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      Archly, in fond Spanish, "How do you feel now?" asked Madame of her scintillant granddaughter as with their friends and the dissolving throng they moved to the carriage; and in the same tongue Flora, with a caressing smile, rejoined, "I feel like swinging you round by the hair."

      The retaken prisoner shone with elation: "And those fellows of last night?--got them back?"

      So you will give Polycles the vineyard?But Charlie stared at his sister. It could not enter his mind that her desires were with the foe, yet his voice went deep in scorn: "And have you too turned coward?"

      It was quite time. Half a score of the slaves of the city police pressed in from the peristyle and watched every exit, among them the door through which Acestor had slipped.She spread the story out on her knee: Exchange of prisoners having virtually ceased, a number of captive Confederate officers had been started up the Mississippi from New Orleans, under a heavy but unwary guard, on a "tin-clad" steamer, to wear out the rest of the war in a Northern prison. Forbidden to gather even in pairs, they had yet moved freely about, often passing each other closely enough to exchange piecemeal counsels unnoticed, and all at once, at a tap of the boat's bell had sprung, man for man, upon their keepers and instantly were masters of them, of them, of their arms stacked on the boiler-deck and of the steamboat, which they had promptly run ashore on the East Louisiana side and burned. So ran the tale, and so broke off. Ought Anna to be told it, or not?

      So quivered the same heat in the city's empty thoroughfares. Flowers rioted in the unkept gardens. The cicada's frying note fried hotter than ever. Dazzling thunder-heads towered in the upper blue and stood like snow mountains of a vaster world. The very snake coiled in the shade. The spiced air gathered no freshness from the furious, infrequent showers, the pavements burned the feet, and the blue "Yank" (whom there no one dared call so by word or look), so stoutly clad, so uncouthly misfitted, slept at noon face downward in the high grass under the trees of the public squares preempted by his tents, or with piece loaded and bayonet fixed slowly paced to and fro in the scant shade of some confiscated office-building, from whose upper windows gray captives looked down, one of them being "the ladies' man."

      His difficulties were great. Quebec was half trading-factory, half mission. Its permanent inmates did not exceed fifty or sixty persons,fur-traders, friars, and two or three wretched families, who had no inducement, and little wish, to labor. The fort is facetiously represented as having two old women for garrison, and a brace of hens for sentinels. All was discord and disorder. Champlain was the nominal commander; but the actual authority was with the merchants, who held, excepting the friars, nearly everybody in their pay. Each was jealous of the other, but all were united in a common jealousy of Champlain. The few families whom they brought over were forbidden to trade with the Indians, and compelled to sell the fruits of their labor to the agents of the company at a low, fixed price, receiving goods in return at an inordinate valuation. Some of the merchants were of Ronen, some of St. Malo; some were Catholics, some were Huguenots. Hence unceasing bickerings. All exercise of the Reformed religion, on land or water, was prohibited within the limits of New France; but the Huguenots set the prohibition at naught, roaring their heretical psalmody with such vigor from their ships in the river that the unhallowed strains polluted the ears of the Indians on shore. The merchants of Rochelle, who had refused to join the company, carried on a bold illicit traffic along the borders of the St. Lawrence, endangering the colony by selling fire-arms to the Indians, eluding pursuit, or, if hard pressed, showing fight; and this was a source of perpetual irritation to the incensed monopolists.


      The twelfth of August was a day evermore marked with white in the friar's calendar. Arrayed in priestly vestments, he stood before his simple altar; behind him his little band of Christians,the twelve Frenchmen who had attended him, and the two who had followed Champlain. Here stood their devout and valiant chief, and, at his side, that pioneer of pioneers, Etienne Brule the interpreter. The Host was raised aloft; the worshippers kneeled. Then their rough voices joined in the hymn of praise, Te Deum laudamus; and then a volley of their guns proclaimed the triumph of the faith to the okies, the manitous, and all the brood of anomalous devils who had reigned with undisputed sway in these wild realms of darkness. The brave friar, a true soldier of the Church, had led her forlorn hope into the fastnesses of hell; and now, with contented heart, he might depart in peace, for he had said the first mass in the country of the Hurons.


      The Cychreans had sought refuge outside of their small, close dwellings to get a breath of the north10 wind. On each terrace, men, women, and children were moving about, the former often clad merely with the skin of some animal thrown around the hips, the boys perfectly nude, and the women in looped, sleeveless garments or sometimes with only a short petticoat over the loins. Most of these robes were white, and the others were made of red, yellow, or blue stuffs; at that time people valued only bright pure colors. Everywhere merry conversation was heard, and these hundreds of half-nude figures formed an indescribably animated picture against the dark background of rock. Fear of the Pelasgians seemed to have vanished even before the fires were extinguished, at any rate it did not prevent the Cychreans from enjoying the present moment.