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Page:Harris Dickson--The black wolf's breed.djvu/166

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faith, it was much simpler to lay it off than to array one's self in. I never did learn all the eccentricities of that remarkable rig my fashionable friend had adorned me with.

"Had we better not strap on our pistols?" I asked, not knowing what he purposed.

"No; gentlemen do not wear them. Beside, at Sceaux one sharpens one's wits, and lets even his good blade dull and rust."

We mustered six stout swords as we clattered away from the Austrian Arms, and I could not but note, despite what Jerome had said, he took good care to provide trusty fellows and swift horses.

"A lean hound for a long race," Jerome laughingly remarked, noticing my inspection of the not over-fed nag I bestrode.

We took that road leading past the heights of Villejuif, which in hardly more than an hour's brisk ride brought us to the park of Sceaux, overlooking the beautiful Fontenay valley of which I was destined to learn much. During this ride I had leisure to speak with de Greville of Florine, for the girl's story had roused a real desire in my heart to see her bettered.

"There are thousands such in Paris," he replied, shrugging his shoulders unconcernedly. "The few tell you truth, the many lie to you. You know not when to believe them. If you like, though, I will see what may be done. At least she may be placed in la Saltpeterie where no present harm can reach her, to earn a living. It is not a pleasant life, and no wonder young