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THE BLACK WOLF'S BREED

the royal honour of the King's own blood. Besides much is in cipher which it will take time to read. Louis, you know, would not admit, save to those nearest his throne, the possession of the secret Spanish cipher."

The night passed by dismal and uncertain enough. I must confess to a great sinking of the heart when I saw Serigny's carriage roll away in the gray of the early morning, leaving me absolutely alone in my father's land of France, where in the short space of two weeks so much had transpired; much to be ever remembered, much I would have given worlds to forget.

It must have been a most forlorn and dejected looking creature that stood in the great square that sunless morning, peering into the mists which had absorbed the carriage. The solitude of vast untrodden forests breeds not that vacant sense of desolation which we children of nature feel in the crowded haunts of men. Face after face, form after form, voice after voice, yet not one familiar countenance, not one remembered tone, not the glance of a kindly eye; all is new, all is strange, all at seeming enmity. The defection of Jerome, my only comrade, was indeed a cup of bitterness. I dreaded to meet him, not knowing what tack he might cut away on. Yet I could not blame him; it was more of pity I felt.

I recall with great delight some of the minor occurrences of the next three or four days. After Serigny's departure, every afternoon at imminent risk I would take horse to Sceaux, and pursuing a by-way through the forests and fields, through which a wood-cutter first led me, ride hard to catch a glimpse of her who now