She answered resolutely: "Yes."
"A great risk?"
"The greatest of risks?"
"Have you the courage to set your father and mother at defiance?"
"Very well, there is one way and only one.
The thing must come from you and not from me.
You are a spoilt child; they let you say whatever you like, and they will not be too much astonished at an act of daring the more on your part.
This evening, on reaching home, you must go to your mamma first, your mamma alone, and tell her you want to marry me.
She will be greatly moved and very angry--"
Susan interrupted him with: "Oh, mamma will agree."
He went on quickly: "No, you do not know her.
She will be more vexed and angrier than your father.
You will see how she will refuse.
But you must be firm, you must not give way, you must repeat that you want to marry me, and no one else.
Will you do this?"
"On leaving your mother you must tell your father the same thing in a very serious and decided manner."
"Yes, yes; and then?"
"And then it is that matters become serious.
If you are determined, very determined--very, very determined to be my wife, my dear, dear little Susan--I will--run away with you."
She experienced a joyful shock, and almost clapped her hands.
"Oh! how delightful.
You will run away with me.
When will you run away with me?"
All the old poetry of nocturnal elopements, post-chaises, country inns; all the charming adventures told in books, flashed through her mind, like an enchanting dream about to be realized.
She repeated: "When will you run away with me?"
He replied, in low tones: "This evening--to-night."
She asked, quivering: "And where shall we go to?"
"That is my secret.
Reflect on what you are doing.
Remember that after such a flight you can only be my wife.
It is the only way, but is--it is very dangerous--for you."
She declared: "I have made up my mind; where shall I rejoin you?"
"Can you get out of the hotel alone?"
"Yes. I know how to undo the little door."
"Well, when the doorkeeper has gone to bed, towards midnight, come and meet me on the Place de la Concorde.
You will find me in a cab drawn up in front of the Ministry of Marine."
"I will come."
He took her hand and pressed it.
"Oh! how I love you.
How good and brave you are!
So you don't want to marry Monsieur de Cazolles?"