In the days of Louis XIV of France, his nobles were not permitted to contract marriages without his consent. Particularly was this enforced in the case of orphan heiresses, whose hands were bestowed upon favorites of the monarch without the unfortunate young women being consulted at all. Constance Du Vallon inherited a large estate, and was deeply in love with a young gallant, whose home was near her home. This noble, however, was in disfavor at court, and his suit was frowned upon. Finally the king commanded the girl to repair to court without delay and there wed one of his favorites, a dissipated count, whom she loathed. There was no opportunity to escape, for the message was brought by a detachment of the king's guards, ironically described as "an escort of honor." Shortly after Constance and her escort had departed, her suitor arrived at her home and was mad with grief on hearing what had happened. Declaring he would rescue her no matter what the odds, he set forth alone. Fortune ...
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