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innate breeding of the man had triumphed. And then, again, it would be a rash Frenchman of his class who would defy a woman of her exalted rank.

Over her face crept a pleased look—as if she held some trump card up her sleeve—and one of her cooing, bubbling laughs escaped her lips.

“You are not telling me the truth, you dear Lemois. I am not in love with Gaston, the fisherman, nor are you with our pretty Mignon. Neither you nor I have anything to do with it. Here are two young people whose happiness is trembling in the balance. You hold the scales—that is, you claim to, although the girl is neither your child nor your ward and could marry without your consent, and would if she did not love you for yourself and for all you have done for her. Answer me now—do you object because Gaston is a fisherman?”

Whether her knowledge of Lemois’ legal rights—and she had stated them correctly—softened him, or whether he saw a loophole for himself, was not apparent, but the answer came with a certain surrender.

“Yes. It is a dangerous life. You have only to live here, as I have done, to count the women who bid their men good-by and watch in the