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THE BLACK WOLF'S BREED

girl. I loved to think of her as but a girl; that she was also a wife I barred out of our castle in Spain. Why should I be afraid of such a timid child? Verily, I knew not.

My folly had one result I could not then foresee; it told some of those present, whose hand it was had cast the hunting knife which struck Yvard. I did not learn this for days after.

The approving and pleased look on the little lady's face fired me with an insane desire to further win her notice, whereat I chided myself for a vain coxcomb, and drew imperceptibly away from the company, until I gained a shady and secluded walk which led to a retired nook overlooking the valley.

The quietude of the evening's close jarred on my turbulence of spirit. For the first time a woman's voice lingered in my ears after her speech was done, a woman's smile played as the fitful summer's lightning before my eyes. Oh, fool, fool! What place had women in a soldier's life. What a discordant harmony would one angel create amid the rough denizens of Biloxi. So I reasoned, forgetful that reasons never yet convinced the heart.