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THE BLACK WOLF'S BREED

the struggle. We must be prompt. There is much to lose in a day. I myself will go on to-morrow and have all in complete readiness for the voyage, and, who knows, for the fighting on the other side. Now give heed Placide—Captain de Mouret," for he was always particular to distinguish the man from the soldier, and in giving orders to address me by my proper title. "The war has been decided upon; you will remain here and watch developments"—he was proceeding to acquaint me with what was expected of me. I knew not what he might say, but felt impelled to throw out a silent warning, which even though he understood it not, he was quick enough to take. He paused and looked me inquisitively in the face. I glanced awkwardly from him to Jerome and back again.

The thought then dominant was a growing distrust of Jerome, and the desire to have our movements secret. I remembered Bienville's words "We know not who to trust," and being ignorant of what orders Serigny meant to give, or how much information they would convey to Jerome, deemed it best to let all the occurrences of the day come out. I could not forget the lad's gallantry, nor must I lose sight of the fact that as affairs now were, he might very well have gone over to the other side for the sake of Madame; things stranger than that took place every day, and I had learned to be discreet. He might thus come into valuable hints and afterward cast them into the scale against Bienville, for every means good or bad would be used by them to save their own influence, to uplift the Duke of Maine.