“And to us it is you who seem so hardy, with your life in the forest and on the river,” cried the young girl. “And then the wonder that you can find your path through those great wildernesses, where there is naught to guide you.”
“Well, there again! I marvel how you can find your way among these thousands of houses. For myself, I trust that it will be a clear night to-night.”
“That I may see the stars.”
“But you will find no change in them.”
“That is it. If I can but see the stars, it will be easy for me to know how to walk when I would find this house again. In the daytime I can carry a knife and notch the door-posts as I pass, for it might be hard to pick up one’s trail again, with so many folk ever passing over it.”
De Catinat burst out laughing again. “By my faith, you will find Paris livelier than ever,” said he, “if you blaze your way through on the door-posts as you would on the trees of a forest. But perchance it would be as well that you should have a guide at first; so, if you have two horses ready in your stables, uncle, our friend and I might shortly ride back to Versailles together, for I have a spell of guard again before many hours are over. Then for some days he might bide with me there, if he will share a soldier’s quarters, and so see more than the Rue St. Martin can offer. How would that suit you, Monsieur Green?”
“I should be right glad to come out with you, if we may leave all here in safety.”
“Oh, fear not for that,” said the Huguenot. “The order of the Prince of Conde will be as a shield and a buckler to us for many a day. I will order Pierre to saddle the horses.”
“And I must use the little time I have,” said the guardsman, as he turned away to where Adele waited for him in the window.
THE NEW WORLD AND THE OLD.
The young American was soon ready for the expedition, but De Catinat lingered until the last possible minute. When at last he was able to tear himself away, he adjusted his cravat, brushed his brilliant coat, and looked very critically over the sombre suit of his companion.
“Where got you those?” he asked.
“In New York, ere I left.”
“Hem! There is naught amiss with the cloth, and indeed the sombre colour is the mode, but the cut is strange to our eyes.”
“I only know that I wish that I had my fringed hunting tunic and leggings on once more.”
“This hat, now. We do not wear our brims flat like that. See if I cannot mend it.” He took the beaver, and looping up one side of the brim, he fastened it with a golden brooch taken from his own shirt front. “There is a martial cock,” said he, laughing, “and would do credit to the King’s Own Musketeers. The black broad-cloth and silk hose will pass, but why have you not a sword at your side?”