take rank before the fact that she is your daughter, and that I am a man must take rank before the fact that I am your secretary. Not, then, as your secretary speaking to your daughter have I told this lady that I love her, but as a man speaking to a woman. To utter that should be - nay, is - the right of every man; to hear it should be honouring to every woman worthy of the name. In a primitive condition - "
"A thousand devils!" blazed the Marquis, unable longer to contain himself. "Am I to have my ears offended by this braying? Miserable scum, you shall be taught what is due to your betters."
His whip cracked suddenly, and the lash leapt serpentlike into the air, to descend and coil itself about La Boulaye's head and face. A cry broke from the young man, as much of pain as of surprise, and as the lash was drawn back, he clapped his hands to his seared face. But again he felt it, cutting him now across the hand with which he had masked himself. With a maddened roar he sprang upon his aggressor