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II
THE WOOD FIRE AND ITS FRIENDS

TWO men burst in.

Herbert, compact, wellknit, ruddy, simple in his bearing and manner; Louis, broad-shouldered, strong as a bull, and bubbling over with unrepressed merriment. Both were muffled to their chins—Herbert in his fur motor-coat, his cap drawn close over his steady gray eyes; Louis in his big sketching-cloak and hood and a pair of goggles which gave him so owlish a look that both Mignon and Leà broke out laughing at the sight.

“Fifty miles an hour, High-Muck” (I am High-Muck) “this brute of a Herbert kept up. Everything went by in a blur; but for these gig-lamps I’d be stone blind.”

The brace and the snap of the crisp autumn air clinging to their clothes suddenly permeated the room as with electricity. Even slow-moving Lemois felt its vivifying current as he hurriedly dragged the Florentine nearer the fire.

“See, Monsieur Herbert, the chair has been

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