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Prince Andrew looked Anna Pavlovna straight in the face with a sarcastic smile. "'Dieu me la donne, gare a qui la touche! * They say he was very fine when he said that," he remarked, repeating the words in Italian: "'Dio mi l'ha dato. Guai a chi la tocchi!" * God has given it to me, let him who touches it beware!

Francesca and I were amused at the idea, but did not think of it again until we drove through the La Touche estate, on one of the first days after our arrival at Devorgilla.

The British Admiral took the charge so seriously to heart that he sent a copy of the Victory's log to the Admiralty to disprove the statement of the lying Admiral la Touche, and in a letter to his brother Nelson says, "You will have seen La Touche's letter of how he chased me, and how I ran. I keep it; and by God if I take him, he shall eat it."

Then began a dismal argument, full of words and repetitions but with few ideas, and from the trend of it the curious fact appeared that La Touche, the ship's grouser and dismal James, was taking the optimistical side, whilst Bompard, generally cheerful, was the pessimist. La Touche's optimism was, perhaps, the outcome of fear.

I am glad, Mamma, that you have none of those silly ideas, and that I have not got to have my hair in a large bun with ribbons twisted in it for dinner. They seem quite accustomed to stay here, and know all the dogs and their ways. They are much nicer than French girls, but not so attractive as Miss La Touche.

I remember that I was haunted by two lines of French verse; in some dumb way they seemed to fit my surroundings and give expression to the contentment that was in me, and I kept repeating to myself 'Mon coeur est un luth suspendu, Sitot qu'on le touche, il resonne. I can give no reason why these lines came to me at this time; and for that very cause I repeat them here.

"That is true," said Bompard, anxious to get off the main subject. "If those chaps had eyes in their heads they wouldn't be feeding the fishes." "It wasn't all their fault," put in La Touche. "If those chaps on the bridge hadn't put the engines on we wouldn't have rammed her as we did." "Well," said Cléo, "there is no use in going back over things.

"I didn't hear you shouting to the fellows on deck," said La Touche, "but I heard you shouting to me to row. Then when we'd got her away a bit the Gaston blew up." "Blew up," said the girl. "The boilers," said Bompard, "they lifted the decks off her. She must have gone like a stone." "So you think no one at all escaped but us?"

We saw the shore, but were not the better for it; for few of us, from the admiral downwards, ever set foot on it. At last the French admiral, La Touche Treville, died, and a new one, Admiral Villeneuve, was appointed. We now began to hope that the French would come out and fight us; for you see Lord Nelson did not want to keep them in only to get at them when they came out.

When I first saw Gerald La Touche I felt that he required explanation. Usually speaking, a human being ought to be able, in an evening's conversation, to explain himself, without any adventitious aid.