Page:Stories by Foreign Authors (French II).djvu/71

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——"And if he sees me, if he tries calling out?"

Françoise shuddered. She put a knife she had brought down with her into his hand. There was a silence.

——"And your father, and you?" Dominique continued. "But no, I can't run away. . . . When I am gone, maybe these soldiers will slaughter you. . . . You don't know them. They proposed to show me mercy, if I would be their guide through the Sauval forest. When they find me gone they will stick at nothing."

The young girl did not stop to discuss. She simply answered all the reasons he gave with,—

——"For the love of me, fly. . . . If you love me, Dominique, don't stay here a minute longer."

Then she promised to climb back to her room. They would not know that she had helped him. She at last took him in her arms, kissed him to convince him, in an extraordinary outburst of passion. He was beaten. He asked not a question further.

——"Swear to me that your father knows of what you are doing, and that he advises me to run away?"

——"It was my father sent me," Françoise answered boldly.

She lied. At this moment she felt nothing but a boundless need of knowing him in safety, of escaping from this abominable thought that the