Coming out of church Madame de Chessel naturally proposed to her neighbors to pass the intermediate time at Frapesle instead of crossing the Indre and the meadows twice in the great heat. The offer was accepted. Monsieur de Chessel gave his arm to the duchess, Madame de Chessel took that of the count. I offered mine to the countess, and felt, for the first time, that beautiful arm against my side.
He was able to vary and renew his fine horses and elegant equipages; his wife dressed exquisitely; he received on a grand scale; his servants were more numerous than his neighbors approved; for all of which he was said to be aping princes. The Frapesle estate is immense.
If love were leading her to give herself could she have worn that calm, that holy look; would she have asked, in that pure voice of hers, "You are not angry with me, are you?" I left that evening; she wished to accompany me on the road to Frapesle; and we stopped under my walnut-tree. I showed it to her, and told her how I had first seen her four years earlier from that spot.
"Well, what, my dear?" he said, turning to her with an arrogant harshness which showed plainly enough how absolute he chose to be in his own home. "Monsieur de Vandenesse walked from Tours this morning and Monsieur de Chessel, not aware of it, has already taken him on foot over Frapesle."
It was the ground of a quarrel, which began mildly but grew more and more embittered until it seemed as though the count's madness, lulled for a short time, was demanding its arrearages from the poor wife. That day I had started from Frapesle at half-past ten to search for flowers with Madeleine.
I have felt the highest pleasures of maternal love as night after night I have thought of these things. While writing this letter, sentence by sentence, projecting my thoughts into the life you are about to lead, I went often to my window. Looking at the towers of Frapesle, visible in the moonlight, I said to myself, "He sleeps, I wake for him."
With a dexterity, quickness, and audacity which the young men did not foresee, Max slapped the face of the officer nearest to him, saying, "Do you understand French?" They fought near by, in the allee de Frapesle, three against three; for Potel and Renard would not allow Max to deal with the officers alone. Max killed his man.
His knowledge of the world enabled him to penetrate several of the mysteries of Clochegourde. But the prescience of love could not be misled by the sublime attitude with which Madame de Mortsauf deceived the world. When alone in my little bedroom, a sense of the full truth made me spring from my bed; I could not bear to stay at Frapesle when I saw the lighted windows of Clochegourde.
I will own to you that I dreaded a return to Clochegourde, and it was equally repugnant to me to go to Frapesle, where I could see my Henriette's windows. Here, at Sache, I was near her. I lived for some days in a room which looked on the tranquil, solitary valley I have mentioned to you.
He found deeds of the Morin property and of the Frapesle and Peyron lands; there were also two bonds, for one hundred and fifty and eight hundred and twenty francs, signed by two Orcival citizens in Robelot's favor. M. Plantat could scarcely conceal his disappointment. "Nothing of importance," whispered he in M. Lecoq's ear. "How do you explain that?" "Perfectly," responded the detective.