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Page:Harris Dickson--The black wolf's breed.djvu/205

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"No; I ride to Paris."


"I am afraid."

"Of what?"

"Of everything. We are in the house of our enemies, and it is the quality of courage to be discreet."

During this brief dialogue Jerome was stealthily running his hands through the lining of my cloak until he comprehended I had misled him. I could almost put his thought in words. Together we arose, laying each our hands upon the half-closed door, he to hold it, I to open it, steady-eyed, and each reluctant to cause the breach we knew must come.

"Placide, the papers are not here," he said in a quiet tone, yet full of determination.

"I know it."

"Why have you deceived me then?" for he could mask his purposes no longer, "Hand me those dispatches."

"No. My orders are to place them in the hands of Serigny."

"But I must have them."

"And I tell you as firmly, you can not."

"Listen, Captain," he begged in altered tones, "those dispatches may compromise Celeste. Let us take from them anything which implicates her in this miserable intrigue, and deliver the rest. That is easy. I can open and close them again so it can not be told."

"My orders are not to open them."

"By God, you will!" he burst out with volcanic fury,