“Because—” she began, but checked herself. A deep blush spread over her face just as she dropped the veil.
“The cad!” he said, understanding coming to him like a flash. “There is more than one heart at stake.”
“Good-bye and good luck, Monsieur,” she whispered. He held her hand for an instant as she passed him, then she was gone.
Mile after mile from Le Cateau to Quevy found him puzzling over the odd experience of the night. Suddenly he started and muttered, half aloud:
“By thunder, I remember now! It was she who sat beside him in the carriage this morning!”
THE FATE OF A LETTER
At Quevy the customs officers went through the train, and Quentin knew that he was in Belgium. For some time he had been weighing in his mind the advisability of searching the train for a glimpse of the duke and his companion, doubtful as to the sincerity of the beautiful and mysterious stranger. It was not until the train reached Mons that he caught sight of the duke. He had started out deliberately at last to hunt for the Italian, and the latter evidently had a similar design. They met on the platform and, though it was quite dark, each recognized the other. The American was on the point of addressing the duke when that gentleman abruptly turned and reentered the train, one coach ahead of that occupied by Quentin, who returned to his compartment and proceeded to awaken the snoring man-servant. Without reserve he confided to Turk the whole story of the night up to that point.
“I don’t know what their game is, Turk, but we must not be caught napping. We have a friend in the pretty woman who got off in the rain at Le Cateau. She loves the prince, and that’s why she’s with us.”
“Say, did she look’s if she had royal blood in her? Mebby she’s a queen er somethin’ like that. Blow me, if a feller c’n tell w’at sort of a swell he’s goin’ up ag’inst over here. Dukes and lords are as common as cabbies are in New York. Anyhow, this duke ain’t got no bulge on us. We’re nex’ to him, all right, all right. Shall I crack him on the knot when we git to this town we’re goin’ to? A good jolt would put him out o’ d’ business fer a spell—”
“Now, look here, young man; don’t let me hear of you making a move in this affair till I say the word. You are to keep your mouth closed and your hands behind you. What I want you to do is to watch, just as they are doing. Your early training ought to stand you well in hand for this game. I believe you once said you had eyes in the back of your head.”
“Eyes, nothin’! They is microscopes, Mr. Quentin.”