Page:Stories by Foreign Authors (French II).djvu/78

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73
THE ATTACK ON THE MILL.

night locked up in her room, monsieur. She lies, I assure you."

——"No, I am not lying," the young girl replied ardently. "I climbed down out of the window, I urged Dominique to fly. . . . It's the truth, the only truth. . . ."

The old man turned very pale. He saw clearly in her eyes that she was not lying, and this story appalled him. Ah! these children, with their hearts, how they spoiled everything! Then he grew angry.

——"She's crazy, don't believe her. She is telling you stupid stories. . . . Come, let's have done with it."

She tried to protest again. She knelt down, she clasped her hands. The officer looked quietly on at this heartrending struggle.

——"Good God!" he said at last, "I take your father, because I haven't got the other one. . . . Try and find the other one, and your father shall go free."

For a moment she looked at him, her eyes staring wide at the atrocity of this proposal.

——"It's horrible," she murmured. "Where do you expect me to find Dominique at this time? He's gone; I don't know where he is."

——"Well, choose. Him or your father."

——"Oh! my God! how can I choose? But even if I knew where Dominique was, I could not choose! . . . It is my heart you are breaking.