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the other females. I knew that she was fond of me, and

source:newstime:2023-11-29 13:29:59

As will be readily believed, it was not for his own pleasure that M. de Coralth postponed his confidential disclosures for a couple of days. He knew Wilkie perfectly well, and felt that it was dangerous to let him roam about Paris with half of an important secret. Postponement generally furnishes fate with weapons against oneself. But it was impossible for the viscount to act otherwise. He had not seen the Marquis de Valorsay since the Count de Chalusse's death and he dared not conclude the contract with Wilkie before he had conferred with him, for he was completely in the marquis's power. At the least suspicion of treason, M. de Valorsay would close his hand, and he, Coralth, would be crushed like an egg-shell. It was to the house of his formidable associate that he repaired on leaving M. Wilkie; and in a single breath he told the marquis all that he knew, and the plans that he had formed.

the other females. I knew that she was fond of me, and

M. de Valorsay's astonishment must have been intense when he heard that Lia d'Argeles was a Chalusse, but he knew how to maintain his composure. He listened quietly, and when the viscount had completed his story, he asked: "Why did you wait so long before telling me all this?"

the other females. I knew that she was fond of me, and

"I didn't see how it could interest you in the least."

the other females. I knew that she was fond of me, and

The marquis looked at him keenly, and then calmly said: "In other words, you were waiting to see whether it would be most advantageous to you to be with me or against me."

"I don't think, I'm sure of it. As long as I was strong support for you, you were devoted to me. But now I am tottering, and you are ready to betray me."

"Excuse me! The step I am about to take----"

"What, haven't you taken it already?" interrupted the marquis, quickly. And shrugging his shoulders, he added: "Observe that I don't reproach you in the least. Only remember this: we survive or we perish together."

By the angry gleam in M. de Coralth's eyes, the marquis must have realized that his companion was disposed to rebel; still this knowledge did not seem to disquiet him, for it was in the same icy tone that he continued: "Besides, your plans, far from conflicting with mine, will be of service to me. Yes, Madame d'Argeles must lay claim to the count's estate. If she hesitates, her son will compel her to urge her claims, will he not?"