together in high good humor. The manager at the Abbaye bowed before
them with special deference. He recognized Julien as an occasional
customer, and Lady Anne, even in her traveling gown, was a person to
They chose a table and ordered supper for four. Kendricks had not yet
arrived, but it was barely half-past eleven and the place was almost
empty. Lady Anne was in high spirits and chattering all the time.
Julien looked at her occasionally in amazement. They had seldom been
alone together in London, but on those few occasions when the
conventions had demanded it, he had been inclined to find her rather
stupid. She was certainly nothing of the sort this evening!
"I suppose I am a baby," she exclaimed, laughing, "but to-night I feel
as though I were beginning a new life! Tell me, mademoiselle, have you
a place for me as a seamstress? Or will you have me for a model? My
figure is good enough, isn't it?"
"Miladi," Mademoiselle Rignaut declared deprecatingly, "there is no
girl in my shop with a figure like yours, but it is not well for you to
talk so, indeed. It is shocking."
Lady Anne laughed gayly.
"Now, my little friend," she said, "let us understand one another.
There is no more 'miladi.' I am Anne - Anne to you and Anne to Julien
here. I've finished with the 'miladi' affair. I dare say I shouldn't
care about being a model, but all the same I am going to earn my own
"Earn your own living!" Mademoiselle Rignaut echoed, in something like
She had met the Duke and the Duchess - she had traveled even to London
and had passed the night beneath the ducal roof. Lady Anne's mother had
very sound ideas of economy, and Mademoiselle Rignaut was cheap and yet
"Earn my own living, without a doubt," Lady Anne repeated, helping
herself to a roll. "You don't mind my eating some bread and butter, do
you, Julien? I couldn't lunch - I was much too excited, and the tea on
the train was filthy. Why, of course I am going to earn my own living,"
she continued. "I've only got a few thousand francs with me, and some
jewelry. I believe I have got a small income, but Heaven knows whether
they will let me have it!"
Julien's eyes were suddenly lit with humor.
"Why, the Duke will be here for you to-morrow," he exclaimed, "to take
She leaned back in her seat with an air of deliberation.
"I'm free," she insisted. "I'm twenty-six years old, thank Heaven!
Twenty-six years I've had of it - enough to crush any one. No more! You
know, I like this sense of freedom," she went on. "It's perfectly
amazing how young I feel. Julien, do you remember when mother wouldn't
let us lunch together at the Ritz without a chaperon?"
"I do," he assented. "I'm sure we didn't need one, either."
She smiled reminiscently.
"What sticks we were! What a silly life! I really have the most
delightful feeling, as though I were starting things all over again, as
though there were all sorts of wonderful adventures before me."
Julien looked at her quickly. There was no woman in the place half so
good-looking or with any pretensions to such style. He was conscious of
an odd twinge of jealousy.
"You'll have no trouble in finding adventures," he remarked a little
Her eyes flashed back an answer to his thought.
"Bless you, I don't want anything to do with men! Fancy having been
engaged to you and to Samuel Harbord! What further thrills could
possibly be in store for me?"
"Well, I don't know," Julien retorted. "I suppose if I was a stick,
there must have been something about you which induced me to be one."
"Not a bit of it," she objected. "You were a solemn, studious,
gentlemanly, well-behaved, well-conducted prig - very much a male
edition of what I was myself. What a life we should have lived
together!... Here's your friend. You know, I rather like the look of
him. He's so delightfully untidy. I should think he belongs round about
the new world, doesn't he?"
"He's a working journalist," Julien answered, "a very clever fellow and
a good friend of mine."
"Then I shall adore him," Lady Anne decided, - "not because he is a good
friend of yours, but because he is a working journalist. Why, I saw him
sitting waiting for you the day you came and wished me that touching
good-bye," she added. "I liked him even then. It seemed so sweet of him
to come and help you through that terrible ordeal."
She held out her hand to Kendricks very charmingly when he was
"Don't be terrified at finding us here, please," she begged. "I know
you have some business to talk over with Julien, but you see we were
starving, and Julien had to be polite to me because we were once
engaged to be married. I promise you that when we have eaten we will go
Kendricks looked at her for a moment and smiled.
"You know," he said, "I believe you've run away."
"I felt sure that I was going to like your friend, Julien!" she
exclaimed. "He understands things so quickly."
"I am a newspaper man, you see," he told her. "Just as I left, I was
reading all sorts of things about your wedding, and the presents, and
the rest of it. I saw you in the train and recognized you."
"Don't think I've come over after Julien," she continued cheerfully. "I
never dreamed of seeing him - not just yet, at any rate. I had no idea
where to run to, but Paris seemed to me so easy and so natural, and
somehow or other it must be more difficult to worry any one into going
back from a foreign country. Not that I've any idea of going back," she
broke off. "I think I'm going to enjoy life hugely out here."
"But it is most astonishing!" Mademoiselle Rignaut declared with a
"My little friend here," Lady Anne went on, "hasn't got over it all
yet. She doesn't understand the sheer barbarity of being a duke's
daughter. The worst of it is she'll never have an opportunity of trying
it for herself. Heaven save the others! Julien, I hope we are going to
have some champagne. Mother never liked me to drink champagne at a
restaurant. You see," she explained, "we weren't rich enough to be in
really the smart set, or else I should have been allowed to do any
mortal thing, and if you aren't in the very smart set, it is best to
turn up your nose at them and to ape propriety. That's what we did. It
suited father because it was cheap, and mother because she said it went
with my style."
"Champagne, by all means," Julien agreed. "I ordered it some time ago.
And here comes the lobster."
"Julien, tell him to give me some wine," Lady Anne begged. "I am
Julien gave the order to the _sommelier_. She raised the glass to
her lips and looked at him.
"To our new selves," she exclaimed, laughing, "and to the broken
Julien raised his glass at once.
"To our new selves!" he echoed.
WORK FOR JULIEN
The new Anne had not forgotten her natural stubbornness. At half-past
twelve she rose from the supper table and declined absolutely to allow
Julien to escort her home.
"My dear Julien," she declared, "the thing is ridiculous. We have
finished with all that. I am a Bohemian. I expect to walk about these
streets when and where and at what hour I choose. You have business
with Mr. Kendricks and I am glad of it. You certainly shall not waste
your time gallivanting around with me. Janette and I together could
defy any sort of danger."
"But, my dear Anne," Julien protested, "you cannot make these changes
so suddenly. To drive you home would take, at the most, half an hour."
"I shall enjoy the drive immensely," Lady Anne answered coolly, "but we
shall take it alone. Don't be foolish, Julien. Come and find us a
little carriage and say good night nicely."
He was forced to obey. He found a carriage and helped her in. She even
stopped him when he would have paid for it.
"For the present," she said, "I prefer to arrange these matters for
myself. Thanks ever so much for the supper," she added, "and come and
see me in a day or two, won't you?"
She gave him her hand and smiled her farewells at him. The lamplight
flashed upon her as she leaned forward to say good-bye, and Julien for
the first time realized that her hair was a beautiful shade of brown,
and that there was a quiet but very effective beauty about her face
which he had never appreciated. She waved her hand and laughed at him
in frank good-fellowship which he somehow felt vaguely annoying. The
carriage rolled away and he went back to Kendricks.
"My friend," the latter exclaimed, "pay your bill and let us depart! I
am in no humor for the cafes to-night. Let us go to your rooms and sit
quietly, or drive - whichever you choose."
"You have news?" Julien remarked.
"I have news and a proposition for you," Kendricks replied. "I am not
sure that we do ourselves much good by being seen about Paris together
just now. I am not sure, even, whether it is safe."
Julien stared at him.
"You are making fun of me!"
"Not I," Kendricks assured him. "We are both being drawn into a queer
little cycle of events, events which perhaps we may influence. When we
get back to your rooms, I will tell you about it. Until then, not a
They drove down the hill, talking of Lady Anne.
"Somehow," Kendricks remarked, "she doesn't fit in, in the least, with
your description of her. I imagined a cold, rather stupid young woman,
of very moderate intelligence, and certainly no sense of humor. Do you
know that your Lady Anne is really a very charming person?"
"She puzzles me a little," Julien confessed. "Something has changed
"Whatever has done it has done a good thing. She gave you your conge
quite calmly, didn't she?"
"Absolutely," Julien admitted. "She brushed me away as though I had
been a misbehaving fly."
"After all," Kendricks said, "you were of the same kidney - a prig of
the first water, you know, Julien. I am never tired of telling you so,
am I? Never mind, it's good for you. Have you seen Herr Freudenberg
Julien shook his head.
"Not since we were all at the Rat Mort together nearly a month ago. Did
I tell you that he made me an offer then?"
"No, you told me nothing about it," Kendricks replied, leaning forward
with interest. "What sort of an offer? Go on, tell me about it?"
"He wanted me," Julien continued, "to undertake the command of an
expedition to some place which he did not specify, to discover whether
a German who was living there was being held a prisoner - "
"Oh, la, la!" Kendricks interrupted. "Tell me what your reply was?"
"I told him that I must consult you first. As a matter of fact, I never
thought seriously about it at all. The whole affair seemed to me so
vague, and it didn't attract me in the least. I don't know whether you
can understand what I mean, but to me it appeared to be an entirely
artificial suggestion. If such a thing had been reasonable at all, I
should have said that it was an offer invented on the spur of the
moment by Herr Freudenberg, to get me out of Paris."
"Really, Julien," declared Kendricks, "I am beginning to have hopes of
you. There are times when you are almost bright."
"What are you here for?" Julien asked. "Is there anything wrong in
"Anything wrong!" Kendricks growled. "You and your foolish letters,
Julien! You left the way open for that little bounder Carraby and he'll
do for us. Lord, how they love him in Berlin!"
"They are not exactly appreciating him over here, are they?" Julien
remarked. "I don't understand the tone of the Press at all. There's
something at the back of it all."
"There is," Kendricks agreed grimly. "Sit tight, wait till we are in
your rooms. I'll tell you some news."
"We are there now," Julien replied, as the little carriage pulled up.
"Follow me, Kendricks, and take care of the stairs. I hope you like the
smell of new bread? You see, the ground floor is occupied by a
confectioner's shop. It keeps me hungry half the time."
"Delicious!" Kendricks murmured. "Are these your rooms?"
Julien nodded and turned on the electric light.
"Not palatial, as you see, but comfortable and, I flatter myself,
typically French. Don't you love the red plush and the gilt mirror? Of
course, one doesn't sit upon the chairs or look into the mirror, but
they at least remind you of the country you're in."
Kendricks threw open the window. The hum of the city came floating into
the room. They drew up easy-chairs.
"Whiskey and soda at your side," Julien pointed out. "You can smoke
your filthy pipe to your heart's content. I won't even insult you by
offering you a cigar. Now go ahead."
Kendricks lit his pipe and smoked solemnly.
"Your remarks," he declared, "are actuated by jealousy. You haven't the
stomach for a man's smoke. Now listen. There's the very devil of a
mischief abroad and Falkenberg's at the bottom of it. Do you know what
"I know nothing."
"You remember the night that we were up at the Rat Mort? He was talking
with a dirty-looking man in a red tie and pince-nez."
"I remember it quite well," Julien admitted.
"Well, he was the leader writer in _Le Jour_, - Jesen - a brilliant
man, an absolutely wonderful writer, but shiftless. Do you know what
Falkenberg has done? The paper was in the market, the controlling share
of it, and he bought it, or rather he put the money into Jesen's hands
to buy it with. The whole tone of the paper with regard to foreign
affairs has turned completely round. Every other day there is a
scathing article in it attacking the _entente_ with England.
You've read them, of course?"
"So has every one," Julien replied gravely. "The people here talk of
"It is known," Kendricks continued, "that Falkenberg has made every use
of his frequent visits to this city to ingratiate himself with certain
members of the French Cabinet, and to impress them with his views. To
some extent there is no doubt that he has succeeded. The German
Press - the inspired portion of it, at any rate - is backing all this up
by articles extremely friendly towards France and deriding her
friendship with England."
"This, too, I have noticed," Julien admitted.
"Carraby is in hot water already," Kendricks went on. "He had a chance
on Monday in the House, when he was asked a question about the German
gunboat which is reported to have gone to Agdar. The fool muddled it.
He gave the sort of suave, methodist reply one expected, and the German
Press jeered at him openly. Julien, it's serious. The French people are
honest enough, but they are impressionable. A Liberal Government was
never popular with them. You were the only Liberal Foreign Minister in
whom they believed. This man Carraby they despise. Besides, he has
Jewish blood in his veins and you know what that means over here.
Jesen's articles come thundering out and already other papers are
beginning to follow suit. The poison has been at work for months. You
remember monsieur and madame and mademoiselle, with whom I talked so
earnestly? Well, they were but types. I talked to them because I wanted
to find out their point of view. There are many others like them. They
look upon the _entente_ with good-natured tolerance. They doubt
the real ability of Britain to afford practical aid to France, should
she be attacked. This good-natured tolerance is being changed into
irritation. Falkenberg's efforts are ceaseless. The moment he has the
two countries really estranged, he will strike."
"Against which?" Julien asked quickly.
"Heaven only knows!" Kendricks answered. "For my part, I have always
believed that it would be against England. There is no strategic reason
for a war between France and Germany. Germany needs more than France
can give her. She does not need money, she needs territory. Falkenberg
is a rabid imperialist, a dreamer of splendid dreams, a real genius. He
is fighting to-day with the subtlest weapons the mind of man ever
conceived. Now, Julien, listen. I am here with a direct proposition to
"But what can I do?" Julien exclaimed.
"This," Kendricks replied. "It is my idea. I saw Lord Southwold this
morning and he agreed. We want you to write for our paper a series of
articles, dated from Paris and signed in your own name, and we want you
to attack Falkenberg and the game he is playing. We will arrange for
them to appear simultaneously in one of the leading journals here. We
want you to write openly of these German spies who infest Paris. We
want you first to hint and then to speak openly of the purchase of
_Le Jour_ by means of German gold. We want you to combat the
popular opinion here that our army is a wooden box affair, and that we
as a nation are too crassly selfish to risk our fleet for the benefit
of France. We want you to strike a great note and tell the truth.
Julien, those articles signed by you and dated from Paris may do a
Julien's eyes were already agleam.
"Splendid!" he muttered, rising to his feet. "If only I can do it!"
"Of course you can do it," Kendricks insisted firmly. "Before you spoke
so often you used to write for the _Nineteenth Century_ every
month. You haven't forgotten the trick. Some of your sentences I
remember even now. I tell you, Julien, they helped me to appreciate
you. I liked you better when you took up the pen sometimes than I liked
you in those perfect clothes and perfect manner in your office at
Downing Street. Your tongue had the politician's trick of gliding over
the surface of things. Your pen scratched and spluttered its way into
the heart of affairs. Get back to it, Julien. I want your first article
before I leave Paris to-night."
"I'll do my best," Julien promised. "It's a great scheme. I'm going to
"I hoped you would," Kendricks replied. "You've got the atmosphere
here. You're sitting in the heart of the France that belongs to the
French. It isn't for nothing that I've taken you round a little with me
since we were here. Chance was kind, too, when it brought us up against
Freudenberg. Remember, Julien, journalism isn't the gentlemanly art it
was ten or twenty years ago. You can take up your pen and stab. That's
what we want."
"It's fine," Julien declared. "It is war!"
Kendricks rose to his feet.
"I'm going to bed," he announced. "The last month has been exciting and
there's plenty more to come. I need sleep. Julien, just a word of
"Fire away," Julien sighed. He was already gazing steadfastly out of
the window, already the sentences were framing themselves in his mind.
"The day upon which your first article appears," Kendricks said,
"Freudenberg will strike. Your life here will never be wholly safe. You
will be encompassed with spies and enemies. Why, this wild-cat scheme
of his of sending you off on some expedition was solely because you are
the one man of whom he is afraid. He feared lest Carraby might make
some hideous blunder in a crisis and that the country might demand you
back. That is why he wanted you out of the way."
"You may be right," Julien admitted. "What's that striking - one
o'clock? Till to-night, David!"
Kendricks nodded and left the room. Julien sat for a moment before the
open window. It was rather an impressive view of the city with its
millions of lights, the fine buildings of the Place de la Concorde in
clear relief against the deep sky, the Eiffel Tower glittering in the
distance, the subtle perfume of pleasure in the air. Julien stood there
and raised his eyes to the skies. Already his brain was moving to the
grim music of his thoughts. He looked away from the city to the fertile
country. Some faint memory of those once blackened fields and desolate
villages stole into his mind. He turned to his desk, drew the paper
towards him and wrote.
A STARTLING DISCLOSURE
Julien was driving, a few afternoons later, with Madame Christophor.
She had picked him up in the Bois, where he had gone for a solitary
walk. In her luxurious automobile they passed smoothly beyond the
confines of the Park and out into the country. After her brief summons
and the few words of invitation, they relapsed into a somewhat curious
"My friend," Madame Christophor remarked at length, glancing
thoughtfully towards him, "I find a change in you. You are pale and
tired and silent. It is your duty to amuse me, but you make no effort
to do so. Yet you have lost that look of complete dejection. You have,
indeed, the appearance of a man who has accomplished something, who has
found a new purpose in life."
Julien to some extent recovered himself.
"Dear Madame Christophor," he exclaimed, "it is true! My manners are
shocking. Yet, in a way, I have an excuse. I have been hard at work for
the last few days. I was writing all night until quite late this
morning. It was because I could not sleep that I came out to sit under
the trees - where you found me, in fact."
"Writing," she repeated. "So you are changing your weapons, are you?
You are going to make a new bid for power?"
Julien shook his head.
"It is not that," he answered. "I have no personal ambitions connected
with my present work. It was an idea - a great idea - but it was not my
own. Yet the work has been an immense relief."
She looked away, relapsing once more into silence. He glanced towards
her. The weariness of her expression was more than ever evident to-day,
the weariness that was not fretful, that seemed, indeed, to give an
added sweetness to her face. Yet its pathos was always there. Her eyes,
which looked steadily down the road in front of them, were full of the
fatigue of unwelcome days.
"You men so easily escape," she murmured. "We women never."
Julien was conscious of a certain selfishness in all his thoughts
connected with his companion. He had been so ready always to accept her
society, to accept and profit by the stimulus of her intellect. Yet he
himself had given so little, had shown so little interest in her or her
personal affairs. He sat a trifle more upright in his place.
"Dear Madame Christophor," he said earnestly, "you have been so kind to
me, you have shown so much interest always in my doings and my
troubles. Why not tell me something of your own life? I have felt so
much the benefit of your sympathy. Is there nothing in the world I
could do for you?"
"No person in the world," she declared, "could help me; certainly not
one of your sex. I start with an instinctive and unchanging hatred
towards every one of them."
"But, madame," Julien protested, "is that reasonable?"
"It is the truth," she replied. "I do my best when we are together to
forget it so far as you are concerned. I succeed because you do not use
with me any of the miserable devices of your sex to provoke an interest
whether they really desire it or not. You treat me, Sir Julien, as it
pleases me to be treated. It is for that reason, I am sure - it must be
for that reason - that I find some pleasure in being with you, whereas
the society of any other man is a constant irritation to me."
"You know," he began, "I am not naturally a curious person. I have
never asked a question of you or about you from the few people with
whom I have come in contact over here. At the same time, - "
"Do you mean," she interrupted, "do you seriously mean that you are
ignorant as to who I really am, as to any part of my history?"
"Entirely," Julien assured her.
She was thoughtful for several moments.
"Well, that is strange," she declared. "You are upsetting one of my pet
theories. All the men whom I have ever known have been more curious
than women. Are you interested in me, by any chance, Sir Julien?"
"Immensely," he replied.
"I am glad to hear it. Do you know, that is a great concession for me
to make, but it is the truth? I like you to be interested in me. Yet I
must confess that your ignorance as to who I really am astonishes me.
Perhaps," she added gravely, "if you knew, you would not be sitting by
my side at the present moment."
"I cannot believe," he said, smiling, "that you are such a very
"Terrible? Perhaps that is not the word," she admitted.
"There is one thing," he went on, "concerning which I have always been
"The little manicure girl whom I met in the Soho restaurant," he
replied promptly, "what on earth was her reason for wishing me to come
and see you? Why did you want me to come?"
"I thought," she murmured, "that we had agreed not to speak of those
matters for the present."
"That was some time ago. Things are changing around us every day. It is