This question is very difficult because the precise wording depends upon the translation. However, in the Barnes and Nobles Classic Edition, that line is used in Chapter 40: "I could have delivered him up to Roman justice, which is somewhat expeditious, but I did not do so. I set him and his men free." In this scene, the Count is "recalling" to Albert and others how he first met the bandits that attempted to kidnap Albert and why they respect him when they respect no one else. Of course, the story is made up, but he does impress them!