The Grey Cloak (Chapter 18, page 1 of 8)

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Chapter 18

So they stood for some moments, the one with eyes glaring, the other
with quiet scrutiny.

"It appears to agree with you here," began the marquis. There was not
the slightest tremor in his voice.

"You?" said the son.

The marquis winced inwardly: that pronoun was so pregnant with
surprise, contempt, anger, and indignation! "Yes, it is I, your
paternal parent."

"And you could not leave me in peace, even here?" The son stepped, back
and strained his arms across his chest.

"From your tone it would seem so." The marquis sat down. A fit of
trembling had seized his legs. How the boy had changed in three
months! He looked like a god, an Egyptian god, with that darkened
skin; and the tilt of the chin recalled the mother.

"I had hoped never to look upon your face again," coldly.

The marquis waved his hand. "Life is a page of disappointments, with a
margin of realized expectations which is narrow indeed. Will you not
sit down?"

"I prefer to stand. It is safer for you with the table between us."

"Your sword was close to my heart one night. I made no effort to
repulse it."

"Heaven was not quite ready for you, Monsieur."

"Heaven or Hell. There seems to be gall in your blood yet."

"Who put it there?" The Chevalier was making an effort to control his

"I put it there, it is true. But did you not stir a trifle too well?"

"Why are you here? What is your purpose?"

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