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THE BLACK WOLF'S BREED

Princess. It may be said here that the lady whom I escorted on that memorable night was known throughout the kingdom for her eccentric tastes, and noted for never meddling with intrigues of either state or love. Her passion lay with her dogs and horses, the hunt, and not in the trifles of a court.

"Madame, will you not render me a service in return?" I felt my whole attitude to be imploring, so warmly did I bespeak her grace.

"I have here some papers of the utmost value to myself, to no one else. My honour requires that they be delivered to M. Jerome de Greville before to-morrow's sun arises. He keeps his lodging in Rue St. Denis, at the sign of the Austrian Arms. Can Madame not dispatch a trusted messenger and secure their delivery?"

The fervour of the appeal touched her, for she listened with interest.

"Oh, Madame, I beseech you, as I have obeyed you without question this night, do not fail me as you love the glory of France. You may have M. de Greville informed how and where you came by them, in case aught of ill should happen to me this night."

She took the packet.

"Upon my royal word," she whispered, in such a tone of sincerity I felt relieved of any uneasiness concerning the papers.

I had a real regret at seeing her leave the hall. Walking so regally in front of the guard I wondered at my thick-headedness which had not before perceived in her every movement the princely pride of Bourbon. I