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THE BORDER EAGLE

but it was useless. The Scotch Duke was off on the Foreign Office ill-deeds, and no power could have stopped him; no power did until he had fairly talked himself hoarse, when he drank a deep glass of claret, and rose, with reiterated thanks for his impromptu entertainment as sincere as they were voluble, and with cordial invitation to his castle of Benithmar, a stately pile upon the Clyde.

"And I hope you will allow me also to return your hospitalities in kind," said Vane, with his brightest smile. Since yon have the mania of pérégrinamanie, as Guy Patin calls it, and are always going up and down Europe, yon must pass continually through Paris. I can only hope, both there and in Naples, you will very soon allow me the pleasure of showing you how much I hold myself the debtor both for the hospitality of to-day, and the acquaintance to which it has been so fortunate for me as to lead."

Erceldoune bent his head, and thanked him courteoosly but briefly—he had no love for honeyed speeches—and offered them, as a modern substitute for the stirrup-cup, some cigars of purest flavour, brought over by himself from the West Indies.

"How does Mr. Vane come in your Grace's society?" he asked the Duke, as he accompanied