I felt somewhat flattered at his artless recognition of the difference In our stations.
"In Biloxi; the Southern Provinces, Louisiana," I explained, "whereof Bienville is governor."
Afterward I thought I could remember a knowing twinkle in the fellow's eye, which passed unnoticed at the moment.
"Ah, I hear much of the colonies; it must be a goodly land to dwell in, but for the savages and the cannibals."
I laughed outright.
"Verily, friend, we have no cannibals worse than the barbarous Spaniards who wait but the chance to slaughter our garrison," and before I was aware, I had told him of my voyage from Biloxi, and of going to Versailles, stopping short only of giving the purpose of my visit to Paris. I was sore ashamed of the indiscretion. When I looked I found him laughing silently to himself, laughing at me.
"Then you are Captain de Mouret?" he asked with purest Parisian intonation, and the courtesy of a gentleman.
"How do you know?" I attempted to be stern, but somehow my effort fell flat. "How do you know?"
"Well, I've been expecting you," and he brushed his hand across his chin, wiping the yellow whiskers away before my astonished eyes.
"I am Jerome de Greville. Claude told me of your coming, but I wished to make sure. We have examined your baggage," he went on frankly, unmindful