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AT THE AUSTRIAN ARMS

streets, and saw her safely to her gate. Who she is, or what, I know not."

The two men looked at each other, from the girl to me, then burst into such peals of incredulous laughter as roused my anger again. Even my late foe joined in, but faintly.

"Would either of you, my lords, be pleased to take the matter up?" for I was hot now indeed.

But they only laughed the more. The lady looked much confused.

"Thou art not of Paris?" the taller man asked.

"No, this is my first night in Paris."

"I thought as much. This lady," the tall man continued in a sarcastic tone, "permit me to present you to Mademoiselle Florine, waitress and decoy pigeon for Betrand's wine rooms, where gentlemen sometimes play at dice."

He laughed again, and even the girl could muster up a smile now that the danger had blown over.

"That is true, Mademoiselle?" I asked. She nodded.

"Then, good sirs, I'll fight no more in such a matter."

"And by my soul, comrade, right glad I am to hear you say it; for you fight like a very devil of hell, and Carne Yvard knows a swordsman."

Carne Yvard! The very fellow I had been sent out to find, now by a queer chance thrown full in my way. Verily, I was relieved to know I could hold my own against this famous—or infamous—bravo. Another thing gained; I knew my man while yet a stranger to