Page:Yule Logs.djvu/273

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257
THE KING OF SPAIN'S WILL

looked as if it could show its heels to many of its nobler kin, namely horses. But, also, I observed that its saddle was on, and that the halter was not fastened to the rack.

"Well, you see?" she said, looking at me with her mocking smile, and showing all her pretty white teeth as she did so. "You see? Now, Blue Eyes, let me go. I am tired and sleepy, and I want to go to bed."

This being sufficient explanation of her presence in the stables, there was no further reason why I should detain her and I said she might go, while, even as I spoke, I fastened up the halter for her. After which we went out into the yard, where we bade each other a sort of goodnight, I doing so a little crossly since I was still sore at her banter, and she, on her part, speaking in still her mocking, gibing manner.

"And where do you go to," she asked, "after this? Eh, Blue Eyes? I should like to see you some day again, you know. I like you, Blue Eyes," and as she spoke I wondered what impish kind of thought was now in her mind, for she was standing close to me, and seemed to be emphasising her remarks about her liking for me by clutching tight my houppelande in her hand.

" That," I said, "is, if you will excuse me, our affair. Good-night; I hope you will sleep well at the 'Red Glove.'" Then, because I did not want to part in anger from the volatile creature, and because I was a soldier to whom such licence is permissible, I said, "Adieu, sweetheart."

"Sweetheart!" she exclaimed, turning round on me. "Sweetheart! You dare to speak to me thus—you—you—you base—" But, just as suddenly as she had flown out at me like a spitfire, she changed again, saying, "Peste! I forget—I am only a poor wandering vagrant. I did not mean that. I—I am sorry." And, as she vanished round the corner of the yard into the street, I heard her laugh and say softly, though loud enough, "Good-