"But why? Why do you fear? Surely these soldiers are sufficient to afford protection."
The half veiled scorn of her manner cut me to the quick, but I determined not to be drawn aside from my purpose. My face still a-flush at her suggestion of cowardice, I replied earnestly:
"Mademoiselle la Princesse—"
"Ah, you know me?"
"And yet are willing to relinquish the honour of my escort?"
"It is duty, Mademoiselle la Princesse; stern and imperative duty."
"Sh!" Placing her finger to her lips, "address me simply as Madame."
"Madame, you wrong me; I would not desert you while in danger; now I may give you into safer hands with honour. A most urgent matter demands my presence there," pointing inside, "it may cost my life. Had I better not acquaint M. de Verrue with your character? He will then be more circumspect?" She thought a space.
"No, you may tell him I am a woman—tell him of the stupid folly which led me here to-night and brought a brave gentleman into danger—but not my name."
She would have thanked me further, but I was all impatience to be inside, seeing which she graciously bade me go. I bethought me then of the packet yet in my bosom, and knowing all those within were to be searched I took a hasty resolution, born of my confidence in the