He drummed on the table with his fingers a while before he spoke again.
"Then, my lad, there is but one thing I can do, that is to send you away from here at once. You can leave this place to-night, seek out Tuskahoma, make your way to Pensacola, thence to Havana, where I warrant you will find other occupation. Or, if you so desire, I will accredit you to Governor Frontenac in the north."
I chose Havana, there being the greater prospect of active service there. It took the methodical Governor but brief space to give me such letters as would insure me fitting reception from our brave fellows at Pensacola. He placed them in my hand, and I quietly rose to bid him good-night, and good-bye. I would not have ventured upon anything more than a formal word of parting, for I had the consciousness of having done much to forfeit his regard. But the old man came over and put his arms about me as he might a beloved son.
"Placide," he said, "it grieves me to the soul for you to leave me. I love you, boy, as I do my own flesh. You have served me truly, always with affection and honour. I respect your silence now, and ask you for no confidences not your own. Serigny has told me how faithful you were in Paris, and what he heard from others of your interview with the King. Placide, my lad, even now it fires my blood to think of a boy of mine standing before the mighty Louis, surrounded by our enemies, and daring to tell the truth. It was glorious, glorious, and it saved your Governor. I had minded me in an idle day to hear it all from your own lips.