Page:The Wheel of Time, Collaboration, Owen Wingrave (New York, Harper & Brothers, 1893).djvu/147

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139
COLLABORATION

fibre of loyalty, the high imagination of honor, all explanations, all supplications were but a waste of noble emotion. M. Vendemer's perversity was monstrous—she had had a sickening discussion with him. What she desired of me was to make one last appeal to him, to put the solemn truth before him, to try to bring him back to sanity. It was as if he had temporarily lost his reason. It was to be made clear to him, par exemple, that unless he should recover it Mademoiselle de Brindes would unhesitatingly withdraw from her engagement.

"Does she really feel as you do?" I asked.

"Do you think I put words into her mouth? She feels as a fille de France is obliged to feel!"

"Doesn't she love him then?"

"She adores him. But she won't take him without his honor."

"I don't understand such refinements!" I said.

"Oh, vous autres!" cried Madame de Brindes. Then with eyes glowing through