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But this formula was figurative rather than precise, and expressed more a state of mind than an actual physical impulse. At the same time there was in that young man a feeling of comradeship and kindness which made him unwilling to make the position of Lieutenant Feraud worse than it was. He did not want to talk at large about this wretched affair.

"What is it you want with me?" he asked in a tone of annoyance, which astonished not a little the other. Lieutenant D'Hubert could not imagine that in the innocence of his heart and simplicity of his conscience Lieutenant Feraud took a view of his duel in which neither remorse nor yet a rational apprehension of consequences had any place. He had secured two experienced friends or his seconds.

Feraud unhooked the clasp, flung his new dolman on the bed, and, folding his arms across his chest, turned to the other hussar. "Do you imagine I am a man to submit tamely to injustice?" he inquired, in a boisterous voice. "Oh, do be reasonable!" remonstrated Lieut. D'Hubert. "I am reasonable! I am perfectly reasonable!" retorted the other with ominous restraint.

Simply from fear that if I did not take it quickly into my hands my own name would head the list of the proscribed. Such are the times in which we live. But I am minister of the king as yet, and I ask you plainly why I should take the name of this obscure Feraud off the list? You wonder how his name got there. Is it possible that you know men so little?

Lieutenant Feraud met the difficulty by an attitude of fierce reserve. He twisted his moustache and used vague words. His case was perfectly clear. He was not ashamed to present it, neither was he afraid to defend it personally. He did not see any reason to jump at the suggestion before ascertaining how his adversary was likely to take it.

It was not to be thought of. Lieut. Feraud, who for many days now had experienced no real desire to meet Lieut. D'Hubert arms in hand, chafed again at the systematic injustice of fate. "Does he think he will escape me in that way?" he thought, indignantly. He saw in this promotion an intrigue, a conspiracy, a cowardly manoeuvre. That colonel knew what he was doing.

General D'Hubert caught a fleeting view of General Feraud shifting trees again with deliberate caution. "He despises my shooting," he thought, with that insight into the mind of his antagonist which is of such great help in winning battles. It confirmed him in his tactics of immobility. "Ah! if I only could watch my rear as well as my front!" he thought, longing for the impossible.

Lying in bed he raved to himself in his mind or aloud to the pretty maid who ministered to his needs with devotion and listened to his horrible imprecations with alarm. That Lieutenant D'Hubert should be made to "pay for it," whatever it was, seemed to her just and natural. Her principal concern was that Lieutenant Feraud should not excite himself.

General Feraud sat erect, holding the newspaper at arm's length in order to make out the small print better. He was reading very low to himself over again fragments of the intelligence which had caused what may be called his resurrection. "We are informed... till now on sick leave... is to be called to the command of the 5th Cavalry Brigade in..."

He clanked and jingled along the streets with a martial swagger. To run a comrade to earth in a drawing-room where he was not known did not trouble him in the least. A uniform is a social passport. His position as officier d'ordonnance of the general added to his assurance. Moreover, now he knew where to find Lieutenant Feraud, he had no option. It was a service matter.