Page:Idalia, by 'Ouida'.djvu/47

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tells you bombastical stories about his ancestors having been caciques of Mexico! For my part, I don't doubt he stole them all!"

"Bravo! Bravissimo!" laughed Victor Vane. "And what is much more, Lady Augusta, this Border savage wears deer-skins in the rough, 'lifts' cattle when the moon's dark, and has a fricassee of young children boiling in a cauldron. Quite â l'antique, you see!"

"But who is the creature?" asked the lady, a little bewildered, a little interested, and a good deal amused.

"Oh—let me see—ah! he calls himself Fulke Erceldoune," said Polemore, with an air of never having heard the title, and of having strong reasons far believing it a false one.

A man standing near, turned at the name.

"Fulke? You are talking of Fuike Erceldoune? Best fellow in the world, and has the handsomest strain of black-tan Gordon setters, bred on the Begent and Rake cross, going anywhere."

"Oh—ah—do you know him, then?" murmured Polemore, a little discomfited.

"Rather! First steeple-chaser in the two countries; tremendous pots always on him. Know him!—ask the Shire men. Saved my life, by the