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The Light That Lures by Percy Brebner

Part 2 out of 6

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remained unfinished.

"A wise pause, Master Richard. Who can tell what may happen in Paris?
Indeed, we may never reach Paris. At dawn, you said. That gives little
time for rest. In these hills the sun gets up early."

Dim twilight was on all the plain, darkness in the wood, when Richard
Barrington and Seth tied their horses to a tree and awaited the coming
of Jeanne St. Clair at the wood end. Ever the first to catch the fire
from the upcoming day, the summits of the great double mountain which
dominated the country blushed a faint rose color which each instant
glowed brighter and clearer, and then peak after peak was caught by the
same rose flush, and light, like a gracious benediction, fell slowly
into valley and gorge, while myriad shades of color pulsated into new
life in earth and sky. The two men watched this magic beauty of the dawn
in silence. So wondrous was it, so majestic, so far beyond the schemes
and thoughts of insignificant man, that it was almost impossible not to
see in it some portent, something of promise or warning. Even Seth,
practical and farseeing as he was, forgot the actualities of life for a
little space, while Richard's dreams took flight into that upper world
of rosy flame and forgot the deep valleys, dark with difficulty and
danger. This new day which was being born was perfect, with a beauty his
eyes had never seen before; the woman he waited for was perfect, too, a
revelation. She and the dawn filled his soul. They were more real than
anything past, present, or to come, and his being sang a Te Deum of

"She should be here," he said, turning to Seth and speaking in a hushed
voice without knowing that he did so.

Seth laid his hand sharply upon his arm, and pointed through the trees
to the road which came down to the plain from Beauvais. Four men were
approaching, walking quickly and talking together. They came straight
towards the end of the wood as men having a purpose.

"Quick! The horses!" said Barrington. "Draw back farther into the wood
and let them pass."

Holding their horses, and hidden among the trees, they watched the men
come to the spot where they had been a moment or two before. Here they
stopped, looked round on every side and listened.

"They are looking for us," Seth whispered. "It may be the lady cannot
come and has sent them to tell us so."

"Four of them!" Barrington said.

He did not move. These men were not lackeys, they were gentlemen.
Barrington wondered whether they had chosen this secluded spot to settle
some private quarrel of last night's making.

"Scented danger and gone," said one.

Another shook his head and stared into the depths of the wood before
him with such a keen pair of eyes that Barrington believed he must be

"Not a man to run from danger," he said, "unless mademoiselle were
strangely deceived."

The remark decided Barrington's course of action. He stepped forward
followed by Seth, who tied up the horses again and then took up a
position behind his master.

"Are you seeking me, gentlemen?"

"If your name be Monsieur Barrington," the man with the keen eyes

"It is."

The four men bowed low and Barrington did the same.

"My companion thought we were too late," said the spokesman, "but I had
a different opinion. We are four gentlemen devoted to Mademoiselle St.
Clair, and she has charged us with a commission."

"You are very welcome unless you bring bad news," said Barrington.

"For you it may be," was the answer with a smile. "Mademoiselle will not
need you to escort her to Paris."

Barrington had not sought such an honor. Until the moment he had
fastened her mask, touching her hair and touched by her personality, he
would rather have been without the honor; now he was disappointed,
angry. She had found another escort and despised him. She was as other
women, unreliable, changeable, inconstant.

"You bring some proof that mademoiselle has entrusted you with this

"This," was the answer, and the man held up the little iron star.

"I am not greatly grieved to be relieved of such a responsibility,
gentlemen," said Barrington, with a short laugh. "Perhaps you will tell
mademoiselle so."

"Pardon, but monsieur hardly understands. For some purpose monsieur came
to Beauvais with an attempt to deceive mademoiselle with this little
iron trinket. It is not possible to let such a thing pass, and it is
most undesirable that monsieur should be allowed to have the opportunity
of again practicing such deceit. Mademoiselle listened to him, feigned
to be satisfied with his explanation, in fact, met deceit with deceit.
My opinion was that half a dozen lackeys should be sent to chastise
monsieur, but mademoiselle decided otherwise. You were too good to die
by a lackey's hand, she declared, therefore, monsieur, we are here."

"Four gentlemen for six lackeys!" laughed Barrington. "It is a strange
computation of values."

"The methods are different," was the answer. "I think we do you too much
honor, but mademoiselle has willed it. We have already arranged our
order of precedence, and monsieur has the pleasure of first crossing
swords with me. If his skill is greater than mine, then he will have the
pleasure of meeting these other gentlemen. You have my word for
honorable treatment, but it is necessary that the fight is to the

"And my servant here?"

The man shrugged his shoulders. Seth was beneath his consideration.

"There would have been fewer words with the lackeys' method, I presume,"
said Barrington. "I am not inclined to fight a duel."

"Monsieur is a little afraid."

"As you will."

"Afraid as well as being a liar and deceiver of women?"

"As much one as the other," Barrington answered carelessly.

"Then, monsieur, I am afraid we shall have to employ lackeys' methods."

"Now we come to level ground and understand each other," said
Barrington. "There is no quarrel between us which a duel may settle. You
are four men bound together to take my life if you can, but you shall
not have the chance of taking it with a semblance of honesty by calling
it a duel. You attack two travellers; if you can, rob them of what you

"That's better, Master Richard, I'm a poor hand at understanding jargon
of this kind, but I have an idea of how to deal with thieves and

"Be careful, Seth," Barrington whispered.

The attack was immediate and sharp, without ceremony, and determined.
Misunderstanding Barrington's attitude they were perhaps a little
careless, believing him a coward at heart. Their methods, too, were
rather those of the duelist than the fighter, and this gave Barrington
and Seth some advantage. The keen-eyed man was as ready with his sword
as with his tongue. He had been confident of saving his companions from
soiling their blades had Richard consented to cross swords with him, and
he advanced upon his enemy to bring the battle to a speedy conclusion.
He even waved his companions aside, and it was with him Barrington had
first to deal. Their blades were the first to speak, and in a moment the
Frenchman knew that he had no mean swordsman to do with.

"This would have been keen pleasure had you been a gentleman," he said.

Barrington did not answer. He was armed for real warfare, his weapon
was heavier than his opponent's and he took advantage of the fact. This
was fighting, not dueling; and he beat the weapon down, snapping the
blade near the hilt. The next moment the other Frenchman had engaged him

With Seth there was even greater advantage. He was a servant and a
lackey, and the punctilious gentlemen opposed to him were not inclined
to cross swords with him. They looked to see him show fear, the very
last thing in the world he was likely to do. Seth's arm was long and his
method of fighting more or less his own, the most unceremonious,
possibly, that these gentlemen had ever had to do with. Deeply cut in
the wrist one man dropped his sword. In a moment Seth's foot was upon
it, and as he turned to meet his other adversary he had taken a pistol
from his pocket.

The Frenchman uttered an exclamation of surprise, and Seth laughed.

"If not the sword point, a bullet; either will serve," he said.

Then Seth was conscious of two things, one a certainty, the other
imagination perhaps. Across his enemy's shoulder he caught sight of the
road which led up to Beauvais, and down it came two men running towards
the wood. After all, their opponents were to be six instead of four.
This was certain. His master was separated from him by a few paces, and
it seemed to Seth that he was being hard pressed. At any rate, if it
were not so, the two men running towards them must turn the scale.
Feigning a vigorous onslaught upon his opponent, who was already
somewhat disconcerted, Seth deliberately fired at the man fighting his
master, who fell backwards with a cry.

"Seth!" Richard exclaimed.

"Look! there are two more running to the attack. This is a time to waive
ceremony and be gone. To horse, Master Richard!"

The keen-eyed man, who had been powerless being without a sword, now
caught up the weapon which the fallen man had dropped.

"There's another pistol shot if you move," cried Seth, with one foot in
the stirrup.

It is doubtful whether the threat would have stopped him, but the two
men suddenly running towards him through the trees did. He knew them and
they were not expected.

Barrington and Seth seized the opportunity, and putting spurs to their
horses were riding towards the head of the valley which led down to the
frontier. They broke into a gallop as soon as they reached the road, and
for some time neither of them spoke.

"Had we waited the whole of Beauvais would have been upon us. All's fair
in war."

"And in love, they say," Barrington added.

A low growl expressed Seth's opinion on this point.

"Right, Seth, right," was the bitter answer. "I have had my lesson, and
enough of women for a lifetime. You have your wish. We ride alone to

The two men who entered the wood as Barrington and Seth rode out of it
were lackeys, and ran to their master.

"Monsieur! Monsieur!"

"What is it?" he asked with an angry oath.

"Monsieur, there is some mistake. Mademoiselle St. Clair left Beauvais
last night before the dance was over at the chateau."



In the Rue Valette, a street of long memory, down which many students
had passed dreaming, Calvin not least among them, there was a baker's
shop at the corner of an alley. Students still walked the streets, and
others, dreaming too, after a fashion, but not much of books. In these
days there were other things to dream of. Life moved quickly, crowdedly,
down the Rue Valette, and this baker's shop had gathered more than one
crowd about it in recent days. Life and such a shop Were linked
together, linked, too, with government. Give us bread, was one of the
earliest cries in the Revolution. Is not bread, the baker's shop, the
real center of all revolutions?

Behind this shop, entered by the alley, was a narrow courtyard, not too
clean a depository for rubbish and broken articles, for refuse as well,
which on hot days sent contamination into the air. A doorway, narrow and
seldom closed, gave directly on to a stairway, and on the first landing,
straight in front of the stairs, was a door always closed, usually
locked, yet at a knock it would be immediately opened. Behind it two
rooms adjoined, their windows looking into the court. The furniture was
sparse and common, the walls were bare, no more than a worn rug was upon
the floor, but on a hanging shelf there were books, and paper and pens
were on a table pushed against the wall near the window. The lodging of
a poor student, a descendant, and little altered, of generations of
students' lodgings known in this city of Paris since it had first been
recognized as the chief seat of learning in Europe.

The student himself sat at the table, a book opened before him. He was
leaning back in his chair, thoughtfully, his mind partly fixed on what
he had been reading, partly on other matters. He was not only a student,
but a man of affairs besides. For most men the affairs would have closed
the books permanently, they were sufficient, full enough of ambition and
prospect, to do so, but Raymond Latour was not as other men. Life was a
long business, not limited by the fiery upheaval which was shaking the
foundations of social order. There was the afterwards, when the
excitement would be burned out, when the loud orators and mad
enthusiasts should find no occupation because none wished to hear them
talk. The sudden tide sweeping them into prominence for a moment would
assuredly destroy many and leave others stranded and useless, but for a
few there was the realization of ambition. Those few must have power to
grapple with their surroundings, brains to hold fast to the high
position upon which the tide wave must fling them. Of these Raymond
Latour would be. The determination was expressed in every feature, in
the steel gray eyes, in the firm set mouth, in the square and powerful
build of the man. Nature had given him inches above his fellows, muscles
which made them courteous to him; and study had given him the power to
use men. His ability was recognized and appreciated, his companions had
thrust him into prominence, at the first somewhat against his will, but
carried on the crest of the wave of popularity one easily becomes
ambitious. He was of the Jacobins Club, almost as constant an attendant
there as Robespierre himself, holding opinions that were not to be
shaken. He was not of those who had thought the Jacobins slow and had
massed themselves, with Danton and the Club of the Cordeliers, nor was
he with the milder Lafayette and the Feuillants Club; he was no blind
follower of any party, yet he was trusted without being thoroughly
understood. It was difficult to decide which held the higher place with
him, his country or his own interests. He could not have answered the
question himself as he leaned back in his chair, a flood of thoughts
rushing through his brain, one thought more prominent than the rest,
destined perchance to absorb all others.

There were footsteps on the stairs without, and a knocking at the door.
The visitor had swaggered up the Rue Valette, conscious that some turned
to look at him as a man to be feared and respected, yet his manner
changed as he passed through the alley, the swagger lessened with each
step he mounted, and when Latour opened the door to him, the visitor was
full of respect, almost cringing respect. Here was a strange caricature
of equality!

"Welcome, Sabatier, I was thinking of you. What news?"

"The best. She has come. To-night she is a league from Paris at the
tavern of the Lion d'Or on the Soisy road."

"Good news, indeed," Latour answered, and a flush came into his face as
he turned away from his visitor as though to hide some weakness in his
character. "How was it accomplished?"

"By Mercier turning first thief, then aristocrat, and playing each part
so well that it seems to me he is now doubtful which he is. I have only
just returned from the Lion d'Or."

"You saw her?"

"No, citizen. She is still in ignorance of her destination in Paris."

"She comes here to-morrow," said Latour, sharply, and his steel gray
eyes were suddenly fixed on Sabatier as though they went straight to his
soul with the penetration of a shoemaker's awl. "She is to be delivered
to me, and you and the others had best forget that you have been engaged
on any private mission."

"It is easy to serve Citizen Latour," Sabatier said.

"Spoken as a brother," was the answer. "It is advantageous to serve him
as it would be dangerous to play him false, eh? Sabatier, my friend,
most of us have some private revenge locked away in our hearts, the lack
of opportunity alone prevents our satisfying it. In these times there is
much opportunity, it is that alone which makes us seem more vindictive
than men in more peaceable circumstances. Forget that you have helped me
to mine, do not ask what form that revenge is to take. I may some day
help you to yours and be as secret and reticent."

"I shall not forget the promise," Sabatier returned, and it was easy to
see that he was pleased with the confidence placed in him.

"First thing in the morning get to the inn and tell Mercier and Dubois
to bring her here. She must be made to understand that her safety
depends upon it. They need tell her nothing more."

Sabatier had his hand upon the door to depart when Latour stopped him.

"What about the man who was robbed, this aristocrat you found at

"Safe in Beauvais, citizen, where he is likely to remain. I put fear
into him at Tremont and he ran."

"He may come to Paris."

"Then he is easily dealt with," Sabatier answered, and went out.

He was a friend of Citizen Latour, a trusted friend; his swagger was
greater than ever as he went down the Rue Valette.

Half an hour later Raymond Latour passed along the street, avoiding
publicity rather than courting it. He walked quickly until he came to
the Rue St. Honore, when his pace slackened a little and he grew more
thoughtful. His whole scheme was complete, and he reviewed every point
of it to make certain there was no flaw in it. He became suddenly
conscious of a man walking in front of him, one of many in the street
yet distinct from them all. He was slight, so slight that he seemed
tall, walked delicately, something feminine about him, a weak man,
perhaps, whom strong men would despise; yet heads were turned to look
after him, and a second glance found something definite and determined
in the delicate walk, something feline. He went forward noticing none,
straight forward, men of bigger bulk stepping out of his path. Latour,
whose thoughts were of self just now, not of country, went more slowly
still. He had no desire to overtake this man although he knew him well,
and dawdled until he saw him enter a cabinet-maker's shop. All Paris
knew that here Maximilian Robespierre had his lodging.

Latour quickened his pace and entered a house at the corner of a side
street. Yes, his master, the Citizen Bruslart was in, was the answer to
his inquiry, and the suspicion of a smile touched Latour's face at the
man's hesitation. After waiting a few moments he was announced, and
smiled again a little as he entered a room on the first floor, it was so
unlike his own, even as the occupant was unlike him.

"You favor me by this visit," said Bruslart, rising to welcome his

"You have not yet heard the reason of it."

If Latour expected his host to show any sign of anxiety he was
disappointed, and it was the man's nature to respect courage even in an
enemy. He hardly counted Bruslart as such, outwardly indeed they were
friends. Had Lucien Bruslart been a coward he would hardly have occupied
such an apartment as this and surrounded himself with so much luxury.
There was danger in luxury, yet it was a part of the man, fitted him,
was essential to him. He called himself citizen, sought the society of
patriots, talked as loudly as any. He had talked to such purpose that,
arrested and imprisoned as a dangerous aristocrat, he had been released
and welcomed as a true son of Paris. For all this, he was an aristocrat
to his finger tips, hated the very atmosphere of a true patriot, and
washed their touch from his hands with disgust. His own interests were
his paramount concern, he was clever enough to deceive friends and foes
as it suited him; even Latour was doubtful how to place him. He was a
handsome man, and had found that count for something even in
Revolutionary Paris; he was a determined man, with wit, and that art of
appearing to hide nothing. An aristocrat! By the misfortune of birth
that was all. A patriot! It was a safe profession. Luxury! Why not?

"Is my country in need of my services?"

"Always; but this happens to be a private matter," Latour answered.
"You have been in the Conciergerie, citizen."

"It is not very long since I was released," was the answer.

"Fear touched you in the Conciergerie."

"Narrow walls and uncertainty are unpleasant. You will know what I mean
if you should ever be as unfortunate as I was."

"And a servant, fearful for your safety, fled to your friends for help.
Is that so?"

"I have heard it since my release. He is a faithful fellow, and acted on
his own initiative."

"Entirely?" asked Latour.

"Entirely. Let me be fair to him. I do not fear danger, citizen, but I
have eyes to see its existence. It exists for honest men as well as
others, and I have said to Rouzet, that was his name, 'If harm should
come to me try and carry news to those who still love me in spite of the
fact that I have turned patriot,' I even gave him a little gold trinket
that it might be known his news was true."

"Since your release have you sent another messenger to prevent
Mademoiselle St. Clair from coming to Paris?"

"She is coming to Paris!" Bruslart exclaimed, half rising.

"Have you taken any steps to prevent her doing so?" asked Latour.

"Do you suppose I would have called her here on my account? She is not a
patriot. She would come to her death."

"That might be a way in which you could serve your country; a decoy to
attract lovers and friends."

"Are you serious? Is this the meaning of your visit?"

"What is your answer to it?"

"Rather the guillotine, citizen. Is the answer short and definite

"Short enough and well spoken," said Latour, with a smile. "You will
rejoice to hear that your messenger never reached mademoiselle."

For an instant Bruslart seemed surprised, but it was impossible to tell
whether it was at the failure or at the fact that his visitor knew so

"If you can assure me this is true, I shall rejoice," he said. "I have
been imprudent. It did not occur to me that she might come to Paris."

"A woman who loves will do much."

"If she loves. Women sometimes deceive themselves and us. But tell me
how you are able to bring me this news."

"You were an aristocrat, citizen, therefore suspected and watched. Your
servants were watched, too, and this man's movements were noted. He was
followed out of Paris. He was caught upon the road and questioned. Some
patriots have rough manners, as you know, and your servant was faithful,
perchance showed fight. All I know for certain is that he is dead."

"Poor Rouzet," said Bruslart, covering his face with his hands for a
moment. "Poor Rouzet, I believe his family has been attached to ours for
some generations."

"And were more faithful than their masters, doubtless. No, citizen, the
words do not refer to you, you are no longer an aristocrat," Latour went
on quickly. "Still, a word of friendly advice, you talk too much like
one. I understand, but the people are ignorant."

"Thank you for your advice. I must be myself whatever else I am."

"As a patriot it would be well to think no more of mademoiselle," Latour
went on. "Such love is unnatural the people will affirm. Are there not
women in Paris as beautiful? Find one to love and there will be proof of
your patriotism."

"You take much interest in me," said Bruslart.

"Is there not a kind of friendship between us?" was the reply. "Were I
Lucien Bruslart, I should leave Paris. I know a man who would do
something to help him."

Bruslart looked at him steadily for a moment. "Again I thank you," he
said quietly, "but, my friend, you are not the only man who is competent
to prophesy in what direction things may turn. You have set yourself a
goal to win, so have I. It would almost seem that you expect our aims to

"Diable! Is that all you can see in good advice," said Latour. "I
thought your wit went deeper."

"Need we quarrel?" said Bruslart.

"No; let us laugh at each other. In our different ways, doubtless, we
shall both be satisfied."

Latour did not often laugh, but he laughed now as he turned to the door.
The curtains over the archway leading to an inner room swayed outwards
with the draught as he opened the door, and then seemed to draw back
suddenly, as Latour said good-by, still laughing. The door was closed,
the footsteps went quickly down the stairs, the curtains hung straight
for a little space. Then they parted sharply, and a woman, holding them
on either side of her, stood between them.



The archway archway into the inner room was behind Bruslart, but he did
not turn as the curtains parted. He knew the woman was hidden in that
room, she had gone there when Latour was announced; he knew that she
must have overheard the conversation, that she would ask questions, but
for the moment he was absorbed in Latour's news. That Rouzet had failed
to reach Beauvais was a disaster he had not reckoned upon.


"My direct and opinionated friend has gone, Pauline, you may come out of

Still for a moment the woman stood there grasping the curtains, as
though she would will the man to turn and look at her. She was angry,
the flash in her eyes Was evidence of the fact, yet she was not
unconscious of the picture she made at that moment. A woman is seldom
angry enough to forget her beauty. Beautiful she certainly was, or
Lucien Bruslart would have taken little interest in her. Beauty was as
necessary to him as luxury, and in this case was even more dangerous.
Here was another proof that he was no coward, or he would surely not
have placed himself in the hands of Pauline Vaison. She was dark, her
figure rather full, voluptuous yet perfect in contour. Her movements
were quick, virile, full of life, seductive yet passionate. She was a
beautiful young animal, her graces all unstudied, nature's gifts, a
dangerous animal if roused, love concealing sharp claws ready to tear in
pieces if love were spurned. Her personality might have raised her to
power in the dissolute Court of the fifteenth Louis, even in this Paris
of revolution she might play a part.

Letting the curtains fall together she came and faced Lucien, who looked
at her and smiled.

"I heard all he said. I listened."

"Interesting, wasn't it?" Lucien answered. "It is a marvel to me how
fast news travels, and how important unimportant things become. I
shouldn't Wonder if he knows exactly what I have eaten to-day."

"Paris knows something of Latour," she answered. "He is not a man to
waste his time over trifles."

"It certainly appears that he considers me of some consequence since he
troubled to visit me."

"And you lied to him."

"My dear Pauline, you are imaginative. Kiss me. You are a delightful
creature. I never spend an hour in your company but I discover some new
grace in you."

Her kisses were not to be had when she was angry.

"You lied to him and you have deceived me," she said, still standing
before him, her body erect, her hands clinched.

"It is not always advisable to speak the exact truth, you know that well
enough, Pauline; but I have not deceived you. Does a man deceive the
woman he really loves?"

"The lie and the deceit are one," she returned. "You sent for this other
woman, this Mademoiselle St. Clair. It was not your servant's plan.
Latour was a fool to believe you."

"Was he? My dear, wise Pauline, his point of view and yours are not the
same. You are jealous, whereas he--"

"I stop at nothing when I am jealous," she said. "The sooner you
discover that phase in my character the better for you, Lucien."

"I discovered that after I had known you ten minutes," laughed Lucien,
"and I am not afraid. Shall I tell you why? I have not deceived you, nor
have I any intention of doing so. This Latour is too inquisitive, and
inquisitiveness is always asking for a lie. Latour got it and is quite
satisfied. Mademoiselle Pauline Vaison is a woman, a woman in love, and
just because she is so, is suspicious. All women in love are. So I have
not told her all my plans. To complete them it was necessary to get
Mademoiselle St. Clair to Paris, so I sent for her."

"You are in love with her. You--"

"She is rich," Bruslart answered. "Her fortune is in her own hands.
Wait, Pauline. Had I wanted to marry her, what was to prevent my
crossing the frontier when so many of my friends and acquaintances did?
But I am in love with her fortune. If I am to make myself felt in Paris,
if I am to do what I have set my heart to accomplish, money I must have.
True, I am not penniless like some of our ragged patriotic comrades,
but, believe me, power will eventually rest with the man who can scatter
the most gold to the people. That man I am scheming to be."

"Therefore you would marry this woman," said Pauline.

"Therefore I would obtain part of her fortune."

"That is what I say; you would marry her."

"No, I had not thought of that," said Bruslart, carelessly.

"How, then, can you obtain it?"

"Once she is in Paris, there are many plans to choose from. I have not
yet decided which one to take; but certainly it will not be marriage.
She, too, is a woman in love, and such a woman will do much for a man. A
few marks of a pen and I am rich, free to work towards my end, free to
help Mademoiselle St. Clair to return to Beauvais. You say you heard all
that Latour told me?"


"Then you heard his advice concerning marriage. Find a woman in Paris,
as beautiful, more beautiful than this emigre aristocrat, a woman who is
a patriot, a true daughter of France, marry her, prove yourself and see
how the shouting crowds will welcome you. Latour might have known this
part of my scheme, so aptly did he describe it. I have found the woman,"
and he stretched out his hand to her.


She let him draw her down beside him, his caress was returned with

"Together, you and I are going to climb, Pauline. For me a high place in
the government of France, not the short authority of a day; brains and
money shall tell their tale. Citizen Bruslart shall be listened to and
obeyed. Citizeness Bruslart shall become the rage of all Paris. Listen,
Pauline. I have cast in my lot with the people, but I have something
which the people have not, a line of ancestors who have ruled over those
about them. Revolution always ends in a strong individual, who often
proves a harder master than the one the revolution has torn from his
place. I would be that man. Two things are necessary, money and you."

"And your messenger has failed to reach mademoiselle," she whispered.

"Another messenger may be found," he said, quietly. "Besides, it is just
possible that Latour was lying, too."

"Perhaps you are right;" and then she jumped up excitedly, "I believe
you are right. What then? Other men may be scheming for her wealth as
well as you."

"And others besides Latour have spies in the city," Bruslart answered.

"You are wonderful, Lucien, wonderful, and I love you."

She threw herself into his arms with an abandon which, like all her
other actions, was natural to her; and while he held her, proud of his
conquest, not all Lucien's thoughts were of love. Could Pauline Vaison
have looked into his soul, could she have seen the network of scheming
which was in his mind, the chaotic character of many of these plans,
crossing and contradicting one another, a caricature, as it were, of a
man's whole existence in which good and evil join issue and rage and
struggle for the mastery, even then she would not have understood. She
might have found that one end was aimed at more constantly than any
other--self, yet in the schemes of most men self plays the most
prominent part, and is not always sordid and altogether despicable. She
would not have understood her lover; he did not understand himself. He
was a product of the Revolution, as were thousands of others walking the
Paris streets, or busy with villainies in country places; character was
complex by force of circumstances, which, under other conditions, might
have been simple and straightforward. With some a certain
straightforwardness remained, not always directed to wrong ends. It was
so in Lucien Bruslart. It was not easy for him to be a scoundrel, and
self was not always master. Even with Pauline Vaison in his arms he
thought of Jeanne St. Clair, and shuddered at the way he had spoken of
her to this woman. What would happen if Jeanne came to Paris? For a
moment the horrible possibilities seemed to paralyze every nerve and
thought. He spoke no word, he did not cease his caressing, yet the woman
suddenly released herself as though his train of thought exerted a
subtle influence over her, and stood before him again, not angrily, yet
with a look in her eyes which was a warning. So an animal looks when
danger may be at hand.

"If you were to deceive me," she said, in a low voice, almost in a
whisper, the sound of a hiss in it.

"Deceive you?"

It was not easily said, but a question only half comprehended, as when
one is recalled from a reverie suddenly, or awakes from a dream at a

"To deceive me would be hell for both of us, for all of us," said the

He tried to laugh at her, but he could not even bring a smile to his
lips at that moment.

Pauline caught his hand and pulled him to the window, opened it, and

"There. You know what I mean," she said.

The roar of Paris floated up to them, the daily toil, the noise of it,
its bartering, its going and coming. Men and women must live, even in a
revolution, and to live, work. Underneath it all there was something
unnatural, a murmur, a growl, the sound of an undertone, secret, cruel,
deadly; yet the woman's pointing finger was all Lucien was conscious of
just now.

"You know what I mean," she repeated.

He shook his head slightly, dubiously, for he partly guessed. In that
direction was the Place de la Revolution.

"If this other woman should take my place, if you lied to me, I would
have my revenge. It would be easy. She is an aristocrat. One word from
me, and do you think you could save her? Yonder stands the guillotine,"
and she made a downward sweep of the arm. "It falls like that. You
couldn't save her."

Lucien stood looking straight before him out of the window. Pauline
still held his hand. She waited for him to speak, and when he did not,
she shook his hand.

"Do you hear what I say?"

"Yes" and then?"

"Then, Lucien, I should have no rival. You would be mine. If not, if you
turned from me for what I had done--God! That would be awful, but I
would never forgive, never. I would speak again. I would tell them many
things. Nothing should stop me. You should die too. That is how I love.
Lucien, Lucien, never make me jealous like that."

She kissed his hand passionately, then held it close to her breast. He
could feel her heart beat quickly with her excitement.

"That would put an end to all my scheming, wouldn't it?" he said,
drawing her back and closing the window. "Perhaps Latour would thank

"I wasn't thinking of Latour," and she clung to him and kissed him on
the lips.

Into Lucien's complex thought Latour had come, not unnaturally, since
this conversation. This exhibition of latent jealousy was the outcome of
his visit. Without formulating any definite idea, he felt in a vague way
that Latour's career was in some way bound up with his own. There was
something in common between them, each had an interest for the other and
in his concerns. Lucien did not understand why, but Latour might have
found an answer to the question as he went back to the Rue Valette.

He was not sure whether Bruslart had spoken the truth, he did not much
care, yet he felt a twinge of conscience. It troubled him because he had
not much difficulty in salving his conscience as a rule. It was
generally easy to make the ends justify the means. He had taken no
notice of the swaying curtains as he left Bruslart. He never guessed
that a woman stood behind them. There might have been no prick of
conscience had he known of Pauline Vaison.

He entered the baker's shop in the Rue Valette. Behind the little
counter, on which were a few loaves and pieces of bread, an old woman
sat knitting.

"Will you give me the key of those rooms? I want to see that everything
is prepared."

The old woman fumbled in her pocket and gave him the key without a word.

"She comes to-morrow," said Latour. "You will not fail to do as I have
asked and look after her well."

"Never fear; she shall be a pretty bird in a pretty cage."

Latour paused as he reached the door. "She is a dear friend, no more nor
less than that, and this is a nest, not a cage. Do you understand?"

The old woman nodded quickly, and when he had gone, chuckled. She had
lived long in the world, knew men well, and the ways of them with women.
There might be some things about Citizen Latour which set him apart
from his fellows, but all men were the same concerning women.

Latour crossed the courtyard and went quickly up the stairs to the
second floor. The rooms here corresponded with his own below, yet how
different they were. Everything was fresh and dainty. Cheap, but pretty,
curtains hung before the windows and about the alcove where the bed was.
The furnishing was sufficient, not rich, yet showing taste in the
choice; two or three inexpensive prints adorned the walls, and on the
toilet table were candlesticks, a china tray, and some cut-glass
bottles. The boards were polished, and here and there was a rug or strip
of carpet; the paint was fresh and white--white was the color note
throughout. Here was the greatest luxury possible to a shallow pocket,
very different from Bruslart's room, yet with a character of its own.
Latour had chosen everything in it with much thought and care. He had
spent hours arranging and rearranging until his sense of the beautiful
was satisfied. Now he altered the position of a rug, and touched a
curtain by the bed to make it fall in more graceful folds. Then he sat
down to survey his work as a whole.

Still there was the prick of conscience, not very sharp, indeed, and
becoming less persistent as he argued with himself. The Raymond Latour
of to-day was a different man from the old Raymond Latour, the poor
student, the nobody. Was he not mounting the ladder rung by rung, higher
and higher every day? He had been listened to in the Legislative
Assembly, applauded; he was a man of mark in the Convention. He was
still poor, and his ambition was not towards wealth. The road lay
straight before him; it led to fame, he meant it also to lead to love.
Give him love, and these little white rooms were all the kingdom he
asked to reign in. Love, the only love that had ever touched him. He
remembered its first coming. A restive horse, a young girl in a carriage
and in danger. It was nothing to seize the horse, hold it, and quiet it;
he had flushed and stammered when the girl had thanked him, all
unconsciously casting the spell of her great beauty over him. Never
again had he spoken to her. He was only a poor student, the child of
simple folk in the country dead long ago; she was of noble birth, her
home a palace, her beauty toasted at Versailles He saw her often,
waiting to see her pass, and each day he thought of her, setting her on
the high altar of his devotion. He knew that his must always be a silent
worship, that she could never know it. Then suddenly had come the
change, the tide of revolution. The people were the masters. He was of
the people, of growing importance among them. The impossible became the
possible. He had education, power he would have. Strong men have made
their appeal to women, the world over, in every age. Why should not this
woman love him? The very stars seemed to have fought for him. She would
be here to-morrow, here in Paris, in danger; here, in these rooms, with
no man so able to protect her as himself. He had spoken among his
fellows and won applause, could he not speak to just one woman in the
world and win love?

"This is a nest, not a cage," he murmured. "To-morrow, I shall speak
with her to-morrow."

It must have been almost at this same moment that Pauline Vaison flung
open the window and Lucien Bruslart looked in the direction of her
pointing finger toward the Place de la Revolution.



The Lion d'Or on the Soisy Road was well known to travelers. Here the
last change of horses on the journey to Paris was usually made, or, as
was often the case, a halt for the night and arrangement made for an
early departure next morning. In these days it was no place of call for
those who would leave the capital secretly. Patriots were inclined to
congregate about the Lion d'Or and to ask awkward questions. Even in
fustian garments nobility hides with difficulty from keen and suspicious
eyes. For those traveling towards Paris, however, there was not such
close scrutiny. If they were enemies of the state, Paris would deal with
them. There were lynx-eyed men at the city barriers, and a multitude of
spies in every street.

To-day three travelers had halted at the Lion d'Or, travel-stained,
horses weary, going no farther until to-morrow. One of the three was a
woman, a peasant woman wearing the tri-color cockade, who was needed in
Paris to give evidence against an aristocrat. That was good news, and
better still, her fellow-travelers were undoubtedly true patriots and
had the will and the wherewithal to pay for wine. There was no need to
trouble the woman with questions. She might be left alone to gloat over
her revenge, while patriots made merry over their drinking.

She was alone, in a poor room for a guest, one of the poorest in the
inn, but good enough for a peasant woman. Her companions had shown her
the advisability of choosing this room rather than another. She would be
undisturbed here after her frugal meal, except by her companions
perchance, and she had thrown back her rough cloak, showing fustian
garments beneath, yet she was a strange peasant woman surely. Hands and
face were stained a little, as though from exposure to sun and weather,
but underneath the skin was smooth. Exposure had cut no lines in the
face, labor had not hardened the hands. At the inn door her form had
seemed a little bent, but alone in this room she stood straight as an

One of her companions entered presently. Citizen Mercier he called
himself; a hateful name handle, he explained, but necessary for their
safety. He wore the tri-color, too, and plumed himself that he passed
for as good a patriot as any. He closed the door carefully.

"So far we have managed well, mademoiselle. I have found a friend here
who will ride into Paris and bring us word in the morning how we can
most safely enter the city. We must be a little patient."

"Did he know anything of Lucien Bruslart?"

"I did not ask. It was difficult to get a moment to whisper to each
other. And I will not stay with you. It would not be wise to take too
much interest in a peasant woman," and he smiled and shrugged his

Jeanne St. Clair continued to stare at the door after he had gone. Her
thoughts followed him as he went down the stairs to join his companions
and take his share of the wine. Lucien had chosen a strange messenger, a
friend Monsieur Mercier had called himself, yet Jeanne had never known
him nor heard of him before. He puzzled her. Loneliness, and the
circumstances in which she was placed, naturally made her thoughtful,
and it was easy to be suspicious. Truly, Monsieur Mercier had proved
himself a friend, full of ideas, full of resource, for danger had
threatened them more than once upon the long and tedious journey from
Beauvais. They had been obliged to halt at strange taverns, and there
had been many delays. Now they were within a few miles of Paris--of
Lucien. Yes, Monsieur Mercier had proved himself a friend, and yet, had
it been possible, she would sooner have called another man friend, a man
who was her enemy. How, easily she had believed him! Richard Barrington.
She spoke the name aloud, but not easily, trying to say it exactly as he
had done, and the deliberation which she gave to each syllable made the
name sound pleasant. She had not thought him a scoundrel when he
fastened her mask for her. She had been most easily deceived, taken in
by an absurd story.

The truth had come quickly. Richard Barrington could hardly have left
the chateau when a man whispered Lucien's name in Jeanne's ear. She did
not trouble to take this man into the chamber in the round tower, but
she led him aside where he could talk without fear of being overheard.
This was some trick, but she must hear what he had to say, her safety
to-morrow might depend upon it.

Monsieur Mercier introduced himself as a friend of Lucien's, and quickly
told his story. Lucien was in danger, grave danger, and mademoiselle
ought to know. For her Paris did not hold such danger as it did for
most aristocrats; it was well known that she had been good to the poor;
she would certainly be able to help Lucien. Mademoiselle knew Rouzet,
Lucien's servant; he had started for Beauvais taking with him a little
gold star which mademoiselle had given to Lucien. Not an hour afterwards
it was discovered that there were others, enemies, anxious to get
mademoiselle to Paris. Rouzet had been followed. Mercier, with a friend,
had immediately ridden after him, only, alas! to find him dead upon the
roadside and the star gone. They continued their journey toward
Beauvais, with only one clew to the scoundrel who had murdered and
robbed the faithful Rouzet. He was not a Frenchman. Even now Mercier did
not know his name, but he and his friend had distanced the foreigner and
his companion on the road and arrived first in Beauvais. Lodgings were
scarce owing to the ball, and Mercier had waited for the villains, had
taken them to a lodging next his own, nothing more than adjoining
cocklofts, but with this advantage, that part of the woodwork dividing
them could be easily removed. An invitation to wine (carefully drugged)
had followed, and during the night the golden star was retrieved from
the lining of the thief's coat; and lest he should discover the loss too
soon, and so hamper any plan which it was advisable to make, a rough-cut
iron star was left in its place. Here was the gold trinket, and glancing
round to make certain no one was watching, Mercier had put it into her
open hand.

This tale must be the truth. She had made no mention of Barrington, how
could this man know of the iron cross unless his tale were true? Richard
Barrington had declared he knew nothing of Lucien, but Mercier knew
everything about him and much about her, too. She would not believe him
until she had questioned him closely. As Mercier frankly answered her,
she understood with how improbable a tale Barrington had deceived her.
Mercier was quick with advice. He knew that Madame la Marquise had no
great affection for his friend Lucien. This other man might discover the
trick played upon him and frustrate them. A hundred things might prevent
mademoiselle from leaving the chateau if she delayed. To-night Beauvais
was crowded, it would be easy for her to go, and Jeanne had consented to
start in an hour.

She was proud, a daughter of a proud race. The nobility were suffering
many things at the hands of the people. This fellow Barrington should be
punished. Retaliation was justifiable. There was not a man in the
chateau of Beauvais who would not stand her champion. She sought out the
Vicomte de Montbard, told him that this foreigner had come to her with a
lying message from friends of hers in Paris. She had met deceit with
deceit, and at dawn he was to wait for her at the wood end.

"Mademoiselle, lackeys shall beat the life out of him," was the answer.

"No, not that way. Go to him yourself, challenge him. If underneath his
villainy there are concealed the instincts of a gentleman, let him have
the chance of dying like one. But go with one or two others, prepared
for treachery. He may be a scoundrel to the very core of his heart."

"Believe me, mademoiselle, you treat him far too courteously."

"Monsieur le Vicomte, he has touched me as an equal. I believed him to
be a man of honor. Let him so far profit by my mistake, and be punished
as I suggest."

"You shall be obeyed, mademoiselle. To-morrow I will do myself the honor
of visiting you to tell you how he met his punishment--his death."

It was not boastfully said. The Vicomte was one of the most accomplished
swordsmen in France.

Within an hour Jeanne St. Clair had left Beauvais.

All this came back to her most vividly as she sat alone in that upper
room of the Lion d'Or. In what manner had Richard Barrington taken his
punishment? She despised him for his mean deceit; by her direction he
had been punished; yet with the knowledge that he was a scoundrel came
the conviction that he was a brave man. The scene in that round chamber
took shape again. It was curious how completely she remembered his
attitude, his words, his manner, his looks; and not these only, but also
the something new in her life, the awakening of an interest that she had
never before experienced. It was not his mission which aroused it, it
was not the man himself; it was only that, coincident with his coming,
some secret chamber of her soul had been unlocked, and in it were stored
new, dreams, new thoughts, new ambitions. They were added to the old,
not given in exchange for them, but they had helped her to appreciate
the man's position when he found the star was iron instead of gold, they
had helped her to believe his tale. Her short interview with this man
had suddenly widened her view of life, the horizon of her existence had
expanded into a wider circle; this expansion remained, although the man
had deceived her. In spite of that deceit there was something in this
Richard Barrington to admire, and she was glad she had demanded that
his punishment should be administered by gentlemen, not by lackeys.
Certainly he was not a coward, and no doubt he had met his death as a
brave man should. This train of thought was repeated over and over
again, and always there came a moment when out of vacancy the man's face
seemed to turn to her and their eyes met. She had not the power to look
away. There was something he would compel her to understand, yet for a
long while she could not. Then suddenly she knew. This surely was a
vision. The spirit of the dead man had come to her. Why? Jeanne muttered
a prayer, and with the prayer came a question: had she been justified in
sending this man to his death?

When the vision finally passed from her she could not tell; whether she
had fallen asleep in her chair she could not tell; but coming to full
consciousness that she was alone in a mean room of a tavern on the Soisy
road, the question still hammered in her brain as though it would force
an answer from her. Was it only her loneliness and the shadows creeping
into the room which brought doubts crowding into her mind? This friend
of Lucien's, this Monsieur Mercier, what real guarantee had she of his
honesty? He had brought her the gold star. It seemed a sufficient
answer, but doubts are subtle and have many arguments. Why should she
believe his story rather than Barrington's? Might not Mercier have been
the thief? They were within a few miles of Paris. They had arrived at
the Lion d'Or early in the day, why had they not pressed on to Paris?
Their safety demanded patience, Mercier had said. Was this true? Was
this the real reason for the delay?

The shadows increased, even the corners of this narrow room grew dim
and dark. There was the sound of distant laughter, loud, coarse,
raucous, many voices talking together, a shouted oath the only word
distinguishable. Was this place, crowded with so-called patriots, safer
for her than Paris? She started to her feet, suddenly urged to action.
What was Monsieur Mercier doing?

She crossed the room and opened her door quietly. The passage without
was dark save for a blur of light at the end where the top of the
staircase was. Walking on tiptoe, she went toward this light. She would
at least make an effort to discover how her companions were engaged.

From the top of the stairs she could see nothing, nor was it a safe
place, for the light fell on her there. She crept down the stairs which
were in darkness until she could see into the room from which the noise
came. Even when bending down and looking through the banisters she could
only see a part of the room. There were more visitors than chairs and
benches, some sat on casks standing on end, and by way of applause at
some witty sally or coarse joke, pounded the casks with their heels
until the din was almost deafening. At a table upon which were many
bottles, one or two of them broken, sat Monsieur Mercier and his comrade
Dubois, both in the first stages of intoxication when men are pleased to
have secrets and grow boastful.

"There's going to be good news for you, citizens," Mercier hiccoughed.
"I've done great things, and this good fellow has helped me."

Dubois smiled stupidly.

"Tell me, is there any more room in the prisons, or are they filled up
with cursed aristocrats?"

Jeanne held her breath. Was Mercier playing a part for her greater
security? How well he played it!

"There'll be room for you and your friends," laughed a man, "or they'll
make room by cutting off a few heads. It's very easy."

"There's more demand for heads than supply," growled another. "There's
some calling themselves patriots that might be spared, I say."

Drumming heels greeted this opinion.

"Very like," Mercier answered. "Shouldn't wonder if I could throw this
bottle and hit one or two at this moment, but I'm thinking of emigres."

A savage growl was the answer.

"They're safe over the frontier, aren't they?" laughed Mercier. "They
won't bring their heads to Paris to pleasure Madame Guillotine, will
they? No," cried Mercier, clasping a bottle by the neck and striking the
table with it so that it smashed and the red wine ran like blood. "No,
they think they're safer where they are. The only way is to fetch them
back. Lie to them, cheat them until we get them in France. Then--"

He slapped his hands onto the table, into the spilled wine, then held
them up and laughed as the drops fell from his finger ends. His meaning
was clear.

"Bring them back, Citizen Mercier, and you'll be the first man in
Paris," said one.

"That's what I am doing. I've been to Beauvais, playing the aristocrat,
and doing it so well that one cursed head is already being carried to
Paris by its owner, and others will follow."

Jeanne crouched on the stairs, holding her breath.

"Long live Mercier!" came the cry.

There was an instant's silence, then a thud as a man jumped from a
cask, overturning it as he did so.

"The woman upstairs! The peasant woman! There are plenty of heads in
Paris. Why not to-night, here, outside the Lion d'Or? Madame Guillotine
is not the only method for aristocrats."

There was a shout of acclamation, a sudden rush to the room door. A man
staggering with the drink in him, fell upon the threshold, bringing two
or three companions down with him.

"Stop!" Mercier cried, suddenly sober, it seemed. "She's a peasant, my
witness against an aristocrat. I'll shoot the first man who goes to

This was dangerous acting surely.

Jeanne had started back as the rush was made. Should she make an attempt
to reach the inn door and flee into the night, or rush to her room and
lock herself in? Her room, it was safer. They would fight among
themselves, whether she was to be disturbed or not. Locked in her room
she would at least have a moment for thought. The decision came too
late. She had not seen any one reach the stairs, but even as she turned
a man was beside her--touching her.



For those wishing to leave Paris in a hurry, the Lion d'Or was a
dangerous place of call. The inn and its vigilant frequenters had
achieved a name in these days. An orator, waxing enthusiastic on
patriotism, had made mention of its doings in the Convention, and in
villages remote from the capital they were talked of. The King and Queen
would never have got as far as Varennes, it was said, had they been
obliged to travel by the Soisy road.

For travelers going toward Paris there was less danger, aristocrats did
not often make that journey. Monsieur Mercier appeared to have thought
there was no danger at all, and halted for the night, but there were
travelers on the road behind him who were more cautious. They made a
wide detour by devious bypaths, and came at length to a lane which
joined the Soisy road between the Lion d'Or and Paris. They had taken
care to avoid other travelers as far as possible, and even now the sound
of a horse upon the main road made them draw into the shelter of some
trees and wait. Through the trees, only a few paces up the lane, they
had a good view of the horseman as he came.

"Look, Seth!"

"Our swaggering friend of Tremont," was the answer. "There has been
devil's work along this road perchance."

"Sabatier," murmured Barrington.

There was no doubt of it. He passed them at no greater distance than a
stone's throw, and he was a man too marked in features to be mistaken.
He went his way, unconscious of their presence, to carry his good news
to the Rue Valette in Paris.

"There's something in that man's face which tells me that I shall
quarrel with him some day," said Seth. "I can't help feeling that I
shall live to see him a corpse."

"We must wait a little," said Barrington. "We must not run the risk of
overtaking him."

It was in no way a reply to or a comment on Seth's remark, but rather
the outcome of the recollection that Sabatier had said that all true
patriots must needs meet with him in Paris. Naturally, Sabatier was
closely associated in Barrington's mind with his self-imposed mission to
Beauvais, and his unexpected presence here on the Soisy road set him
speculating once more on the whole circumstances of his adventure. He
had had enough of women to last him a lifetime, he had declared to Seth,
and he meant it. Seth had smiled. His companion was not the first man
who had said the same thing, and yet before half the year was out had
been sighing for another woman's favor. Richard Barrington might hold to
his conviction longer than that, but there are many half years in a
lifetime, and the indefinite variety of women gave few men the chance of
escape. For the present, Seth never doubted that his master had had his
lesson, and was glad. There were periods in a man's life into which a
woman should not enter, either in reality or in thought; they were but
drags on the turning wheels of circumstance. This was such a period, and
Seth let a great load of anxiety slip from him as the distance between
them and Beauvais increased. Barrington's silence as they rode did not
undeceive him; his master was not a man who talked for the sake of
talking, yet from the moment they had driven spurs into their horses and
dashed from the wood end, Barrington had hardly ceased to speculate on
his adventure. A man does not easily forget a woman who has come to him
as a revelation even though she deceive him. The sight of Sabatier,
therefore, did not recall Jeanne St. Clair to his mind, she had hardly
been absent from his thoughts for a moment, but set him speculating in
another direction.

"How far do you suppose this inn, the Lion d'Or, is along the road
yonder?" he asked suddenly.

"Not a mile," was the answer.

Barrington nodded thoughtfully. Seth's opinion agreed with his own.

"Sabatier, no doubt, came from there," he said after a pause.

"Probably. We were wise to miss it. It would not have been convenient to
enter Paris in his company."

There was another pause of some duration.

"Has he been out hunting, stopping aristocrats?"

It was hardly a question, rather a speculation unconsciously put into

Seth shrugged his shoulders.

"It does not concern us. They may fully merit the hunting and deserve
whatever fate they meet with. I am not in love with the patriots I have
encountered, nor do I like the aristocrats I have seen any better. For
my part I would as lief sail back to Virginia and let them fight out
their own quarrel. A dog of breed has no cause to interfere in a fight
between curs."

"I wonder whether we have passed mademoiselle and her escort upon the
road," said Barrington.

"What's in your mind, Master Richard?" asked Seth, sharply.

"I have thought it strange that we did not overtake them."

"Better horses, or better knowledge of the country would account for

"Yes, but she may be at the Lion d'Or at this moment, and in the hands
of men like Sabatier."

There was no need for Seth to ask questions. The burden of anxiety which
had slipped from him was suddenly at his feet again and he took it up
reluctantly. Barrington understood.

"I cannot go on leaving her in such hands," he said. "Think what it may
mean. We know something of Sabatier."

Seth nodded, but with no encouragement. Had he known more of Jacques
Sabatier, could he have seen the heap of ashes which had once been the
inn at Tremont and known what was hidden beneath them, his attitude
would have been different.

"There may be much to excuse her for not believing in me," Barrington
went on. "We know only a little of the story. We may have been the
bearers of a lying message. With her knowledge of facts, every word I
uttered may only have convicted me of greater villainy. We have hardly
been just, Seth."

"I can find no excuse for her sending us to the wood."

"I can, Seth. Such a scoundrel as she may have thought me was not fit to
live. More than her own safety was at stake."

"Well, Master Richard?"

"I am going to the Lion d'Or."

Seth moved his shoulders, it was not a shrug, but as though he would get
the burden he carried into as easy a position as possible.

"We are hardly likely to meet with such good luck a second time. We
escaped from the wood end, but"

"There is no trap set for us this time," Barrington said. "She may be in
no need of help, in that case we ride on to Paris, and she will be none
the wiser. The plan is simple. We stay here till dark. I shall go back
on foot, you will wait for me here with the horses. An hour should
suffice. If she is in danger I must do what I can to help her. It is
impossible to say what action I shall take, but wait here for me, Seth,
all night. If I do not return by the morning, ride into Paris, inquire
for Monsieur de Lafayette, and tell him what has happened."

"Let me come with you, Master Richard. We could tether the horses here.
It is most unlikely they would be found."

"One man may go unnoticed where two could not," Barrington returned.
"You must remain here, Seth."

There was a point beyond which Seth never ventured to argue, not quickly
reached, as a rule, for Richard valued his companion's opinion and was
ready to listen, but on this occasion it came almost at once. Seth
looked into his face, saw the fixed purpose in his eyes and the sudden
set of the determined mouth, and said no more. They talked presently of
other things, but not a word of the business in hand until it was dark,
and Barrington suddenly rose from the Stump of a tree on which he was

"You quite understand, Seth."

"Yes. I shall let the sun get well up before I start for Paris."

"I hope we shall start together," said Richard, holding out his hand.

"Good fortune," said Seth, as their hands were grasped for a moment.
Then Richard passed into the lane and turned along the Soisy road in the
direction of the Lion d'Or.

The inn and its outbuildings stood back from the road, and isolated. The
village was beyond it, hidden by a turn in the road. Two or three wooden
tables stood on the space before the door, used no doubt on balmy summer
evenings, but deserted to-night. The sound of laughter and much talking
came to Richard as he approached, and he stood for a moment under a tree
by the roadside to look at the front of the building, at the windows
through which the sound of merrymaking came, and at the windows above
which showed no light. Crossing the road, he found a gap in the hedge
and went round to look at the back of the house. There was a garden,
mostly of vegetables and not ill kept, a low, wooden fence, broken down
in one place, enclosing it from the field in which he stood. A dim light
came from two windows on the ground floor, but above every window was
dark. If Mademoiselle St. Clair were there she must be without lamp or
candle, or the windows must be closely shuttered. He took careful note
of the back of the house and how the road lay in regard to it, for there
was no knowing what difficulties the next few minutes might bring. Then
he went back to the front of the house, and approaching quietly, looked
in at the window across which the curtains were only partially drawn. He
was prepared for any eventuality, and his hand in the pocket of his
coat held his pistol, but he was startled at what he saw. Facing him sat
Monsieur le Comte and his friend. These men had probably robbed him of
the gold star, Seth was of the same opinion; certainly they had done
their utmost to prevent his finding mademoiselle at the ball. Were they
aristocrats? If so, they were playing with fire among this crowd of
savage-looking patriots.

Monsieur le Comte was drunk, or feigning to be, and Barrington saw him
take up the wine bottle and smash it on the table, and heard him declare
that the only way to get the emigres into their power was to lie to them
and cheat them. He stayed to hear no more. Surely this man's presence
there, and his words, meant that he had lied to some purpose, meant that
Mademoiselle St. Clair was in the inn. Her danger was great, for there
was no doubt about the savage temper of the crowd in that room.

The door stood open, there was no one in the entrance, and Barrington
slipped in.

"The woman upstairs! The peasant woman!" These were the words that
greeted him. Horrible in their suggestion, they were a guide to him. He
was upon the dark staircase when the rush from the room came, and the
man fell upon the threshold. He drew back to the wall lest he should be
seen, and touched some one. In a moment, for his own safety, he had
grasped the arm beside him and then, as he realized that it was a woman
he held, put his hand quickly over her mouth to prevent her crying out.
He could not see her clearly, close as she was to him, but touch brought

"For your life, silence!" he whispered.

Mercier's threat to shoot the first man who attempted to go to the
woman upstairs had its effect, no one was inclined to run the risk, yet
several remained about the doorway instead of going back to their wine.
Barrington quickly calculated all the chances. To leave by the inn door
without being seen was impossible; another way must be found, and there
was not a moment to lose. Directly the wine fumes overpowered the man
who, for an instant, dominated the situation, these bloodthirsty
wretches would certainly rush upon their prey. The intention was visible
in their sullen faces.

"You know me, will you trust me?" he whispered. He still held her arm,
his hand was still over her mouth.

She nodded her head.

"Go up, quietly," he said, releasing her.

Jeanne knew him. Few moments had passed since her arm had been gripped
in the darkness, but she had lived a long time in them, and exactly when
she realized who it was who touched her she did not know. It never
occurred to her to think it strange that he should be alive. She did not
ask herself whether she really trusted him. At least, he was different
from those men below, and she obeyed him.

"Is there another staircase?" he asked when they were in the passage

"I do not know."

"There must be," he said, as though their dire necessity would compel
one. "Walk close behind me and tread lightly."

Comparative silence had reigned, only the uneasy shuffling of feet and
the chink of a glass, now the noise of voices broke out again, angry
voices, raised in argument and quarrel. Each moment Barrington expected
a rush up the stairs. If it came, what could he do?

He remembered the position of the windows through which a dim light had
shown in the rear of the house. The kitchen was probably there. If
another staircase existed it would be in the direction of the kitchen.
He turned along a passage to the left, his hand stretched out before
him, lest he should stumble in the darkness. The noise below was
deadened here.

"Might we not climb from a window?" Jeanne whispered.

He had thought of it. He tried to remember whether a tree or roof of an
outbuilding against any of the windows made this means of escape
possible. He felt sure such a way did not exist. He might have dropped
from one of the windows in safety, but the woman could not do so. He had
not answered her question when there was a new sound close beside them,
a heavy tread.

"Stand close to the wall," he said. "Keep near, and whatever happens do
not speak."

Some one was coming up stairs which were close to them, and in the dark.
Barrington strained his ears to locate the position. If they were not
seen escape was possible.

A thin, straight line of light was suddenly drawn perpendicularly, just
in front of him, and then a door was opened. A man, one of the inn
servants, carrying a candle, stepped into the passage. The light fell
directly on the figures standing by the wall. The man was startled. So
sudden an encounter was unusual, and in these days the unusual was
dangerous. Only a fraction of time was necessary to bring him to this
conclusion, but in it, Barrington had also reached a conclusion equally
definite. As the man opened his mouth to call out, his throat was seized
in a viselike grip and only the ghost of a sound gurgled and was lost.
The candle fell to the floor. The noise of its fall seemed horribly

"Stamp out the light," Barrington said in a low tone.

Jeanne did so, obeying him promptly.

The man was a child in Barrington's hands. His efforts to unloose the
gripping fingers at his throat were feeble and futile. He was borne
backward and downward to the floor, a knee was upon his chest, bending
and cracking his bones, and then came oblivion.

"Come," said Barrington.

She was close behind him and they went down the narrow stairs which had
a bend in them. There was a door at the bottom which was open, a light

Pistol in hand, Barrington stepped quickly into the kitchen. It was
empty. There was a door between the windows, and the next moment they
were in the garden. He took the woman's hand, guiding her to the broken
place in the wooden fence. There he paused, looking back and listening.
There was no sound of an alarm yet, no cries to suggest that the fiends
had rushed up the stairs to wreak their savagery on a defenseless woman.
For a moment Barrington contemplated taking a horse from the stable, but
he dared not run the risk of the delay. Chance must bring them the means
of entering Paris in safety.

"We must run, mademoiselle. My servant is waiting for me."

She gathered her skirts about her.

"Give me your hand again--it will help you."

So they ran across the fields, making for the road and the clump of
trees in the lane where Seth waited.



The two men had sat for a long while facing each other, one doing all
the talking, the other listening eagerly.

"Early this morning we turned the horses loose in a field and reached
the barrier on foot," said Barrington. "We came in with the crowd, two
abusive men quarreling with a market woman over some petty transaction
regarding vegetables. I assure you, Monsieur de Lafayette, I never used
such coarse language to a woman before in all my life. She played her
part excellently. They laughed at us at the barrier, and we entered
still quarreling. The rest was easy."

So he finished his long story, which had begun with his personal affairs
in Virginia, and ended with the account of mademoiselle's flight from
the Lion d'Or on the Soisy road.

Lafayette had listened without interrupting the narrative, now he rose
slowly, and, crossing the room, looked down into the street.

"Is it possible that, in spite of your protestations, you are not
pleased to see me?" Barrington asked, after a pause.

"Yes and no, an enigmatical answer, but the only true one I can give,"
said Lafayette, turning to his companion and putting both hands upon his
shoulders. "The face is still the face of the boy I knew, and of whom I
have thought often; there is exactly that courage and daring in you
which I then perceived would one day assert themselves. Richard
Barrington has grown into just the kind of man I expected, and on that
account I am delighted to see him. But there is no place for him in
France, there is no work for an honorable volunteer; besides which, he
has already managed to slip into a very maelstrom of danger, and for
that reason I am sorry he has come."

"I find the Marquis de Lafayette much altered when I hear him speak in
such a tone of despair."

Lafayette smiled, and gently pushed Richard into a chair.

"That I do not despair easily, as a rule, may convince you that I am not
troubled without reason. The country is in the hands of fanatics, there
is no foreseeing what the end may be. On every side of us are enemies,
but we are our own worse foes. We are split into factions, fighting and
disputing with one another; the very worst of us are gaining the
predominant power, and those who have honestly striven to bring good out
of evil have been driven to the wall and are struggling for their

"Yet you say my sword is useless."

"As useless as the wooden toy weapon of a boy," was the answer. "To-day
I am of no account. At any moment I am likely to be seized by some of
the very men who have been my supporters, some trumped up charge
preferred against me, and then--then forty-eight hours or less may
suffice to close the account."

"You are in immediate danger?" asked Barrington.

"A condition I share with nearly every honest man in France. It is not
known that I am in Paris. I am supposed to be with the army. I came
secretly, having affairs to settle in case of the worst happening. I may
find it necessary to cross the frontier, as so many others have done,
and after the part I have played am not likely to find much welcome."

"You know, monsieur, that I would do anything to help you."

"My dear Richard, I know that; but you must not overburden yourself. By
bringing mademoiselle here you have not brought her into a place of
safety. You should have persuaded her to stay in Beauvais."

"I did my best."

"And for the moment you have saved her. That is something. Now set your
fertile brain to work, Richard, and scheme how to get her back to
Beauvais again."

"But Bruslart--"

Lafayette silenced him with a look, as the door opened and Jeanne
entered. She had washed the stains from her face, and changed her
attire. Both men rose, and Lafayette placed a chair for her.

"You have braved so much, mademoiselle, that one does not fear to speak
the truth to you," said the Marquis. "I have been explaining to Monsieur
Barrington that this house is no safe refuge for you. Things have
changed rapidly since you left Paris."

"I know. We have not been without news at Beauvais," said Jeanne.

"I would to God you had never been persuaded to leave so safe a retreat.
I am aware, mademoiselle, that you dislike me. You would call me a
renegade from my order. It is true. I had dreams of a reformed, a
regenerated France; my strivings toward these dreams have ended in

"I think I can refrain from disliking a man who has the courage of his
opinions," said Jeanne, quietly. "Had I had my own way I should not have
fled from Paris. We were too easily alarmed, and our fear placed a
weapon in the hands of our enemies."

"At least, mademoiselle, accept the position now. The weapon is in the
hands of the people, and they are using it. Those who would have held
them in check are powerless. Be advised. Let me, with the help of my
friend here, do my best to get you safely back to Beauvais. After last
night's adventure, you will be looked for high and low. While the hunt
in the city is keen, it may be easy to slip out unobserved. Every moment
we delay the difficulty increases."

"Has not Monsieur Barrington informed you of my purpose in coming to

"He has."

"Do you imagine I shall go without fulfilling that purpose? Monsieur de
Lafayette, I thank you for your advice, which I know is honestly given.
I thank you for having me here, even for so short a time, for I know the
risks you run. I have many friends in Paris. Will you help me to reach
one of them?"

"What friends?"

"Monsieur Normand."

"He has been in the Conciergerie some weeks, mademoiselle."

"Madame de Lentville, then."

"Also in prison," answered Lafayette. "She was caught in her endeavor to
leave Paris less than a week ago."

"Monsieur Bersac," said Jeanne, but not speaking so readily.

"In heaven, mademoiselle. The dwellers in the suburbs beyond the Seine
remembered that he once called them idlers, accused them of thriving on
other men's industry. The people have a long memory."

"They killed him?"

"At the door of his own house. There is a lantern over it."

There was silence for some moments. The color, faded from Jeanne's face,
and the tears came into her eyes. She forced them back with a great

"There is the Vicomte de Morlieux," she said, suddenly.

"Alas, mademoiselle, only last night he was the center of a yelling mob
which passed beneath these windows bearing him to the Temple. He is
accused, I believe, of assisting the King's flight, and with showing
courage when the Tuileries was attacked. Surely you understand your

Barrington had looked from one to the other as they spoke, admiring the
woman's courage, wondering if it were necessary for Monsieur le Marquis
to give her such precise information. He knew she was courageous, but
was it wise to try her so severely as this?

"You have said the people remember," Jeanne said slowly; "they will
recollect, then, that I have done something for the poor. I never
thought to boast of my charity, but I will make capital out of it."

"Unfortunately, the people do not remember good works so easily,"
Lafayette answered. "Believe me, such faith is only grasping at a

"My faith is strong. I shall find a lodging in Paris. I have been a
market woman already; if necessary, I can sink to a lower level. Of my
own will I shall not leave Paris again until I have contrived to set
Lucien Bruslart free."

"He is not a prisoner, mademoiselle. I have already sent for him."

"Is that safe?" asked Barrington, quickly. "For you, I mean?"

"I think so. At any rate, it was necessary."

"Do you say he is not a prisoner?" said Jeanne.

"He may be here at any moment," said Lafayette.

"Have we been deceived?" Barrington exclaimed.

"I cannot tell," Lafayette answered. "It is true that Monsieur Bruslart
was in the Conciergerie, but he speedily convinced the authorities that
a mistake had been made. I believe he is considered a thorough patriot

Jeanne looked at Barrington, who met her gaze unflinchingly.

"I have told you all I know," he said quietly, answering the question in
her eyes.

There was a silence which was broken by the heavy opening and closing of
the street door.

"Doubtless that is Monsieur Bruslart," said Lafayette. "You would wish
to be alone with him, mademoiselle, so we will leave you for a little
while. I can only hope that his advice will support mine. You may count
on me to do all I can to secure your safety."

Barrington made no promise as he followed the Marquis from the room, but
his eyes met Jeanne's again for a moment. A curious and sudden
conviction came to her that she had at least one friend in Paris, who
was able and willing to help her. She was encouraged and strengthened.
For an instant she seemed to feel the grasp of his hand as she had done
when she ran beside him last night.

Lucien Bruslart's brain had worked busily since the message reached him.
He was glad Pauline had not been with him to hear it. She was such a
jealous little termagant. He entered the room the moment after Lafayette
and Barrington had left it by another door.


"You sent for me, Lucien. I have come."

He bent his head, and taking her hand raised it to his lips. At that
moment he had no thought for Pauline. Yet he felt there was something
lacking in Jeanne's greeting. He would make her understand directly.

"How good of you!" he murmured. "Tell me of your journey. Last night,
strangely enough, I heard of you, and since then have been in a fever of

"You heard of me! At the Lion d'Or?"

"Were you there? No, that is not what I heard. It was a strange place to
lodge you in. Tell me everything."

"Tell me first why you sent for me," she answered. "It is not so very
long since I left Paris; yet, in some way, you have grown unfamiliar."

"It is this perhaps," and he laughed as he touched the tri-color which
he wore. "You are unfamiliar too. We are both masquerading."

He told her the history of his imprisonment and of his release; he
laughed as he explained that his safety lay in appearing to be a good
patriot, and grew serious as he told her with lowered voice that, under
this deceit, he was working night and day for the King, the imprisoned
nobility, and for the emigres.

"I was in danger, Jeanne, grave danger, but I did not send for you. Do
you imagine I would have brought you into peril on any pretext?"

"You promised to send for me if you were in danger. It was a compact."

"One that any man would feel himself justified in breaking. Rouzet,
poor fellow, acted without my knowledge. He was from the first very
fearful for my safety, and to ease his mind I showed him the trinket and
told him of our compact. Directly I was arrested and taken to the
Conciergerie he must have planned to come to Beauvais."

"But how did the trinket come into his possession? I thought you always
wore it."

"I did, but in such a hurry were they to arrest me that they came while
I was yet in bed. I had to dress with two men watching me, and I left
the gold star in a drawer."

"And Rouzet found it?"

"How else could he have started to ride to Beauvais with it?" said
Lucien. "Truly, Jeanne, you seem as hard to convince as if you were
really a market woman suspecting every purchaser of trying to get the
better of her in a bargain."

"Forgive me, but I have come through such a maze of deceit that full
belief is difficult," she answered. "Have you no friend named Mercier?"

"Half the ragged fellows passing in the street might claim friendship
with me, so well do I play the part of patriot; but I am not conscious
of having a friend of that name."

"There is such a man, and his knowledge of you is intimate. He brought
me the gold star."

"Tell me the whole story, Jeanne. I may find a clew in it."

He listened to the tale, asking no questions. There was excitement in
his face as she recounted her adventure at the Lion d'Or and her rescue
by Barrington. It was simply told, yet dramatically, and Lucien's face
flushed and paled. This beautiful woman had passed through this terrible
experience because she loved him.

"They shall pay for it," he said, between his closed teeth, it was the
only thought in his mind at the moment--"they shall pay, by Heaven! they

His earnestness pleased her. This was the Lucien she knew.

"What was it you heard of me last night?" she asked.

"I was told that Rouzet had been watched and followed, that he had been
killed on the high road, and the star stolen; that no message could
possibly have reached you at Beauvais. It is evident there are others
who have plotted to bring you into danger."

"And succeeded," she answered.

"You must be placed in safety without delay, Jeanne. These scoundrels
will follow you hot-footed to Paris."

"Monsieur de Lafayette has advised me to return to Beauvais."

"Excellent advice, but impossible. A little while ago his name might
have been a safeguard, but his day is over. He clings too persistently
to a rock which the rising tide is covering. I have another plan. Tell
me, is this man Barrington to be trusted?"


She spoke so quickly and certainly that Lucien started. He was inclined
to resent such a tone used in the defense of another man.

"There is a wealth of eloquence in the word as you utter it, Jeanne."

"It is only his courage which has made this meeting possible," she said

"Many a man who is not to be trusted is full of courage," Lucien
returned. "One gets skeptical in these days, and I have your safety to
think of. You must let me form my own judgment of this man when I see

"I hear them coming now."

The Marquis and Barrington entered.

"I was surprised to hear you were in Paris, monsieur," said Bruslart to

"I am here, a private affair. I trust monsieur will forget he has seen
me. Under the circumstances it seemed necessary to let you know that
mademoiselle was here."

"I am greatly in your debt. You may certainly count on my

"And you must pardon this interruption," said Lafayette, "but I am
fearful of delay. Doubtless you agree with me, Monsieur Bruslart, that
it would be best for mademoiselle to leave Paris at once."

"Yes, if such a thing were possible," Bruslart answered. "As I have told
mademoiselle, her presence here is not of my contriving. Fearing for my
safety, my servant started for Beauvais. He is dead, poor fellow, but he
has unwillingly played into the hands of others. For some days at least
I believe it would be most dangerous for mademoiselle to attempt to
leave Paris. I have a safer plan. A friend I can trust implicitly will
hide her for the time being. A couple of hours will suffice to make

"I doubt whether this house is safe even for that two hours," answered
Lafayette. "If there is a suspicion how mademoiselle was rescued, and it
is hardly possible there should not be, my house is certain to be
searched. My friend Barrington has mentioned my name since his arrival
in France."

"I propose to take mademoiselle with me," Lucien answered. "She will be
safe at my lodging until I have arranged with my friend."

"Are you sure of that?"

"Monsieur de Lafayette, do you think I would run the risk unless I were

"Your interest in mademoiselle is well known, Monsieur Bruslart, and we
know that patriots do not always trust each other."

"Have you any other plan?" Bruslart asked.

"I should try and get out of Paris at once," Lafayette answered.

"And my services are at your disposal, monsieur," said Barrington.

"I thank you," Lucien returned, "not only for your proffered help, but
for all you have done for this lady. Jeanne, which will you do: attempt
to leave Paris or take my advice?"

"I am in your hands, Lucien," she said.

"Then we will go at once. There is a back entrance to this house, I
believe, Monsieur de Lafayette. We will go that way if you will allow
us. We are safest on foot, I think."

"I will show you the way," answered the Marquis.

"For the moment, Monsieur Barrington, I cannot use your services," said
Bruslart; "but I may be only too glad to do so presently. Naturally you
will be anxious to know that mademoiselle is in safety. Will you do me
the honor to call upon me to-night?"

"The honor will be mine," Barrington answered.

"Come, Jeanne. Will you show us the way, monsieur?"

Lafayette went to the door, and Jeanne crossed the room to Barrington.

"I have no words to thank you," she said. "For what I did at Beauvais I
humbly ask your pardon."

"I am always at your service, mademoiselle. Please believe this and use
me in your need."

She was gone, and Barrington was alone, staring at the doorway through
which she had passed. A tangle of thoughts was in his brain, one loose
end uppermost. He had not moved when Lafayette returned.

"Is that man honest?" asked Barrington. It was the loose end in the
tangle which prompted the question.

"Yes, surely. She is the woman he loves."

"Only God knows the villainy of some men."

Lafayette laid his hand on his arm.

"Friend Richard, can it be that he is not the only man who loves her?"

"She is a woman, and in Paris."

"Ah, yes, enough truly to cause any man anxiety," answered Lafayette.
"Now I am going to send a trusted servant with you to find you a secure
lodging. This house is no safe place for you either. I would we were
looking out across Chesapeake Bay together."



There were quiet streets in Paris down which noisy patriots seldom
passed, houses into which the angry roar of revolution only came like a
far-off echo. There were men and women who had no part in the upheaval,
who had nothing to do either with the rabble or the nobility, who went
about their business as they had always done, lamenting the hard times
perchance, yet hoping for better. Some may have realized that in their
indifference lay their safety, but to others such indifference came
naturally; their own immediate affairs were all that concerned them. The
rabble took no notice of them, they were too insignificant for the
nobility to attempt to influence, and they criticised neither the doings
of the Convention, nor the guillotine's work, knowing little of either.

In such a street, with a man named Fargeau, a tailor by trade,
Barrington and Seth found a lodging. Fargeau had had the Marquis de
Lafayette for a customer, and the money of this American, who could
hardly have much interest in what was happening in Paris, would be

"I cannot tell how long I may be in Paris," said Lafayette, at parting.
"One must not prophesy about to-morrow. At present the neighborhood of
my apartment must be dangerous to you. If chance brings me power again
you know I shall think of you before any other."

"My duty seems to lie straight before me," Barrington returned.

"Yes, I understand, and if you are in trouble send for me if you can.
You may depend on my doing all that a man can do. Count the cost of all
your actions, for the price may be heavy. I have been full of advice
this morning, let me advise you. To some in Paris you are a marked man,
remember, so keep quiet for a while, and on the first opportunity get
back to Virginia."

"You will not ask me to promise to act on your advice," Barrington
returned with a smile.

"No," and then Lafayette looked earnestly into his face. "No, I do not
expect you to act upon it. For most of us some woman is a curse or a
blessing, and the utmost a man can do is to satisfy himself which she
is. If she is worthy, I would not call that man friend who was not ready
to risk all for her. God grant we both win through to more peaceful

Early in the afternoon Barrington went out, leaving Seth in the lodging.
Seth suggested that he should be allowed to go with him.

"You must be free to work should I be caught and unable to act for
myself," was the answer. "After to-night I shall be able to make more
definite plans. Under certain circumstances there will be nothing to
prevent us setting out upon our return journey to Virginia. Believe me,
Seth, I have not yet fallen in love with Paris."

Seth watched him go, knowing that his resolution was not to be shaken,
realizing, too, that there was reason in his argument.

"I couldn't understand any one being in love with Paris," he said to
himself; "but there's a woman has Master Richard in her net. Love is a
disease, the later caught, the worse it is. I wonder what his mother
would have thought of this lady from Beauvais. And she doesn't care a
handful of Indian corn for Master Richard as far as I can see; only
makes use of him to get to another man. Falling in love with a woman of
that kind seems a waste of good energy to me, but it's wonderful how
many men have done it."

Richard Barrington had no intention of running into unnecessary danger.
This man Mercier had no proof that he had helped Mademoiselle St. Clair
to escape from the Lion d'Or. Paris was a big place, and he might never
chance upon Jacques Sabatier. He had no intention of making any further
use of Lafayette's name for the present, since it was evident that he
might involve his friend in difficulty if he did. He was a Virginian
gentleman in Paris privately. He was content to remain unknown if they
would let him. If they grew inquisitive, his nationality should be in
his favor, and the fact that he had come to offer his sword on the side
of the people would be his safety. If he had made a few enemies by
thwarting private plans, he had surely the power of making a thousand
friends. So far his scheme was complete, but he was not thinking of it

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