ceived in our regiment like a brother officer, but it is now five years since I had any tidings of him. Then Your Excellency also knew him?"
"Oh, yes, I knew him very well. Did he ever tell you of one very strange incident in his life?"
"Does Your Excellency refer to the slap in the face that he received from some blackguard at a ball?"
"Did he tell you the name of this blackguard?"
"No, Your Excellency, he never mentioned his name. . . . Ah! Your Excellency!" I continued, guessing the the truth: "pardon me . . . I did not know . . . could it really have been you?"
"Yes, I myself," replied the Count, with a look of extraordinary agitation;" and that bullet-pierced picture is a memento of our last meeting."
"Ah, my dear," said the Countess, "for Heaven's sake, do not speak about that; it would be too terrible for me to listen to."
"No," replied the Count: "I will relate everything. He knows how I insulted his friend, and it is only right that he should know how Silvio revenged himself.
The Count pushed a chair towards me, and with the liveliest interest I listened to the following story:
"Five years ago I got married. The first month—the honeymoon—I spent here, in this