A shadow fell across the Vicomte’s face. “Not against him,” he said shortly.
“No, of course not,” des Voeux replied. “I had forgotten. You have the Crocans also at no great distance. I was forgetting them.”
The sudden rigidity of his younger listeners, and the silence
which fell on all, warned him, as soon as he had spoken, that he had said something amiss. Nor was the silence all. When his host next spoke–after an interval–it was with a passion as far removed from the cynical rudeness to which he had treated his children as are the poles apart. “That name is not named in this house!” he cried, his voice thin and tremulous. “By no one!” he struck the table with a shaking hand. “Understand me, sir, by no one! God’s curse on them! Ay, and on all who—-”
“No, sir, no!” The cry came from the girl. “Do not curse him!”
She was on her feet. For an instant the Lieutenant, seeing her father’s distorted face, feared that he would strike her. But the result was different. The opposition that might have maddened the angry man