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with fur. This was laid down carefully in
the sea-chest, and they both crept away to
the door.

I rubbed my eyes. What can this mean?
I must have been dreaming. Something
whispered it was plainly time to be gone
from that place, for I seemed to be standing
within the shadow of some unholy deed.
Had I been dreaming, and had that groping
of Clou and the Tigresse, deep in the sea-chest,
been nothing more than so much ghostly
dozing set afloat by objects about me?
Likely enough; and yet something terribly
real in that spreading out by the Tigresse
of what looked so like a blue cloak of many
folds, bordered with fur! It did not look
like a dream; it were best surely to be gone.
The wind was going down, and I could hear
the sharp neighing of the fleet mare below,
as she was being walked about to keep her
from being chilled. One look into the great
sea-chest would resolve all doubts. I rose
from the rude stool and lifted the lid softly.
I could see nothing, that corner was so dark;
but exploring it cautiously with my hands, it
appeared to be filled up with old sacks.
Miller and his men over again. Turning up
the sacks hurriedly, and delving to the very
bottom, my fingers came upon a bundle that
felt like soft cloth. Unrolling it with feverish
haste, and holding it to the fire-light, it
proved to be indeed a blue cloak, richly
bordered with fur, and a bright scarlet
foraging-cap wrapped up among its folds!

The Tigresse was standing over me as I
leant towards the fire.

"Ah!" she shrieked, "you are spying on
us! Here, Clou, Clouquick! Come up
quick!"

I heard him stumbling on the ladder-steps,
and rushed to the door. But she kept clawing
before me, with one hand behind, whining
all the while with rage.

"So you would look into the chestlook
into the chest! Yine! yine! Quick, Clou!"

"What is it, sweet Tigresse ?" said he, his
horrid head now on a level with the door.

"He has been at our chest. Yine!" she
snarled, "He must not go!"

"No, no ?" said Clou, crawling round me
on the floor. He had drawn something out
of his breastsomething that glittered.

With a spring I was at the cabin-window,
and threw it open, about to call to Jacquot's
father, when suddenly there came from below
a steady voice, calling. They stopped and
listened.

"What is it, Tigresse?" said Clou, putting
back what had been glittering.

"Good people," the voice said; "good
people, have you seen anyone go by this
night? A young man, that is?"

"Ah-r-r-r!" muttered Clou.

"Go down to him, Clou," the Tigresse said,
in a low voice. "Send him away. Let the
dog upon him if he does not go."

"Aye! " said Clou, going down the ladder.
"Wait, he shall help you to take care of him
yonder. Hop-hop! come up, beauty! come
up, sweet child!"

And the white brute came scrambling up
the ladder.

"Now, stir or speak," said the Tigresse,
catching him round the throat, "and the
sweet one shall lap up your bloodshe is
thirsty to-night."

"Good people," the voice came again,
"don't keep an old soldier waiting."

"He is gone," said Clou, coming up the
ladder again; "gone on to the town, where
he will find his friend, no doubt, and what
shall we do with him—?"

"Mordieu! what do we wait for? " said
another figure, climbing the ladder behind
himJacquot's father.

"The flood is gone down a good bit, and
the wind does not blowwhy do we not
cross, I say ?"

They looked at us a moment, then the
Tigresse whispered Clou a moment.

"There is sense in that," he said at length.
"Why should we not go? Let us take the
gentlemen across at once."

They descended, we following. I did not
know what to think; but, at all events, was
glad to be free from that horrid place.

We came out into the open air upon a
sort of little stage or pier. An old rusty
chain ran across, by which we were to be
drawn over.

"It is very old," said Clou, looking at it,
"and it creaks;" here he grinned. "Pay
the Tigresse now, before we go."

It was a broad flat-bottomed boat, very
crazy and decayed. We got the fleet mare
on board with difficulty, and set off, leaving
the Tigresse on the pier looking after us.

Though the waters had gone down
considerably, it was still a desperate task to get
the boat across. We had all to hold on and
work at the chain, while the boat reeled and
swung round, and was every instant on the
point of being carried way. But we got
across at last, and were set on shore safely at
the other side.

We were settled in the light cart once
more, and the fleet mare bounded away full
of life and spirit. Just then we saw the day
breaking through the trees, and, looking
back, there was Clou coddled up under a
tree, waiting till the river should have sunk
enough for his own simple strength.

What was the mystery of that night, I
never could resolve. I looked afterwards
through French newspapers, with hope of
lighting on something that would clear it
up, but unprofitably. Perhaps there was
nothing in it after all. Perhaps I had fallen
off into dreaming after discovery of that
cloak and cap, and so had furnished key-notes
for my weary brain to run riot on.

However that may be, I have now only

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