“My superior, eh?” tugging uselessly at the hand of iron gripping his collar. “I know one thing, and it is something you, fine gentleman that you are, do not know. I know who my mother was . . .”
The corporal lay upon his back, his eyes bulging, his face purple, his breaths coming in agonizing gasps.
“Who told you to say that? Quick, or you shall this instant stand in judgment before the God who made you! Quick!”
There was death in the Chevalier’s eyes, and the corporal saw it. He struggled.
“Monsieur d’Herouville! . . . You are killing me!”
The Chevalier released the man’s throat.
“Get up,” contemptuously.
The corporal crawled to his knees and staggered to
his feet. “By God,
Monsieur! . . .” adjusting his collar.
“Not a word. How much did he pay you to act thus basely?”
“Answer!” taking a step forward.
“Ten livres,” sullenly.
The Chevalier’s hands opened and closed, convulsively. “Give me those livres,” he commanded.
“To you?” The corporal’s jaw fell. “What do you . . . ?”
“Be quick about it, man, if you love your worthless life!”
There was no gainsaying the devil in the Chevalier’s eyes.
Scowling blackly, the corporal emptied his pockets. Immediately the Chevalier scooped up the coin in his hand.
“When did D’Herouville give these to you?”
“You lie, wretch!”
Both the corporal and the Chevalier turned. D’Herouville’s form stood, framed in the doorway.
“Leave the room!” pointing toward the door.
D’Herouville stepped aside, and the corporal slunk out.
The two men faced each other.
“He lies. If I have applied epithets to you, it has been done openly and frankly. I have not touched you over some one’s shoulder, as in the De Leviston case. I entertain for you the greatest hatred. It will be a pleasure some day to kill you.”
The Chevalier looked at the coin in his hand, at D’Herouville, then back at the coin.
“Believe me or not, Monsieur. I overheard what took place, and in justice to myself I had to speak.” D’Herouville touched his hat and departed.
The Chevalier stood alone, staring with blurred eyes at the sinister contents of his hand.
THE VICOMTE D’HALLUYS RECEIVES BROTHER JACQUES’ ABSOLVO TE
The fort had four large compartments which consisted of a mess-room already described, a living-room, general sleeping quarters for the Jesuit Fathers, lay brothers and officers, and a large room for stores. A roomy loft extended over the mess-room, to be resumed again over the sleeping quarters, the living-room being situated between. Unknown to the Iroquois, a carpenter’s shop had been established in the loft for the purpose of constructing some boats.