“France has grown many young and fine men who—who die, my Gouverneur Faulkner for her in the trenches, where I must soon go,” I answered him with my head drawn to its entire height in the likeness of the old Marquis of Grez and Flanders.
“When you go into the trenches of France, youngster, the State of Harpeth will have a Governor on leave in the same trench,” answered me that Gouverneur Faulkner with a very gentle hand laid on the sleeve of my coat above the bandages of my wound, and a glow of the star in his eyes. “Brothers by bloodshed, Marquis of Grez and Bye.”
“Roberta, Marquise of Grez and Bye, how will you even gain the refuge of your petticoats and get away from these lies of dishonor if you are to be so pursued by—” I was asking of myself when my Uncle, the General Robert, opened the door and said:
“Better see this pardon delegation now, Governor. That other matter is going to go to hell as fast as it can if we don’t scotch it. Robert, get those letters on your desk into United States as quickly as possible. That French deluge is upon us. Come back as soon as you can.” With which I was dismissed into my own small anteroom.
And what did I find in those letters?
“BEHOLD, I AM A SPY!”
As I sat and held in my hand those papers in which were two long messages, the one written in a very poor English and the other in a very elegant French, the woman Roberta, Marquise of Grez and Bye, trembled with fear of a discovery of her woman’s estate while that daredevil Robert Carruthers raged within and also turned with a deadly hatred and distrust of the greatest gentleman that le bon Dieu had ever given to him to know. It was as I say, and for this reason: In the letters were announcements of the arrival of the Lieutenant, Count Edouard de Bourdon, on that Tuesday which the Madam Whitworth had mentioned. They were written with great ceremony to my Uncle, the General Robert Carruthers, as Secretary of the State of Harpeth, to give to him that information to be conveyed to His Excellency, the Gouverneur Faulkner, in due form though he already had that information.
“They make into a fool my revered Uncle, the General Robert Carruthers, who would keep his State and the Gouverneur of that State from dishonor!” I exclaimed to myself in my rage. “And this woman thinks to play with the life of French soldiers as she has with that same Gouverneur Faulkner, does she? No, there is Roberta, Marquise of Grez and Bye, who is a soldier of her Republique by appointment from the great Capitaine, the Count de Lasselles, to both watch and further the interests of France, whom she must meet in combat first!”
And as I said these words to myself I made a rapid writing of both papers and with them asked admittance to the room of that false Gouverneur Faulkner, who had just dismissed the good men who had come to thank him for his mercy shown to that poor creature Timms.