While arrangements were making to accomplish this end, the king chanced to meet a fascinating, yet pert and heartless coquette, Henriette d'Entragues, daughter of Francis Balzac, Lord of Entragues. Though exceedingly beautiful, she was a calculating, soulless girl, who was glad of a chance to sell herself for rank and money.

"O God!" cried Marie, looking at the picture above her prie-dieu and turning toward it to say her prayer, "grant that he comprehend me!" "Ah!" said the king suspiciously, "you have some wrong to me upon your conscience!" Then looking at her from between his arms, he plunged his eyes into hers. "I have heard some talk of the mad passion of a certain Entragues," he went on wildly.

On seeing me he dismissed them, and while I was still a great way off, called out, chiding me for my laziness: then taking me by the hand in the most obliging manner, he made me walk up and down with him, while he told me what further thoughts he had of this affair; and hiding nothing from me even as he bade me speak to him whatever I thought without reserve, he required to know whether I suspected that the Entragues family were cognizant of this.

On seeing me he dismissed them, and, while I was still a great way off, called out, chiding me for my laziness; then taking me by the hand in the most obliging manner, he made me walk up and down with him, while he told me what further thoughts he had of this affair; and, hiding nothing from me, even as he bade me speak to him whatever I thought without reserve, he required to know whether I suspected that the Entragues family were cognizant of this.