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Page:Man Who Laughs (Estes and Lauriat 1869) v1.djvu/324

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THE MAN WHO LAUGHS.

"How outrageous!" murmured Barkilphedro.

The queen was silent, then she muttered angrily, "These bastards!"

Barkilphedro noticed the plural.

Another time, when the queen was leaving the chapel, Barkilphedro kept close to her Majesty, behind the two grooms of the almonry. Lord David Dirry-Moir, as he passed down between the two lines of ladies created quite a sensation by his lordly appearance. As he passed there was a chorus of feminine exclamations,—

"How elegant! How gallant! What a noble air! How handsome!"

"How disagreeable!" grumbled the queen.

Barkilphedro overheard this; it satisfied him. He could hurt the duchess without displeasing the queen.

The first problem was solved; but now the second presented itself. What could he do to harm the duchess? What means did his wretched appointment offer to attain so difficult an object? Evidently none.