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The Justice of the King   By: (1857-1935)

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E text prepared by Al Haines

THE JUSTICE OF THE KING

by

HAMILTON DRUMMOND

Author of "The King's Scapegoat," "Room Five," "The Houses," "Shoes of Gold," Etc.

International Fiction Library Cleveland New York

Copyright, 1911 by the MacMillan Company All rights reserved

CONTENTS

CHAPTER

I. THE DESPATCH II. A LESSON IN OBEDIENCE III. FOR A WOMAN'S SAKE IV. THE JUSTICE OF THE KING V. THE KING LAYS BARE HIS HEART VI. HOW LOUIS LOVED HIS SON VII. FOUR AND TWENTY, WITH THE HEART OF EIGHTEEN VIII. THE BLACK DOG OF AMBOISE IX. FRANCOIS VILLON, POET AND GALLOWS CHEAT X. LOVE, THE ENEMY XI. THE CROSS IN THE DARKNESS XII. LA MOTHE BELIEVES, BUT IS NOT CONVINCED XIII. "FRIEND IS MORE THAN FAMILY" XIV. FOR LIFE AND THRONE XV. A QUESTION IN THEOLOGY XVI. TOO SLOW AND TOO FAST XVII. STEPHEN LA MOTHE ASKS THE WRONG QUESTION XVIII. FRENCH AND ENGLISH XIX. GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN XX. THE LAST STAND XXI. DENOUNCED XXII. "WE MUST SAVE HER TOGETHER" XXIII. JEAN SAXE IS EXPLICIT XXIV. A PROPHET WITHOUT HONOUR XXV. "IT IS A TRAP" XXVI. COMMINES TAKES ADVICE XXVII. THE SUCCESS OF FAILURE XXVIII. PHILIP DE COMMINES, DIPLOMATIST XXIX. THE PRICE OF A LATE BREAKFAST XXX. "LOVE IS MY LIFE" XXXI. SAXE RISES IN VILLON'S ESTIMATION XXXII. LA MOTHE FULFILS HIS COMMISSION XXXIII. THE ARREST XXXIV. LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS XXXV. THE DAWN BROADENS

THE JUSTICE OF THE KING

CHAPTER I

THE DESPATCH

All morning the King had been restless, unappeasable, captious, with little relapses unto the immobility of deep thought, and those who knew him best were probing deeply both their conscience and their conduct. Had he sat aloof, quiet in the sunshine, his dogs sleeping at his feet, his eyes half closed, his hands, waxen, almost transparent, and bird's claws for thinness, spread out to the heat, those about him would have gone their rounds with a light heart. At such times his schemes were thoughts afar off, dreams of some new, subtle stroke of policy, and none within touch had cause to fear.

But this May day he was restless, unsettled, his mind so full of an active purpose shortly to be fulfilled that he could not keep his tired body quiet for long, but every few minutes shifted his position or his place. If he sat in his great chair, padded with down to ease his weakness and the aching of his bones, his fingers were constantly plucking at his laces, or playing with the tags which fastened the fur lined scarlet cloak he wore for a double purpose, to comfort the coldness of his meagre body, and that the death like pallor of his face might be touched by its gay brightness to a reflected, fictitious glow of health. But to remain seated for any length of time jarred with his mood. Pushing himself to his feet he would walk the length of the gallery and back again, leaning heavily upon his stick, only to sink once more into his chair and fumble anew with shaking hands at whatever loose end or edge lay nearest.

So it had been all morning, but the restlessness had redoubled within the last half hour. It was then that a post had reached Valmy, no man knew from whence, nor had the messenger been asked any questions. The superscription on the despatch was a warning against the vice of curiosity. It was in the King's familiar handwriting, bold and angular, and ran, "To His Majesty the King of France, At his Ch√Ęteau of Valmy, These in great haste." A "Louis" in large letters was sprawled across the lower corner of the cover.

But though none asked questions it was noted that the horse was fresher than the man, and that whereas the one was streaming in a lather of sweat which had neither set nor dried, the other was splashed, caked, and powdered with mud and dust to the eyebrows: therefore the wise in such matters deduced that short relays had been provided, but that the rider had only halted long enough to climb from saddle to saddle... Continue reading book >>




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