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A NOTE WHICH WENT ASTRAY

elling fool," for the fellow's hesitant manner angered and frightened me.

"There is no note, sir."

"No reply?"

"The lady sent none."

"Why?"

Under my questions Jacques turned red and pale, then he blundered out:

"The Chevalier de la Mora said he would bring the answer to you himself—at the shore."

He kept his eyes fast riveted upon another hole he was digging in the sand.

"The—Chevalier?" I knew what that meant. Great God! and this was the end of it all.

"Tell me, you bungling fool, what knows he of this?"

"Pardon, Master; I thought no harm of it; you had never before employed me on such an errand."

It was now my own turn to seek the ground with my eyes, so just, so humble was the rebuke.

"I thought no harm of it, sir, and gave it to Madame in the garden; she called upon the Chevalier to read it for her."

"What said he? To her? Was he violent?"

"No sir, most polite; terribly polite, and cool; but, master, you must not meet him; he will kill you."

Of this I had scant doubt.

"Did he make no sign as if he would do her harm?"

"No, sir, not then, but he looked so queer one could hardly say what he meditated. I would not care to have him look at me like that."