He knew Robert Fanning and his wife through the fact that he had done legal work of some sort for Fanning. He knew also an old lawyer, or sort of notary, who used to do business for Eaoul de Loisson, or Ralph Ellison, as he called himself, years before. I can't tell you the name of that old lawyer, but Decherd could if he wanted to. He was somewhere down on Baronne Street in those days.

Now, here was Decherd mixed up with two, or perhaps all three of these women at the same time! That took nerve." "I should say it did," said Blount. "It was the same sort of nerve a fellow has to have when he starts on across a trembling bog. He just keeps on a-running." "Well, he had to keep running, sure as you're born. A fine situation, all around, wasn't it?" "Yes," said Blount, tersely.

"In the first place, Decherd," said Eddring, "I want to say that it was not lucky for you when I got hold of your valise by mistake at the Big House wreck the time I found that list of claims, and the little old book in French. I have studied all those things over carefully, together with other things. I've been thinking a great deal. That's why I am going to spoil your chances."

Tell me, is there any truth in this newspaper paragraph 'There is talk about the marriage of the mysterious Louise Loisson'? Don't tell me that he that Decherd " He gazed steadily into her eyes, but saw there that which made him forget all his purposes, forced him to remember nothing in the world but his sudden personal misery.

Cal " and here Eddring rose, tapping with his finger on the table in front of him, "the Louise Loisson who went to France in 1825 was the owner of those lead mines! Now I have looked up the tax record. The taxes on these lands for several years back have been paid by Henry Decherd!" Blount himself rose and stood back, hands in pockets, looking at the speaker.

At this the other man shut his mouth hard and his face grew suddenly serious. "Now, I say I had suspicions," resumed Eddring. "That list of claims was never written out by that traveling man, Thompson. It might have been done by Henry Decherd, might it not?" "What makes you think so?" "Nothing, except that I believe those papers were in Henry Decherd's valise. In fact, I know it.

She repulsed him and stood back, pale and trembling. "Oh, I say," protested Decherd, "one would think I had no right." "You have no right to touch me," she replied. "You shall not. Go on away with auntie in the other carriage. I will follow you home." "Come, now," said Decherd, approaching; "this sort of thing won't do. I don't understand what you mean."

Decherd got money now and again, and for reasons of his own he sent some money, once in a while, to keep me and the child, although he practically abandoned me, and, as I think, associated the more with this girl Delphine. He claimed to me all the time that it was necessary for him to live in this part of the country, in order to handle the lawsuit for her.

"At that time Mr. Decherd used to talk to me more freely. He told me that the old lawyer had told him that the Loissons were legal heirs to considerable lands somewhere up the river, not far from St. Louis.

"I'm going to tell you. You must know all this is hard awfully hard. If I told you this you could put me in prison. You could do anything. Promise me that you will not take any action." "I promise you," said Eddring, sharply. "Tell me the truth, and help me to put this girl where she belongs, and I'll see that you are not prosecuted. But now tell me about yourself and this man Decherd.