Page:Yule Logs.djvu/262

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246
THE KING OF SPAIN'S WILL

ourselves, they being of the regiment of Perche, the intendant of the solitary lord, and ourselves. Our troopers alone numbered twenty, they having a table to themselves; while we, the officers, viz., the captain (De Pontgibaud), the lieutenant (whose name was Camier), and I (the cornet), had also a table to ourselves.

Yet, too, there was one other, and, if only from her quaint garb, a very conspicuous person. This was a girl—and a mighty well-favoured girl too—dark, with her hair tucked up all about her head; with superb full eyes, and with a colour rich and brilliant as that of the Provence rose. She made good use of those eyes, I can tell you, and seemed nothing loth to let them encounter the glance of every one else in the room. For the rest, she was a sort of wandering singer and juggler, clad in a short spangled robe, carrying a tambour de basque in her hand, while by her side hung a coarse canvas bag, in which, as we soon saw, she had about a dozen of conjuring balls.

"Who is that?" asked De Pontgibaud of the server, as he came near our table bearing in his hand a succulent ragôut, which was one of our courses—"who and what? A traveller, or a girl belonging to Toulouse?"

"Oh!" said the man, with the true southern shrug of his shoulders, "that!—elle! She is a wandering singer, a girl called Damaris. On her road farther south. Pray Heaven she steals nothing. She is as like to if she has the chance. A purse or even a spoon, I'll wager. If I were the master she should not be here. Yet, she amuses the company. Sings love ballads and such things, and juggles with those balls. Ha! giglot," he exclaimed, seeing the girl jump off the table she had been sitting on, talking to a bagman, and come towards us, "away. The gentlemen of the mousquetaires require not your company."

"Ay, but they do though," the girl called Damaris said, as she drew close to where we sat. "Soldiers like amusement, and I can amuse them. Pretty gentlemen,"