Page:Yule Logs.djvu/272

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the rays of the lantern) that was, I'll be sworn, as much a pretence as her words—"why ! 'tis Blue Eyes. Forgive me; I thought it was one of your men—I—I—did not know you in your great furred cloak. It becomes you vastly well, Blue Eyes," and the hussy smiled up approvingly at me.

"Does it?" I said. "No doubt. Yet, nevertheless, I want an explanation of what you are doing in these stables at night, in the dark, when you are housed at the 'Red Glove';" and I spoke all the more firmly because I felt certain that she had not taken me for one of the troopers at all.

"Imbecile!" she exclaimed petulantly, and for all the world as if she was speaking to an inferior. "Imbecile! Idiot! Since you know I am at the 'Red Glove,' don't you know too that they have no stabling for us who put up there, and that the travellers' cattle are installed here? Oh, Blue Eyes, you are only a simple boy!"

"No, I don't know it!" I exclaimed, a little dashed at this intelligence;" but, pardon me, I would not be ill mannered—only—do ladies of your calling travel on horseback? I thought you wandered on foot from town to town giving your entertainments."

"I do not travel on horseback, but on muleback. There are such things as four-footed mules as well as two-footed ones, Blue Eyes. I assure you there are. And here is mine; look at it. Isn't it a sorry beast to be in company with the noble steeds of the aristocratic mousquetaires?"

"Oh, it's 'aristocratic' now, is it?" I thought to myself, "not 'common' mousquetaires," running my eye over the mule she pointed out, even as I held the lantern on high. Only, as I did so, I saw it was not a sorry beast at all; instead, a wiry, clean-limbed Pyrenean mule, whose hind-legs looked as though they could spring forward mighty fast if wanted; in truth, an animal that