"'I believe he has long plotted to get hold of this property, and schemed to secure his ends through one of my poor children. Oh! if you have a heart, my friend, I pray you by all you hold sacred to see that my Jeanne is cared for; and, if it be possible, try to save my poor Helene from that monster.
"'This is the plea of a dying Frenchwoman. I have faith to believe Heaven will not desert the innocent in their hour of suffering. So I lay me down to rest, while my Jeanne will go forth in search of you, kind friend. And with my last breath I still proudly say, 'Vive la France!'"
"Is that all?" asked Tom, as his chum stopped.
"Yes, and there are some of the words blurred. I think it must have been through the tears of this poor woman. She seems to have been wealthy before the Huns drove her out of Lorraine because she had French blood in her veins, and was probably married to an Englishman. What do you think of it, Tom?"
"It's certainly a dreadful thing for so small a child as Jeanne to be left alone in the world," replied the other. "What can we do about her, Jack, have you any idea?"
Jack remained for a moment in deep thought. Then he gave his comrade a sidewise look as he spoke again.
"Do you know," he ventured to say, "it has struck me that if we could get an hour or two off