"Teufel!" shouted the Baron, kicking the door frantically. "Open him, open him! I vill pay you a hondred pound! Goddam! Open!"
But only the gasps of the Countess answered him.
It is generally conceded that if you want to see the full depths of brutality latent in man, you must thoroughly frighten him first. This condition the Countess of Grillyer had exactly succeeded in fulfilling, with the consequence that the Baron, hitherto the most complacent and amiable of sons-in-law, seemed ambitious of rivalling the Turk. When he perceived that no answer to his appeals was forthcoming, dark despair for a moment overcame him. Then the fiendishly ingenious idea struck him--might not a woman's screams accomplish what his own lungs were unable to effect? Turning an inflamed and frowning countenance upon the lady who had intrusted her daughter's happiness to his hands, he addressed her in a deep hissing voice--
"Shcream, shcream, voman! Shcream loudly, or I vill knock you!"
But the Countess was made of stern stuff. Outraged and frightened though she was, she yet retorted huskily--
"I will not scream, Rudolph! I--I demand an explanation first!"
Executing a step of the sword-dance within a yard of her, he reiterated
"Shcream so zat zey may come back!"