He had brought Petronelle along with him: his careless, lavish hospitality would have suggested the housing of Juliette’s entire domestic establishment, had she possessed one.
As it was, the worthy old soul’s deluge of happy tears had melted his kindly heart. He offered her and her young mistress shelter, until the small cloud should have rolled by.
After that he suggested a journey to England. Emigration now was the only real safety, and Mademoiselle Marny had unpleasantly draw on herself the attention of the Paris rabble. No doubt, within the next few days her name would figure among the “suspect.” She would be safest out of the country, and could not do better than place herself under the guidance of that English enthusiast, who had helped so many persecuted Frenchmen to escape from the terrors of the Revolution: the man who was such a thorn in the flesh of the Committee of Public Safety, and who went by the nickname of The Scarlet Pimpernel.
The faithful house-dog.
After supper they talked of Charlotte Corday.
Juliette clung to the vision of that heroine, and liked to talk of her. She appeared as a justification of her own actions, which somehow seemed to require justification.
She loved to hear Paul Deroulede talk; liked to provoke his enthusiasm and to see his stern, dark face light up with the inward fire of the enthusiast.
She had openly avowed herself as the daughter of the Duc de Marny. When she actually named her father, and her brother killed in duel, she saw Deroulede looking long and searchingly at her. Evidently he wondered if she knew everything: but she returned his gaze fearlessly and frankly, and he apparently was satisfied.
Madame Deroulede seemed to know nothing of the circumstances of that duel. Deroulede tried to draw Juliette out, to make her speak of her brother. She replied to his questions quite openly, but there was nothing in what she said, suggestive of the fact that she knew who killed her brother.
She wanted him to know who she was. If he feared an enemy in her, there was yet time enough for him to close his doors against her.
But less than a minute later, he had renewed his warmest offers of hospitality.
“Until we can arrange for your journey to England,” he added with a short sigh, as if reluctant to part from her.
To Juliette his attitude seemed one of complete indifference for the wrong he had done to her and to her father: feeling that she was an avenging spirit, with flaming sword in hand, pursuing her brother’s murderer like a relentless Nemesis, she would have preferred to see him cowed before her, even afraid of her, though she was only a young and delicate girl.
She did not understand that in the simplicity of his heart, he only wished to make amends. The quarrel with the young Vicomte de Marny had been forced upon him, the fight had been honourable and fair, and on his side fought with every desire to spare the young man. He had merely been the instrument of Fate, but he felt happy that Fate once more used him as her tool, this time to save the sister.