possible that within a very short time I may find myself in such a
position here that I am forced to know exactly who are my friends and
who my enemies."
"Can you believe," she asked, "that you would ever find me among the
Julien thought for several moments.
"I shall not ask you," he proceeded, "not to be offended with me for
what I am going to say. It was a chance remark I heard - no more. It
certainly, however, did suggest some association. There is a man who
comes often to Paris, who calls himself a maker of toys. He says that
he comes from Leipzig and that his name is Herr Freudenberg."
She sat as still as a statue. Not a line of her features was changed.
Julien turned a little in his seat. As he watched, he saw that her
bosom underneath the lace scarf which she wore was rising and falling
quickly. Her teeth came suddenly together. He saw the lids droop over
her eyes as though she were in pain.
"Herr Freudenberg," she repeated, "what of him?"
"I knew him in the days when I counted for something in the world,"
Julien explained. "Don't you remember that on the night when we dined
together at the Maison Leon d'Or he sent one of his emissaries for me?
He was a man in whom I had always felt the greatest, the most complete
interest. I went to him gladly. Since then, as you will know if you
read the papers, events have moved rapidly. I am beginning to realize
now how completely and absolutely that man is the enemy of my country."
"It is true, that," she murmured.
"For some reason," Julien continued, "he seemed anxious to remove me
from Paris. He made me a somewhat singular offer. He wanted me to go to
some distant country on a mission - not political and yet for Germany."
"And do you go?"
"No," he replied, "I have found other work. I don't think that I
seriously considered it at any time, yet I have always been curious as
to why he should have made such an offer to me."
She had the air now of a woman who had completely recovered control of
"Sir Julien," she asked, "I beg of you to tell me this. If you do not
know who I am, why have you mentioned Herr Freudenberg's name to me?"
"Madame," Julien answered, "because the man who brought me the message
from Herr Freudenberg, the man who conducted me to him, the man
concerning whom you told me that strange, pathetic little story - he let
fall one word. I asked him no question. I wished for no information
except from you. Yet I am only human. I have had impulses of
"Herr Freudenberg is my husband," Madame Christophor declared.
Julien looked at her in amazement. For the moment he was speechless.
"I say what is perhaps literally but not actually true," she went on.
"He was my husband. We are separated. We are not divorced because we
were married as Roman Catholics. We are separated. There will never be
anything else between us."
Julien remained silent. It was so hard to say anything. The woman's
tone told him that around her speech hovered a tragedy.
"Now you know that Herr Freudenberg is my husband," she asked, "are you
not a little afraid to be sitting here by my side?"
"Why should I be?"
"Don't you know," she continued, "that he is your enemy?"
Julien looked grave.
"No, I have scarcely realized that," he answered. "I think, perhaps,
when he reads yesterday's papers he may be feeling like that. At
present, so far as he knows, what have I done?"
"You," she said, "were the only man who ever stood up to him, who ever
dealt a blow at his political supremacy. At the Conference of Berlin
you triumphed. German papers politely, and in a very veiled manner,
reminded him of his defeat. It was not a great matter, it is true, but
none the less the Conference of Berlin was the first diplomatic failure
in which he had ever been concerned, and you were responsible for it."
"You think, then," Julien remarked, "that he still harbors a grudge
against me for that?"
"Without a doubt. Now tell me what you mean when you speak of
"I am writing a series of articles," Julien told her. "They commenced
yesterday. They will appear in a French paper - _Le Grand
Journal_ - and in the English _Post_. They are written with the
sole idea of attacking Herr Freudenberg. When he reads the first, he
will understand - he will be my enemy."
She held out her hand.
"Then say good-bye to me now, my friend," she murmured, "for you will
Julien laughed scornfully.
"We do not live in those days," he reminded her. "We fight with the
pen, with diplomacy, with all the weapons of statecraft and intrigue,
if you will. But this is not now the Paris of Dumas. One does not
"My friend," she said earnestly, "you do not know Herr Freudenberg. If
indeed you have become during these last few days his enemy, by this
time next week you will surely have passed into some other sphere of
activity. There are no methods too primitive for him, no methods too
subtle or too cruel. He can be the most charming, the most winning, the
most generous, the most romantic person who ever breathed; or he can be
a Nero, a cruel and brutal butcher, a murderer either of reputations or
bodies - he cares little which."
"Presently," Julien declared, "I shall begin to feel uncomfortable."
"Oh! you have courage, of course," she admitted, with a scornful little
shrug of the shoulders. "No one has ever denied that to your race. But
you have also the unconquerable stupidity which makes heroes and
victims of your soldiers."
"Well, I am at least warned, and for that I thank you. Now let me ask
you another question. You have told me this very strange thing about
yourself and Herr Freudenberg. You have told me of your feelings
concerning him. Yet you have not really told me exactly on what terms
you are with him at present? Forgive me if I find this important."
"I do not receive him," she replied. "I have no interest in his comings
or his goings. I have a solemn promise, a promise to which he has
subscribed upon his honor, that he shall not seek to cross the
threshold of my house. He sent me an ambassador once quite lately to
make me a certain proposition connected with you."
"With me?" Julien repeated.
"He has great faith in my powers," she went on, looking him full in the
face, "also, apparently, some belief in your susceptibility. Is that
unkind of me? Never mind, it is the truth. He imagined, perhaps, that I
might help him to rid Paris of your presence. There was just one thing
he could offer me which I desired. He came to offer it."
"You refused?" Julien exclaimed.
Her eyes rested upon his. Her expression was faintly provocative.
"How could I accept an offer," she asked, "to deal with a thing which
did not belong to me? You have shown no signs at present, Sir Julien,
of becoming my abject slave."
The car rushed through a straggling village. All the time she was
watching him. Then she threw herself back among the cushions with a
"A week or so ago," she murmured, "I had a fancy that if I had
tried - well, that perhaps you were not so different from other men. I
should have loathed my conquest, I should probably have loathed you,
but I think that I should have expected it. At the present moment," she
went on, glancing into a little gold mirror which she had picked up
from a heap of trifles lying on the table before her, "at the present
moment I am disillusioned. My vanity is wounded though my relief is
great. Nevertheless, Sir Julien, tell me what has happened to you
during the last few days?"
"Work," Julien replied, "the sort of work I was craving for."
"Not only that," she insisted, setting down the mirror with a sigh.
"There is something else."
"If there is," Julien assured her, "I am not yet conscious of it."
They had emerged from the country lane along which they had been
traveling and were returning now to Paris along the broad highroad.
They were going at a fair speed when suddenly a huge racing car came
flashing by them, covered with dust, and with all the indications of
having come a great distance. Madame Christophor leaned forward in her
seat and clutched her companion's arm. Her eyes were fixed upon the
figure of the man leaning back by the side of the driver.
"You see?" she muttered.
"Herr Freudenberg!" Julien gasped.
She nodded. Already the car had vanished in a cloud of dust.
"He is just from Germany or from the frontier. He very seldom comes all
the way by rail. The car is always waiting."
"I shall see him, then, to-night," Julien declared. "Already, without a
doubt, he knows. Already he is my enemy. What about you, Madame
"My friend," she promised, "you will have nothing to fear from me. So
long as I can forget your sex, I rather like you."
"Are you going to answer my question about the little girl who sent me
to you?" he asked.
"I will tell you, if you like," she said. "Mademoiselle Senn was once
in my service. She occasionally executes commissions for me in London.
She knows everybody. It was in obedience to my wishes that she gave you
"But why?" Julien demanded. "What interest had you in me?"
"None," she answered a little coldly, - "no personal interest. I sent
that message because I discovered that the individual who has just
passed us in the automobile was framing certain schemes in connection
with you if you should come to Paris. Politically as well as personally
he and I are enemies. He hates America and the whole Anglo-Saxon race.
It has amused me more than once to thwart his schemes. I intended to
set you upon your guard. You see, it is very simple. Mademoiselle Senn
wrote me at first that she did not know you and that she feared you
were inaccessible. Then she wired me of an accidental meeting and that
she had delivered my message. The whole affair is simpler than it
seemed, is it not so?... Now listen. I have satisfied your curiosity.
You now shall answer a question. Who is Miss Clonarty?"
Julien gazed at her in astonishment.
"Miss Clonarty?" he repeated.
Madame Christophor nodded.
"The name seems to surprise you. A young English woman called on me
to-day in answer to my advertisement for a secretary who could write
and speak English. She said that her name was Miss Anne Clonarty and
she referred me to you."
"If she is the lady whom I suppose she is," Julien replied, "you will
be perfectly safe in engaging her."
Madame Christophor looked at him from underneath the lids of her eyes.
"Do you think that I do not know?" she asked, with a shade of contempt
in her tone, - "that I do not sometimes read the papers? Do you think
that I have not seen that Lady Anne Clonarty, the girl whom you were
engaged to marry, disappeared from her home the other day, on the eve
of her marriage to another man? It is this girl who comes to me for my
situation, is it not so?"
Julien was silent.
"I knew nothing of her coming. I did not even know that you wanted a
"I wonder why she came to Paris," Madame Christophor remarked. "Is she
in love with you?"
"There was never any question of anything of the sort," Julien declared
"You have seen her since she arrived in Paris?"
"Entirely by accident. I saw her alight from the train. I was at the
Gare du Nord to meet Kendricks."
Madame Christophor leaned back in her seat.
"Is it your wish that I engage her?"
"Certainly," Julien replied. "I am sure that you will find her
competent. At the same time, I don't know how long she will keep this
"As a rule I do not care for handsome women around me," Madame
Christophor said composedly. "Lady Anne is much too good-looking to
please me. She has all the freshness and vitality," she added, dropping
her voice a little, "which seem to have left me forever."
"You have experience," Julien reminded her. "Experience in itself is
wonderful, even though one has to pay for it."
They were in the streets of Paris now. Madame Christophor shrugged her
shoulders and sat up.
"It is one of the misfortunes of my sex," she said, a little bitterly,
"that without experience we lack charm - in the eyes of you men, that is
to say. It is your own folly.... Are you coming home with me, my
friend, or shall I set you down somewhere?"
"As near the Gare du Nord as possible, if you please," Julien begged.
"I have wearied you enough for one afternoon."
Madame Christophor looked at him thoughtfully. There was a slight frown
upon her forehead.
"Somewhere near the Gare du Nord!" she repeated.
THE FIRST ARTICLE
Julien found Lady Anne in a small, stuffy apartment on the third floor
of the house in the Rue St. Antoine. Before her was a sewing-machine,
and the floor of the room was littered with oddments of black calico.
She herself was seated apparently deep in thought before an untrimmed
"What on earth, my dear Anne," he exclaimed, "are you doing?"
She merely glanced up at his entrance. Her eyes were still far away.
"Don't interrupt," she begged. "I am seeking for an inspiration. In my
younger days I used to trim hats. I don't suppose anything I could do
would be of any use here, but one must try everything."
"But I thought," he protested, "that you were going to be a lady's
secretary, or something of that sort?"
"I have applied for a situation," she admitted. "I am not engaged yet.
By the bye, I gave your name as a reference. I wonder if there is any
chance for me."
"As a matter of fact," he told her, "I have just left the lady whose
advertisement you answered."
"Madame Christophor. If you are really anxious for that post, I can
assure you that it is yours."
She flung the hat to the other end of the room.
"Good!" she exclaimed. "I don't think this sort of thing is in my line
at all. Tell me, is Madame Christophor half as charming as she looks?"
"I have known her only a short time," Julien replied, "but she is
certainly a very wonderful woman."
"What does she do," Lady Anne asked, "to require a secretary?"
"She is a woman of immense wealth, I believe," Julien answered, "and
she has many charities. She is married, but separated from her husband.
I think, on the whole, that she must have led a rather unhappy life."
"I think it is very extraordinary," Lady Anne remarked, "that she
should be willing to take a secretary who knows nothing of typewriting
or shorthand. I told her how ignorant I was, but she didn't seem to
Julien sat down by the side of the sewing-machine.
"Anne," he began, "do you really think you're going to care for this
sort of thing?"
"What sort of thing?" she demanded.
"Why, life on your own. You have been so independent always and a
person of consequence. You know what it means to be a servant?"
"Not yet," Lady Anne admitted. "I think, though, that it is quite time
I did. I am rather looking forward to it."
Julien was a little staggered. She looked over at him and laughed
"After all," she said, "I am not sure, Julien, whether you are a person
of much understanding. You proposed to me because I happened to be the
sort of girl you were looking for. My connections were excellent and my
appearance, I suppose, satisfactory. You never thought of me myself, me
as an independent person, in all your life. Do you believe that I am
simply Lady Anne Clonarty, a reasonable puppet, a walking doll to
receive some one's guests and further his social ambitions? Don't you
think that I have the slightest idea of being a woman of my own? What's
wrong with me, I wonder, Julien, that you should take me for something
"You acted the part," he reminded her.
"With you, yes!" she replied scornfully. "I should like to know how
much you encouraged me to be anything different. A sawdust man I used
to think you. Oh, we matched all right! I am not denying that. I was
what I had to be. I sometimes wonder if misfortune will not do you
"Misfortune is lending you a tongue, at any rate," he retorted.
"As yet," she objected, "I know nothing of misfortune. The impulse
which led me to chuck things was just the most wonderful thing that
ever came to me in life. I awoke this morning feeling like a freed
woman. I sang while I got up. It seemed to me that I had never seen
anything so beautiful as the view of Paris from my poky window. And I
got up without a maid, too, Julien. I had no perfectly equipped
bathroom to wander into. Not much luxury about these rooms of
He glanced at her admiringly.
"You certainly look as though the life agreed with you," he answered.
"Put on your hat and come out to dinner."
She rose to her feet at once.
"I have been praying for that," she confessed. "You know, Julien, I
should starve badly. The one thing I can't get rid of is my appetite.
You don't expect me to make a toilette, because I can't?"
"Nothing of the sort," he assured her. "Come as you are."
She kept him waiting barely five minutes. She was still wearing her
smart traveling suit and the little toque which she had worn when she
left home. She walked down the street with him, humming gayly.
"Have you read the English papers this morning, Julien?" she asked.
"Not thoroughly," he admitted.
"Columns about me," she declared blithely. "The general idea is that I
am suffering from a lapse of memory. They have found traces of me in
every part of England. Not a word about Paris, thank goodness!"
"But do you mean to say that no one has an idea of where you are? Won't
your mother be anxious?"
"Not a bit of it," Lady Anne laughed. "I left a note for her, just to
say that she wasn't to worry. She knows I'll take care of myself all
right. Julien, don't you love these streets and their crowds of people?
Every one looks as though they were on a holiday."
"So they are," Julien replied. "Life is only a holiday over here. In
England we go about with our eyes fixed upon the deadliest thing in
life we can imagine. Over here, depression is a crime. They call into
their minds the most joyous thing they can think of. It becomes a
habit. They think only of the pleasantness of life. They keep their
troubles buried underneath."
"It is the way to live," she murmured.
"This, at any rate," he answered, leading the way into Henry's "is the
place at which to dine. Just fancy, we were engaged for three months
and not once did I dine with you alone! Now we are not engaged and we
think nothing of it."
"Less than nothing," she agreed, "except that I am frightfully hungry."
They found a comfortable table. Julien took up the menu and wrote out
the dinner carefully.
"In this country," he said, leaning back, "we are spared the barbarity
of table d'hote dinners. Therefore we must wait, but what does it
matter? There is always something to talk about."
"I am glad to hear that you feel like that, Julien. I remember
sometimes when we were alone together in England, we seemed to find it
a trifle difficult."
"Since then," he replied, "we have both burst the bonds - I of
necessity, you of choice."
"I don't believe," she declared, helping herself to _hors
d'oeuvres_, "that we are either of us going to be sorry for it."
"One can never tell. So far as you are concerned, I haven't got over
the wonder of it yet. You never showed me so much of the woman
throughout our engagement as you have shown me during the last few
"My dear Julien," she protested, "you didn't know where to look for it.
Why does this funny little man with the mutton-chop whiskers hover
around our table all the time?"
"He is distressed," Julien explained, "to see you eating so much bread
and butter. He fears that you will not have an appetite for the very
excellent dinner which I have ordered."
"He is right," she decided. "Never mind, I will leave the rolls alone.
I am still, I can assure you, ravenous."
She leaned back and, looking out into the room, began to laugh. People
who passed never failed to notice her. She was certainly a
striking-looking girl and she had, above all, the air.
"Julien," she cried, "this is really too amusing! Did you see who went
by just then? It was Lord Athlington - my venerable uncle - with the lady
with the yellow hair. He saw you here with me - saw us sitting together
alone, having dinner - me unchaperoned, a runaway! Isn't it delicious?"
Julien looked after his companion's elderly relative with a smile.
"I wonder," he remarked, "whether your uncle's magnificent
unconsciousness is due to defective eyesight or nerve?"
"Nerve, without a doubt," she insisted. "We all have it. Besides, don't
you see he's changed their table so as to be out of sight? I wonder
what he really thinks of me! If we'd belonged even to the really smart
set in town, it wouldn't have been half so funny. They do so many
things that seem wrong that people forget to be shocked."
"I can conceive," he murmured, "that your mother's ambitions would
scarcely lead her in that direction."
Lady Anne shrugged her shoulders.
"I don't think she could get in if she tried. The really disreputable
people in Society are so exclusive. I wonder, Julien, if I shall be
allowed to come out and dine with you when I am Madame Christophor's
"Once a week, perhaps," he suggested, - "scarcely oftener, I am afraid."
"Ah! well," she declared, "I shall like work, I am convinced. Julien,
you are spoiling me. I am sure this is a _cuisine de luxe_. I told
you to take me to a cheap restaurant."
"We will try them all in time," he answered. "I had to start by taking
you to my favorite place."
"You really mean, then," she asked, "that you are going on being nice
to me? Of course, I haven't the slightest claim on you. I suppose, as a
matter of fact, I treated you rather badly, didn't I?"
"Not a bit of it," he assured her. "I was a failure, that was all. But
of course I am going on being nice to you. There aren't too many people
over here whom one cares to be with. There aren't very many just now,"
he continued, "who care to be with me."
"Idiotic!" she replied. "Tell me about this work of yours?"
He explained Kendricks' idea. Her eyes glistened.
"It's really splendid," she declared. "How I should love to have seen
your first article!"
"You shall read it afterwards," he told her. "I have a copy of _Le
Grand Journal_ in my overcoat pocket."
She beckoned to the _vestiaire_.
"I will not wait a moment," she insisted. "I shall read it while dinner
is being served. It's a glorious idea, this, to fight your way back
with your pen. There are those nowadays who tell us, you know, Julien,
that there is more to be done through the Press than in Parliament.
Your spoken words can influence only a small number of people. What you
write the world reads."
She explained what she desired to the _vestiaire_. He reappeared a
minute or two later with the newspaper. She spread it out before her.
Julien read it over her shoulder. He himself had seen it before, but
his own eyes were the brighter as he reread it. When she had finished
she said very little. They ate the first course of their dinner almost
in silence. Then she laid her hand suddenly upon his.
"Julien, dear," she said, "I have done you a wrong. I am sorry."
"A wrong?" he repeated.
She looked at him almost humbly. There was something new in her eyes,
something new in her expression.
"I am afraid," she continued, "that I never looked upon you as anything
more than the ordinary stereotyped politician, a skilful debater, of
course, and with the chessboard brains of diplomacy. This," - she
touched the newspaper with her forefinger - "this is something very
"Do you like it, then?"
"Like it!" she repeated scornfully. "Can't you feel yourself how
different it is from those precise, cynical little speeches of yours?
It is as though a smouldering bonfire had leapt suddenly into flame.
There is genius in every line. Go on writing like that, Julien, and you
will soon be more powerful than ever you were in the House of Commons."
He laughed. It was absurd to admit it, but nothing had pleased him so
much since the coming of his misfortune! She was thoughtful for some
time, every now and then glancing back at the newspaper. Over their
coffee she broke into a little reminiscent laugh.
"Did I tell you about Mrs. Carraby?" she asked. "Mother and I met her
at Wumbledon House, two or three days after her husband's appointment
had been confirmed. I can see her now coming towards us. There were so
many people around that she had to risk everything. Oh, it was a great