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THE BLACK WOLF'S BREED

"To Madame Agnes de la Mora."

The Chevalier stooped, picked up the envelope, and re-read the superscription, handing it over to my lady, who took it unseeing.

"Did he expect a reply?"

"Yes, my lord."

"And where did he say to bring it?"

"Bring it to him when he returned from across the Bay this afternoon. I was to await him upon the shore."

"At what hour?"

"None was named, my Lord; he said it would be late, perchance."

Verily, as Jacques told it me, he must have drained the stupid fellow dry.

Then the Chevalier turned to my lady with the utmost courtesy:

"What say you, Madame, shall I bear your reply to this gentle captain? For by my faith, Madame, you require a more careful go-between than this, one more discreet and less glib of tongue."

"Charles, upon my honour, I know nothing of all this; I have never seen this Captain de Mouret."

He looked as if he did not hear her. He glanced at the sun, full two hours high, drew his sword and started to leave the garden.

He paused to doff his cap, and say, "I bear your message for you, Madame; verily, I am honoured."

My lady neither screamed nor fainted during his questioning of Jacques; she stood and listened as one