Part 4 out of 7
hear it with my own ears, to understand exactly what it was against
which I must be prepared. But now, Sir Julien, I question you. As for
me, my presence there was reasonable enough; but what were you doing in
such a place? What interests have you in German socialism?"
Julien shrugged his shoulders.
"I cannot say that I have any," he admitted. "It was Kendricks who took
me. He is showing me Paris--Paris from his own point of view. He took me
first to a restaurant, where we dined for two francs and sat at the
same table with those people to whom he is now making himself so
agreeable. Kendricks has democratic instincts. His latest fad is to try
and instil them into me."
Herr Freudenberg looked thoughtfully across at the journalist, still
deep in argument with his friends.
"I am not sure that I understand that man," he declared. "In a sense he
impresses me. I should have put him down as one of those who do nothing
without a set and fixed purpose. But enough of other people. Listen. I
wish to speak with you--of yourself. I am glad that we have met
to-night. I have another and altogether a different proposition to make
Julien remained silent for several moments. Herr Freudenberg watched
"A proposition to make to me," Julien repeated at last. "Well, let me
Herr Freudenberg leaned towards him.
"Sir Julien," he said, "there has happened to you, as to many of us, a
little slip in your life. It is a wise thing if for a few months you
pass off the stage of European affairs. You are of an adventurous
spirit. Will you undertake a commission for me? Listen. I will
guarantee that it is something which does not, and could not ever, by
any chance, affect in the slightest degree the interests of your
country. It is a commission which will take you a year to execute, and
it will lead you into a new land. It will require tact, diplomacy and
some courage. If you succeed, your reward will be an income for life.
If you fail, the worst that can happen to you is that you will have
passed a year of your life without effective result. Still, you will at
least have traveled, you will at least have seen new phases of life."
Julien was puzzled.
"You cannot seriously propose to me," he protested, "to undertake a
diplomatic errand for a country which has absolutely no claims upon
me--to which I am not even attracted?" he added.
Herr Freudenberg tapped with his forefinger upon the table. Upon his
lips was a genial and tolerant smile. He had the air of a preceptor
devoting special pains upon the most backward member of his
"My friend," he said, "there is no political question involved
whatever. The mission which I ask you to undertake would lead you into
a remote part of Africa, where neither your country nor mine has at
present any interests. More than this I cannot tell you unless you show
signs of accepting my invitation. The negotiations which you would have
to conduct are simply these. Four years ago a distinguished German
scientist who was in command of a somewhat rash expedition, was
captured by the ruler of the country to which I wish you to travel. For
some time the question of a mission to ascertain his fate has been upon
the carpet. It is true that we have received letters from him. He
professes to be happy and contented, to have been kindly treated, and
to have accepted a post in the army of his captor. We wish to know
whether these letters are genuine or not. If they are genuine, all is
well, but a suspicion still remains among some of us that the person in
question is being held in torture as an example to other white men who
might penetrate so far. This is the first object in the journey which I
propose to you. There is nothing political about it at all, as you
perceive. It is purely a matter of humanity.... Ah! I see that our
party is to be increased. Here are some new friends who arrive."
Mademoiselle Ixe had succeeded. She returned now to her place, followed
by the girl with the chestnut-colored hair and her companion. At close
quarters the latter, at any rate, was scarcely prepossessing. He was a
man of middle age, untidily dressed, whose clothes were covered with
cigar ash and recent wine stains, whose linen was none of the cleanest,
and whose eyes behind his pince-nez were already bloodshot. Herr
Freudenberg, however, seemed to notice none of these unpleasant
defects. He grasped him vigorously by the hand.
"It is Monsieur Jesen!" he exclaimed. "Often you have been pointed out
to me, and I have long wished to have the pleasure of making your
acquaintance. Sit down and join us, monsieur. Your little friend,
He bent low over the girl's hand and placed a seat for her. The party
was now arranged. Their host beamed upon them all.
"Come," he continued, "this is perhaps my last night in Paris for some
time! We have had adventures, too, within these few hours. You find us
celebrating. My English friend here is one of us. I will not introduce
him by name. Why should we trouble about names? We are all friends, all
good fellows, here to pass the time agreeably, to drink good wine, to
look into beautiful eyes, mademoiselle, to amuse ourselves. It is the
science of life, that. Monsieur Jesen, mademoiselle, dear Marguerite,
my English friend here, let me be sure that your glasses are filled. To
the very brim, garcon--to the very brim! Let us drink together to the
joyous evenings of the past, to the joyous evenings of the future, to
these few present hours that lie before us when we shall sit here and
taste further this very admirable vintage. To the wine we drink, to the
lips we love, to this hour of life!"
For the moment there was no more serious conversation. Herr Freudenberg
had started a vein of frivolity to which every one there was quick to
respond. Only every now and then he himself, the giver of the feast,
had suddenly the look of a different man as he sat and whispered in the
ear of Monsieur Jesen.
At two o'clock, with obvious reluctance, Kendricks' new friends
departed. Their leave-taking was long and ceremonious. Kendricks,
indeed, insisted upon escorting mademoiselle to the door. Madame left
the place with the assured conviction that a prospective son-in-law was
soon to present himself--it could be for no other reason that the
English gentleman had so sedulously attached himself to their party.
Monsieur, having less sentiment, was not so sure. Mademoiselle had both
hopes and fears. They discussed the matter fully on their homeward
Kendricks strolled over to the table where Julien was and touched him
on the shoulder.
"Is this to be another all-night sitting?" he asked.
Herr Freudenberg was deep in conversation with Monsieur Jesen--the
friend of mademoiselle's friend. He glanced up, but his greeting was
almost perfunctory. Kendricks looked keenly at the man who was leaning
back in his padded seat. The eyes of Monsieur Jesen were a little more
bloodshot now. He had spilt wine down the front of his waistcoat, cigar
ash upon his coat-sleeve. He was by no means an inviting person to look
at. Yet about his forehead and mouth there was an expression of power.
Herr Freudenberg, with obvious regret, abandoned his conversation for a
"You are taking your friend away?" he remarked suavely. "We shall part
from him with regret. Sir Julien," he added, whispering in his ear, "I
must have your answer to my proposition. I will put it into absolutely
definite shape, if you like, within the next few days."
"I move into my old rooms--number 17, Rue de Montpelier--to-morrow
morning, or rather this morning," Julien replied. "You might telephone
or call there at any time."
"Tell me, is what I have proposed in any way attractive to you?" Herr
Freudenberg asked, still speaking in an undertone.
"In a sense it is," Julien answered. "It needs further consideration,
of course. I must also consult my friend."
Herr Freudenberg glanced at Kendricks and shrugged his shoulders. He
had the air of one slightly annoyed. Kendricks was bending over
Mademoiselle Ixe. Herr Freudenberg whispered in Julien's ear.
"You take too much advice from your boisterous friend, dear Sir
Julien," he asserted. "Mark my words, he will try to keep you here,
cooling your heels upon the mat. He will prevent you from raising your
hand to knock upon the door of destiny. These men who write are like
that. They do not understand action."
Kendricks turned from mademoiselle.
"You are ready, Julien?" he asked.
"Quite," Julien answered.
They made their adieux. Herr Freudenberg watched them leave the room.
The man by his side--Monsieur Jesen--also watched a little curiously.
"An English journalist," Herr Freudenberg remarked, "some say a man of
ability. I find him a trifle boisterous and uncouth. Monsieur Jesen,
our conversation interests me immensely. I feel sure--"
Jesen looked suspiciously around.
"We have talked enough of business," he declared. "It is an idea, this
of yours. For the rest, I cannot tell. A wonderful idea!" he continued.
"And as for me, am I not the man to embrace it?"
"You have but to say a single word," Herr Freudenberg reminded him
softly, "and all is arranged."
Monsieur Jesen puffed furiously at a cigarette. The fingers which had
held the match to it were shaking. The man himself seemed unsteady on
his seat. Yet it was obvious that his brain was working.
"Herr Freudenberg," he said, "there is but one weak point in all your
chain of arguments. To do as you ask, it will be necessary that I--I,
Paul Jesen, so well-known, whose opinions are followed by millions of
my country people--it would be necessary for me to abandon my
convictions, to turn a right-about-face. Ask yourself, is it not like
selling one's honor when one writes the things one does not believe?"
Herr Freudenberg smiled.
"My friend, you ask me a question the reply to which is already spoken.
I tell you that behind, at the back of your brain, you know and realize
the truth of all these things. Think, man! Call to mind the arguments I
have used. Remember, I have lifted the curtain, I have shown you the
things that arrive, the things that are inevitable."
Mademoiselle, the companion of Monsieur Jesen, had had enough of this.
It was her weekly holiday. She yawned and tapped her friend upon the
"My dear Paul," she protested, "while you and Herr Freudenberg talk as
two men who have immense affairs, Marguerite and I we weary ourselves.
If I am to be alone like this, very good. I speak to my friends. There
is Monsieur de Chaussin there. He throws me a kiss. Do you wish that I
sit with him? He looks, indeed, as though he had plenty to say! Or
there is the melancholy Italian gentleman, who raises his glass always
when I look. And the two Americans--"
"You have reason, little one," Monsieur Jesen interrupted. "Herr
Freudenberg, this is no place for such a discussion."
"Agreed!" Herr Freudenberg exclaimed. "We owe our apologies to
mademoiselle, your charming friend, and mademoiselle, my adored
companion," he added, turning to Marguerite. "Come, let us drink more
wine. Let us talk together. What is your pleasure, mademoiselle, the
friend of my good friend, Monsieur Jesen? Will you have them dance to
us? Is there music to which you would listen? Or shall we pray
Marguerite here that she sings? Let us, at any rate, be gay. And for
the rest, Monsieur Jesen, time has no count for us who live our lives.
When we leave here, you and I will talk more."
It was daylight before they left. The whole party got into Herr
"I drive you first to your rooms, Monsieur Jesen," he said. "I take
then the liberty of entering with you. The little conversation which we
have begun is best concluded within the shelter of four walls."
Monsieur Jesen was excited yet nervous.
"It is too late," he muttered, "to talk business."
Herr Freudenberg smiled.
"Ah!" he cried, "you jest, my friend. Look out of that window. You see
the sunshine in the streets, you breathe the fresh, clear air? Too
late, indeed! It is morning, and the brain is keenest then. Don't you
feel the fumes of the hot room, of the wine, of the tobacco smoke, all
pass away with the touch of that soft wind?"
Monsieur Jesen stared. He was conscious of a very bad headache, an
uncomfortable sense that he had, as usual on his weekly holiday, eaten
and drunk and smoked a great deal more than was good for him. He gazed
with wonder at this tall, spare-looking man, who had drunk as much and
smoked as much and eaten as much as any one else, and yet appeared
exactly as he had done four hours ago. Even his linen was still
spotless. His eyes were bright, his manner buoyant.
"Monsieur," he murmured, "you are marvelous. I have never before met a
German merchant like you."
Herr Freudenberg sat quite still for a moment. He looked at
mademoiselle, the friend of Monsieur Jesen, and he realized that theirs
was no casual acquaintance. In both he recognized the characteristics
of fidelity. As he had always the genius to do, he took his risks.
"Monsieur Jesen," he announced, "I am no German maker of toys. Let me
ascend with you to your room and you shall hear who I am and why I have
said these things to you."
Monsieur Jesen held his hand to his head. Something in the manner of
this new friend of his was, in a sense, mesmeric.
"You shall ascend, monsieur," he said. "I do not know who you are, but
you are evidently a very wonderful person. We will ascend and you shall
wait while I place my head in cold water and Susanne mixes me some
absinthe. Then I will listen."
The automobile came to a standstill about halfway down a shabby street
in a somewhat shabby neighborhood. Herr Freudenberg noticed this fact
without change of countenance, but with secret pleasure. He turned to
"Dear Marguerite," he whispered, "for an hour or so I must leave you.
You will permit that my man takes you to your apartments and returns
for me here?"
"May I not wait for you here in the automobile?" she asked timidly.
Herr Freudenberg shook his head kindly.
"Dear little one," he murmured, "not this morning. Indeed, I have
important affairs on hand. As soon as I am free, I will telephone.
Sleep well, little girl."
He stepped out on to the pavement. The postern door in front of them
was opened, in response to Monsieur Jesen's vigorous knocking, from
some invisible place by a string. The three of them climbed four
flights of rickety stairs. They reached at last a stone landing.
Monsieur Jesen threw open a door and led the way into an untidy-looking
"Monsieur will forgive the fact," he begged, "that I am not better
housed. If it were not for little Susanne here," he added, patting her
upon the shoulder, "I doubt whether I should keep a roof above my head
"It is not like this," Herr Freudenberg declared, "that genius should
"Indeed," Mademoiselle Susanne intervened, "it is what I tell him
always. Monsieur, they pay him but a beggarly three hundred francs a
month--he, who writes all the editorials; he, who is the spirit of the
papers! It is not fair. I tell dear Paul that it is wicked, and, as he
says, the money, if it were not for me, he would squander it in a
minute. I have even to go with him to the office, for there are many
who know when Paul draws his little cheque."
Herr Freudenberg set down his hat upon the table. He looked around at
all the evidences of unclean and sordid life. Then he looked at the
man. It was a queer housing, this, for genius! His face remained
expressionless. Of the disgust he felt he showed no sign. In the
building of houses one must use many tools!
"Monsieur Jesen," he said, "and mademoiselle--I speak to you both, for
I recognize that between you there is indeed a union of sympathy and
souls. Mademoiselle, then, I address myself to you. On certain terms I
have offered to purchase for Monsieur Paul here a two-thirds share of
the newspaper upon which he works, that two-thirds share which he and I
both know is in the market at this moment. I am willing at mid-day
to-morrow, or rather to-day, to place within his hands the sum
required. I am willing to send my notary with him to the office, and
the affair could be arranged at half-past twelve. From then he
practically owns _Le Jour_. Its politics are his to control. I
make him this offer, mademoiselle, and it is a greater one than it
sounds, for the money which I place in his hands to make this
purchase--five hundred thousand francs--is his completely and
absolutely. You move at once into apartments befitting your new
position. Monsieur Paul Jesen is no longer a struggling and ill-paid
journalist. He is the proprietor of an important journal, through whose
columns he shall help to guide the policy of your nation."
Monsieur Jesen sat down. His fingers were clutching one another.
Mademoiselle stared at Herr Freudenberg. Her color was coming and
"Monsieur, I do not understand!" she cried. "Are you a prince in
disguise? Why do you do this?"
"Mademoiselle," Herr Freudenberg replied, "your question is the
question of an intelligent woman. Why do I do this? Not for nothing, I
assure you. It is my custom to make bargains, indeed, but I make them
so that those with whom I deal shall never regret the day they met Herr
Freudenberg. I offer you this splendid future, you and Monsieur Jesen
there, on one condition, and it is a small one, for already the truth
has found its way a little into his brain. _Le Jour_ has supported
always, wholly and entirely, the _entente_ between Great Britain
and your country. I have tried to point out to Paul Jesen here what all
far-seeing people must soon appreciate--that the _entente_ is
The girl glanced at Jesen. Jesen was looking away out of the dusty
"Mademoiselle," Herr Freudenberg continued, "I will not weary you at
this hour in the morning with politics. I have talked long with
Monsieur Jesen and I think that I have shown him something of the
truth. You came to the rescue of Great Britain when she lay friendless
and powerless. You saved her prestige; you saved her, without doubt,
from invasion. What have you gained? Nothing! What can you ever gain?
Nothing! Her army of toy soldiers would be of less use to you than a
single corps from across the Elbe. Her fleet--you have no possessions
to guard. It is for herself only that she maintains it. I ask you to
think quietly for yourself and ask yourself on whose side is the
balance of advantage. You can reply to that question in one way, and
one way only. France has been carried away on a wave of enthusiasm, a
wave of sentiment--call it what you will. But France is a far-seeing
people. The moment is ripe. I propose to Paul Jesen that his should be
the hand and _Le Jour_ the vehicle which shall bring the French
people to a proper understanding of the political situation."
"Who, then, are you?" Mademoiselle Susanne persisted.
Herr Freudenberg barely hesitated.
"Mademoiselle," he said, "we speak of great things, we three, in this
little chamber of yours. I, who have often talked of great things
before, have learned in life one lesson at least, and that is when one
may trust. It is not my desire that many people should know who I am.
It suits my purpose better to move in Paris as a private citizen, but
to you two let me tell the truth. I am Prince Falkenberg."
There was a silence. The man looked at him, sober enough now, in
amazement. The girl's hands were clasped together. She was watching the
man--her man. She crept to his side, her arm was around his neck.
"Dear Paul," she whispered, "think! Think how sweet life might be.
There is so much truth in all this. I know little of politics, but
think of the hard times we have lived through. Think how glorious to
have you ride in your automobile to the offices of your newspaper, to
see you pass into the editor's sanctum instead of waiting outside, to
have me call for you, perhaps, and take you out to lunch--no, never at
Drevel's any more--at the Cafe de Paris, or Henry's, or Paillard's, or
out in the Bois! And the excursions, dear Paul. Think of them! The
country--how we both love the country! You remember when we first went
out together to the little town on the river, where no one ever seemed
to have come from Paris before? How sleepy and quiet the long
afternoon, when we lay in the grass and heard the birds sing, and the
murmur of the river, and we had only a few francs for our dinner, and
we had to leave the train and walk that last four miles because you had
drunk one more _bock_. Dear Paul, think what life might be if one
were really rich!"
The man's eyes flashed.
"It is true," he muttered. "All my life I have been a straggler."
"You have done your genius an ill turn, my friend," Herr Freudenberg
said slowly. "No man can be at his best who knows care. I, Prince
Falkenberg, I promise you that it is the truth which I have spoken, the
truth which I shall show you. You lose no shadow of honor or
self-respect. There will come a day when the millions of readers whom
you shall influence will say to themselves--'Paul Jesen, he is the man
who saw the truth. It is he who has saved France.' You accept?"
"Monsieur le Prince," Susanne cried, "he accepts!"
Jesen rose to his feet. He had become a little unsteady again. He
struck the table with his fist.
"I accept!" he declared.
THE FLIGHT OF LADY ANNE
It was exactly nine forty-five in the evening, about three weeks
later, when the two-twenty from London steamed into the Gare du Nord.
Julien, from his place among the little crowd wedged in behind the
gates, gazed with blank amazement at the girl who, among the first to
leave the train, was presenting her ticket to the collector. At that
moment she recognized him. With a purely mechanical effort he raised
his hat and held out his hand.
"Lady Anne!" he exclaimed. "Why--I had no idea you were coming to
Paris," he added weakly.
She laughed--the same frank, good-humored laugh, except that she seemed
to lack just a little of her usual self-possession.
"Neither did I," she confessed, "until this morning."
He looked at her blankly. She was carrying her own jewel-case. He could
see no signs of a maid or any party.
"But tell me," he asked, "where are the rest of your people?"
She shook her head.
"Nowhere. I am quite alone."
Julien was speechless.
"You must really forgive me," he continued, after a moment's pause, "if
I seem stupid. It is scarcely a month ago since I read of your
engagement to Harbord. The papers all said that you were to be married
"That's exactly it," she said. "That's why I am here."
"What, you mean that you are going to be married here?" asked Julien.
"I am not going to be married at all," she replied cheerfully. "Between
ourselves, Julien," she added, "I found I couldn't go through with it."
"Couldn't go through with it!" he repeated feebly.
Lady Anne was beginning to recover herself.
"Don't be stupid," she begged. "You used to be quick enough. Can't you
see what has happened? I became engaged to the little beast. I stood it
for three weeks. I didn't mind him at the other end of the room, but
when he began to talk about privileges and attempt to take liberties, I
found I couldn't bear the creature anywhere near me. Then all of a
sudden I woke up this morning and remembered that we were to be married
in a week. That was quite enough for me. I slipped out after lunch,
caught the two-twenty train, and here I am."
"Exactly," Julien agreed. "Here you are."
"With my luggage," she continued, swinging the jewel-case in her hand
and laughing in his face.
"With your luggage," Julien echoed. "Seriously, is that all that you
"Every bit," she answered. "You know mother?"
"Yes, I know your mother!" he admitted.
"Well, I didn't exactly feel like taking her into my confidence," Lady
Anne explained, smiling. "Under those circumstances, I thought it just
as well to make my departure as quietly as possible."
"Then they don't know where you are?"
"Really," she assured him, "you are becoming quite intelligent. They do
"In other words, you've run away?"
"Marvelous!" she murmured. "I suppose it's the air over here."
A sudden idea swept into Julien's mind. Of course, it was ridiculous,
yet for a moment his heart gave a little jump. Perhaps she divined his
thought, for her next words disposed of it effectually.
"Of course, I knew that you were in Paris, but I had no idea that we
should meet, certainly not like this. I have a dear friend to whose
apartments I shall go at once. She is a milliner."
"She is a what?" Julien asked blankly.
A smile played about Lady Anne's lips.
"My dear Julien," she exclaimed, "you know, you never did understand
me! I repeat that she is a milliner and that she is a dear friend of
mine, and I am going just as I am to tell her that I have come to spend
the night. She will have to find me rooms, she will have to help me
Kendricks, who had come by the same train, and whom Julien was there to
meet, was hovering in the background. Julien, seeing him, could do no
more than nod vaguely.
"Lady Anne," he began,--
"You needn't bother about that," she interrupted. "We were always good
friends, weren't we?" she added carelessly. "Besides, to call me 'Lady'
anything would be rather ridiculous under the present circumstances."
"Well, Anne, then," he said, "please let me get my bearings. I
understand that you were engaged to Harbord--you weren't forced into
it, I suppose?"
"Not at all. I tried to run along the usual groove, but I came up
against something too big for me. I don't know how other girls do it. I
simply found I couldn't. Samuel Harbord is rather by way of being
something outrageous, you know."
"Of course he is," Julien agreed, with sudden appreciation of the fact.
"You needn't be so vigorous about it. I remember your almost forcing
him on to me the day you called to say good-bye."
"I was talking rubbish," Julien asserted. "You see, I was in rather an
unfortunate position myself that day, wasn't I? No one likes to feel
like a discarded lover. I can understand your chucking Harbord all
right, but I can't quite see why it was necessary for you to run away
from home to come and stay with a little milliner."
"My dear Julien, you don't know those Harbords! There are hordes of
them, countless hordes--mothers and sisters and cousins and aunts.
They've besieged the place ever since our engagement was announced. If
the merest whisper were to get about among them that I was thinking of
backing out, there's nothing they wouldn't do. They'd make the whole
place intolerable for me--follow me about in the street, weep in my
bedroom, hang around the place morning, noon and night. Besides, mother
would be on their side and the whole thing would be impossible."
"I have no doubt," Julien admitted, "that the situation would be a
trifle difficult, but to talk about earning your own living--you, Lady
"Lady fiddlesticks!" she interrupted. "What a stupid old thing you are,
Julien! You never found out, I suppose, that at heart I am a Bohemian?"
"No, I never did!" he assented vigorously.
"Ah, well," she remarked, "you were too busy flirting with that Carraby
woman to discover all my excellent qualities. We mustn't stay here,
must we? Are you very busy, or do you want to drive me to my friend's
house? Of course, meeting you here will be the end of me if any one
sees us. Still, I don't suppose you object to a little scandal, and the
more I get the happier I shall be."
"I'll take you anywhere," Julien promised. "You don't mind waiting
while I speak to the man whom I have come to meet?"
"Not at all," she replied. "You are sure he won't object?"
"Of course not," Julien assured her. "Kendricks is an awfully good
The two men gripped hands. Kendricks was carrying his own bag and
smoking his accustomed pipe. He had apparently been asleep in the
carriage and was looking a little more untidy than usual.
"I got your wire all right," Julien said, "and I am thundering glad to
see you. Are you just in search of the ordinary sort of copy, or is
there anything special doing?"
"Something special," Kendricks answered, "and you're in it. When can we
talk? No hurry, as long as I see you some time to-night."
"I am entirely at your service," Julien declared. "I have been bored to
death for the last few weeks and I am only too anxious to have a talk.
You don't mind if I see this young lady to her friend's house first? I
don't know exactly where it is, but it won't take very long. She is all
alone, and as long as we have met I feel that I ought to look after
"Naturally," Kendricks agreed. "I can go to my hotel and meet you
anywhere you say for supper."
Julien glanced at his watch.
"It is ten o'clock within a minute or two," he announced. "Supposing we
make it half-past eleven at the Abbaye?"
"That'll suit me. So long!"
He strode away in search of a cab. Julien returned to Lady Anne and
took the jewel-case from her fingers.
"It's all arranged," he said. "You are quite sure that you have no more
"Not a scrap! Have you ever traveled without luggage, Julien? It makes
you feel that you are really in for adventures."
"Does it!" he replied a little weakly. Somehow or other, he had never
associated a love for adventures with Lady Anne.
"Isn't it fun to be in Paris once more?" she continued. "I want a real
rickety little _voiture_ and I want the man to have a white hat,
if possible, and I want to drive down into Paris over those cobbles."
"Any particular address?"
She handed him a card. He called an open victoria and directed the man.
Together they drove out of the station yard. Lady Anne leaned forward,
looking around her with keen pleasure.
"Julien," she cried, "this is delightful, meeting you! I hope I shan't
be a bother to you, but really it is rather nice to feel that I have
one friend here."
"You couldn't possibly be a bother to me," he declared. "I'm rather a
waif here myself, you know, and I am honestly glad to see you."
She looked at him quickly and breathed a little sigh of relief.
"Now that's sweet of you," she said. "Of course, I don't see why you
shouldn't be. We were always good friends, weren't we? and it makes me
feel so much more comfortable to remember that we never went in for the
other sort of thing."
"There was just one moment," he murmured ruminatingly,--
She turned her head.
"Stop at once," she begged. "That moment passed, as you know. If it
hadn't, things might have been different. If it hadn't, I should feel
differently about being with you now. We are forgetting that moment, if
you please, Julien. Do, there's a good fellow. If you wanted to be
good-natured, you could be so nice to me until I get used to being
"Forgotten it shall be, by all means," he promised cheerfully. "Do you
know that the address you gave me is only a few yards away?"
"Oh, bother!" she exclaimed. "I knew that it was somewhere up by the
Gare du Nord."
They turned off from the Rue Lafayette and pulled up opposite a
"Mademoiselle Rignaut lives up above," Lady Anne said, alighting. "It's
sweet of you to have brought me, Julien."
"I am going to wait and see that you are all right," he replied,
ringing the bell.
There was a short delay, then the door was opened. A young woman peered
"Who is it?" she asked quickly.
A little of Lady Anne's confidence for the moment had almost deserted
her. The girl's face was invisible and the interior of the passage
looked cheerless. Nevertheless, she answered briskly.
"Don't you remember me, Mademoiselle Janette? I am Lady Anne--Lady Anne
Clonarty, you know."
There was a wondering scream, an exclamation of delight, and Julien
stood on the pavement for fully five minutes. Then Lady Anne
reappeared, followed by her friend.
"Sir Julien," she said, "this is Mademoiselle Rignaut. I am awfully
lucky. Mademoiselle Rignaut has a room she can let me have and we are
going to raid her shop and get everything I want. She has costumes as
well as hats."
Julien shook hands with the little Frenchwoman, who had not yet
recovered from her amazement.
"But this is wonderful, monsieur, is it not," she cried, "to see dear
Lady Anne like this? Such a surprise! Such a delight! But, miladi," she
added suddenly, "you must be hungry--starving!"
"I am," Lady Anne admitted frankly.
The little woman's face fell.
"But only this afternoon," she explained, "my servant was taken away to
the hospital! What can we--"
"What you will both do," Julien interrupted, "is to come and have
supper with me."
"Do you really mean it?" Lady Anne asked doubtfully. "What about your
"He won't mind," Julien assured her. "You shall take your first step
into Bohemia, my dear Anne. We had arranged to sup in the Montmartre.
You and Mademoiselle Rignaut must come. I can give you half an hour to
get ready--more, if you want it."
"What larks!" Lady Anne exclaimed. "Can I come in a traveling dress?"
"You can come just as you are," Julien replied. "One visits these
places just as one feels disposed. I'll be off and get a taximeter
automobile instead of this thing, and come back for you whenever you
"You are a brick," Lady Anne declared. "I shall love to go."
"Monsieur is too kind," Mademoiselle Rignaut agreed, "but as for me, it
is not fitting--"
"Rubbish!" Lady Anne interrupted briskly. "You've got to get all that
sort of stuff out of your head, Janette, and to start with you must
come to supper with us. Bless you, I couldn't go alone with Sir Julien!
I was engaged to be married to him three months ago."
Mademoiselle shook her head feebly.
"But indeed, Miladi Anne," she protested, "you are a strange people,
you English! I do not understand."
Lady Anne took her by the arm and turned towards the open door.
"Don't bother about that. We'll be ready in half an hour, Julien."
Julien returned to the Gare du Nord and treated himself to a whiskey
and soda. He was surprised at the pleasurable sense of excitement which
this meeting had given him. During the last few weeks in Paris he had
found little to interest or amuse him. He had been, in fact, very
distinctly bored. The newspapers and illustrated journals, although
they were always full of interest to him, had day by day brought their
own particular sting. Although his affection for Lady Anne had been of
a distinctly modified character, yet he had found it curiously
unpleasant to read everywhere of her engagement, of her plans for the
future, and to look at the photographs of her and her intended
bridegroom which seemed to stare at him from every page. Somehow or
other, although he told himself that personally it was of no
consequence to him, he yet found the present situation of affairs far
more to his liking.
He lounged about the Gare du Nord, smoking a cigarette and thinking
over what she had told him. There was a good deal in the present
situation to appeal to his sense of humor. He thought of the Duke and
the Duchess when they discovered the flight of their daughter,--their
efforts to keep all details from the papers; of Harbord and his horde
of relations--Harbord, who had neither the dignity nor the breeding to
accept such a reverse in silence. He could imagine the gossip at the
clubs and among their friends. He himself was immensely surprised. He
had considered himself something of a judge of character, and yet he
had looked upon Lady Anne as a good-natured young person, brimful of
common sense, without an ounce of sentiment--a perfectly well-ordered
piece of the machinery of her sex. The whole affair was astonishing.
Perhaps to him the most astonishing part was that he found himself
continually looking at the clock, counting almost the minutes until it
was possible for him to start on this little expedition!
"TO OUR NEW SELVES"
Julien found a taximeter automobile and, punctually at the time
appointed, drove to the little milliner's shop in the Rue St. Antoine.
Lady Anne and her companion were waiting for him and they drove off
together in high good humor. The manager at the Abbaye bowed before
them with special deference. He recognized Julien as an occasional
customer, and Lady Anne, even in her traveling gown, was a person to
They chose a table and ordered supper for four. Kendricks had not yet
arrived, but it was barely half-past eleven and the place was almost
empty. Lady Anne was in high spirits and chattering all the time.
Julien looked at her occasionally in amazement. They had seldom been
alone together in London, but on those few occasions when the
conventions had demanded it, he had been inclined to find her rather
stupid. She was certainly nothing of the sort this evening!
"I suppose I am a baby," she exclaimed, laughing, "but to-night I feel
as though I were beginning a new life! Tell me, mademoiselle, have you
a place for me as a seamstress? Or will you have me for a model? My
figure is good enough, isn't it?"
"Miladi," Mademoiselle Rignaut declared deprecatingly, "there is no
girl in my shop with a figure like yours, but it is not well for you to
talk so, indeed. It is shocking."
Lady Anne laughed gayly.
"Now, my little friend," she said, "let us understand one another.
There is no more 'miladi.' I am Anne--Anne to you and Anne to Julien
here. I've finished with the 'miladi' affair. I dare say I shouldn't
care about being a model, but all the same I am going to earn my own
"Earn your own living!" Mademoiselle Rignaut echoed, in something like
She had met the Duke and the Duchess--she had traveled even to London
and had passed the night beneath the ducal roof. Lady Anne's mother had
very sound ideas of economy, and Mademoiselle Rignaut was cheap and yet
"Earn my own living, without a doubt," Lady Anne repeated, helping
herself to a roll. "You don't mind my eating some bread and butter, do
you, Julien? I couldn't lunch--I was much too excited, and the tea on
the train was filthy. Why, of course I am going to earn my own living,"
she continued. "I've only got a few thousand francs with me, and some
jewelry. I believe I have got a small income, but Heaven knows whether
they will let me have it!"
Julien's eyes were suddenly lit with humor.
"Why, the Duke will be here for you to-morrow," he exclaimed, "to take
She leaned back in her seat with an air of deliberation.
"I'm free," she insisted. "I'm twenty-six years old, thank Heaven!
Twenty-six years I've had of it--enough to crush any one. No more! You
know, I like this sense of freedom," she went on. "It's perfectly
amazing how young I feel. Julien, do you remember when mother wouldn't
let us lunch together at the Ritz without a chaperon?"
"I do," he assented. "I'm sure we didn't need one, either."
She smiled reminiscently.
"What sticks we were! What a silly life! I really have the most
delightful feeling, as though I were starting things all over again, as
though there were all sorts of wonderful adventures before me."
Julien looked at her quickly. There was no woman in the place half so
good-looking or with any pretensions to such style. He was conscious of
an odd twinge of jealousy.
"You'll have no trouble in finding adventures," he remarked a little
Her eyes flashed back an answer to his thought.
"Bless you, I don't want anything to do with men! Fancy having been
engaged to you and to Samuel Harbord! What further thrills could
possibly be in store for me?"
"Well, I don't know," Julien retorted. "I suppose if I was a stick,
there must have been something about you which induced me to be one."
"Not a bit of it," she objected. "You were a solemn, studious,
gentlemanly, well-behaved, well-conducted prig--very much a male
edition of what I was myself. What a life we should have lived
together!... Here's your friend. You know, I rather like the look of
him. He's so delightfully untidy. I should think he belongs round about
the new world, doesn't he?"
"He's a working journalist," Julien answered, "a very clever fellow and
a good friend of mine."
"Then I shall adore him," Lady Anne decided,--"not because he is a good
friend of yours, but because he is a working journalist. Why, I saw him
sitting waiting for you the day you came and wished me that touching
good-bye," she added. "I liked him even then. It seemed so sweet of him
to come and help you through that terrible ordeal."
She held out her hand to Kendricks very charmingly when he was
"Don't be terrified at finding us here, please," she begged. "I know
you have some business to talk over with Julien, but you see we were
starving, and Julien had to be polite to me because we were once
engaged to be married. I promise you that when we have eaten we will go
Kendricks looked at her for a moment and smiled.
"You know," he said, "I believe you've run away."
"I felt sure that I was going to like your friend, Julien!" she
exclaimed. "He understands things so quickly."
"I am a newspaper man, you see," he told her. "Just as I left, I was
reading all sorts of things about your wedding, and the presents, and
the rest of it. I saw you in the train and recognized you."
"Don't think I've come over after Julien," she continued cheerfully. "I
never dreamed of seeing him--not just yet, at any rate. I had no idea
where to run to, but Paris seemed to me so easy and so natural, and
somehow or other it must be more difficult to worry any one into going
back from a foreign country. Not that I've any idea of going back," she
broke off. "I think I'm going to enjoy life hugely out here."
"But it is most astonishing!" Mademoiselle Rignaut declared with a
"My little friend here," Lady Anne went on, "hasn't got over it all
yet. She doesn't understand the sheer barbarity of being a duke's
daughter. The worst of it is she'll never have an opportunity of trying
it for herself. Heaven save the others! Julien, I hope we are going to
have some champagne. Mother never liked me to drink champagne at a
restaurant. You see," she explained, "we weren't rich enough to be in
really the smart set, or else I should have been allowed to do any
mortal thing, and if you aren't in the very smart set, it is best to
turn up your nose at them and to ape propriety. That's what we did. It
suited father because it was cheap, and mother because she said it went
with my style."
"Champagne, by all means," Julien agreed. "I ordered it some time ago.
And here comes the lobster."
"Julien, tell him to give me some wine," Lady Anne begged. "I am
Julien gave the order to the _sommelier_. She raised the glass to
her lips and looked at him.
"To our new selves," she exclaimed, laughing, "and to the broken
Julien raised his glass at once.
"To our new selves!" he echoed.
WORK FOR JULIEN
The new Anne had not forgotten her natural stubbornness. At half-past
twelve she rose from the supper table and declined absolutely to allow
Julien to escort her home.
"My dear Julien," she declared, "the thing is ridiculous. We have
finished with all that. I am a Bohemian. I expect to walk about these
streets when and where and at what hour I choose. You have business
with Mr. Kendricks and I am glad of it. You certainly shall not waste
your time gallivanting around with me. Janette and I together could
defy any sort of danger."
"But, my dear Anne," Julien protested, "you cannot make these changes
so suddenly. To drive you home would take, at the most, half an hour."
"I shall enjoy the drive immensely," Lady Anne answered coolly, "but we
shall take it alone. Don't be foolish, Julien. Come and find us a
little carriage and say good night nicely."
He was forced to obey. He found a carriage and helped her in. She even
stopped him when he would have paid for it.
"For the present," she said, "I prefer to arrange these matters for
myself. Thanks ever so much for the supper," she added, "and come and
see me in a day or two, won't you?"
She gave him her hand and smiled her farewells at him. The lamplight
flashed upon her as she leaned forward to say good-bye, and Julien for
the first time realized that her hair was a beautiful shade of brown,
and that there was a quiet but very effective beauty about her face
which he had never appreciated. She waved her hand and laughed at him
in frank good-fellowship which he somehow felt vaguely annoying. The
carriage rolled away and he went back to Kendricks.
"My friend," the latter exclaimed, "pay your bill and let us depart! I
am in no humor for the cafes to-night. Let us go to your rooms and sit
quietly, or drive--whichever you choose."
"You have news?" Julien remarked.
"I have news and a proposition for you," Kendricks replied. "I am not
sure that we do ourselves much good by being seen about Paris together
just now. I am not sure, even, whether it is safe."
Julien stared at him.
"You are making fun of me!"
"Not I," Kendricks assured him. "We are both being drawn into a queer
little cycle of events, events which perhaps we may influence. When we
get back to your rooms, I will tell you about it. Until then, not a
They drove down the hill, talking of Lady Anne.
"Somehow," Kendricks remarked, "she doesn't fit in, in the least, with
your description of her. I imagined a cold, rather stupid young woman,
of very moderate intelligence, and certainly no sense of humor. Do you
know that your Lady Anne is really a very charming person?"
"She puzzles me a little," Julien confessed. "Something has changed
"Whatever has done it has done a good thing. She gave you your conge
quite calmly, didn't she?"
"Absolutely," Julien admitted. "She brushed me away as though I had
been a misbehaving fly."
"After all," Kendricks said, "you were of the same kidney--a prig of
the first water, you know, Julien. I am never tired of telling you so,
am I? Never mind, it's good for you. Have you seen Herr Freudenberg
Julien shook his head.
"Not since we were all at the Rat Mort together nearly a month ago. Did
I tell you that he made me an offer then?"
"No, you told me nothing about it," Kendricks replied, leaning forward
with interest. "What sort of an offer? Go on, tell me about it?"
"He wanted me," Julien continued, "to undertake the command of an
expedition to some place which he did not specify, to discover whether
a German who was living there was being held a prisoner--"
"Oh, la, la!" Kendricks interrupted. "Tell me what your reply was?"
"I told him that I must consult you first. As a matter of fact, I never
thought seriously about it at all. The whole affair seemed to me so
vague, and it didn't attract me in the least. I don't know whether you
can understand what I mean, but to me it appeared to be an entirely
artificial suggestion. If such a thing had been reasonable at all, I
should have said that it was an offer invented on the spur of the
moment by Herr Freudenberg, to get me out of Paris."
"Really, Julien," declared Kendricks, "I am beginning to have hopes of
you. There are times when you are almost bright."
"What are you here for?" Julien asked. "Is there anything wrong in
"Anything wrong!" Kendricks growled. "You and your foolish letters,
Julien! You left the way open for that little bounder Carraby and he'll
do for us. Lord, how they love him in Berlin!"
"They are not exactly appreciating him over here, are they?" Julien
remarked. "I don't understand the tone of the Press at all. There's
something at the back of it all."
"There is," Kendricks agreed grimly. "Sit tight, wait till we are in
your rooms. I'll tell you some news."
"We are there now," Julien replied, as the little carriage pulled up.
"Follow me, Kendricks, and take care of the stairs. I hope you like the
smell of new bread? You see, the ground floor is occupied by a
confectioner's shop. It keeps me hungry half the time."
"Delicious!" Kendricks murmured. "Are these your rooms?"
Julien nodded and turned on the electric light.
"Not palatial, as you see, but comfortable and, I flatter myself,
typically French. Don't you love the red plush and the gilt mirror? Of
course, one doesn't sit upon the chairs or look into the mirror, but
they at least remind you of the country you're in."
Kendricks threw open the window. The hum of the city came floating into
the room. They drew up easy-chairs.
"Whiskey and soda at your side," Julien pointed out. "You can smoke
your filthy pipe to your heart's content. I won't even insult you by
offering you a cigar. Now go ahead."
Kendricks lit his pipe and smoked solemnly.
"Your remarks," he declared, "are actuated by jealousy. You haven't the
stomach for a man's smoke. Now listen. There's the very devil of a
mischief abroad and Falkenberg's at the bottom of it. Do you know what
"I know nothing."
"You remember the night that we were up at the Rat Mort? He was talking
with a dirty-looking man in a red tie and pince-nez."
"I remember it quite well," Julien admitted.
"Well, he was the leader writer in _Le Jour_,--Jesen--a brilliant
man, an absolutely wonderful writer, but shiftless. Do you know what
Falkenberg has done? The paper was in the market, the controlling share
of it, and he bought it, or rather he put the money into Jesen's hands
to buy it with. The whole tone of the paper with regard to foreign
affairs has turned completely round. Every other day there is a
scathing article in it attacking the _entente_ with England.
You've read them, of course?"
"So has every one," Julien replied gravely. "The people here talk of
"It is known," Kendricks continued, "that Falkenberg has made every use
of his frequent visits to this city to ingratiate himself with certain
members of the French Cabinet, and to impress them with his views. To
some extent there is no doubt that he has succeeded. The German
Press--the inspired portion of it, at any rate--is backing all this up
by articles extremely friendly towards France and deriding her
friendship with England."
"This, too, I have noticed," Julien admitted.
"Carraby is in hot water already," Kendricks went on. "He had a chance
on Monday in the House, when he was asked a question about the German
gunboat which is reported to have gone to Agdar. The fool muddled it.
He gave the sort of suave, methodist reply one expected, and the German
Press jeered at him openly. Julien, it's serious. The French people are
honest enough, but they are impressionable. A Liberal Government was
never popular with them. You were the only Liberal Foreign Minister in
whom they believed. This man Carraby they despise. Besides, he has
Jewish blood in his veins and you know what that means over here.
Jesen's articles come thundering out and already other papers are
beginning to follow suit. The poison has been at work for months. You
remember monsieur and madame and mademoiselle, with whom I talked so
earnestly? Well, they were but types. I talked to them because I wanted
to find out their point of view. There are many others like them. They
look upon the _entente_ with good-natured tolerance. They doubt
the real ability of Britain to afford practical aid to France, should
she be attacked. This good-natured tolerance is being changed into
irritation. Falkenberg's efforts are ceaseless. The moment he has the
two countries really estranged, he will strike."
"Against which?" Julien asked quickly.
"Heaven only knows!" Kendricks answered. "For my part, I have always
believed that it would be against England. There is no strategic reason
for a war between France and Germany. Germany needs more than France
can give her. She does not need money, she needs territory. Falkenberg
is a rabid imperialist, a dreamer of splendid dreams, a real genius. He
is fighting to-day with the subtlest weapons the mind of man ever
conceived. Now, Julien, listen. I am here with a direct proposition to
"But what can I do?" Julien exclaimed.
"This," Kendricks replied. "It is my idea. I saw Lord Southwold this
morning and he agreed. We want you to write for our paper a series of
articles, dated from Paris and signed in your own name, and we want you
to attack Falkenberg and the game he is playing. We will arrange for
them to appear simultaneously in one of the leading journals here. We
want you to write openly of these German spies who infest Paris. We
want you first to hint and then to speak openly of the purchase of
_Le Jour_ by means of German gold. We want you to combat the
popular opinion here that our army is a wooden box affair, and that we
as a nation are too crassly selfish to risk our fleet for the benefit
of France. We want you to strike a great note and tell the truth.
Julien, those articles signed by you and dated from Paris may do a
Julien's eyes were already agleam.
"Splendid!" he muttered, rising to his feet. "If only I can do it!"
"Of course you can do it," Kendricks insisted firmly. "Before you spoke
so often you used to write for the _Nineteenth Century_ every
month. You haven't forgotten the trick. Some of your sentences I
remember even now. I tell you, Julien, they helped me to appreciate
you. I liked you better when you took up the pen sometimes than I liked
you in those perfect clothes and perfect manner in your office at
Downing Street. Your tongue had the politician's trick of gliding over
the surface of things. Your pen scratched and spluttered its way into
the heart of affairs. Get back to it, Julien. I want your first article
before I leave Paris to-night."
"I'll do my best," Julien promised. "It's a great scheme. I'm going to
"I hoped you would," Kendricks replied. "You've got the atmosphere
here. You're sitting in the heart of the France that belongs to the
French. It isn't for nothing that I've taken you round a little with me
since we were here. Chance was kind, too, when it brought us up against
Freudenberg. Remember, Julien, journalism isn't the gentlemanly art it
was ten or twenty years ago. You can take up your pen and stab. That's
what we want."
"It's fine," Julien declared. "It is war!"
Kendricks rose to his feet.
"I'm going to bed," he announced. "The last month has been exciting and
there's plenty more to come. I need sleep. Julien, just a word of
"Fire away," Julien sighed. He was already gazing steadfastly out of
the window, already the sentences were framing themselves in his mind.
"The day upon which your first article appears," Kendricks said,
"Freudenberg will strike. Your life here will never be wholly safe. You
will be encompassed with spies and enemies. Why, this wild-cat scheme
of his of sending you off on some expedition was solely because you are
the one man of whom he is afraid. He feared lest Carraby might make
some hideous blunder in a crisis and that the country might demand you
back. That is why he wanted you out of the way."
"You may be right," Julien admitted. "What's that striking--one
o'clock? Till to-night, David!"
Kendricks nodded and left the room. Julien sat for a moment before the
open window. It was rather an impressive view of the city with its
millions of lights, the fine buildings of the Place de la Concorde in
clear relief against the deep sky, the Eiffel Tower glittering in the
distance, the subtle perfume of pleasure in the air. Julien stood there
and raised his eyes to the skies. Already his brain was moving to the
grim music of his thoughts. He looked away from the city to the fertile
country. Some faint memory of those once blackened fields and desolate
villages stole into his mind. He turned to his desk, drew the paper
towards him and wrote.
A STARTLING DISCLOSURE
Julien was driving, a few afternoons later, with Madame Christophor.
She had picked him up in the Bois, where he had gone for a solitary
walk. In her luxurious automobile they passed smoothly beyond the
confines of the Park and out into the country. After her brief summons
and the few words of invitation, they relapsed into a somewhat curious
"My friend," Madame Christophor remarked at length, glancing
thoughtfully towards him, "I find a change in you. You are pale and
tired and silent. It is your duty to amuse me, but you make no effort
to do so. Yet you have lost that look of complete dejection. You have,
indeed, the appearance of a man who has accomplished something, who has
found a new purpose in life."
Julien to some extent recovered himself.
"Dear Madame Christophor," he exclaimed, "it is true! My manners are
shocking. Yet, in a way, I have an excuse. I have been hard at work for
the last few days. I was writing all night until quite late this
morning. It was because I could not sleep that I came out to sit under
the trees--where you found me, in fact."
"Writing," she repeated. "So you are changing your weapons, are you?
You are going to make a new bid for power?"
Julien shook his head.
"It is not that," he answered. "I have no personal ambitions connected
with my present work. It was an idea--a great idea--but it was not my
own. Yet the work has been an immense relief."
She looked away, relapsing once more into silence. He glanced towards
her. The weariness of her expression was more than ever evident to-day,
the weariness that was not fretful, that seemed, indeed, to give an
added sweetness to her face. Yet its pathos was always there. Her eyes,
which looked steadily down the road in front of them, were full of the
fatigue of unwelcome days.
"You men so easily escape," she murmured. "We women never."
Julien was conscious of a certain selfishness in all his thoughts
connected with his companion. He had been so ready always to accept her
society, to accept and profit by the stimulus of her intellect. Yet he
himself had given so little, had shown so little interest in her or her
personal affairs. He sat a trifle more upright in his place.
"Dear Madame Christophor," he said earnestly, "you have been so kind to
me, you have shown so much interest always in my doings and my
troubles. Why not tell me something of your own life? I have felt so
much the benefit of your sympathy. Is there nothing in the world I
could do for you?"
"No person in the world," she declared, "could help me; certainly not
one of your sex. I start with an instinctive and unchanging hatred
towards every one of them."
"But, madame," Julien protested, "is that reasonable?"
"It is the truth," she replied. "I do my best when we are together to
forget it so far as you are concerned. I succeed because you do not use
with me any of the miserable devices of your sex to provoke an interest
whether they really desire it or not. You treat me, Sir Julien, as it
pleases me to be treated. It is for that reason, I am sure--it must be
for that reason--that I find some pleasure in being with you, whereas
the society of any other man is a constant irritation to me."
"You know," he began, "I am not naturally a curious person. I have
never asked a question of you or about you from the few people with
whom I have come in contact over here. At the same time,--"
"Do you mean," she interrupted, "do you seriously mean that you are
ignorant as to who I really am, as to any part of my history?"
"Entirely," Julien assured her.
She was thoughtful for several moments.
"Well, that is strange," she declared. "You are upsetting one of my pet
theories. All the men whom I have ever known have been more curious
than women. Are you interested in me, by any chance, Sir Julien?"
"Immensely," he replied.
"I am glad to hear it. Do you know, that is a great concession for me
to make, but it is the truth? I like you to be interested in me. Yet I
must confess that your ignorance as to who I really am astonishes me.
Perhaps," she added gravely, "if you knew, you would not be sitting by
my side at the present moment."
"I cannot believe," he said, smiling, "that you are such a very
"Terrible? Perhaps that is not the word," she admitted.
"There is one thing," he went on, "concerning which I have always been
"The little manicure girl whom I met in the Soho restaurant," he
replied promptly, "what on earth was her reason for wishing me to come
and see you? Why did you want me to come?"
"I thought," she murmured, "that we had agreed not to speak of those
matters for the present."
"That was some time ago. Things are changing around us every day. It is
possible that within a very short time I may find myself in such a
position here that I am forced to know exactly who are my friends and
who my enemies."
"Can you believe," she asked, "that you would ever find me among the
Julien thought for several moments.
"I shall not ask you," he proceeded, "not to be offended with me for
what I am going to say. It was a chance remark I heard--no more. It
certainly, however, did suggest some association. There is a man who
comes often to Paris, who calls himself a maker of toys. He says that
he comes from Leipzig and that his name is Herr Freudenberg."
She sat as still as a statue. Not a line of her features was changed.
Julien turned a little in his seat. As he watched, he saw that her
bosom underneath the lace scarf which she wore was rising and falling
quickly. Her teeth came suddenly together. He saw the lids droop over
her eyes as though she were in pain.
"Herr Freudenberg," she repeated, "what of him?"
"I knew him in the days when I counted for something in the world,"
Julien explained. "Don't you remember that on the night when we dined
together at the Maison Leon d'Or he sent one of his emissaries for me?
He was a man in whom I had always felt the greatest, the most complete
interest. I went to him gladly. Since then, as you will know if you
read the papers, events have moved rapidly. I am beginning to realize
now how completely and absolutely that man is the enemy of my country."
"It is true, that," she murmured.
"For some reason," Julien continued, "he seemed anxious to remove me
from Paris. He made me a somewhat singular offer. He wanted me to go to
some distant country on a mission--not political and yet for Germany."
"And do you go?"
"No," he replied, "I have found other work. I don't think that I
seriously considered it at any time, yet I have always been curious as
to why he should have made such an offer to me."
She had the air now of a woman who had completely recovered control of
"Sir Julien," she asked, "I beg of you to tell me this. If you do not
know who I am, why have you mentioned Herr Freudenberg's name to me?"
"Madame," Julien answered, "because the man who brought me the message
from Herr Freudenberg, the man who conducted me to him, the man
concerning whom you told me that strange, pathetic little story--he let
fall one word. I asked him no question. I wished for no information
except from you. Yet I am only human. I have had impulses of
"Herr Freudenberg is my husband," Madame Christophor declared.
Julien looked at her in amazement. For the moment he was speechless.
"I say what is perhaps literally but not actually true," she went on.
"He was my husband. We are separated. We are not divorced because we
were married as Roman Catholics. We are separated. There will never be
anything else between us."
Julien remained silent. It was so hard to say anything. The woman's
tone told him that around her speech hovered a tragedy.
"Now you know that Herr Freudenberg is my husband," she asked, "are you
not a little afraid to be sitting here by my side?"
"Why should I be?"
"Don't you know," she continued, "that he is your enemy?"
Julien looked grave.
"No, I have scarcely realized that," he answered. "I think, perhaps,
when he reads yesterday's papers he may be feeling like that. At
present, so far as he knows, what have I done?"
"You," she said, "were the only man who ever stood up to him, who ever
dealt a blow at his political supremacy. At the Conference of Berlin
you triumphed. German papers politely, and in a very veiled manner,
reminded him of his defeat. It was not a great matter, it is true, but
none the less the Conference of Berlin was the first diplomatic failure
in which he had ever been concerned, and you were responsible for it."
"You think, then," Julien remarked, "that he still harbors a grudge
against me for that?"
"Without a doubt. Now tell me what you mean when you speak of
"I am writing a series of articles," Julien told her. "They commenced
yesterday. They will appear in a French paper--_Le Grand
Journal_--and in the English _Post_. They are written with the
sole idea of attacking Herr Freudenberg. When he reads the first, he
will understand--he will be my enemy."
She held out her hand.
"Then say good-bye to me now, my friend," she murmured, "for you will
Julien laughed scornfully.
"We do not live in those days," he reminded her. "We fight with the
pen, with diplomacy, with all the weapons of statecraft and intrigue,
if you will. But this is not now the Paris of Dumas. One does not
"My friend," she said earnestly, "you do not know Herr Freudenberg. If
indeed you have become during these last few days his enemy, by this
time next week you will surely have passed into some other sphere of
activity. There are no methods too primitive for him, no methods too
subtle or too cruel. He can be the most charming, the most winning, the
most generous, the most romantic person who ever breathed; or he can be
a Nero, a cruel and brutal butcher, a murderer either of reputations or
bodies--he cares little which."
"Presently," Julien declared, "I shall begin to feel uncomfortable."
"Oh! you have courage, of course," she admitted, with a scornful little
shrug of the shoulders. "No one has ever denied that to your race. But
you have also the unconquerable stupidity which makes heroes and
victims of your soldiers."
"Well, I am at least warned, and for that I thank you. Now let me ask
you another question. You have told me this very strange thing about
yourself and Herr Freudenberg. You have told me of your feelings
concerning him. Yet you have not really told me exactly on what terms
you are with him at present? Forgive me if I find this important."
"I do not receive him," she replied. "I have no interest in his comings
or his goings. I have a solemn promise, a promise to which he has
subscribed upon his honor, that he shall not seek to cross the
threshold of my house. He sent me an ambassador once quite lately to
make me a certain proposition connected with you."
"With me?" Julien repeated.
"He has great faith in my powers," she went on, looking him full in the
face, "also, apparently, some belief in your susceptibility. Is that
unkind of me? Never mind, it is the truth. He imagined, perhaps, that I
might help him to rid Paris of your presence. There was just one thing
he could offer me which I desired. He came to offer it."
"You refused?" Julien exclaimed.
Her eyes rested upon his. Her expression was faintly provocative.
"How could I accept an offer," she asked, "to deal with a thing which
did not belong to me? You have shown no signs at present, Sir Julien,
of becoming my abject slave."
The car rushed through a straggling village. All the time she was
watching him. Then she threw herself back among the cushions with a
"A week or so ago," she murmured, "I had a fancy that if I had
tried--well, that perhaps you were not so different from other men. I
should have loathed my conquest, I should probably have loathed you,
but I think that I should have expected it. At the present moment," she
went on, glancing into a little gold mirror which she had picked up
from a heap of trifles lying on the table before her, "at the present
moment I am disillusioned. My vanity is wounded though my relief is
great. Nevertheless, Sir Julien, tell me what has happened to you
during the last few days?"
"Work," Julien replied, "the sort of work I was craving for."
"Not only that," she insisted, setting down the mirror with a sigh.
"There is something else."
"If there is," Julien assured her, "I am not yet conscious of it."
They had emerged from the country lane along which they had been
traveling and were returning now to Paris along the broad highroad.
They were going at a fair speed when suddenly a huge racing car came
flashing by them, covered with dust, and with all the indications of
having come a great distance. Madame Christophor leaned forward in her
seat and clutched her companion's arm. Her eyes were fixed upon the
figure of the man leaning back by the side of the driver.
"You see?" she muttered.
"Herr Freudenberg!" Julien gasped.
She nodded. Already the car had vanished in a cloud of dust.
"He is just from Germany or from the frontier. He very seldom comes all
the way by rail. The car is always waiting."
"I shall see him, then, to-night," Julien declared. "Already, without a
doubt, he knows. Already he is my enemy. What about you, Madame
"My friend," she promised, "you will have nothing to fear from me. So
long as I can forget your sex, I rather like you."
"Are you going to answer my question about the little girl who sent me
to you?" he asked.
"I will tell you, if you like," she said. "Mademoiselle Senn was once
in my service. She occasionally executes commissions for me in London.
She knows everybody. It was in obedience to my wishes that she gave you
"But why?" Julien demanded. "What interest had you in me?"
"None," she answered a little coldly,--"no personal interest. I sent
that message because I discovered that the individual who has just
passed us in the automobile was framing certain schemes in connection
with you if you should come to Paris. Politically as well as personally
he and I are enemies. He hates America and the whole Anglo-Saxon race.
It has amused me more than once to thwart his schemes. I intended to
set you upon your guard. You see, it is very simple. Mademoiselle Senn
wrote me at first that she did not know you and that she feared you
were inaccessible. Then she wired me of an accidental meeting and that
she had delivered my message. The whole affair is simpler than it
seemed, is it not so?... Now listen. I have satisfied your curiosity.
You now shall answer a question. Who is Miss Clonarty?"
Julien gazed at her in astonishment.
"Miss Clonarty?" he repeated.
Madame Christophor nodded.
"The name seems to surprise you. A young English woman called on me
to-day in answer to my advertisement for a secretary who could write
and speak English. She said that her name was Miss Anne Clonarty and
she referred me to you."
"If she is the lady whom I suppose she is," Julien replied, "you will
be perfectly safe in engaging her."
Madame Christophor looked at him from underneath the lids of her eyes.
"Do you think that I do not know?" she asked, with a shade of contempt
in her tone,--"that I do not sometimes read the papers? Do you think
that I have not seen that Lady Anne Clonarty, the girl whom you were
engaged to marry, disappeared from her home the other day, on the eve
of her marriage to another man? It is this girl who comes to me for my
situation, is it not so?"
Julien was silent.
"I knew nothing of her coming. I did not even know that you wanted a
"I wonder why she came to Paris," Madame Christophor remarked. "Is she
in love with you?"
"There was never any question of anything of the sort," Julien declared
"You have seen her since she arrived in Paris?"
"Entirely by accident. I saw her alight from the train. I was at the
Gare du Nord to meet Kendricks."
Madame Christophor leaned back in her seat.
"Is it your wish that I engage her?"
"Certainly," Julien replied. "I am sure that you will find her
competent. At the same time, I don't know how long she will keep this
"As a rule I do not care for handsome women around me," Madame
Christophor said composedly. "Lady Anne is much too good-looking to
please me. She has all the freshness and vitality," she added, dropping
her voice a little, "which seem to have left me forever."
"You have experience," Julien reminded her. "Experience in itself is
wonderful, even though one has to pay for it."
They were in the streets of Paris now. Madame Christophor shrugged her
shoulders and sat up.
"It is one of the misfortunes of my sex," she said, a little bitterly,
"that without experience we lack charm--in the eyes of you men, that is
to say. It is your own folly.... Are you coming home with me, my
friend, or shall I set you down somewhere?"
"As near the Gare du Nord as possible, if you please," Julien begged.
"I have wearied you enough for one afternoon."
Madame Christophor looked at him thoughtfully. There was a slight frown
upon her forehead.
"Somewhere near the Gare du Nord!" she repeated.
THE FIRST ARTICLE
Julien found Lady Anne in a small, stuffy apartment on the third floor
of the house in the Rue St. Antoine. Before her was a sewing-machine,
and the floor of the room was littered with oddments of black calico.
She herself was seated apparently deep in thought before an untrimmed
"What on earth, my dear Anne," he exclaimed, "are you doing?"
She merely glanced up at his entrance. Her eyes were still far away.
"Don't interrupt," she begged. "I am seeking for an inspiration. In my
younger days I used to trim hats. I don't suppose anything I could do
would be of any use here, but one must try everything."
"But I thought," he protested, "that you were going to be a lady's
secretary, or something of that sort?"
"I have applied for a situation," she admitted. "I am not engaged yet.
By the bye, I gave your name as a reference. I wonder if there is any
chance for me."
"As a matter of fact," he told her, "I have just left the lady whose
advertisement you answered."
"Madame Christophor. If you are really anxious for that post, I can
assure you that it is yours."
She flung the hat to the other end of the room.
"Good!" she exclaimed. "I don't think this sort of thing is in my line
at all. Tell me, is Madame Christophor half as charming as she looks?"
"I have known her only a short time," Julien replied, "but she is
certainly a very wonderful woman."
"What does she do," Lady Anne asked, "to require a secretary?"
"She is a woman of immense wealth, I believe," Julien answered, "and
she has many charities. She is married, but separated from her husband.
I think, on the whole, that she must have led a rather unhappy life."
"I think it is very extraordinary," Lady Anne remarked, "that she
should be willing to take a secretary who knows nothing of typewriting
or shorthand. I told her how ignorant I was, but she didn't seem to
Julien sat down by the side of the sewing-machine.
"Anne," he began, "do you really think you're going to care for this
sort of thing?"
"What sort of thing?" she demanded.
"Why, life on your own. You have been so independent always and a
person of consequence. You know what it means to be a servant?"
"Not yet," Lady Anne admitted. "I think, though, that it is quite time
I did. I am rather looking forward to it."
Julien was a little staggered. She looked over at him and laughed
"After all," she said, "I am not sure, Julien, whether you are a person
of much understanding. You proposed to me because I happened to be the
sort of girl you were looking for. My connections were excellent and my
appearance, I suppose, satisfactory. You never thought of me myself, me
as an independent person, in all your life. Do you believe that I am
simply Lady Anne Clonarty, a reasonable puppet, a walking doll to
receive some one's guests and further his social ambitions? Don't you
think that I have the slightest idea of being a woman of my own? What's
wrong with me, I wonder, Julien, that you should take me for something
"You acted the part," he reminded her.
"With you, yes!" she replied scornfully. "I should like to know how
much you encouraged me to be anything different. A sawdust man I used
to think you. Oh, we matched all right! I am not denying that. I was
what I had to be. I sometimes wonder if misfortune will not do you
"Misfortune is lending you a tongue, at any rate," he retorted.
"As yet," she objected, "I know nothing of misfortune. The impulse
which led me to chuck things was just the most wonderful thing that
ever came to me in life. I awoke this morning feeling like a freed
woman. I sang while I got up. It seemed to me that I had never seen
anything so beautiful as the view of Paris from my poky window. And I
got up without a maid, too, Julien. I had no perfectly equipped
bathroom to wander into. Not much luxury about these rooms of
He glanced at her admiringly.
"You certainly look as though the life agreed with you," he answered.
"Put on your hat and come out to dinner."
She rose to her feet at once.
"I have been praying for that," she confessed. "You know, Julien, I
should starve badly. The one thing I can't get rid of is my appetite.
You don't expect me to make a toilette, because I can't?"
"Nothing of the sort," he assured her. "Come as you are."
She kept him waiting barely five minutes. She was still wearing her
smart traveling suit and the little toque which she had worn when she
left home. She walked down the street with him, humming gayly.
"Have you read the English papers this morning, Julien?" she asked.
"Not thoroughly," he admitted.
"Columns about me," she declared blithely. "The general idea is that I
am suffering from a lapse of memory. They have found traces of me in
every part of England. Not a word about Paris, thank goodness!"
"But do you mean to say that no one has an idea of where you are? Won't
your mother be anxious?"
"Not a bit of it," Lady Anne laughed. "I left a note for her, just to
say that she wasn't to worry. She knows I'll take care of myself all
right. Julien, don't you love these streets and their crowds of people?
Every one looks as though they were on a holiday."
"So they are," Julien replied. "Life is only a holiday over here. In
England we go about with our eyes fixed upon the deadliest thing in
life we can imagine. Over here, depression is a crime. They call into
their minds the most joyous thing they can think of. It becomes a
habit. They think only of the pleasantness of life. They keep their
troubles buried underneath."
"It is the way to live," she murmured.
"This, at any rate," he answered, leading the way into Henry's "is the
place at which to dine. Just fancy, we were engaged for three months
and not once did I dine with you alone! Now we are not engaged and we
think nothing of it."
"Less than nothing," she agreed, "except that I am frightfully hungry."
They found a comfortable table. Julien took up the menu and wrote out
the dinner carefully.
"In this country," he said, leaning back, "we are spared the barbarity
of table d'hote dinners. Therefore we must wait, but what does it
matter? There is always something to talk about."
"I am glad to hear that you feel like that, Julien. I remember
sometimes when we were alone together in England, we seemed to find it
a trifle difficult."
"Since then," he replied, "we have both burst the bonds--I of
necessity, you of choice."
"I don't believe," she declared, helping herself to _hors
d'oeuvres_, "that we are either of us going to be sorry for it."
"One can never tell. So far as you are concerned, I haven't got over
the wonder of it yet. You never showed me so much of the woman
throughout our engagement as you have shown me during the last few
"My dear Julien," she protested, "you didn't know where to look for it.
Why does this funny little man with the mutton-chop whiskers hover
around our table all the time?"
"He is distressed," Julien explained, "to see you eating so much bread
and butter. He fears that you will not have an appetite for the very
excellent dinner which I have ordered."
"He is right," she decided. "Never mind, I will leave the rolls alone.
I am still, I can assure you, ravenous."
She leaned back and, looking out into the room, began to laugh. People
who passed never failed to notice her. She was certainly a
striking-looking girl and she had, above all, the air.
"Julien," she cried, "this is really too amusing! Did you see who went
by just then? It was Lord Athlington--my venerable uncle--with the lady
with the yellow hair. He saw you here with me--saw us sitting together
alone, having dinner--me unchaperoned, a runaway! Isn't it delicious?"
Julien looked after his companion's elderly relative with a smile.
"I wonder," he remarked, "whether your uncle's magnificent
unconsciousness is due to defective eyesight or nerve?"
"Nerve, without a doubt," she insisted. "We all have it. Besides, don't
you see he's changed their table so as to be out of sight? I wonder
what he really thinks of me! If we'd belonged even to the really smart
set in town, it wouldn't have been half so funny. They do so many
things that seem wrong that people forget to be shocked."
"I can conceive," he murmured, "that your mother's ambitions would
scarcely lead her in that direction."
Lady Anne shrugged her shoulders.
"I don't think she could get in if she tried. The really disreputable
people in Society are so exclusive. I wonder, Julien, if I shall be
allowed to come out and dine with you when I am Madame Christophor's
"Once a week, perhaps," he suggested,--"scarcely oftener, I am afraid."
"Ah! well," she declared, "I shall like work, I am convinced. Julien,
you are spoiling me. I am sure this is a _cuisine de luxe_. I told
you to take me to a cheap restaurant."
"We will try them all in time," he answered. "I had to start by taking
you to my favorite place."
"You really mean, then," she asked, "that you are going on being nice
to me? Of course, I haven't the slightest claim on you. I suppose, as a
matter of fact, I treated you rather badly, didn't I?"
"Not a bit of it," he assured her. "I was a failure, that was all. But
of course I am going on being nice to you. There aren't too many people
over here whom one cares to be with. There aren't very many just now,"
he continued, "who care to be with me."
"Idiotic!" she replied. "Tell me about this work of yours?"
He explained Kendricks' idea. Her eyes glistened.
"It's really splendid," she declared. "How I should love to have seen
your first article!"
"You shall read it afterwards," he told her. "I have a copy of _Le
Grand Journal_ in my overcoat pocket."
She beckoned to the _vestiaire_.
"I will not wait a moment," she insisted. "I shall read it while dinner
is being served. It's a glorious idea, this, to fight your way back
with your pen. There are those nowadays who tell us, you know, Julien,
that there is more to be done through the Press than in Parliament.
Your spoken words can influence only a small number of people. What you
write the world reads."
She explained what she desired to the _vestiaire_. He reappeared a
minute or two later with the newspaper. She spread it out before her.
Julien read it over her shoulder. He himself had seen it before, but
his own eyes were the brighter as he reread it. When she had finished
she said very little. They ate the first course of their dinner almost
in silence. Then she laid her hand suddenly upon his.
"Julien, dear," she said, "I have done you a wrong. I am sorry."
"A wrong?" he repeated.
She looked at him almost humbly. There was something new in her eyes,
something new in her expression.
"I am afraid," she continued, "that I never looked upon you as anything
more than the ordinary stereotyped politician, a skilful debater, of
course, and with the chessboard brains of diplomacy. This,"--she
touched the newspaper with her forefinger--"this is something very
"Do you like it, then?"
"Like it!" she repeated scornfully. "Can't you feel yourself how
different it is from those precise, cynical little speeches of yours?
It is as though a smouldering bonfire had leapt suddenly into flame.
There is genius in every line. Go on writing like that, Julien, and you
will soon be more powerful than ever you were in the House of Commons."
He laughed. It was absurd to admit it, but nothing had pleased him so
much since the coming of his misfortune! She was thoughtful for some
time, every now and then glancing back at the newspaper. Over their
coffee she broke into a little reminiscent laugh.
"Did I tell you about Mrs. Carraby?" she asked. "Mother and I met her
at Wumbledon House, two or three days after her husband's appointment
had been confirmed. I can see her now coming towards us. There were so
many people around that she had to risk everything. Oh, it was a great
moment for mother! She never troubled even to raise her lorgnettes. She
never attempted any of that glaring-through-you sort of business. She
just looked up at Mrs. Carraby's hand and looked up at her eyes and
walked by without changing a muscle. Of course I did the same--very
nearly as well, too, I believe. Cat!"
Julien frowned slightly.
"You can imagine," he said, "that I am not very keen about discussing
Mrs. Carraby. Yet, after all, her husband and his career were, I
suppose, the most important things in life to her."
"Then she's going to have a pretty rocky time," Lady Anne decided. "I
don't understand much about politics, but I know it's no use putting a
tradesman into the Foreign Office. He's wobbly already, and as for Mrs.
Carraby--well, I don't know if she ever went on with you like it,
Julien, but you remember Bob Sutherland--the one in the Guards, I
mean?--well, she's going an awful pace with him."
"I think," he declared, "that Mrs. Carraby can take care of herself."