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LOUIS XIV

upon his battle-riven but victorious deck and sobs aloud in agony above his writhing brother? Who is this stricken gentleman, who, having won that most heroic fight for his King, now prints a kiss, as a tender maiden might, upon the pale lips of a dying lad? Ah, Sire, it was Iberville, it was Iberville, my King, Iberville the gentle, Iberville the true! Hast thou forgotten that wounded lad who lived to serve his King so well on other fields? Dost remember his name? Let me remind you, Sire, that lad was Bienville de la Chaise, your loyal governor of Louisiana. Did the King but know the trials and sufferings of my master in upholding the royal authority, he would forgive him much. Nor do I fear to say it even here, that those men who seek his downfall would as lief line their wallets with Spanish doubloons as with honest louis d'or. De la Vente, the renegade priest, the center of strife and discontent in the colonies, traffics with the Indians and brings opprobrium upon your Majesty's name. It is he or La Salle who sends this idle taleā€”La Salle, who, from your Majesty's commissary, supplies this de la Vente with his merchandise. Who their friends are here to tell your Majesty these tales, I care not. Saving the royal presence, I would be pleased to discuss the matter with them elsewhere."

"Thou art a bold lad," observed the King.

I had noted his eyes flash, and the thin nostrils dilate at mention of the passage of the Rhine; so, emboldened by the surety of success, I kept my own courage up.

"Aye, Sire, truth need have no fear from the great-