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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 530 pages of information about La Vende.

Santerre and Denot were both kept under a strong guard in the saloon in which they had passed the night; and there the priest, Chapeau, and the young Chevalier passed the greater part of the day, anxiously waiting the arrival of Henri Larochejaquelin.

“I never liked that man,” said the priest, whispering to Arthur and Chapeau, for the latter, from his exertion and zeal was looked upon rather as an officer in the royalist army, than as a servant.  “I never liked Adolphe Denot, but I could never say why.  The tone of his voice was disagreeable to me, and the expression of his features aroused in me both dislike and distrust.  It is not long since M. Henri rebuked me for being hard on him, and judging him harshly; and I was angry with myself for having done so.  I knew, however, there was something wrong within him.  He has turned out to be as base a creature as ever trod the earth.”

“It will be a desperate blow to M. Henri,” said Chapeau, “for he loved him as though he were his brother.”

“I will be his brother now,” said Arthur; “he shall love me in his place.”

“Ah!  M. Arthur,” said Chapeau, “his heart is large enough to love us both; but when he hears how nobly you behaved last night, how you stood by Mademoiselle Agatha, and protected her, you will be his real brother indeed.”

The little Chevalier’s heart rose high within him, as he attempted to speak slightingly of his own services.  “Oh!” said he, “I couldn’t do much, you know, for I had only a stick; but of course we red scarfs will always stick to each other.  Denot, you know, never was a red scarf Well, thank heaven for that; but I tell you what, Father Jerome, that Santerre is not such a bad fellow; and so I shall tell Henri; he is not a bad fellow at all, and he scorns Denot as he deserves to be scorned.”

CHAPTER XI

Annot Stein.

It will be remembered that the party escaping from the Chateau of Clisson met Jean Stein, when they had come within four or five leagues of Durbelliere.  He had been sent from Echanbroignes, by Chapeau, to tell Henri what had happened, to assure him that every possible effort would be made to rescue his father and sister from the republicans, and if possible to save the chateau, and to beg him to return home as speedily as he possibly could.  Jean was spared the greatest portion of his journey, and having told his tale, added that perhaps “Messieurs would not think it prudent to take the ladies with them to Durbelliere just at present.”

“Oh heavens! what are we to do?” said Madame de Lescure; “we are running from one hostile army into the middle of another.  Poor Agatha! my poor Agatha! what will become of her?”

“Had we not better send them to Chatillon?” said Henri, speaking to de Lescure.  “They will, at any rate, be safe there for a time.”

“We won’t be sent any where—­indeed we won’t—­will we, Marie?” said Madame de Lescure.  “Pray, Charles, pray do not send us away.  Let us go where you go.  It cannot be worse for us than it is for you.”

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