now that I had discovered that she hated cruelty and barbarity，
M. de Valorsay's astonishment must have been intense when he heard that Lia d'Argeles was a Chalusse, but he knew how to maintain his composure. He listened quietly, and when the viscount had completed his story, he asked: "Why did you wait so long before telling me all this?"
"I didn't see how it could interest you in the least."
The marquis looked at him keenly, and then calmly said: "In other words, you were waiting to see whether it would be most advantageous to you to be with me or against me."
"I don't think, I'm sure of it. As long as I was strong support for you, you were devoted to me. But now I am tottering, and you are ready to betray me."
"Excuse me! The step I am about to take----"
"What, haven't you taken it already?" interrupted the marquis, quickly. And shrugging his shoulders, he added: "Observe that I don't reproach you in the least. Only remember this: we survive or we perish together."
By the angry gleam in M. de Coralth's eyes, the marquis must have realized that his companion was disposed to rebel; still this knowledge did not seem to disquiet him, for it was in the same icy tone that he continued: "Besides, your plans, far from conflicting with mine, will be of service to me. Yes, Madame d'Argeles must lay claim to the count's estate. If she hesitates, her son will compel her to urge her claims, will he not?"
"Oh, you may rest assured of that."
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