Page:Harris Dickson--The black wolf's breed.djvu/299

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271
THE CHILDREN OF THE BLACK WOLF'S BREED

which I could find no reason for her saying. Agnes nervously twisted at the table cover, her cheeks crimson with the shame. I could not resist a long look down upon her, and do what I might, my love showed full and strong in my face and mien.

De la Mora keenly watched us all. That other lady, for whom I had no thought, to my utter surprise, moved toward him with hands outstretched, and cried: "Charles."

For a moment he hesitated, then:

"Oh, Agnes, Agnes, a lifetime's love and service can not compensate you for what I've made you suffer—the doubt I bore my loyal wife."

He fell upon his knee before her and carried her hand to his lips as though she were a goddess, and then sprang toward me with the gladdest of glad smiles, thrust his hand at me, and came near to cracking mine by the vigor of his grasp. His throat choked up, and he said nothing.

And all this while I looked from one to the other with a most dull and stupid stare.

Agnes looked up at me once, radiant and confused, then lowered her eyes again.

The Chevalier broke a silence which was becoming intolerable, to me at least, who did not understand it all.

"Captain de Mouret, you have been in error, and have done me no wrong. This lady here is my worshipped wife, Madame Agnes de la Mora." I looked upon her incredulously, while that gracious woman took