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THE BLACK WOLF'S BREED

longer. Let come what will, let the Governor's errand look to itself, for no man or no woman could ever laugh at me like that.

Holding my blade at easy command, I stepped inside. Immediately the door closed, and the rasping of the key told me it was securely locked as before. Then came regret, but came too late. What I had so foolishly commenced, I must now see finished. The cup had been taken in hand and the dice must be thrown.

As we came, I followed her again, though at much closer range. We crossed the yard diagonally, across the broken panes, bits of casks, wine bottles and other refuse scattered about. I liked not the aspect of the place. As the girl was about to enter a door leading inside the building, a man came down the inner stairs and passed out, coming in our direction. For the moment he was under the light I had good sight of him.

A rather low, dark fellow, dressed in the height of the fashion, yet somewhat flashily withal; not too foppish, he was evidently a young gallant of the better class. He staggered somewhat from wine, and carried a magnificent breadth of shoulder, denoting considerable strength. This was my mental catalogue from the glimpse I caught.

By this time, the lady had got rather within the range of the light; the man came straight at her, and, to my amazement, despite her struggles, seized and kissed her. This was before I could reach them.

I was upon him in an instant. Another, and he had