I could hide my astonishment no longer. "You must be mad, girl!" I said, "mad! You do not know what you are saying! The window of the room in which Vilain was confined is fifty feet from the ground, and you say that your brother, a boy of thirteen, contrived his escape?"
"Yes, M. de Sully," she answered. "And the man who is about to suffer is innocent."
"How was it done, then?" I asked, not knowing what to think of her persistence.
"My brother was flying a kite that day," she answered. "He had been doing so for a week or more, and everyone was accustomed to seeing him here. After sunset, the wind being favourable, he came under M. de Vilain's window, and, when it was nearly dark, and the servants and household were at supper, he guided the kite against the balcony outside the window."
"But a man cannot descend by a kite-string!"
"My brother had a knotted rope, which M. de Vilain drew up," she answered simply; "and afterwards, when he had descended, disengaged."
I looked at her in profound amazement.
"Your brother acted on instructions?" I said at last.
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