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in one of those once rural suburbs diately, and a page, duly garnished of London that formed, at rather with the distinctive three rows of an earlier date, a favourite site for buttons on his tight black jacket, the mansions of the great mercan
stood in the gap.
The porter tile aristocracy. A good-sized handed him the card, and returned house stood in a little square enclo- to his own dominions. sure of garden, containing several The page glanced at the card lofty elms. A closely boarded pair and retreated, opening the door of wooden gates opened in a high wide as he did so. Guy became wall, and within the gates was a conscious of a good-sized hall, small porter's lodge-very small, bounded by a handsome stone but adequate for the purpose. staircase rising in a single flight
Ring the bell,” said Lord Wil. to the right, and leading to a fred to the cabman.
stone gallery that ran across the A glass or shutter of about eight opposite wall. In this hall, with inches square opened in the gate, the immobility of a statue, stood and part of a man's face became an old man, very thin, very grey, visible through the aperture, as and attired in a species of antithough reconnoitering the visitors. quated black court suit.
Qui sonne ? ” said the porter, ceived the card from the page, and for it was that functionary—“dat advancing with
advancing with a bow, silently is, wot is there?"
ushered the pair into a small “Give him this," said Lord Wil- waiting-room to the left of the fred, handing his card to the cab- entrance, and withdrew. man, who presented that credential “ Monsieur le Duc attend at the little window.
votre seigneurie," said the old The glass reclosed. After some usher, re-entering: He guided two or three minutes the sound of them to an adjoining apartment, the removal of a bar or bolt was little larger than the first, and heard, and a door opened, not the opened the door. By the empty carriage gate, however, but a side fireplace stood a tall man, of highly door, “ Entrez, messieurs,” said distinguished appearance. the porter, “ dat is, come in if you His face was strikingly handplese.”
some, tinged with an air of noble " You can keep the cab or pay melancholy; his spare grey curls him, just as you like, Carrington, were arranged with exquisite care. said Lord Wilfred carelessly, as he His dress was slightly different stepped from the footboard.
from the English evening costume. Guy glanced at the retreating He wore knee breeches and white figure and did the latter.
silk stockings. Under his waistThe gate having been closed and
coat appeared the edge of a broad barred behind them, the porter, blue ribbon, not worn scarfwise, who was not in livery, but seemed but looking something like an as if he also fulfilled the functions under-waistcoat. A tiny rapier of gardener, and possibly might hung perpendicularly, rather bedischarge some other external hind than at his side, and, buttoned duties, led the way down a short to his coat, close to the place where and broad gravel drive, terminat- a pair of sinecure buttons seem to ing in a splotch or tadpole-shaped have long held a prescriptive licence, expanse of gravel before the house, by a small gold-laced strap, was to the hall-door. He ascended what looked like the key of the hall three steps and rang a bell.
door. Which, indeed, it was. The door opened almost imme- Curious, thought Guy, to see a
man of such apparent personal dig- tache. “M. le Duc attend Lord nity think to support questionable Wilfred et son ami dans le laboclaims by wearing attire like that. ratoire," said the Marquis de la
Lord 'Wilfred bowed, but said Fère. nothing.
The Marquis was an old soldier. Sa Majesté daigne de recevoir He had a promptitude to obey, no votre Seigneurie,” said Monsieur le less than to command. Thus with Duc de Beaupreau, with a courtly him
him the mysterious personage salutation.
around whom circled so much of an The nobleman whom Guy had almost obsolete etiquette was, acmistaken for the Duke of Gascony cording to his own assumed semimight have stepped out of a canvas incognito, simply Monsieur le Duc painted by Vandyk. He might de Gascoyne. With the Duc de have been the Beauvilliers of the Beaupreau he was, once and for Court of Louis XIV. He was what ever—the King. most people would regard as an The two noblemen conducted Lord anachronism in the nineteenth cen. Wilfred and Guy through the hall, tury, of ancient blood and unstained along a sort of passage, leading name, the sole survivor of a once apparently to servants' apartments, proud and numerous family, his to an outhouse or laundry, which patrimonial estates had been pared seemed to have been converted into and sheared to comparatively a mere either a foundry, a forge, or a pittance. The faith of the Duke de mechanic's fitting shop. It had Beaupreau in the descendant of St. something of all three. The Duke Louis, and the son of the martyrs opened the door gently as if he of the Temple, was as firm as that had feared to wake an infant. He which, as a pious Catholic and well- passed in and then returned, closing bred gentleman, he placed in his it with the same precaution. In a God. That said, all was said. In few seconds he reopened it, and him whom men called an impostor, nodded to La Fère, who then, still whom he himself had known as a in silence, motioned the two penniless fugitive, he recognised Englishmen to enter. that Dauphin whose death, asserted At a vice bench, at the end of by the rabble tyrants of the Revo- the black and dusty apartment, lution, has never, as an historic bent a stout, grey-headed figure of fact, been even incidentally proved. middle height or rather below it, If that man was Louis de Bourbon, engaged in filing a piece of brass. he was the legitimate sovereign and The Duc advanced towards the master of Claude de Beaupreau. bench and stood silently by. The Whatever that nobleman was--or workman completed his filing, rehad-or could do—were at the ser- moved the piece of brass, and carevice of the heir of St. Louis. Thus fully examined it; and then, turn. it came to pass that the shrunken ing round towards the three men revenues of the Duc de Beaupreau who stood by the door, observed: proved the main support of the
“ Vous me
sous les miniature and bizarre court held attributions de Vulcan plutôt que within the walls of Beaufort House. de Jupiter. C'est égal; tous les
To the group thus strangely deux furent dieux." assorted entered a fourth. It was Lord Wilfred advanced with a a stout man, with a red face, per- low bow. “Vous m'apportez un fectly white hair, cut short, shaven ami à me presenter, n'est-ce pas, cheeks and chin, black burly eye- mi lord ?" said the workman. brows, and a heavy black mous- Guy Carrington had once, only
once, in his life been to the Italian outline was that of the Queen of a Opera in London. It had been on sixth part of the human race. the occasion of the performance of He felt something of a return of one of those rare queens of song
this emotion on looking at the whose name is yet melodious in blacksmith in the gloomy workshop men's ears-melodious as that not in Camberwell. only of a sweet singer, but of a Most Englishmen know, Guy good and charitable
knew well, the marked and characRoyalty had been present on that teristic outline which, slightly occasion, and one of Guy's newly varied in the coins and statues of acquired coat tails had nearly the 13th, 14th, 15th, and 16th parted company from its fellow in Louis, has defined the profile of the crush. When the mass of the kings of France since the time anxious auditors had drifted and of the Victor of Ivry. Such was subsided into some order in the the profile which met his eye as the pit, and, punctually at the time Duke of Gascony turned towards fixed for commencement of the his visitors. performance, the Royal box was The Duke's attire was almost occupied. Guy gazed with admira- that of a common workman. His tion on a fair and gracious lady hands were black and grimy from in the central seat in the box, in his work. There was nothing in whose animated conversation with the scene, save the statuesque and her Royal Highness the Duchess noble figure of the Duc de Beauof Kent, who sat with her back to preau, that might not have been the stage, he saw more to attract, present in the Plumville brass but far less to awe, than he had ex- foundry. But Guy instinctively pected to witness in the Queen. made to that toil-stained mechanic His attention was presently with- such a reverence as he would have drawn by the liquid tones of the paid at St. James's. singer, and it was not till fully The air of the Duke of Gascony twenty minutes after the commence- was frank, gracious, and condement of the opera, that, at the scending. That sackcloth and conclusion of a solo, he became ashes, or rather fustian and brass aware of an entirely novel sensa- filings, were ignoble, if he wore tion.
them, never for a moment entered At the left-his left of the box, his thoughts. and therefore fronting the stage, “May I present to you Mr. he became suddenly conscious of Laval Carrington, sir," said Lord the presence of a profile. The Wilfred, with a second reverence. curtains threw shadow around it. “ Votre nom historique m'est The heat of the house, perhaps the cher," said the mechanic. “ Parperfume of the flowers, which lay donnez moi si j'oublie l'addition thickly strewn over the velvet Anglaise. Il y a trop peu des de cushion on the edge of the box, had Laval. Lord Wilfred, voyez donc given somewhat a flushed appear- mon dernier succès." ance to the face. Guy felt a sort The success was a small brass of creeping, dreamy, awed sensa- cannon, beautifully turned, about tion. Then he had a kind of night thirty inches long, and with a bore mare consciousness of the presence somewhat larger than that of an of something living with which he old English musket. The mechanic was familiar as wrought in gold or pointed out to Guy, with perfect in silver. Then he became aware mastery of the subject, the merits that the silent, motionless, regal of the invention, and, as a proof
« Ceci me
that he had entirely vanquished the On the stools, on the window. difficulty of recoil, proposed to fire sill, and on the floor, were six or the little weapon while Guy held it seven children, most of them girls, in his hands. Guy, with a dim head below head, engaged in diffeidea that he should be infallibly rent occupations.
rent occupations. All rose as the blown to pieces, submitted to the door opened, except the lady knithonour. The maker proceeded to ting, who looked up; all but a load, but when he had completed little boy engaged in an encounter the operation the Marquis de la with a small Skye terrier on the Fère stepped forward.
floor, who exclaimed, "Mon papa, regards, monseigneur,” said he, mon papa, je vais tuer Tontonand took the miniature weapon to parcequi'l cet méchant. Donnezthe open window.
moi donc votre épée, Beaupreau !" The mechanic laid one hand on “ Laissez donc Tonton un peu à the handle of a pair of smith's ma justice,” replied his father. bellows, and with the other put the “L'épée de monsieur le duc est a end of an iron rod in the fire, which moi-seul. Madame, je vous presente he then chafed. Still talking to
Monsieur de Laval. Aimée, où est Guy, he watched the rod till the donc Mademoiselle?” end was heated, withdrew it scintil. The eldest of the five daughters lating and throwing out a whitish left the room by a door opposite to light from the hearth, walked to that by which the party entered. the window, and applied it to the The door re-opened, and admitted touch-hole. The piece went off two other
ladies. with a loud explosion, and filled the It will spare a description, which shop for a few seconds with smoke, might, if given, be inadequate, to and with that perfume so grateful ask the reader to recal to mind a to some men, to Guy among the full-length portrait of the lovely others, the fumes of freshly burnt and murdered queen, Marie Angunpowder. The Marquis de la toinette. Not that sad but noble Fère had not moved a single muscle. figure which a modern French
“ Allons-donc, Monseur Laval, la artist has designed of the victim prochaine fois vous ferez l'expéri- on the passage to the guillotine, in ence vous-même,” said the artillerist. the character of saint and martyr, “Si vous aviez du temps pour me but the brighter, gayer, lovelier suivre, je vais vous presenter à ma charm of the Dauphiness, or the famille," and he moved towards young Queen, to whom even the the door, without looking to see surly minister could not forbear the who followed.
homage, when she called his atten. Louis de Bourbon led the way, tion to her plain green slippers. followed first, according to the “ Madame, vous avez l'univers à silent indication of the Duc de vos pieds.” Remember such a Beaupreau by Guy, then by the picture, if you have seen it; seek to Duc, then by Lord Wilfred, and last view it, if you know it not. It was by the Marquis de la Fère, into a the living original of that picture large drawing-room occupied evi- that now entered the apartment. dently as a family apartment. A With her was a girl some two short, stout, unnoteworthy German years younger, unlike ber in everywoman sat in a high-backed chair thing but her queenly bearing, knitting ; only one other chair was which, in the second, was blended in the room, and that was a large with a certain amount of archness fauteuil; but there were a good and malice. The colour of her
cheeks was a much brighter red,
her hair darker, her height a little thieu de Montmorenci.” Guy lower.
could not conceal his astonishment “ Monsieur de Laval, je vous from eyes that seemed to read presente à Mademoiselle et à thoughts without needing the inMadame Antoinette,” said her tervention of language. father.
'Qui vous a parlé d'un Matthieu Like a swan floating over a lake de Montmorenci?” asked Marie Marie Therese de Bourbon glided Therese, but not as if she expected across the room. She stood near any reply. Guy and glanced at him from head Lord Wilfred looked out of to foot. For the third time in his window. life Guy felt that indescribable The Duc de Gascoyne prothrill which in men of certain race ceeded to explain, in a prompt, deand temper indicates the approach cisive manner, the state of that to royalty.
great princely family, then verging “ Vous vous appellez Anne?” to extinction, of which Laval was said she, in a voice of silver.
a branch. “There are but four “ Non pas, non pas, Mademoi- male descendants of the
great selle," said the father. “J'ai dit Constable living," he explained. de Laval, non pas de Montmorenci." “ Anne-Raoul, Duc de MontmoComment donc
rency, is in his sixty-third year; appelez?” said the lady.
Charles, Duc de Luxembourg, is up“ Guy-madame.” He did not wards of eighty ; Anne-Edouard, add “à votre service," but he Duc de Beaumont, and his brother looked it.
Anne Charles, Prince de Tingry, are Voila, monsieur," said the about tifty; and the Laval branch younger lady.
“Il-y-avait un now only is represented by females. fameux conspirateur Anglais qui Duc Matthieu de Montmorency s'appellait Guy ; n'est-ce pas ? Laval died in 1826. One naturally Croyez vous donc à révendiquer remembers these circumstances, le nom?”
for all who have at heart the wel. “ C'est le nom propre des De fare of France must view with Laval, Antoinette,” said the father. regret the approaching extinction “ Guy premier fut du temps de of the male line of the first Chris. Charlemagne."
tian baron, which nothing but the Some further conversation en- special interposition of the Blessed sued, no one speaking except when Virgin could avert-an interposiaddressed by the Duc de Gas- tion which no good Christian would coyne ; the result being that, if hold to be impossible, but of which Guy would remain a few days in no promise had been held out. London, he should receive letters Guy was evidently struck by the of introduction from the Duc de minute information thus kindly Beaupreau to some of the old given. “Ce n'est pas le seule fois Legitimist leaders in France. Em- que l'on vous verra, Monsieur de boldened by an offer which Laval," concluded his informant, thoroughly enchanted him, Guy “ Je vous recommende à Dieu.” ventured to request the name of the Guy, rather astonished in his Duc Matthieu de Montmorency, ignorance at being dismissed withcurious to see a man for whom out having made that first movehe had himself been mistaken. ment which he now begun to think
" Comment donc ? " said the he had clumsily delayed, then remaster of the house. “C'est spectfully took his departure. longtemps qu'il n'y a pas de Mat