here is the awkward work of our old friend Crozat, the tradesman, who would purchase an empire of the King. See how clumsily he throws out his golden bait."
I could but listen and observe. Now, more than ever, in the sternness and decision of his countenance he resembled his famous brothers, Iberville, Sauvolle and Bienville—and yet beyond them all he possessed the faculties of a courtier.
"Captain, are you acquainted with the nature of these dispatches?" he asked directly.
"No, sire, only in general, and from my knowledge of affairs at Biloxi."
"My brother tells me I may trust you." My face flushed hotly with the blood of anger.
"Oh, my dear Captain, I meant no offense; I speak plainly, and there are few men about this court whom you can trust. There is an adventure of grave importance upon which I wish to employ you. Your being unknown in Paris may assist us greatly."
I signified my attention.
"It is supposed we are on the eve of war with Spain, and it is my belief the colonies will be the first objects of attack. Some person, and one who is in our confidence, is now carrying on a secret correspondence with the Spanish agent at Paris. Cellamare, the Spanish Ambassador, is concerned in the intrigue. This much we know from letters which have fallen into my hands, and I have permitted them to be delivered rather than interrupt a correspondence which will eventually lead to a discovery of the traitor. We have now good rea-