HotFreeBooks.com
Those Who Smiled - And Eleven Other Stories
by Perceval Gibbon
Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6
Home - Random Browse

To his valet's murmured "good morning," he frowned slightly, as if in some preoccupation of his thoughts.

"What sort of day is it?" he asked, without replying to the greeting.

"It is fine, M'sieur le Prince," answered the valet; "a beautiful day."

"H'm!" The Prince de Monpavon lifted himself on one silk-sleeved elbow to see for himself. The window was on the west side of the building, so that from the bed one looked as through a tunnel of shadow to a sunlight that hung aloof and distant. He surveyed it for a space of minutes with a face of discontent, then fell back on his pillows.

"Thought it was raining," he remarked. "Something feels wrong about it. What time is it?"

"It is twenty minutes past eleven, M'sieur le Prince," replied the servant. "I will fetch M'sieur le Prince's letters. And M. Dupontel has telephoned."

"Eh?" The Prince's hard eyes came round to him swiftly, but not soon enough to see that movement of his right hand that gave him the appearance of deftly pocketing some small object concealed in the palm of it. "What does he say?"

"He will be here at noon, and hopes that M'sieur le Prince will go to take lunch with him."

The Prince nodded slowly, and the valet, treading always as if noise were a sacrilege, passed out of the room to fetch the letters. The Prince lifted his head to pack the pillow under it more conveniently, and waited in an appearance of deep thought. Under the bedclothes the contour of his body showed long, and slender, and his face, upturned to the canopy of the bed, was one upon which the years of his age had found slight foothold. It had the smooth pallor of a man whose chief activities are indoors: it was wary, nervous, and faintly sinister, with strong, dark eyebrows standing in picturesque contrast to the white hair. The figure he was accustomed to present was that of a man established in life as in a stronghold.

He was neither youthful nor elderly, but mature. Without fortune or rich connections, he had contrived during nearly thirty years to live as a man of wealth; he had seen the game ecarte go out and bridge come in; and had so devised the effect he made that he was still more eminent as a personality than as a gambler. Though he played in many places, he was careful not to win too much in any of them, and rather than press for a debt he would forgive it.

The rat-faced valet reappeared, carrying a salver on which were some half dozen envelopes. The Prince took them, and proceeded to examine them before opening them, while the valet, still with his uncanny noiselessness, continued his interrupted preparations. Two of the letters the Prince tossed to the floor forthwith; he knew them for trifling bills. Of the others, there was one with the name of a Paris hotel printed on the flap which appeared to interest him. He had that common weakness for guessing at a letter before opening it which princes share with scullions; and in the case of this one there was something vaguely familiar in the handwriting to which he could not put a name. He stared at it thoughtfully, and felt again a momentary stirring within him of that ill ease with which he had waked from sleep, which had made him doubt that the day was bright. Like all gamblers, he found significance in things themselves insignificant. Impatiently he abandoned his speculations and tore the envelope open; then turned upon his elbow to look at the signature.

"Parbleu!" he exclaimed.

The valet turned at the sound, but his master had forgotten his existence. The man, his hands still busy inserting studs in a shirt, watched with sidelong glances how the Prince had thrown off his languor and leaned above his letter, startled and absorbed.

"MY DEAR MONPAVON [read the Prince]: For the first time since our parting, nearly a generation ago, I am once more in Paris, of which the very speech has become strange in my mouth. I return as a citizen of the United States, a foreigner; you will perhaps recognize me with difficulty; and I would hardly give you that trouble were it not for the engagement which is outstanding between us an engagement which you will not fail to recall. It was concluded upon that evening on which we saw each other last, when, having lost to you all that remained to me to lose, you offered me my revenge whenever I should choose to come for it. Well, I have come for it. I will call upon you as soon as possible. I hope such visits are still as welcome to you as once they were."

And at the tail of the letter there sprawled the signature, bold and black: "JULES CARIGNY."

"Tiens!" exclaimed the Prince.

The valet moved. "M'sieur le Prince spoke?" he queried.

"No!" said the Prince impatiently. He glanced up from his letter at the man's sly, secret face. "But by the way have you ever heard of a Monsieur Carigny?"

It was with something like the empty shell of a smile that the man answered. "Everybody who knows M'sieur le Prince has heard of him," he said suavely.

"H'm!" the Prince grunted doubtfully, but he knew it was true. Everybody had heard of Carigny and the revenge that was due to him; impossible to refuse it to him now.

There are incidents in every man's life concerning which one can never be sure that they are closed; in such a life as that of the Prince de Monpavon there are many. The affair of Carigny, nearly thirty years before, was one of them. While he stared again at the letter, there rose before the Prince's eyes a vision of the evening upon which they had parted in a great; over-ornate room with card-tables in it, and a hanging chandelier of glass lusters that shivered and made a tinkling bell-music whenever the door opened. It had been a short game. It was a season of high stakes, and Carigny, as a loser, had doubled and doubled till the last quick hand that finished him. He was a slim youth, with a face smooth and pale. He sat back in his chair, with his head hanging, staring with a look of stupefaction at the cards that spelled his ruin, his finish, and his exile. About him, some of the onlookers began to talk loudly to cover his confusion, and their voices seemed to restore him. He blinked and closed his mouth, and sat up. "Well," he said, then, "there's an end of that!"

The Prince had answered with some conventional remark, the insincere regrets of a winner for the loser's ill fortune, and had added something about giving Carigny his revenge.

The other smiled a little and shook his head. "You are very good," he had answered; "but at present that is impossible. Some day, perhaps."

He paused. He had risen from his chair, and, though the evening was yet young, he had the look of a man wearied utterly. All the room was watching him; it was known that he had lost all.

"Whenever you like," the Prince had replied.

Carigny nodded slowly. "It may be a long time," he said. "I can see that it may be years. But, since you are so good, some day we will play once more. It is agreed?"

"Certainly; it is agreed," said the Prince.

Carigny smiled once more. He had a queer, ironic little smile that seemed to mock its own mirth. Then, nodding a good night here and there, he had gone toward the door, tall and a little drooping, between the men who stood aside to give him passage, strangely significant and notable at that final moment. At the door he had turned and looked toward the Prince.

"Au revoir!" he had said.

And the Prince, concerned not to fail in his attitude, not to make the wrong impression upon those who watched, had matched his tone carefully to Carigny's as he replied: "Au revoir!"

The thing had touched men's imaginations. The drama of that promised return, years ahead, had made a story; it had threatened the Prince with notoriety. He had had to live dexterously to escape it to play little and with restraint for many months afterward. It had had to be suffered to exhaust itself, to die lingeringly. It had lain in its grave for nearly thirty years; and now, like a hand reaching out from a tomb, came this letter. The incident was not closed.

"No wonder," said the Prince to himself, as he knotted his necktie before the mirror "no wonder the day felt wrong! There is bad luck in the very air. I must be very careful today."

M. Dupontel, waiting for him in the salon, saw him enter between the folding doors with a face upon which his distaste of the day had cast a shadow. Dupontel was no more than twenty-five, and the Prince was one of his admirations and his most expensive hobby. He rose from his seat, smiling, surveying, the other's effect of immaculate clothing, fine bearing, and striking looks, and marking the set of his countenance.

"You look very correct today," he remarked pleasantly.

The Prince nodded without humor. "It is one of my days for being correct," he answered. "I feel it in the air it is a day to be on my guard. I have these sensations sometimes not often, mercifully! and I have learned to pay attention to them."

Dupontel smiled again. "To me it seems a cheerful day," he said. "And you begin it well, at any rate."

"How, then?" The Prince, coaxing on his grey gloves, turned narrowed eyes upon him. "In what way do I begin it well?"

Dupontel produced a pocket-book from the breast of his coat. "I have to settle with you over last evening," he said. "Two thousand, wasn't it? I call that beginning any day well."

He dropped the notes upon the little table where the Prince's hat and cane lay.

The Prince picked up the notes.

"Thanks!" he said. He looked at the young man almost with curiosity. "Sure it's convenient?"

For answer, Dupontel showed him his pocketbook, with still half a dozen thousand-franc notes in it.

"I see," said the Prince.

He still hesitated for a moment or two, as if touched by some compunction, before he put the notes into his pocket. It had occurred to him vaguely that he might propitiate his fortune by sacrificing this money make himself, as it were, by a timely generosity, the creditor of good luck. But it was not the kind of thing he was used to do.

"Eh bien!" he said, and put the notes out of sight.

"And now," said Dupontel, "let us eat."

"Yes," said the Prince slowly. "That is the next thing, I suppose. And presently I will tell you a reason why this is a day to be careful of."

In the elevator that bore them toward the street, he began of a sudden to search his pockets. Dupontel, watching, him in surprise, saw a real worry replace the customary lofty impassivity of his face.

"You have lost something?" he asked.

"Yes," answered the Prince shortly. "Take us up again at once," he ordered the attendant.

"I will not keep you a moment," he said to Dupontel, when the elevator had reached his own floor again, and he entered his apartment quickly.

He found his valet still in the bedroom, putting it deftly in order, always with that secret and furtive quality of look and movement. The Prince, tall, notably splendid in person, halted in the doorway; the man, mean, little, shaped by servile and menial uses, stopped in the middle of the room and returned his gaze warily. There was an instant of silence.

"I had a coin," began the Prince. "A gold coin, not a French one! I had it in my pocket last night. Where is it?"

Never was anything so shallow as the other's pretence of distressed ignorance. It was as if he scarcely troubled to dissemble his amusement and malice.

"But I have not seen it, M'sieur le Prince," he said. "If M'sieur le Prince wishes, I will search. Doubtless."

"I am in a hurry," interrupted the Prince. "It is a Mexican coin worth ten francs only." He held out a coin. "Here is a ten-franc piece. Be quick."

They were equals for the moment; the relationship was plain to both of them. With no failing of his countenance, the valet drew the missing, piece from his pocket.

"Mexican?" he said. "I thought it was Spanish."

The coins changed hands. Neither of them failed in his attitude; they were well matched.

The Prince rejoined Dupontel with his Mexican gold piece still in his hand.

"It was this I had left behind," he said, showing the thin-worn gold disc. "It is well, a talisman of mine, a sort of mascot. I was nearly going without it. Rather than do that I would stay at home."

Dupontel laughed. "You are superstitious, then?" he said lightly. "It is not much to look at, your talisman."

The Prince shook his head; it seemed impossible to make him smile that morning.

"That is true," he agreed, "but a man must put faith in something. When you have heard what I have to tell you, you will understand that."

The streets, those lively streets of Paris that mask the keenness of their commerce with so festive a face, were sunlit as they passed on their way, and along the boulevards the trees were gracious with young green. They went at the even and leisurely pace which is natural in that city of many halting-places two men worth turning to look at, so perfectly did each, in his particular way, typify his world. Both were tall, easy-moving, sure and restrained in every gesture. Dupontel at twenty-five, for all the boyishness that sometimes showed in him, had already his finished personal effect; and the Prince, white-haired, dark-browed, with a certain austerity of expression, was as complete a thing as a work of art.

"Then what is it, exactly, that you fear from this Carigny?" asked Dupontel, when the Prince had told him of the letter. "I have heard the story, of course; but I never heard he was dangerous."

"It is not he that is dangerous," said the Prince.

"What, then?"

The Prince shook his head doubtfully. Such men as he seldom have a confidant, but he was used to speak to Dupontel with more freedom than to any other.

"Things are dangerous," he answered. "There is bad luck about; I tell you, I feel it. And now, this business of Carigny cropping up, rising like a ghost of the past to demand a reckoning!" He shuddered; it was like the shudder of a man who feels a sudden chill. "A reckoning!" he repeated. "At this rate, one is never quit of anything."

They were nearing the restaurant at which they were to lunch. Dupontel touched his companion lightly on the arm.

"You are depressed," he said. "You must gather your forces, Monpavon. You mustn't let Carigny find you in a state like this; it would make things easy for him."

The Prince made a weary little gesture of assent. "I shall be ready for him," he said. "If only-"

"If only what?"

They were at the door of the restaurant. A page like a scarlet doll held open the door for them; a Swiss, ornately uniformed, stood frozen at the salute. The Prince's somber eyes passed unseeing over these articles of human furniture.

"If only I don't get a sign," he said; "like going out without my Mexican coin, you know that would be a sign. If only I can avoid that and a couple of other things I'll be ready enough for Monsieur Carigny when he comes."

"Tiens!" said Dupontel. "You and your signs, c'est epatant!"

He was amused, and even a little contemptuous. He had not yet been long enough at play to reach that stage when the gambler is the servant of small private fetishes when an incident at the beginning of the day can fill him with fears or hopes, and all life has a meaning which expresses itself in the run of the cards.

They took their places at the table reserved for them. Waiters stood aloof, effacing themselves, prepared to pounce upon their smallest need and annihilate it. Dupontel breathed a number as he sat down, and the rotund and reverend wine-waiter, wearing a chain of office, tried to express in his face respectful esteem for a man who could give such an order.

"You need a stimulant, an encouragement," said Dupontel, leaning across to the Prince. "Therefore I have ordered for us."

He had his hands joined under his chin and his elbows on the table. The Prince, with something like a crisp oath, snatched at the salt-cellar which his movement would have overset, and saved it saved it with grains of salt sliding on the very rim, but none fallen to the table. He made sure of this fact anxiously.

"That was a near thing," he said, looking up at Dupontel. There was actually color in his face.

"Another fraction of a second and" His gesture completed the sentence.

"My dear fellow!" remonstrated Dupontel.

"That was the second," said the Prince. "First I nearly left my coin at home that was my servant's doing. Then the salt is all but spilled my friend does that. If I had a wife, I should expect to owe the third danger to her. Who will bring it to me, I wonder?"

"You are extraordinary, with your signs and dangers," said Dupontel. "I never heard you speak like this before. And, in any case, you have averted two perils."

"I have averted two," agreed the Prince. "You are right; that in itself is almost a sign. It it gives me hope for the third the blind man."

"Eh? The blind man? What blind man?"

The Prince took a spoonful of soup.

"Sometimes I forget how young you are," he said. "A blind man, of course, is nothing to you. You give him an alms, touching his hand when you put the money into it, and go on to the club to play bridge. But if I, by any chance of the street, were to touch a blind man, I should go home and go to bed. I have my share of prudence me! and that is a risk I do not take. No!"

He interrupted himself to drink from his glass, while Dupontel sat back and prepared, with a gesture of utter impatience, to be contemptuous and argumentative.

"Carigny," said the Prince, setting his glass down, "Carigny, in the old days, believed that too. But he was not prudent. That night we played, that last night of which he writes in his letter, there was a blind man who begged of him. And when he would have dropped a franc in his hand, the creature groped suddenly for the coin. We were walking to the club together, and I saw it, standing aside meanwhile. It was an old debris of a man, who begged in a voice that whispered and croaked, and his hand was shriveled and purple, and it wavered and trembled as he held it out. Because he was blind, with eyelids swollen and discolored, Carigny said, as he drew the money from his pocket: 'Here is a franc, my friend!' Then the old creature groped, as I have said, with a jerk of his inhuman claw, and grabbed the money from Carigny before he could let it fall, and I saw their hands touch. Carigny would not have played that night but that we had appointed to play."

"You could have let him off till next day," said Dupontel.

The Prince shook his head. "In those times," he said, "it was not the custom to break one's engagements neither to break them nor to allow them to be broken."

"I should like to see this Carigny of yours," said Dupontel thoughtfully. "When do you expect him to call on you?"

"His letter says 'as soon as possible,'" answered the Prince. "That constitutes in itself an engagement which Carigny will not fail to keep. He will come this afternoon."

Their meal achieved itself perfectly, like a ritual There arrived the time when the Prince set down his tiny coffee-cup and leaned back detachedly, while the waiter with the bill went through his celebrated impersonation of a man receiving a favor. Together they passed out between the great glass doors to the street.

"You will walk?" inquired Dupontel.

"As usual," said the Prince. It was his custom to pass the time between lunch and the hour when he was likely to find a game of bridge in strolling; it served for exercise.

"But," suggested the young man, "you might meet a blind man! Wouldn't it be better to go straight to the club?"

"And meet one on the way there?" The Prince shook his head. "No, my friend. That is a chance one must take. One can, however, keep one's eyes open."

In the Place de la Concorde they actually did meet a blind man a lean, bowed man feeling his way along the curb with a stick deftly enough, so that, as he was on the wrong side of the sidewalk, it would have been easy enough to brush against him in passing. It was the Prince who first perceived him approaching. He touched Dupontel and pointed.

"Parbleu!" exclaimed Dupontel. He looked strangely at the blind bearer of fate and then at his companion. The Prince was smiling now, but not in mirth.

"Let us make room for him," he said; and they stepped into the roadway to let him pass.

What was strange was that when he came abreast of them he paused, with his face nosing and peering in his blindness, and felt before him with an extended hand, as if he had expected to find something in his way. The hand and the skinny wrist, protruding from the frayed sleeve and searching the empty air, affected Dupontel unpleasantly; they touched the fund of credulity in him which is at the root of all men who believe in nothing. He watched the blind man like an actor in a scene till he moved on again, with his stick tracing the edge of the curb and his strained face unresponsive to the sunlight.

"What was he doing?" he asked, then.

The Prince's wry smile showed again. "Doing?" he repeated, "why, he was feeling for me."

Dupontel shrugged, but not in disapproval this time. His imagination was burdened with a new sense of his companion's life, complex with difficulties, haunted by portents like specters of good and evil fortune.

"But, at all events, he did not touch you!" he said at last.

"No!" The Prince swung his cane, drawing up his tall, trim figure, and stepping out briskly. "No, he did not touch me. They dog me, these, these tokens of the devil; but I am not caught. It is I that save myself. After all, mon cher, it seems possible that this may be Carigny's bad day not mine!"

Dupontel had not meant to accompany the Prince to his club that day; his purpose had been to leave him at the door and go elsewhere. But it was possible that his meeting with Carigny might be something which it would be well to have seen; and, besides, his affairs were gaining a strange hue; glamour was in them. He felt a little thrill when the massive club porter, approaching them in the hall, spoke Carigny's name.

"Monsieur Carigny telephoned," said the porter. "He particularly desired that Monsieur le Prince should be told, as soon as he arrived, that Monsieur Carigny would call at half-past four."

The Prince nodded. "I shall be upstairs, in the card-room," he answered, and passed on.

In the card-room were several men of the Prince's who had known Carigny in his Paris days, while there was scarcely a man present who had not heard some version of the Carigny story. To certain of them the Prince spoke of the visit he was expecting. He had decided that, since the meeting was not by any means to be avoided or hidden, it would best serve him to announce it to take his part in the drama and squeeze it of what credit he could. It spread through the room and through the club like a scandal. There was a throng in the room, expectant, hungry for the possibility of a scene. In the recess of a tall window, the Prince, superb in his self-possession, a figure in a world of players that was past, with his pale, severe face impassive under his white hair, made the crowd of them seem vulgar and raucous by contrast with him. Dupontel, watching him, had a moment of consternation; the Prince seemed a thing too supremely complete, too perfect as a product of his world, to risk upon the turn of the cards.

A club servant entered, bearing a card on a salver, and the talk stilled as he presented it to the Prince. He, in converse with a veteran who had known Carigny, took the card and held it in his fingers without looking at it while he finished what he was saying. All eyes were on him; it was a neat piece of social bravado. He glanced at the card at last.

"Announce Monsieur Carigny," he said to the servant, and went on talking. Dupontel felt like cheering him. The talk resumed, in a changed key.

The door opened, and the servant was once more visible, standing back against it, not without a sense of his importance as, say, a scene-shifter in the play. His voice, rolling the r, was a flat bellow of ceremony.

"Monsieur Car-rigny," he announced, "and Monsieur Georges Car-rigny!"

Every one turned. Through the door which the servant held open there advanced two men. The first was bearded, a large man, definitely elderly, who walked with a curious deliberation of tread and looked neither to the right nor to the left. The younger, following at his elbow, was possibly Dupontel's age. In him, not the clothes alone, but the face, keen lipped, quiet-eyed, not quite concealing its reserves of vitality under its composure, proclaimed the American.

The men in the room, moving aside, made an avenue from the door to the window in which, the Prince stood. The Prince came along it to greet his guest. As they halted, face to face, Dupontel saw that the young stranger touched the elder on the arm.

The Prince seemed to have doubts. He remembered Carigny as a slim youth; the stranger was burly, with a bush of beard and a red face.

"It is Carigny?" inquired the Prince, hesitating.

The stranger smiled. "Yes," he answered. "Monpavon, is it not?"

Even his French had changed, become the French of a foreigner.

"You have been a long time coming for your revenge," said the Prince. "But you are welcome always, Carigny."

He held out his hand, and again the young man touched the elder. As if he hesitated to join hands with the Prince, Carigny gave his hand, slowly, awkwardly; but his grip, when he had done it, was firm. They stood, clasping hands, under the inquisitive eyes of the others.

"Since we are to play," said Carigny, "you must allow me to present you to my son. He does not play; I have discouraged him. But he will read my cards for me. You do not object?"

Their clasped hands fell apart. The Prince looked his incomprehension. The young man was making him a bow of sorts.

"I am charmed," he answered. "But read your cards? I don't understand."

Dupontel arrested an impulse to step forward, to interrupt, to interfere in some manner. He saw that Carigny smiled.

"Yes," he answered. "Tell me which card is which, you know. You see, Monpavon, for the last five years I have been blind!"

His voice, with its foreign accent rendering strange his precise and old-fashioned French, continued to explain. But Dupontel did not hear what it said. He was looking at the Prince. Save for an astonished knitting of the brows, he had not moved; he preserved, under those watching eyes, his attitude. The worst had come to pass the thing he feared had ambushed him? and he was facing it. But presently he raised his right hand, the hand that had touched Carigny's, looked at it thoughtfully, and brushed it with his left. If he had any virtue, he was exhibiting it now. One could defeat him but not discountenance him.

"Certainly," he was saying presently. "The right of choice is yours, Carigny. Ecarte, since you wish it, by all means."

Dupontel, to whom he had explained himself, knew what that handshake had meant. In the move toward the card-table, he caught his eye. The Prince smiled at him. "You see how useless it is to strive," he seemed to say.

The pretence that the onlookers were present by chance was gone when the Prince and his adversary sat down opposite to each other at the little green table. The onlookers thronged about them, frankly curious. The young man, Carigny's son, stood leaning over his father's shoulder. Dupontel was at the back of his friend. He saw the green table across the Prince's white head. The deal fell to the Prince.

He had the pack in his hand when he spoke across to Carigny.

"Carigny," he said. The blind man lifted his face to listen. "The last game was a short one."

The other nodded. "Make it as short as you like," he said. "Make it one hand, if it pleases you, Monpavon. I shall be satisfied."

"One hand!"

"Certainly; if that is short enough for you," said Carigny. "But the stakes you remember them?"

He asked the question as if he would warn his adversary, and as if he himself were certain of the issue. He had the demeanor of a man who undertakes a problem of which he knows the answer.

"Be careful," breathed Dupontel at the Prince's back.

"You lost, let me see!" replied the Prince, unheeding Dupontel's whisper. "It was four hundred thousand francs, I think."

The bearded face opposite him smiled. "You have not forgotten, I see!"

The Prince nodded. "One hand, then!"

He proceeded to deal. He was certain of losing, or he would not have consented to such an outrage upon the game's refinements. And yet, he had hopes; the spirit that presides over cards is capricious.

The young man had sorted the cards and placed them in his father's hands, and was whispering in his ear. Then he stood upright. The Prince waited.

"You propose?" he inquired.

"No," said the other; "I play."

There was a movement among the spectators as some shifted in an endeavor to see the cards. Dupontel was edged from his post for a moment. When he had shouldered his way back to it, the play had already begun. It seemed to him almost indecent that such an affair should rest on a single hand of cards; it was making free with matters of importance. As he gained a sight of the table again, Carigny scored his second trick and the third card fell. The Prince trumped it. The young man smiled and whispered. Another card was played, and the Prince won again, He laid his last card face down on the table.

"Carigny," he said.

"Have you played?" asked the other.

"No," said the Prince. "Listen! I will make you a proposal. I do not know what your last card is; you do not know mine. It rests on that card, our four hundred thousand francs. I may win, in spite of everything. But I offer you half the stakes now, if you like; two hundred thousand instead of four and we will not play that last card."

"Eh?" The blind man hid his card with his hand. His son bent over him, whispering. A man next to Dupontel nudged him. "What is Monpavon's card?" he murmured. Dupontel did not know. The cards had been the least part of the affair to him. The Prince sat still, waiting.

"Very well," said Carigny, at last. "I am willing, Monpavon. Two hundred thousand, eh?"

"Two hundred thousand," corroborated the Prince.

He reached for the pack. Before anyone could protest, he had slipped his card into it and mingled it with the others beyond identification.

"We are quits, then," he was saying to Carigny, and once more the ancient adversaries shook hands.

"But what was the card?" asked a dozen men at once.

The Prince let his hard, serene eye wander over them. He was walking toward the door, guiding Carigny with a hand on his arm. There was a flicker of a smile on his face. Without answering, he passed out. To this day, no man knows what card he held.

PRINTED BY CASSELL & COMPANY, LIMITED, LA BELLE SAUVAGE, LONDON.

THE END

Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6
Home - Random Browse