The Grey Cloak eBook

Harold MacGrath
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 354 pages of information about The Grey Cloak.

“Peace?”

“Yes.  Monsieur, your son is willing to testify that he forgives you the wrong you have done him.”

The marquis shook as with ague and drew the coverlet to his chin.  A minute went by, and another.  The Chevalier listened, waiting for his father’s voice to break the silence.  After all, he could forgive.

“Have you anything to say, Monsieur ?” asked Brother Jacques.

The marquis stirred and drew his hand across his lips.  “Where is Monsieur le Comte?”

“He is waiting in the hall.  Shall I call . . . ?”

“Wait!” interrupted the marquis.  Presently he cleared his throat and said in a thin, dry voice:  “Tell Monsieur le Comte for me that I am sleeping and may not be disturbed.”

“Monsieur,” said Jehan that night, “pardon, but do you ever . . . do you ever think of Margot Bourdaloue?”

The marquis raised himself as though to hurl a curse at his luckless servant.  But all he said was; “Sometimes, Jehan, sometimes!”

CHAPTER XXV

OF ORIOLES AND WOMAN’S PREROGATIVES

“Tell Monsieur le Comte for me that I am sleeping and may not be disturbed!”

All through the long night the marquis’s thin, piercing voice rang in the Chevalier’s ears, and rang with sinister tone.  He could find no ease upon his pillow, and he stole quietly forth into the night.  He wandered about the upper town, round the cathedral, past the Ursulines, under the frowning walls of the citadel, followed his shadow in the moonlight and went before it.  Those grim words had severed the last delicate thread which bound father and son.  To have humiliated himself!  To have left open in his armor a place for such a thrust!  He had gone with charity and forgiveness, to be repulsed!  He had held forth his hand, to find the other’s withdrawn!

“Tell Monsieur le Comte for me that I am sleeping and may not be disturbed!”

Mockery!  And yet this same father had taken up the sword to drive it through a man who had laughed.  Only God knew; for neither the son understood the father nor the father the son.  Well, so be it.  He was now without weight upon his shoulders; he was conscience free; he had paid his obligations, obligations far beyond his allotted part.  It was inevitable that their paths should separate.  There had been too many words; there was still too much pride.

“Tell Monsieur le Comte for me that I am sleeping and may not be disturbed!”

He had stood there in the corridor and writhed as this blade entered his soul and turned and turned.  Rage and chagrin had choked him, leaving him utterly speechless.  So be it.  Forevermore it was to be the house divided. . . .  It was after two o’clock when the Chevalier went back to his bed.  The poet was in slumber, and his face looked careworn in repose.

“Poor lad!  He is not happy, either.  Only the clod knows content as a recompense for his poverty.  Good night, Madame; to-morrow, to-morrow, and we shall see!”

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Project Gutenberg
The Grey Cloak from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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