The Nameless Castle eBook

Mór Jókai
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 321 pages of information about The Nameless Castle.

“In the moon, perhaps!” was the laconic response.

“Our witness heard these words from your own lips, and you pointed out the spot on the map to your friend.”

“Your witness dreamed all this!”

“M.  Cambray, let us talk sensibly.  You are a banker—­at least, that is what you are registered in the police records.  It is to the interest of the state to discover your secret.  If you will reveal the hiding-place of your friend you may demand your own reward.  Do you wish to be intrusted with the management of the state’s finances?  Or—­”

“I regret, monsieur le marquis,” interrupted Cambray, “that I must refuse so handsome an opportunity to enrich myself.  Although I am a banker, I am no swindler.”

“Very good!  Then you require no money.  You are not a banker, M. Cambray; that is merely a fable.  What is your ambition?  Should you prefer to be a governor?  Name any office; let it be what it may, you shall receive the appointment to-morrow.”

“Thank you again, monsieur.  I must repeat what I said before:  I know nothing about the future residence of the fugitive gentleman.”

“And if I tell you, M. Cambray, that your refusal may cost you your head?”

“I should reply,” returned Cambray, smiling calmly, as he took up the piece of bread lying on the table, “that it is a matter of perfect indifference to me if this daily portion of bread is enjoyed by some one else to-morrow.  That which I do not know I cannot tell you.”

“Very well, then,” in a harsh tone rejoined De Fervlans.  “I will tell you that Cambray the banker may say what is not true; but the nobleman cannot lie. Marquis d’Avoncourt, do you know to what country your friend has flown?”

At this question the old gentleman rose from his chair, drew himself up proudly, and gazing defiantly into the eyes of his questioner, replied: 

“I do.”

Instantly De Fervlans’s manner changed.  He became the embodiment of courtesy.  He bowed with extreme politeness, then, slipping his arm familiarly through that of the prisoner, whispered insinuatingly: 

“And what can we do to win this information from you?”

The gray-haired man released himself from De Fervlans’s arm, and answered with quiet irony: 

“I will tell you what you can do:  have my head cut off, and send it to M. Bichet, the celebrated professor of anatomy; perhaps he may be able to discover the information in my skull—­if it is there!  And now I beg you to leave me; I wish to be alone.”

De Fervlans took up his hat, but turned at the door to say, in a meaning tone: 

“Marquis d’Avoncourt, we shall forget that you are a prisoner so long as it shall please you to remain obstinate.  As for the fugitives, Cythera’s Brigade will capture them, sooner or later. Au revoir!”

That same night the old nobleman was removed to the prison at Ham.

Project Gutenberg
The Nameless Castle from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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