"I hear that the Admiral has made you and my cousin knights; and more than that, I heard half an hour since from De Valecourt that, while carrying despatches to the Germans, you had time to do a little knight-errant's work, and had the good fortune to save his daughter from being massacred by the Catholics. By my faith, chevalier, there is no saying what you will come to, if you go on thus."
When De la Noue next went out to the French camp, he sent a despatch to the king, saying that Mademoiselle de Valecourt had escaped the massacre and was in La Rochelle. He pointed out that, as long as she lived, the Huguenots would, if at any time they became strong enough to make terms, insist upon the restoration of her estates, as well as those of others that had been confiscated.
Philip went down the street, and satisfied himself that Pierre had spoken correctly; and then returned to his lodgings, pausing, however, before the house of the Count de Valecourt, and erasing the cross upon it. He entered his own door without touching the mark; but Pierre, who followed him in, rubbed the sleeve of his doublet across it, unnoticed by his master, and then followed him upstairs.
He took great interest in Philip's love affair, and made inquiries in the royal camp; where he learned that Mademoiselle de Valecourt was supposed to have perished with her father, in the massacre; and that the estates had already been bestowed, by the king, on one of his favourites.
A month later he received the royal answer, saying that the king had graciously taken the case of Mademoiselle de Valecourt into his consideration, that he had spoken to the nobleman to whom he had granted her estate, and to the Duke of Guise, whose near relative he was; and that these noblemen had placed in his hands the sum of ten thousand livres, for which was enclosed an order, payable by the treasury of the army upon the signatures of Monsieur de la Noue and Mademoiselle de Valecourt, and upon the handing over of the document of renunciation signed by her.
He will be deeply grateful to you for saving my life." "I have the honour of knowing the Count de Valecourt, mademoiselle; and am glad, indeed, that I have been able to be of service to his daughter. The count is one of the gentlemen who act as guardians to the Prince of Navarre, whom I have also the honour of knowing. "And now, what are your wishes?
"Mademoiselle," he said, when the servants had placed these on the table and retired, "I have pleasure in handing you these. "Philip, Mademoiselle de Valecourt will not come to you as a dowerless bride, which indeed would be a shame for a daughter of so old and noble a family.
After their return from hunting, they remained for another fortnight at Bearn; and then started, the countess and Francois to return home, and Philip to pay a visit to the Count de Valecourt, at his chateau in Dauphiny, in accordance with the promise he had given him to visit him on his return to France. Here he remained for a month.
"Now, Pierre, take her hand and hurry her upstairs." The clash of swords, mingled with shouts and oaths, were heard below; and Philip, as he saw Pierre turn with Claire de Valecourt, ran down. On the next landing the count, with four serving men, was defending himself against the assault of a crowd of armed men, who were pushing up the staircase.
The tenth house from here is the one where the Count de Valecourt lodges, and it is easy to gain access to it by a window in the roof. There will be some of your friends there, at any rate. Or we can pass down through any of the intervening houses. In the three before we reach that of the count Huguenots are lodged.