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and I was sorely put to it for some device. No stratagem would be too base to use against such a villain, for he would not hesitate to knife me in the back.

"Broussard, let us understand each other here and now. You know me. I am Placide de Mouret," removing my mask and looking him sternly in the eye.

"Great God, de Mouret!"

"The same. I am your master at the swords, and you know it. Now turn out those papers." I had been quietly drawing my blade during this speech, as the dazed man tried to collect his senses, so I was ready while he still stood unprepared.

"Throw up your hands."

He mechanically obeyed; the discovery of his villainy had completely unmanned him.

"Now unbuckle your belt, and drop it to the ground." He did as he was bid.

"Kick it across the floor." The weapon was tossed out of his reach.

I walked up closer to him, and forced him to loose his coat that I might find the papers, and was rewarded by the discovery of a packet, much similar to that dropped by Yvard. It was sealed in such a manner it could not be opened, and bore no address. I removed the dagger from his hip, and having, as I thought, completely disarmed him, felt no further uneasiness. The man was thoroughly cowed, and never once raised his eyes to mine. Verily treason doth rob the stoutest heart of half its courage.

"Now do as I bid you, and I will keep my promise to