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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 225 pages of information about Man Size.

“Not the way the Mounted does business.  You know that, Beresford.  We don’t want any fuss and feathers—­any fol-de-rol—­this mironton-ton-ton stuff.  Damn it, sir, you liked it.  I could see you eat it up.  D’you s’pose I haven’t eyes in my head?”

The veneer of sobriety Beresford imposed on his countenance refused to stay put.

MacLean fumed on.  “Hmp!  Malbrouck s’en va-t-en guerre, eh?  Very pretty.  Very romantic, no doubt.  But damned sentimental tommyrot, just the same.”

“Yes, sir,” agreed the constable, barking into a cough just in time to cut off a laugh.

“Get out!” ordered the Inspector, and there was the glimmer of a friendly smile in his own eyes.  “And I’ll expect you both to dine with me to-night.  Six o’clock sharp.  I’ll hear that wonderful story in more detail.  And take care of yourself, Beresford.  You don’t look strong yet.  I’ll make that week two or three if necessary.”

“Thank you, sir.”

“Hmp!  Don’t thank me.  Earned it, didn’t you?  What are you hanging around for?  Get out!”

Constable Beresford had his revenge.  As he passed the window, Inspector MacLean heard him singing.  The words that drifted to the commissioned office! were familiar.

  “Malbrouck s’en va-t-en guerre,
   Mironton-ton-ton, mirontaine.”

MacLean smiled at the irrepressible youngster.  Like most people, he responded to the charm of Winthrop Beresford.  He could forgive him a touch of debonair impudence if necessary.

It happened that his heart was just now very warm toward both these young fellows.  They had come through hell and had upheld the best traditions of the Force.  Between the lines of the story they had told he gathered that they had shaved the edge of disaster a dozen times.  But they had stuck to their guns like soldiers.  They had fought it out week after week, hanging to their man with bulldog pluck.  And when at last they were found almost starving in camp, they were dividing their last rabbit with the fellow they were bringing out to be hanged.

The Inspector walked to the window and looked down the street after them.  His lips moved, but no sound came from them.  The rhythmic motion of them might have suggested, if there had been anybody present to observe, that his mind was running on the old river song.

  “Malbrouck s’en va-t-en guerre,
  Mironton-ton-ton, mirontaine.”

CHAPTER XLI

SENSE AND NONSENSE

Beresford speaking, to an audience of one, who listened with soft dark eyes aglow and sparkling.

“He’s the best scout ever came over the border, Jessie.  Trusty as steel, stands the gaff without whining, backs his friends to the limit, and plays the game out till the last card’s dealt and the last trick lost.  Tom Morse is a man in fifty thousand.”

“I know another,” she murmured.  “Every word you’ve said is true for him too.”

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