"A mere private matter of honour, sire."
"Are there so few enemies of France with whom to fight that you must needs turn your swords at each other to rob me of a good soldier when I need every one?"
By this time Boisbriant and Jacques had come up, and Bienville commanded:
"Major, do you accompany the Chevalier de la Mora to his quarters. You will take his parole to remain there during the night, and he will report to me at ten to-morrow. Placide, do you come with me."
He gave up his horse to Jacques, and taking me by the arm led me in the direction of the garrison. Truly, I was in no better plight, for I feared reproof from the Governor more than the steel of de la Mora. During all this time I said no word. We returned to Biloxi in absolute silence. Bienville, with all a gentleman's instinct, recognized the delicacy of my position.
The Governor took me at once to his own room, and sat me down at the table.
"Now, Placide, tell me all about this miserable affair,"
"I can not, sire; believe me, I can not. I beg of you not to put upon me a command I must disobey. This wretched matter is not for me to tell, even to you."
I held my peace.
"Yes, I thought as much. Is it your fault or his, Placide?"