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THE BLACK WOLF'S BREED

spirit in me for the fight. Our blades crossed, and immediately he noted the disparity of arms.

"Captain," he remarked, composedly, drawing back a pace. "This is a bad business; I shall surely kill you, but wish to do so as a gentleman. Permit me to exchange our weapons, so you fence not at such great disadvantage."

And he offered me the hilt of his own reversed sword.

"Chevalier de la Mora, you are a gallant gentleman, will you believe a man who has not yet lied to you, and who feels a word is your due?"

"Be quick," he replied, "we maybe interrupted."

"I have wronged you and will render full atonement. But it has only been a wrong of the heart; one of which I had no control, no choice. Your sweet wife has never, by word or deed, dishonoured the noble name she bears."

"Of course, Captain, it is a gentleman's part to make such protestations. It is fruitless for us to discuss this matter further, except as we had so well begun."

So intent were we both that neither had seen Jacques leave us, nor had either heard the swift hoof beats of a horse upon the deadening sand, until the rider was full upon us.

Bienville. Behind him, on foot, just emerging from the brush some distance away, Boisbriant and Jacques.

"Gentlemen, gentlemen, put by your weapons. What does this mean?" He had flung himself from his horse and stood between.

De la Mora sullenly dropped his point.