The 杭州西湖区男士养生spa misfortune was great, and, to a proud man, well-nigh intolerable. Moreover, this man was so formed that he loved the order which it was his mission to extend, and the good government which it was his to impose. To make straight the crooked–gently, if it might be, but by the strong hand if it must be–was his part in life, and one which he pursued with the utmost zest. Every breach of order, therefore, every trespass in his province, every outrage wounded him. But the breach and the trespass which abased in his person the King’s name–he writhed, he groaned as he thought of this! Even the blow to his career, fatal as it promised to be, scarce hurt him worse or cut him so deeply.

The more as that career which had been all in all to him yesterday was not quite all in all to him to-day. Bonne’s voice, the touch of her hands as she 杭州足疗保健 appealed to him, the contact of her figure with his as he carried her, these haunted him, and moved him, in his solitude and his humiliation. Her courage, her constancy, her appeal to him, when all seemed lost, he could not think of them–he who had thought of naught but himself for years–without a softening of his features, without a flood of colour invading the darkness of his face. Strong, he had estranged himself from the tender emotions, only to own their sway now. With half his mind he dwelt upon his mishap; the other half, the better half, found consolation in the prospect of her sympathy, of her fidelity, of her gentle eyes and quivering lips–who loved him. He found it strange to remember that he filled all a woman’s thoughts; that, as he sat there brooding in his prison, she was thinking of him and dreaming of him, and 杭州酒店足浴 perhaps praying for him!

It is not gladly, it is never without a pang that the man of affairs sees the world pass from him. And if there be nothing left, it is bad for him. Des Ageaux acknowledged that he had something left. A hand he could trust would lie in his, and one brave heart, when all others forsook him would accompany him whither he went. He might no longer aspire to government and the rule of men, the work of his life was over; but Bonne would hold to him none the less, would love him none the less, would believe in him truly. The cares of power would no longer trouble his head, or keep it sleepless; but her gentle breast would pillow it, her smiles would comfort him, her company replace the knot of followers to whom he had become accustomed. He told himself that he was content. He more than half believed it.

In the 杭州足浴特殊服务 present, however, he had not her company; and the present was very miserable. He did not


fear for his life, but he lay in ignorance of all that had happened since his capture, of all that went forward; and the tedium of imprisonment tried him. He knew that he might lie there weeks and months and come forth at last–for the world moved quickly in this period of transition–to find himself forgotten. Seventy years earlier, a king, misnamed the Great, standing where he stood, had said that all was lost but honour–and had hastened to throw that also away. For him all was lost but love. All!

He had passed four days–they seemed to him a fortnight–in this weary inaction, and on the last evening of the four he was expecting his supper with impatience, when it occurred to him that the place was more noisy than ordinary. For some time 杭州养生保健 sounds had reached him without making any definite impression on his mind; now they


resolved themselves into echoes of distant merry-making. Little spirts of laughter, the catch of a drinking-song, the shrill squeal of a maid pinched or kissed, the lilt of a hautboy–he began with quickened ears to make these out. And straightway that notion which is never out of a prisoner’s mind and which the least departure from routine fosters raised its head. Escape! Ah, if he could escape! Freedom would set him where he had been, freedom would undo the worst of his mishap. It might even give him the victory he had counted lost.

But the grated window or the barred door, the paved floor or the oaken roof–one of these must be pierced; or the gaoler, who never visited him without precautions and company, must be overcome and robbed of his 杭州夜网百花坊 keys. And even then, with that done which was well-nigh impossible, he would be little nearer to freedom than before. He would be still in the heart of his enemy’s fortress, with no knowledge of the passages or the turnings, no clue to the stone labyrinth about him, no accomplice.

Yet, beyond doubt, there was merry-making afoot–such merry-making as accounted for the tarrying of his supper. Probably the man had forgotten him. By-and-by the notes of the hautboy rose louder and fuller, and on the wave of sound bursts of applause and laughter came to him. He made up his mind that some were dancing and others were looking on and encouraging them. Could it be that the Captain of Vlaye had surprised the peasants’ camp? and that this was his way of celebrating his success? Or was it merely some common-place orgie, held, it might be, in 杭州丝袜足浴上门 the Captain’s absence? Or—- But while he turned this and that in his thoughts the footsteps he had been expecting sounded at the end of the stone passage and approached. A light shone under the door, a key turned in the lock, and the man who brought him his meals appeared on the threshold. He entered, his hands full, while his comrade, who had opened for him, remained in the passage.

“You are gay this evening?” the Lieutenant said as the man set down his light.

The fellow grinned. “Ay, my lord,” he replied good-humouredly, “you may say it. Wedding-bells and the rest of it!” He was not drunk, but he was flushed with wine. “That is the way the world goes–and comes.”

“A wedding?” des Ageaux exclaimed. The news was strange.

“To be sure, my lord.

‘En revenant des noces,

he hummed.

“And whose, my man?”

The fellow, 杭州桑拿按摩哪家好 in the act of putting a bowl of soup on the table, held his hand. He looked at the Lieutenant with a grin. “Ay, whose?” he said. “But that would be talking. And we have orders not to talk, see you, my lord. Still, it is not many you’ll have the chance of telling. And, if I tell you it is the Captain himself, what matter? Should we be footing it and drinking it and the rest for another?”

“M. de Vlaye married?” des Ageaux exclaimed in astonishment. “To-day?”

About the author