Page:Harris Dickson--The black wolf's breed.djvu/286

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

It was ever Bienville's wont to act with quick decision.

"Order Major Boisbriant to report to me at once." And off posted Jacques upon his errand.

That officer attended with military promptitude.

"Major Boisbriant, do you seek on the instant the Chevalier de la Mora, and bear him company wherever he may go until you are relieved. Put upon him no restraint, and say nothing of your having such orders from me if you can avoid it. There is trouble brewing here, which I want to prevent; an affair of honour, you understand. He has gone toward the landing on the Bay. Be discreet and delicate."

Boisbriant nodded his comprehension, saluted, and was gone. Bienville turned to Jacques.

"Saddle my horse at once and bring him here."

It was much later than I had hoped before I could with decency return to Biloxi. Impatient, childish and excited I recrossed the bay, leaving a little detail of soldiers to watch beside the body of my friend. As soon as I saw Jacques on the other shore I knew something had gone wrong. That senseless knave was pacing uncertainly about the beach, stopping here and there to dig great holes in the sand with his toe, and carefully filling them up again. The fellow, ever on the watch for me, was at the same time watching the path from Biloxi, and seemed to dread my coming. Instead of meeting me at the water, he waited for me to approach him, thus leaving the two boatmen out of hearing.

"Well, give me the note; why stand there like a driv-