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“A man, madame, whose duty is to secure one of the bride’s garters. Oh, you need not start—that is quite simply arranged. The old-time brides always carried an extra pair to save themselves embarrassment. The one for the garter-man will be trimmed with ribbons which he will cut off and distribute to the other would-be brides, who will keep them in their prayer-books.”

“Leà, for instance,” chimed in Louis, winking at Herbert.

“Leà, for instance, my dear Monsieur Louis. I know of no better mate for a man—and it is a pity you are too young.”

The laugh was on Louis this time, but the old man kept straight on, his subtle irony growing more pointed as he continued: “And then, madame, when it is all over and the couple retire for the night—and of course we will give them the best room in our house, they being most distinguished personages—none other than Monsieur Gaston Duprè, Lord of the Lobster Pot, Duke of Buezval, and Grand Marshal of the Deep Sea, and Mademoiselle Mignon, Princess of——

The marquise drew herself up to her full height. “Stop your nonsense, Lemois. I won’t