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no bloodhounds in the bureau—they can't track. A propos of tracking—I tell you who I wish were more completely pledged to us———"

"Lilmarc, of course. So do I, but he is caution itself; and I believe, on my faith, that a white wand at Vienna would buy up what little Magyar spirit there is in him. He is a fox, with the heart of an ape!"

Lilmarc was the Graf von Lilmarc, an Hungarian noble of splendid possessions, and of wavering allegiance—now to Austria, and now to his Fatherland. Vane trifled gravely with his olives.

"But Lilmarc has one weakness—women. Cannot the Countess Vassalis seduce him?"

Phaulcon gave a despairing shrug of his shoulders.

"There is no reliance on women! I don't know what has come to Idalia of late; she is not herself, and is oftener dead against us now than anything else. I have asked her to make play with Lilmarc; she might have him in her hands like wax in no time, but she will not; she is wayward, cold, haughty———"

"Perhaps she has taken a lover you know nothing about," said Victor, with a smile in his eyes. He liked bis Mend and confederate as well perhaps as any one in the world, but he liked better still tormenting him.