I will.—Be quick; we’re wasting time.
[JEAN crosses to door and beckons; enter LA HOGUE, LA ROCHEJACQUELEIN and DENISE.
[Putting off his coat and crossing.]
General, off with your coat!
What does this mean?
You were merciful to me—’tis my turn now! We exchange uniforms; I am captured in your place, mislead your pursuers while you escape.
For you to assist me is treason to your cause.
Ingratitude is treason to my God!—I owe you more than life; let men call this what they will; I have a divine right to pay my debt.
I refuse to let you do a deed that may bring dishonour on your head.
Then I refuse to owe my life to you.—Accept my assistance, or
[Drawing pistol from the belt of LA ROCHEJACQUELEIN.] with my own hand I’ll shoot the prisoner you paroled.
[Grasping PAUL’S arm.]
Stop! This can be arranged.
You are a prisoner on parole.—The General is as good as captured now.—Let him release you from your word, then his escape will only be an exchange of prisoners.
Will you consent to this?
No, I cannot. The exchange would not be fair to the side you serve. I am a General; you, but a Captain.
But we have the other prisoners, the comrades of the Captain; we can shoot them all at once, or exchange them if we choose for you.
Free them—and I but make a fair exchange in helping you to get away.
My God! The crowd rush on this way.
[Kneeling to LA ROCHEJACQUELEIN.]
In Mercy’s name—!
The King’s cause dies with you!—You are bound to live for him!