missions been peaceful—otherwise they would have exchanged
"You have guessed rightly," he answered.
"Moreover, I am bound to be his second, because the insult offered to him touches myself also. I was with him last night," he added, straightening up his stooping figure.
"Ah! So it was you whose head I struck so clumsily?" . . .
He turned yellow in the face, then blue; sup- pressed rage was portrayed upon his counte- nance.
"I shall have the honour to send my second to you to-day," I added, bowing adieu to him very politely, without appearing to have noticed his fury.
On the restaurant-steps I met Vera's husband. Apparently he had been waiting for me.
He seized my hand with a feeling akin to rapture.
"Noble young man!" he said, with tears in his eyes. "I have heard everything. What a scoun- drel! Ingrate! . . . Just fancy such people being admitted into a decent household after this! Thank God I have no daughters! But she for whom you are risking your life will reward you. Be assured of my constant discretion," he continued. "I have been young myself and have served in the army: I know that these affairs must take their course. Good-bye."