Page:Yule Logs.djvu/259

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243
THE KING OF SPAIN'S WILL

escorted—that is it—escorted in safety through the land. Ay, in safety and safely. He must not be molested nor—" while, though he turned his face away to gaze at the map again, I would have been sworn that I heard him mutter—"allowed to depart quite yet." Then he suddenly said, "Do you know the house of the Chevalier de Marcieu? It is in the Rue des Mauvais Garçons."

"I know the street, monseigneur. I can find the house."

"Good! Therefore proceed there at once—the number is three—you are mounted, of course? Give my orders to him that he is to come here instantly; then return and I will give you some instructions for your commander."

Whereon I bowed respectfully as I went to the door, the Regent smiling pleasantly upon me. Yet, ere I left him, he said another word, asked a question.

"You mousquetaires gris have not had much exercise lately at Versailles, I think. Have you?"

"No, monseigneur, not our troop at least. The men have been but recently remounted."

"So. Very well. You shall have some exercise now. 'Twill do you good. You shall have a change of billet for a little while. In any case, Versailles is too luxurious a place for soldiers. Now, away with you to Marcieu's house and bid him come here. Return also yourself. Forget not that."


CHAPTER II

A GIRL CALLED DAMARIS

A week later, or, to be exact, six days, and the troop of Grey Musketeers, commanded by Captain the Vicomte de Pontgibaud—which was the one in which I rode as cornet—was making its way pleasantly enough along the great southern road that runs down from Paris to Toulouse.