Page:Dramatic Moments in American Diplomacy (1918).djvu/25

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in American Diplomacy

ridiculous and dangerous situations, clandestine assignations, deadly secrets, and complicated intrigue than any novel ever written. Single handed he had recovered the notorious libel "Memoirs of Madame du Barry" from a colossal scoundrel in London, after a brigade of French secret police had failed in the most humiliating manner. Bearing the king's commission in a gold box hung around his neck he had set out from Nuremburg on the trail of a Jew who held for sale scandalous secrets of Marie Antoinette—the living counterpart of those Gascon characters whose incredible adventures fill the pages of French fiction. He fell upon his prey at the entrance of the forest of Neustadt. He was in turn attacked by three assassins. He tottered into the court of Vienna and was held there in prison a year as a dangerous liar. But he saved the papers.

And now as our history opens he was once more in London, transacting the tortuous and lurid diplomacy of the Bourbon Court. He was there negotiating with another secret agent