In a short time after, the orderly rapped at the door, and on being
told to enter, announced:

“Please, colonel, the adjutant says as how he wants to know ef he’s
released from arrest?”

“Did he dare to ask you that?” inquired Clark, sharply; and as he spoke
his eye flashed.

“Please, sir, they wouldn’t let me see him,” said the man.

“Who wouldn’t let you see him?”

The commander was growing very angry, for he was a strict
disciplinarian, and this sounded terrible in his ears.

The orderly hesitated.

“Speak quick, man! _Who_ wouldn’t let you see him?”

“Colonel,” said the rough borderer, who was, after all, only a half
disciplined, independent militia-man; “’tain’t my fault, honest; but
them Injuns and the young lady was at the door, and the young lady she
guv me the message from adjutant; and please, colonel, the boys are all
in a crowd around the door, and they cheered her when she spoke, and
it’s my belief, sir–”

“That will do,” said Clark, imperiously. “I understand you. There’s
mutiny afoot, and you’re afraid. Out of the way.”

Before father Gibault could interfere to check him, the colonel was
out of the room and half-way down-stairs. He was in a state of the
greatest excitement, and shouted for his horse in a manner strangely
unlike his usual quiet way. Two minutes after, he was galloping down
the street toward the camp, which, as before, was pitched in front of
the disused arsenal occupied by the Indians.

Around the door, as the orderly had said, the whole of the motley force
of borderers were clustered; and from the murmurs that reached his ear,
it was evident that an unusual excitement was going on.

As the colonel galloped up, a dead silence fell on all; but not a man
stirred out of his way, and matters looked quite squally, for the rough
backwoodsmen made no scruple of looking with open defiance at their

The tact of Clark was infinite, or he would not have been the
successful leader that he was. He saw now that he had made a mistake,
and pulled up his horse by the crowd, saying, quietly:

“Stand out of my way, men. I want to enter that building.”

He looked at the door of the arsenal, and there stood beautiful Ruby
Roland, with her savage allies round her, stern and impassive, looking
straight at him.

Not a man stirred out of his path. Some of them crowded closer in his
way, and he saw that they all carried their rifles. For the first
time in his life, Clark was at a loss what to do. The instinct of
discipline impelled him to violence, but his experience of the reckless
Kentuckians told him that such a step would be useless.

Moreover, Bowman and all his officers stood in a group at a fire near
by, with their backs resolutely turned to the scene of disturbance.
Clark was too intensely proud to call for assistance from them which
he saw they were unwilling to grant. He was also too politic to
precipitate a fight by attempting to ride into the crowd.

For fully a minute an ominous silence prevailed, and then Clark spoke
to Ruby, in a clear, loud voice:

“Mademoiselle, is my adjutant in your quarters? If so, I call on you,
as my ally, to deliver him up to me.”

Like a silver trumpet came back Ruby’s answer.

“He is here. He shall not go forth till he is released from arrest,
except to be tried by a court-martial.”

Instantly a tremendous cheer burst from all the borderers, and Clark
saw that he had not a friend left.

It was a bitter and humiliating thing for the proud leader, in the
moment of his triumph over enemies; and Clark felt it keenly.

For one moment he looked reproachfully at Ruby, then on his rebellious
men. There was something in his face that abashed the boldest there,
for the anger had gone out of it entirely, and there was an expression
of proud regret that seemed for the first time to suggest that there
might be _two_ sides to this question. Then the border leader put his
hands to his holsters, drew forth his pistols, and cast them on the
ground, amid a dead silence. He unbuckled his sword and held it up in
his right hand, as he said:

“Mademoiselle, I see now who is my _real_ enemy. God forgive you. Men,
I never yet condescended to ask a favor of you. I have given you a new
country. Keep it for yourselves. I am no longer your leader.”

He threw down the sword as he spoke, and wheeled his horse. Slowly
and sadly, but with head proudly erect, he rode up the street to the
government house, passed it, and walked his horse through the principal
street out into the open prairie.

The men had conquered their commander.

But never in this world did men seem so utterly unable to take
advantage of a victory. They looked at each other in silence and
dismay, as the consequences of their acts dawned upon them. Never was
leader more beloved than Clark, and only the still greater affection
which they entertained for their little adjutant, and their impression
that he had been harshly treated by Clark, had induced them to rebel.
In that delicious ignorance of martial law, so characteristic of the
American border militiamen, they had never conceived that they were
doing any thing wrong; only that they were giving their colonel a
gentle hint to release their favorite officer. Now, when it was too
late, they all seemed bewildered, and none more so than Ruby Roland.
She stood at the top of the steps, gazing blankly after Clark, as if
unable to comprehend why he had not yielded.

Then, after the form of the colonel had gone almost out of sight,
arose a confused hubbub of voices, as the borderers broke up into
groups, and excitedly discussed the position.

As reverently as sacred relics, the weapons of their commander were
lifted from the ground, and a large deputation besieged Major Bowman
and the officers, to entreat the colonel to come back.

But to their great surprise, Bowman and the others were dead against
them. The fact was that every one saw that they had made a mistake, and
these very officers were mean enough to cast the blame off from their
own shoulders, no matter where it lighted. Major Bowman was, in fact,
the very meanest of all, for he threw off his sword and belt, saying:

“No, no, boys. I take no responsibility. You chose to listen to that
gal over yonder, and now she’ll have to get you out of the snarl. I’ve
naught to do with it. I told you not to make such a fuss about that
boy; that it would end in harm. I’ll take no command of a mob like
this. Go to your lady friend.”

And Big Bill Harrod was still more emphatic.

“I tell yer, boys, that Frank’s the sassiest little cuss ever I seen,
and a good whipping would do him good. Ef yer think he’s wuth more than
cunnel, let him go; but ef yer don’t, jest yer go over to that thur
young lady, and ax _her_ to go arter the cunnel, and tell him as how ye
made a mistake, and ax his pardon. I guess he won’t be hard on little
Frank, ef _she_ begs fur him, and it’s my notion that nary a man in
this hyar camp kin fotch him back so quick as that thar gal.”

The rough captain’s words were not without their effect on his
audience, who involuntarily turned toward Ruby.

The girl was standing where she had been, but entirely deserted by the
very men who, a moment before, had been cheering her. She seemed to
realize that her brief reign of popularity was over, and that she too
had made a mistake. As the soldiers timidly proffered their request,
the august beauty yielded to it with grace, mounted her horse without
a moment’s delay, and set off at full gallop after Clark, bearing the
commander’s sword with her.

Colonel Clark had already cleared the outskirts of the town, and was
alone in the wild prairie, a swell of land hiding him from view. He
rode slowly along, buried in painful and bitter thoughts. He began to
see that he had been hasty in his first explosion of anger against the
adjutant. Had it been possible to have recalled it, he would have done
so; but now that mutiny had boldly established itself, he felt that he
must be firm, right or wrong. His resignation of authority, though it
seemed as if wrung from him in desperation, was in reality nothing but
a return of his old tact and management.

That the movement had taken his men by surprise he felt sure from the
dead silence which followed his words. He fully expected that a message
would come after him, but he expected it from his officers, at whom he
felt very angry for not having given him their support.

He had resolved to coquette with them before he yielded, as he had all
along determined, and resumed the command. He was resolved to make them
realize his full value. When he heard the clatter of horsehoofs behind
him, therefore, he kept steadily on. The fact that only a single person
was following him somewhat surprised him, but he did not deign to turn
his head.

Then some one dashed past him at full speed, and Ruby Roland, in all
her splendor of beauty, wheeled around in front of his horse and
halted, extending the sheathed sword with an imperious gesture.

Clark was for a moment taken aback. The next he colored angrily and
waved her aside, saying:

“Mademoiselle, it is too late. You have your victory. See if you can
make as good use of it as I have. Permit me to pass.”

“I will not,” said Ruby, firmly. “You must resume your command, sir.
There are too many lives depending on you to be lost for a foolish
quarrel about a girl.”

“Did you think of that, mademoiselle,” he asked, bitterly, “when you
undertook to excite my men to mutiny, to protect an insolent boy, who
called you–. No, I will not say what. No, mademoiselle, but I will say
this, that it is a hard thing to find that when I did a thing to avenge
_your_ name from insult, _you_ should be the first person to protect my
enemy, and steal away my men’s hearts from the leader they trusted till
_you_ came between us.”

Ruby listened to his indignant words in silence. The girl was very
pale now, and her eyes had a strange light in them, as of triumph and
revenge, which struck the colonel as singular, when he met them.

“So the little girl you despised last year, and packed off to her
tribe, is not so powerless, after all, monsieur?” she said, in a low
tone. “She has stirred your proud heart at last.”

“If it is any consolation to you to know it,” said Clark, bitterly,
“you know my heart as well as I do. Perhaps you and your boy lover have
laughed over my endeavors to save your name from light speaking.”

“Who asked you to save my name from any thing?” said she, haughtily.
“You take on yourself an impertinence to do it. Did I ask you to fire
up like a fool before those rude fellows, and show your heart so
plainly that the boys in the streets sing lampoons about us? Who is to
blame for that, sir, but you? My name, indeed! Much you have cared for
it to permit it to be dragged through the mud of Kaskaskia, because
_you_ have a temper that you can not control. I am a fool to come here
to entreat you to come back. Would I had never seen you! Let the sword
lie where you have dashed my name, since you are no longer fit to wear

And the excited girl indignantly dashed the sword on the ground, and
wheeled her horse to ride away. Then it was that Clark put spurs to his
own horse and darted forward, laying his hand on her bridle with iron

“Not so fast, mademoiselle,” he said, sternly. “You have cast an
imputation on my honor that I can not visit on you, but, by heavens, I
will visit it on _him_. Do you understand? I see it all now. You love
this boy; and now I warn you that you shall never be his, nor any other
man’s but mine. Do you hear? I will resume command of my troops, and
my first act shall be to release your lover from arrest. For what will
follow, you alone are responsible. I have done.”

He let go the bridle, quietly dismounted from his horse, and picked up
his sword, then mounted and turned toward the town at the same slow
pace at which he had come.

Ruby sat gazing at him for a moment with a strange smile; it almost
seemed tender and compassionate, and yet it was decidedly triumphant.

“I have him safe,” she said, to herself.

Then she dashed away past him at the utmost speed of her mustang, swept
through the streets like a whirlwind, and drew up in front of the camp,
where every one was still clustered in groups. Ruby rode straight up to
the officers.

“What are you doing, gentlemen?” she cried. “You have allowed the
greatest General in this country to be insulted by his own troops, whom
he has led to victory; and when he resigns in disgust, not one of you
is fit to step into his shoes; and yet you have left it to a woman to
entreat him to come back. For shame, old women that you are! Do one
thing or another. Choose another chief, or welcome back your old one.
Beat the drums; fall in the men! Send a deputation to request him to
resume command. Act like soldiers, not like boys!”

Her fiery eloquence seemed to go like a shock through the crowd. As if
by magic the drummer struck up “To the Colors;” the men rushed to their
places; Bowman and Harrod mounted and rode off up the street to salute
the returning commander.

The parade of Clark’s Rangers had never been formed before with
one-half the celerity that was manifested on this occasion; and when
Clark, soon after, rode up to the center of the line, the order was
perfect, and every one in his place.

As for Ruby, she was nowhere to be seen. As soon as the parade was
formed, she rode straight up the steps of the arsenal, received by her
dusky escort with the same impassive silence that they had manifested
all through the proceedings.

The great gray building was now closed up, silent and grim as ever, and
to all appearance untenanted.

When the commander appeared, there was a dead silence. He had not
greeted either Bowman or Harrod, except by stiffly answering their
salute, and now the two officers repaired to their places in the line
of battle.

Then the acting-adjutant gave the order “present arms!” and turned over
the parade to his commander in due form. Clark drew his sword once
more, and rode forward to near the center of the line. His face was
particularly grim at the moment, and the silence was breathless.

“The acting-adjutant will take a sergeant and twelve men,” said Clark,
in a clear, hard tone, “from the right of the regiment. He will enter
that building, and bring forth Adjutant John Frank, now under arrest,
under guard, and report to me, here.”

In dead silence the order was obeyed.

The little adjutant himself, in full uniform, with a snowy peruke
covering his black locks, trim and dainty, in a laced suit of blue
and silver, made his appearance in the doorway, bowed politely to
the officer, and advanced into the middle of his guards, as if by a
previous understanding.

Then he was marched up to the colonel, who dismissed guard and
acting-adjutant alike to their places, with a sign, when colonel and
adjutant stood looking at each other. The little officer was quiet,
dignified, and serious, without a particle of the old sauciness. He
looked his commander full in the face without blenching, and Clark
said, in a very distinct tone:

“Sir, you are relieved from arrest. Take your post at parade.”

The silence that had so far been maintained was broken by a rapturous
cheer, which the rough frontiersmen could not suppress.

Its tones were by no means offensive to Clark. They spoke of gratitude
to him, not of triumph over him.

The adjutant drew his sword and retired to his post behind his
commanding officer, while the latter executed a few simple movements
and then returned his sword. The adjutant resumed his regular duties,
took the reports of the sergeants in due form, announced the dismissal
of parade, and came up with the officers in the stiff military form
that has descended to the present day.

At such a time, it is usual for the colonel to say a few words to his
officers, and after such a scene as had recently taken place, all
expected a severe lecture from Clark.

But he merely returned their silent salute, and said:

“Officers will meet at my quarters an hour after sunset, to discuss
matters of importance. Good-evening, gentlemen.”

He turned coldly away, and the parade broke up in silence, a wet
blanket being thrown over all parties by the distant demeanor of their

The little adjutant alone seemed to be quite happy over his release.
When Clark was not twenty feet off, and the officers were still
gloomily looking at each other, the boy spoke in a jesting tone to
Harrod, saying:

“Well, Captain Bill, you see we pulled through in spite of our
love-sick chief. What fools some men are!”

Harrod cast a curious glance at the boy, an apprehensive one at Clark.
The colonel heard every word, and–halted.

Frank stood, with a derisive smile on a very pale face, watching his
commander’s back.

But Clark did not deign to turn his head. He stood there, for nearly a
minute, like a statue, the officers watching him in silence. Then he
slowly nodded his head, and pursued his way to his quarters.

Then the officers broke up and departed, leaving the boy adjutant
standing alone. His face grew sad and thoughtful, for not one of the
men who had lately fought such a battle to save him, remained near him.
Even from the ranks they had witnessed the flippant gesture with which
he had pointed at his commander; and every one seemed to be somewhat
disgusted with him for the nonce.

With slow steps and hanging head the young officer went to his quarters
in the arsenal once more.

* * * * *

In the spacious drawing-room of the government house sat Clark, in
a new uniform, surrounded by his officers, all renovated in their
personal appearance. A number of wax candles lit up the apartment, and
the center-table was littered with papers. Father Gibault sat among the
rest of the officers as if he had been a chaplain all his life, and the
conversation was general but desultory, as if in expectation of the
arrival of some one before opening business.

At last the commander spoke:

“We are all here but the adjutant, gentlemen. Doubtless he feels a
delicacy about being present. Orderly, take my compliments to the
adjutant, and say that we await his presence.”

The soldier disappeared, and all sat in grim silence until, fifteen
minutes after, the door opened, and the little adjutant tripped into
the room with his old saucy air, but without speaking, and, after
saluting the colonel, dropped into a vacant chair:

Clark returned the salute with grave courtesy, and said:

“Now, gentlemen, we are ready for business. I must inform you, first,
that I have at last concluded a full and satisfactory treaty with all
the Indians on the Wabash, through their chiefs, and that, from the
Detroit to the Ohio we have no foes among the red-men. We have taken
possession of all the British posts between here and the Wabash,
and Illinois is ours. Gentlemen, one post remains to be taken. St.
Vincent’s, town and fort, is still in the enemy’s hands. _It must be

A murmur of assent ran through the audience, and Clark was silent.
Then, to the surprise of all, father Gibault arose:

“Gentlemen,” said the _curé_, “I have told Colonel Clark, and now I
tell you, that you need not trouble yourselves about St. Vincent’s.
If you will trust it to me, I will undertake to start to-morrow, and
within three weeks deliver St. Vincent’s into your hands, fort and
all, without spilling one drop of blood. I am priest or missionary of
both parishes, and if I tell the people of St. Vincent’s how you have
treated us here, I answer for it that they will come under American
rule without firing a gun.”

“Gentlemen, how say you?” said Clark. “Will you accept Monsieur
Gibault’s proposition, or shall we march to St. Vincent’s? All in favor
of acceptance will say ‘Ay.’”

Not an officer hesitated to respond to the call in the affirmative.

“Now, messieurs,” said Gibault, briskly, “I start to-morrow, with four
or five friends, and I wish the colonel to give me one officer to
receive the surrender and act as American Governor till you can visit
the post in force.”

“Captain Leonard Helm and Sergeant Henry will accompany you, father,”
said the border chief, “and Adjutant Frank shall go with the captain as
second in command.”

This order surprised no one, for it was evident that colonel and
adjutant would never agree together again. Indeed, Clark’s intention
was of the kindest nature. But as the council broke up, the young
officer observed, in a loud tone:

“I shall not go. So the colonel need not trouble himself.”

At this last exhibition of insubordination, every one fancied that the
commander’s temper would once more break out. But, to the surprise of
all, Clark remained quite calm, and took no notice of it. He ushered
his other officers to the door with his usual courtesy, and attended
them to the head of the stairs, whence he watched them go out with
father Gibault.

Then he turned to the sentry at the door, and said:

“Move your post to the head of the stairs, and let no one up. If you
hear any noise in my room, however loud, take no notice. Let no one
pass in or out without my orders.”

The backwoods soldier nodded his comprehension, and the colonel
re-entered his room, where, as he had expected, he found Adjutant
Frank, still in his chair, which he had drawn to the table, on which
rested his small feet with all the coolness in the world.

The little adjutant wore a hunting-shirt of fine blue cloth, with gold
fringes to replace the usual buck-skin ornaments; his leggins were of
white doe-skin, fringed with gold; and the white moccasin, that fitted
his little foot like a glove, was sewed with gold thread. Altogether,
a very natty little officer of rangers was Adjutant Frank, as he sat
playing with a little blue velvet cap with a gold tassel, and whistling

Clark stood at the door, looking at him for several minutes. The lad’s
back was turned to him, and the white peruke, which he generally wore,
was now off, allowing the curls of a wonderful mass of long black hair
to escape over his shoulders.

Clark looked at him long and earnestly, and as he looked, he gave an
involuntary sigh. The boy was of a wonderful beauty and grace, he could
not help admitting, even with all the fierce jealousy and anger that
was gnawing at his heart. But the iron colonel had taken a resolution,
and he was not to be turned from it by pity.

Slowly, and without any precautions against noise, he locked the
door with a loud snap, and put the key in his pocket. Frank stopped
whistling, but he did not look round. He only gave a little hitch to
his sword-belt, and brought the hilt of his light rapier to the front.
Then he resumed his whistle and gradually broke into a low song:

“Le Colonel Clark est brave,
Mais il n’est qu’un esclave,
Sous la main, si douce et suave,
De Mademoiselle Rubie Roland.”

Clark heard the mocking words and wondered at the lad’s temerity, even
while his anger rose to white heat. Frank looked so little and slender,
so utterly unable to cope with the powerful and incensed colonel, that
such a taunt as his conduct implied made it seem as if he must be crazy.

For the first time the words of Simon Kenton, as to the boy having been
sun-struck, recurred to his mind, and for the moment a thrill of pity
came to Clark. But as he looked at the boy and noted the quiet bravado
of his manner, the supposition became untenable.

“There is too much method for madness, there,” thought the border

And, as he came to this conclusion, a stern frown settled on his brow,
and he went to the windows. He carefully closed the shutters and locked
the French casements so that no one could see in. Then, looking into
an inner room, he ascertained that there were no more openings to be

He closed and locked the door of communication with equal deliberation,
then advanced to the table at which Frank sat, and laid his hand
heavily on his shoulder.

“Now, sir,” said Clark, between his shut teeth, “what is the meaning of

The lad looked up at him with an eye as fierce as his own.

“It means–take your hands off!”

For all answer Clark shook him fiercely, for it seemed as if the threat
imbued him with ten-fold rage.

But, to his surprise, after the first fierce look, the boy did not
either writhe or struggle, although the nervous grip of the powerful
borderer must have caused intense pain, as the fingers sunk into his

Feeling almost ashamed of himself, Clark released his hold, for
the first feeling of the soft, delicate shoulder he had griped had
convinced him that Frank was a mere child in his hands. He struck down
the boy’s feet off the table with his open hand, and then released him,
casting himself down in an opposite chair.

“Now, sir,” he said, sternly, “since you have learned your manners,
tell me what is the meaning of all this?”

The little adjutant was quite silent, but he was breathing hard, and
had changed his position. His face was now turned away from Clark and
hidden by the tangled mass of curls. He made no answer.

After a while Clark repeated the question.

“Well, sir, what does this mean? Why have you, whom I have treated like
my own son, suddenly found that nothing will do for you but insulting
your colonel and exciting mutiny among my troops?”

There was no answer. Still the averted figure looked sullenly away.

“I see you can not answer,” said Clark, sternly; “and I honor the shame
that leads you to remain silent. It shows me that Governor Henry’s
nephew has not lost all the instincts of a gentleman. It renders my
task less repulsive, for I warn you, John Frank, that the time has come
when you must atone for your conduct with your heart’s blood–ay, and
in this room. Had you shown fear, I should have strangled you ere this,
but I can not take advantage of superior strength over a stripling like
you. But die you must, and by my hand. Therefore, choose your weapons,
and do your best. You shall have every chance.”

The boy still kept his head averted, and murmured:

“Why should I die? What have I done?”

“I will tell you, John Frank,” said the colonel, in a low, stern voice,
with terrible distinctness. “I will tell you, and you at least shall
know all before I kill you. A year ago, I met Ruby Roland in Kentucky,
and from the moment I saw her I resolved she should be my wife. You
may start. I would sooner die than tell her, the proud beauty in her
scornful charms, that George Rogers Clark was a slave to her a year
since. I would not tell it to you if I had not resolved to kill you,
before I leave this room. Well, sir, since you came here–curse your
pretty baby-face–I have met _her_, and I have found that she loves
_you_; she, the pearl of all beauty and nobility, is fool enough to
cast away the treasures of a love, which I would die to possess, on an
insolent youngster like you, who values it not, and makes a jest of her
name. For these things I am going to kill you, boy, and just so I shall
kill every man that comes near Ruby Roland. She may never love me, but,
by the eternal heavens, I swear she shall never love another. She may
repel my love, but I will conquer hers. I have sworn to make her adore
me. Enough. On this table are two swords and two pistols. Choose which
you will, and take first shot.”

The averted figure trembled perceptibly.

“I do not want to kill you, colonel,” said a low voice.

“Nor can you,” said Clark, scornfully. “I was not born to be killed by
a boy. Take your shot, and aim well, for if you miss I kill you.”

The little adjutant trembled still more.

“I can not fight you, Clark,” he whispered.

“But you must,” cried the borderer, fiercely. “Do you wish to compel me
to murder you? You must die.”

The other rose from the chair and sprung behind the table. As he did
so, he motioned Clark away, with face averted, as if in great horror.

“Clark, Clark,” he panted out, “you know not what you say. I can not
fight _you_. If you kill me, you will never see Ruby Roland again.”

“I will chance that,” said Clark, grimly. “She may grieve for you a
while, but bah! she’ll not care for a boy like you, when a man loves
her. And mark me, boy, she loves me now, although she does not think
it. Come, take up the swords. I thought you had more courage, Frank. I
see you are only a coward, after all.”

The boy dropped his head on his hands so that his long black hair fell
all over his face and hid it from view. Then he sunk down on his knees
and burst out into a tempest of sobs, while he murmured, brokenly:

“Kill me, then–blind, blind, that will not see the truth. Would I had
died long ago!”

For the first time Clark was utterly astounded. He looked at the
kneeling figure, shaken with sobs such as no boy ever gave, and as he
looked a sudden light broke over his face. He looked at the other with
a keen intensity of gaze that, for the first time since he had known
his boy adjutant, took in every peculiarity of the slight, feminine
grace of that tiny figure. Then, with a sudden exclamation of joy,
wonder and doubt together, Colonel Clark rushed forward and clutched
eagerly at the form of RUBY ROLAND.

Ay, the moment he felt the soft, yielding flesh under his hands this
time, he wondered that he had never found it out before. His little
adjutant, with the pert tongue, and Ruby Roland whom he adored, were
one and the same, a warm, living woman, who hid her face under her dark
hair in his bosom, and refused to lift it, even for a glimpse of her
face, until he forced her up from her knees, with gentle violence.

Then she suddenly flung away from him with all her old impetuosity and
caprice, threw back her long black hair with a defiant toss, facing
him with glowing face and flaming eyes, and caught up a sword from the

“Now, sir, kill me if you dare,” she cried. “You were bold enough with
Frank. Let me see you face Ruby. Go away. I hate you now!”

Clark laughed carelessly as he advanced.

“You must explain away your masquerade, and a hundred other little
things I mind me of, lady-bird, ere you can make me believe that. If
you do not love me, what do you here with me, alone, at midnight?”

In a moment she was pale and beseeching.

“Let me go, Clark, and I’ll never tease you again.”

“Not till you have promised to marry me to-morrow, ere father Gibault

“I promise,” she whispered, and he unlocked the door.