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The Suitors of Yvonne   By: (1875-1950)

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THE SUITORS OF YVONNE

Being a Portion of the Memoirs of the Sieur Gaston de Luynes

By Rafael Sabatini

CONTENTS

CHAPTER

I. OF HOW A BOY DRANK TOO MUCH WINE, AND WHAT CAME OF IT

II. THE FRUIT OF INDISCRETION

III. THE FIGHT IN THE HORSE MARKET

IV. FAIR RESCUERS

V. MAZARIN, THE MATCH MAKER

VI. OF HOW ANDREA BECAME LOVE­SICK

VII. THE CHÂTEAU DR CANAPLES

VIII. THE FORESHADOW OF DISASTER

IX. OF HOW A WHIP PROVED A BETTER ARGUMENT THAN A TONGUE

X. THE CONSCIENCE OF MALPERTUIS

XI. OF A WOMAN'S OBSTINACY

XII. THE RESCUE

XIII. THE HAND OF YVONNE

XIV. OF WHAT BEFELL AT REAUX

XV. OF MY RESURRECTION

XVI. THE WAY OF WOMAN

XVII. FATHER AND SON

XVIII. OF HOW I LEFT CANAPLES

XIX. OF MY RETURN TO PARIS

XX. OF HOW THE CHEVALIER DE CANAPLES BECAME A FRONDEUR

XXI. OF THE BARGAIN THAT ST. AUBAN DROVE WITH MY LORD CARDINAL

XXII. OF MY SECOND JOURNEY TO CANAPLES

XXIII. OF HOW ST. AUBAN CAME TO BLOIS

XXIV. OF THE PASSING OF ST. AUBAN

XXV. PLAY ACTING

XXVI. REPARATION

CHAPTER I. OF HOW A BOY DRANK TOO MUCH WINE, AND WHAT CAME OF IT

Andrea de Mancini sprawled, ingloriously drunk, upon the floor. His legs were thrust under the table, and his head rested against the chair from which he had slipped; his long black hair was tossed and dishevelled; his handsome, boyish face flushed and garbed in the vacant expression of idiocy.

"I beg a thousand pardons, M. de Luynes," quoth he in the thick, monotonous voice of a man whose brain but ill controls his tongue, "I beg a thousand pardons for the unseemly poverty of our repast. 'T is no fault of mine. My Lord Cardinal keeps a most unworthy table for me. Faugh! Uncle Giulio is a Hebrew if not by birth, by instinct. He carries his purse strings in a knot which it would break his heart to unfasten. But there! some day my Lord Cardinal will go to heaven to the lap of Abraham. I shall be rich then, vastly rich, and I shall bid you to a banquet worthy of your most noble blood. The Cardinal's health perdition have him for the niggardliest rogue unhung!"

I pushed back my chair and rose. The conversation was taking a turn that was too unhealthy to be pursued within the walls of the Palais Mazarin, where there existed, albeit the law books made no reference to it, the heinous crime of lèse Eminence a crime for which more men had been broken than it pleases me to dwell on.

"Your table, Master Andrea, needs no apology," I answered carelessly. "Your wine, for instance, is beyond praise."

"Ah, yes! The wine! But, ciel! Monsieur," he ejaculated, for a moment opening wide his heavy eyelids, "do you believe 't was Mazarin provided it? Pooh! 'T was a present made me by M. de la Motte, who seeks my interest with my Lord Cardinal to obtain for him an appointment in his Eminence's household, and thus thinks to earn my good will. He's a pestilent creature, this la Motte," he added, with a hiccough, "a pestilent creature; but, Sangdieu! his wine is good, and I'll speak to my uncle. Help me up, De Luynes. Help me up, I say; I would drink the health of this provider of wines."

I hurried forward, but he had struggled up unaided, and stood swaying with one hand on the table and the other on the back of his chair. In vain did I remonstrate with him that already he had drunk overmuch.

"'T is a lie!" he shouted. "May not a gentleman sit upon the floor from choice?"

To emphasise his protestation he imprudently withdrew his hand from the chair and struck at the air with his open palm. That gesture cost him his balance. He staggered, toppled backward, and clutched madly at the tablecloth as he fell, dragging glasses, bottles, dishes, tapers, and a score of other things besides, with a deafening crash on to the floor... Continue reading book >>




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