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The House of the Wolf; a romance   By: (1855-1928)

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In this Etext, text in italics has been written in capital letters.

Many French words in the text have accents, etc. which have been omitted.

THE HOUSE OF THE WOLF

A Romance

by

STANLEY WEYMAN

CONTENTS.

CHAP.

I. WARE WOLF! II. THE VIDAME'S THREAT. III. THE ROAD TO PARIS. IV. ENTRAPPED! V. A PRIEST AND A WOMAN. VI. MADAME'S FRIGHT. VII. A YOUNG KNIGHT ERRANT. VIII. THE PARISIAN MATINS. IX. THE HEAD OF ERASMUS. X. HAU, HAU, HUGUENOTS! XI. A NIGHT OF SORROW. XII. JOY IN THE MORNING.

INTRODUCTION.

The following is a modern English version of a curious French memoir, or fragment of autobiography, apparently written about the year 1620 by Anne, Vicomte de Caylus, and brought to this country if, in fact, the original ever existed in England by one of his descendants after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes. This Anne, we learn from other sources, was a principal figure at the Court of Henry IV., and, therefore, in August, 1572, when the adventures here related took place, he and his two younger brothers, Marie and Croisette, who shared with him the honour and the danger, must have been little more than boys. From the tone of his narrative, it appears that, in reviving old recollections, the veteran renewed his youth also, and though his story throws no fresh light upon the history of the time, it seems to possess some human interest.

THE HOUSE OF THE WOLF.

CHAPTER I.

WARE WOLF!

I had afterwards such good reason to look back upon and remember the events of that afternoon, that Catherine's voice seems to ring in my brain even now. I can shut my eyes and see again, after all these years, what I saw then just the blue summer sky, and one grey angle of the keep, from which a fleecy cloud was trailing like the smoke from a chimney. I could see no more because I was lying on my back, my head resting on my hands. Marie and Croisette, my brothers, were lying by me in exactly the same posture, and a few yards away on the terrace, Catherine was sitting on a stool Gil had brought out for her. It was the second Thursday in August, and hot. Even the jackdaws were silent. I had almost fallen asleep, watching my cloud grow longer and longer, and thinner and thinner, when Croisette, who cared for heat no more than a lizard, spoke up sharply, "Mademoiselle," he said, "why are you watching the Cahors road?"

I had not noticed that she was doing so. But something in the keenness of Croisette's tone, taken perhaps with the fact that Catherine did not at once answer him, aroused me; and I turned to her. And lo! she was blushing in the most heavenly way, and her eyes were full of tears, and she looked at us adorably. And we all three sat up on our elbows, like three puppy dogs, and looked at her. And there was a long silence. And then she said quite simply to us, "Boys, I am going to be married to M. de Pavannes."

I fell flat on my back and spread out my arms. "Oh, Mademoiselle!" I cried reproachfully.

"Oh, Mademoiselle!" cried Marie. And he fell flat on his back, and spread out his arms and moaned. He was a good brother, was Marie, and obedient.

And Croisette cried, "Oh, mademoiselle!" too. But he was always ridiculous in his ways. He fell flat on his back, and flopped his arms and squealed like a pig.

Yet he was sharp. It was he who first remembered our duty, and went to Catherine, cap in hand, where she sat half angry and half confused, and said with a fine redness in his cheeks, "Mademoiselle de Caylus, our cousin, we give you joy, and wish you long life; and are your servants, and the good friends and aiders of M. de Pavannes in all quarrels, as "

But I could not stand that. "Not so fast, St. Croix de Caylus" I said, pushing him aside he was ever getting before me in those days and taking his place. Then with my best bow I began, "Mademoiselle, we give you joy and long life, and are your servants and the good friends and aiders of M. de Pavannes in all quarrels, as as "

"As becomes the cadets of your house," suggested Croisette, softly... Continue reading book >>




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