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ringing in my ears. You, Monsieur Herbert, must yourself have seen such tragedies in men’s lives, when in the space of a lightning’s flash their souls were stripped clean and they left naked.”

Herbert played with his fork for a moment, threw it back upon the cloth, and then said in a decided tone:

“No—it is not my turn; I’ve talked enough to-night. Open up, Le Blanc, and give us something out of the old Latin Quartier—there were tragedies enough there.”

“Only what absinthe and starvation brought—and a ring now and then on the wrong girl’s finger—or none at all, as the case might have been. But you’ve got a story, Herbert, if you will tell it, which will send Lemois to bed with a whole orchestra sounding in his ears.”

Herbert looked up.

“Which one?”

“The fever camp at Bangala.”

Herbert’s face became instantly grave and an expression of intense thought settled upon it. We waited, our eyes fixed upon him.

“No—I’d rather not, Le Blanc,” he said slowly. “That belongs to the dead past, and it is best to leave it so.”