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THE BLACK WOLF'S BREED

position and his friendly ways won me completely, and we became fast comrades. A noble looking lad, with the strength of a young Titan, and the blonde curls of a woman. During the long idle hours of the afternoon it was his custom to banter me for a bout at swords, and Levert generally acted as our master of the lists. At first he was much my superior with the foils, for during his days with the Embassy at Madrid, and in the schools at Paris, he had learned those hundreds of showy and fancy little tricks of which we in the forests knew nothing. However, I doubted not that on the field our rougher ways and sterner methods would count for quite as much.

With all the five long weeks of daily practice, I gathered many things from him, until one day we had an experience which made us lay the foils aside for good.

We had been sitting after the dinner hour, discussing his early life in Paris. He wound up with his usual declaration, "As for myself, give me the gorgeous plays, the fetes and smiles of the Montespan, rather than the prayers, the masses and the sober gowns of de Maintenon. And now it is your turn, comrade; let us know something of your escapades, your days of folly in dear old Paris."

"I have never seen Paris," I answered simply.

"What! Never been to Paris? Then, man, you have never lived. But where have you spent all your days?"

"In the colonies—Quebec, Montreal, Biloxi. But now I will have an opportunity, for I am going—"