Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
III. A Brave Heart Henry van Dyke

Section II.

Page 4 of 5

Table Of Contents: The Ruling Passion

Previous Page

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

More by this Author

It was Leclere who put himself in charge of this.

"It is my affair," he said--"my fault! It was not a fair place to fight. Why did I strike? I must attend to this bad work."

"MAIS, SACRE BLEU!" they answered, "how could you help it? He forced you. You did not want to be killed. That would be a little too much."

"No," he persisted, "this is my affair. Girard, you know my money is with the notary. There is plenty. Raoul has not enough, perhaps not any. But he shall want nothing--you understand--nothing! It is my affair, all that he needs--but you shall not tell him--no! That is all."

Prosper had his way. But he did not see Vaillantcoeur after he was carried home and put to bed in his cabin. Even if he had tried to do so, it would have been impossible. He could not see anybody. One of his eyes was entirely destroyed. The inflammation spread to the other, and all through the autumn he lay in his house, drifting along the edge of blindness, while Raoul lay in his house slowly getting well.

The cure went from one house to the other, but he did not carry any messages between them. If any were sent one way they were not received. And the other way, none were sent. Raoul did not speak of Prosper; and if one mentioned his name, Raoul shut his mouth and made no answer.

To the cure, of course, it was a distress and a misery. To have a hatred like this unhealed, was a blot on the parish; it was a shame, as well as a sin. At last--it was already winter, the day before Christmas--the cure made up his mind that he would put forth one more great effort.

Tired of reading? Add this page to your Bookmarks or Favorites and finish it later.

"Look you, my son," he said to Prosper, "I am going this afternoon to Raoul Vaillantcoeur to make the reconciliation. You shall give me a word to carry to him. He shall hear it this time, I promise you. Shall I tell him what you have done for him, how you have cared for him?"

"No, never," said Prosper; "you shall not take that word from me. It is nothing. It will make worse trouble. I will never send it."

"What then?" said the priest. "Shall I tell him that you forgive him?"

"No, not that," answered Prosper, "that would be a foolish word. What would that mean? It is not I who can forgive. I was the one who struck hardest. It was he that fell from the tower."

"Well, then, choose the word for yourself. What shall it be? Come, I promise you that he shall hear it. I will take with me the notary, and the good man Girard, and the little Marie Antoinette. You shall hear an answer. What message?"

"Mon pere," said Prosper, slowly, "you shall tell him just this. I, Prosper Leclere, ask Raoul Vaillantcoeur that he will forgive me for not fighting with him on the ground when he demanded it."

Yes, the message was given in precisely those words. Marie Antoinette stood within the door, Bergeron and Girard at the foot of the bed, and the cure spoke very clearly and firmly. Vaillantcoeur rolled on his pillow and turned his face away. Then he sat up in bed, grunting a little with the pain in his shoulder, which was badly set. His black eyes snapped like the eyes of a wolverine in a corner.

Page 4 of 5 Previous Page   Next Page
Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
The Ruling Passion
Henry van Dyke

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004