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I misdoubted his motive, and again took up his pacing to and fro.

"Aye, my dear Captain, but 'tis a long trip for such an errand?"

"Yes, quite a long trip, but I weary of the life at Biloxi, and would amuse myself for a while in France."

"But the garrison at Biloxi; is that strong enough to spare so good a soldier? then the Indians, do you not fear them?"

I glanced at him quickly, only half betraying my thought, but replied nonchalantly:

"No, the Indians are quiet, at least so our scouts tell us, and as for the state of the garrison, you were long enough ashore to know we are strong."

"Ah, then, there is another motive; a woman. Come, is it not true? Confess?"

I blushed in spite of myself; it was an idle way I had, for I had seen little of women. My confusion threw him completely off the track; had I only guessed it, would have taken refuge in that device sooner.

"No, no, comrade; you are wrong"—but still somehow my color came and went like a novice out of the convent. His good-humored raillery continued until I became annoyed in earnest, yet was glad he took the matter so seriously. When Levert passed us again on his walk I spoke to him.

"Now, my dear Levert, we will try our fortune with the foils if it pleases you."

"No, my humor is past. Do you try with Broussard;