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Page:Harris Dickson--The black wolf's breed.djvu/210

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horse was nearly spent, and inflamed to fury by the fear of my escape, he eagerly agreed. While we parleyed, I worked myself into a position near his horse's head, and as he prepared to alight, snatched my sword and with a quick upper cut severed one rein near the bit. The blade having cut his horse slightly under his throat, he reared and plunged, and finding himself uncontrolled started madly off down the road, Jerome cursing, screaming and clinging to his mane.

I had to laugh at the success of my stratagem, for though it was a scurvy trick to play an old friend, it was much the simplest way out of the difficulty to dispose of him in this bloodless fashion. I put my horse about now without interference. When I wheeled down the lane toward Versailles, Jerome's clatter and dust was just dying away over the crest of a distant hill, making most excellent time in the direction of Paris.

Now that this new danger was past, I rode on heavy-hearted enough, for I had grown to love Jerome, and blamed him little for his sudden touch of fury. For I was nearly in the same boat, borne on by the same strong currents as Jerome.

Verily, what will man not do for woman? Love had turned him from a courteous nobleman of France, a brave and kindly gentleman, into the frenzied coward who would lie to his master, slay his friend, and turn traitor to his countrymen. A god could not love and be wise.

I jogged along slowly, seeking to rest my horse, for I could not tell how soon I must look to his speed for