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"When did you meet him at Sceaux? What did you do?"

"Meet who?"

"Don't lie to me, woman, I am in no mood for subterfuge."

She besought him with one frightened look, one step forward to him as if for protection, which he repelled; then she looked as though she might weep.

"Neither do you weep. Tell me how many notes like this have you received?"

"Like what? I could not read it, you held it so high," she sobbed.

The Chevalier stooped down, picked up the crumpled paper from the earth, and smoothed it out. He then handed it to her, and regarded her face intently as she read it.

"Read this, Madame, and see how careless you have been."

And my lady read the note; she, too, read it again, the first reading not sufficing her to understand. Then she looked at her husband with great wide-open eyes; she was now calm, and as quiet as he.

"Truly, Charles, I know nothing of this."

"It was always said, Madame, at Sceaux, you could take the stage and play the parts of distressed and virtuous damosels," he answered her, coldly curling his lip.

"Tell me, Madame, as you value your soul, what is this Captain de Mouret to you?"

"As I value my soul," my lady answered him direct and steadily, looking straight into his eye, her own