a bed of down with those we do not love.

DENISE.

[Entering, speaks to LA ROCHEJACQUELEIN.]

A couch and fire are ready in the room that was your mother’s.

LA ROCHE.

[To DIANE.]

Where doubtless you’ll be glad to take some rest.

DIANE.

I confess the need, Monsieur.

LA ROCHE.

Denise, show the way.

[DENISE crosses to the door.

DIANE.

[At the door.]

Till to-night, kind friends.

LA ROCHE.

Till then, good rest.

[DIANE courtesies and goes out with NANETTE.]

Gentlemen, I pray you, make yourselves at home; important business claims my time.—­I’ll rejoin you within an hour.

DUKE.

We’re here to help, not mar the cause; command us in all ways.

LA ROCHE.

Presently!—­Till then the poor old house is yours.

[Exit.

[Exit JEAN.

DUKE.

[Sitting near the fire.]

At last, praise God!  We’re out of reach of traitors!

GOUROC.

Not yet!—­The rebel hosts have gathered here at Granville in great force.  They may rout the royal army, and capture all of us.

DUKE.

No, not all, for I shall die first, fighting in the ranks.

GOUROC.

But Diane, your daughter—?

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