At the Count's accusation, the young man's healthy glow fell away, his face turned ashy green, and a red ring formed around his eyes. He bent his brows, deepening the wrinkle in his forehead -- and a sulfurous light flashed from his eyes. He half rose, scoring with his nails the mahogany chair.
"You are right, sir," he said, sitting back down with supreme will. "I ought to throw you out the window for your insult."
"Believe me," said the Count, "I would not offer such an insult, which blood alone can wash out, were I not impelled by the gravest of motives. You may think it an absurd notion -- call it a prejudice, worthy of the Middle Ages! But I am convinced that the fascination with which you are unfortunately endowed acts fatally upon the girl you love!"
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