important to say."
The Duchess was a little taken aback. To her it seemed a social
cataclysm, something unheard of, that her daughter should propose to be
any one's secretary. Yet this woman, who was certainly of her own
order, had accepted the thing as entirely natural - had dismissed it,
even, with a few casual remarks. Julien, who since Madame Christophor's
arrival had been standing in his place, was somewhat perplexed.
"You are lunching here?" he asked.
"With the Servian Minister's wife. I shall excuse myself early. It is a
vital necessity that we talk for a few minutes before you leave here.
Five minutes ago I sent a note to your rooms."
"I shall be at your service," Julien replied slowly.
"I shall expect you in the morning," Madame Christophor said, smiling
at Lady Anne. "Don't be later than ten o'clock. I am always at home
after four, Duchess, if you are spending any time in Paris," she added.
They watched her as she passed to the little group who were awaiting
her arrival. She was certainly one of the most elegant women in the
room. Lady Anne looked after her with a faint frown.
"I wonder," she murmured, "if I shall like Madame Christophor?"
"I had no idea, Julien," the Duchess remarked, "that you were friendly
Julien evaded the question.
"At any rate," he said, turning to Anne, "this will be better for you
than making bows."
"I suppose so," she assented. "All the same, I am very much my own
mistress in that dusty little workshop. If Madame Christophor - isn't
that the name she chooses to be called by? - becomes exacting, I am not
even sure that I shan't regret my bow-making."
"Tell me exactly how long you have known her, Julien!" the Duchess
"Since my arrival in Paris this time," Julien answered. "I had - well, a
sort of introduction to her."
"She is received everywhere," the Duchess continued, "because I know
she visits at the house of the Comtesse Deschelles, who is one of the
few women in Paris of the old faction who are entirely exclusive. At
the same time, I am told that she leads a very retired life now, and is
more seen in Bohemia than anywhere. I am not at all sure that it is a
desirable association for Anne."
"Well, you can leave off troubling about that," Anne said. "Remember,
however much we make believe, I have really shaken the dust of
respectability off my feet. Hamilton Place knows me no longer. I am a
dweller in the byways. Even if I come back, it will be as a stranger.
People will be interested in me, perhaps, as some one outside their
lives. 'That strange daughter of the poor dear Duchess, you know,' they
will say, 'who ran away to Paris! Some terrible affair. No one knows
the rights of it.' Can't you hear it all? They will be kind to me, of
course, but I shan't belong. Alas!"
The Duchess was studying her bill and wondering how much to tip the
waiter. She only answered absently.
"My dear Anne, you are talking quite foolishly. I wish I knew," she
added plaintively, a few minutes later, "what you have been reading or
whom you have been meeting lately."
"Don't bother about me," Anne begged. "What you want to do now is to
tell Parkins to pack up your things and I'll come and see you off by
the four o'clock train. Julien must wait outside for my future
employer. What I really think is going to happen is that she's going to
ask for my character. Julien, be merciful to me! Remember that above
all things I have always been respectable. Remind her that if I were
too intelligent I should probably rob her of her secrets or money or
something. I am really a most machine-like person. Nature meant me to
be secretary to a clever woman, and my handwriting - don't forget my
handwriting. Nothing so clear or so rapid has ever been seen."
The Duchess signed her bill, slightly undertipped the waiter and
accepted his subdued thanks with a gracious smile.
"I can see," she said, as they left the room, "that I shall have to
wash my hands of you. Nevertheless, I shall not lose hope."
She shook hands solemnly with Julien, and he performed a like ceremony
with Lady Anne.
"When shall I see you again?" he asked the latter.
"You had better question Madame Christophor concerning my evenings
out," she replied. "It is not a matter I know much about. I am sure you
are quite welcome to any of them."
Julien found a seat in the broad passageway. Several acquaintances
passed to and fro whom so far as possible he avoided. Madame
Christophor came at last. She was the centre of the little party who
were on their way into the lounge. When she neared Julien, however, she
paused and made her adieux. He rose and waited for her expectantly.
"We are to talk here?" he asked.
"In that corner."
She pointed to a more retired spot. He followed her there.
"Order some coffee," she directed.
He obeyed her and they were promptly served. She waited, chatting idly
of their luncheon party, of the coincidence of meeting with the
Duchess, until they were entirely freed from observation. Then she
leaned towards him.
"Sir Julien," she said, "I have read your articles, the first and the
second. You are a brave man."
"Are you going to warn me once more against Herr Freudenberg?" he
She shook her head.
"If you do not know your danger," she continued, "you would be too
great a fool to be worth warning. Remember that Freudenberg came from
Berlin as fast as express trains and his racing-car could bring him,
the moment he read the first."
"I have already had a brief but somewhat unpleasant interview with
him," Julien remarked.
"I congratulate you," she went on. "Unpleasant interviews with Herr
Freudenberg generally end differently. Now listen to me. I have a
proposition to make. There is one house in Paris where you will be
safe - mine. I offer you its shelter. Come there and finish your work."
Julien made no reply. He sipped his coffee for a moment. Then he turned
"Madame Christophor," he said, "once you told me that you disliked and
distrusted all men. Why, then, should I trust you?"
She winced a little, but her tone when she answered him was free of
"Why should you, indeed?" she replied. "Yet you should remember that
the man against whose cherished schemes your articles are directed is
the man whom I have more cause to hate than any other in the world."
"Herr Freudenberg," he murmured.
"Prince Adolf Rudolf von Falkenberg," she corrected him. "Do you know
the story of my married life?"
"I have never heard it," he told her.
"I will spare you the details," she continued. "My husband married me
with the sole idea of using my house, my friends, my social position
here for the furtherance of his schemes. Under my roof I discovered
meetings of spies, spies paid to suborn the different services in this
country - the navy, the army, the railway works. When I protested, he
laughed at me. He made no secret of his ambitions. He is the sworn and
inveterate enemy of your country. His feeling against France is a
slight thing in comparison with his hatred of England. For the last ten
years he has done nothing but scheme to humiliate her. When I
discovered to what purpose my house was being put, I bade him leave it.
I bade him choose another hotel, and when he saw that I was in earnest,
he obeyed. It is one of the conditions of our separation that he does
not cross my threshold. That is why I say, Sir Julien, that you have
nothing to fear in accepting the shelter of my roof."
"Madame Christophor," Julien said earnestly, "I am most grateful for
your offer. At the same time, I honestly do not believe that I have
anything to fear anywhere. Herr Freudenberg has made one attempt upon
me and has failed. I do not think that he is likely to risk everything
by any open assaults. In these civilized days of the police, the
telephone and the law courts, one is not so much at the mercy of a
strong man as in the old days. I do not fear Herr Freudenberg."
Madame Christophor shrugged her shoulders.
"My friend," she admitted, "I admire your courage, but listen. You say
that one attempt has already been made to silence you. For every letter
you write, there will be another made. At each fresh one, these
creatures of Herr Freudenberg's will have learned more cunning. In the
end they are bound to succeed. Why risk your life? I offer my house as
a sanctuary. There is no need for you to pass outside it. You could
take the exercise you require in my garden, which is bounded by four of
the highest walls in Paris. You can sit in a room apart from the rest
of the house, with three locked doors between you and the others. You
may write there freely and without fear."
"I am afraid it is my stupidity," he said, "but I cannot possibly bring
myself to believe in the existence of any danger. I will promise you
this, if I may. If any further attempt should be made upon me, any
attempt which came in the least near being successful, I will remember
your offer. For the present my mind is made up. I shall remain where I
She shrugged her shoulders.
"Not that, by any means," he assured her heartily. "You know that I am
grateful. You know that if I refuse for the moment your offer it is not
because I mistrust you. I simply feel that I should be taking elaborate
precautions which are quite unnecessary."
"I might even spare you," she remarked, smiling, "Lady Anne for your
"Even that inducement," he answered steadily, "does not move me."
"You will have your own way," she said, "and yet there is something
rather sad about it. I know so much more of this Paris than you. I know
so much more of Herr Freudenberg. Remember that there are a quarter of
a million Germans in this city, and of that quarter of a million at
least twenty thousand belong to one or the other of the secret
societies with which the city abounds. All of them are different in
tone, but they all have at the end of their programme the cause of the
Fatherland. By this time you will have been named to them as its enemy.
Twenty thousand of them, my friend, and not a scruple amongst the lot!"
He moved in his place a little restlessly.
"One does not fight in these ways nowadays," he protested.
"Pig-headed Englishman!" she murmured. "You to say that, too!"
His thoughts flashed back to those few moments of vivid life in his own
rooms. He thought of Freudenberg's calm perseverance. An uncomfortable
feeling seized him.
"I do not know," she went on, leaning a little towards him, "why I
should interest myself in you at all."
"Why do you, then?" he asked, looking at her suddenly.
She played with the trifles that hung from her chatelaine. He watched
for the raising of her eyes, but he watched in vain. She did not return
his inquiring look.
"Never mind," she said, "I have warned you. It is for you to act as you
think best. If you change your mind, come to me. I will give you
sanctuary at any time. Take me to my automobile, please."
He obeyed her and watched her drive off. Then he went slowly and
unmolested back to his rooms.
THE SECOND ATTEMPT
The concierge of Julien's apartments issued with a somewhat mysterious
air from his little lodge as his tenant passed through the door. He was
a short man with a fierce, bristling moustache. He wore a semi-military
coat, always too short for him, and he was so stout that he was seldom
able to fasten more than two of the buttons of his waistcoat.
"What is it, Pierre?" Julien asked. "Any callers for me?"
"There have been callers, indeed, monsieur," Pierre replied, "callers
whose errand I do not quite understand. They asked many questions
concerning monsieur. When they had finished, the man - bah! he was a
German! - he thrust into my hand a hundred franc note. He said, 'No word
of this to Monsieur Sir Julien!' I put the note into the bottom of my
trousers pocket, but I made no response. I am not dishonorable. I keep
the note because these men should think me craven enough to give them
information, to hear their questions, and to say nothing to monsieur,
one of my own lodgers! It was an insult, that. Therefore I keep the
hundred franc note. Therefore I tell monsieur all that these two men
"You showed," Julien declared, "a rare and excellent discretion.
"They asked questions, monsieur, on every conceivable subject," Pierre
continued. "Their interest in your doings was amazing. They asked what
meals you took in the house, at what hour you went out and at what hour
you returned. Then the shorter of the two wished to take the room above
yours. I asked him more than double the price, but he would have
engaged it. Then I told him that I was not sure. There was a gentleman
to whom it was offered. They come back this afternoon to know the
"If they find a lodging in this house," Julien said, "I fear that I
"It shall be," Pierre decided, "as monsieur wishes. I am not to be
tempted with money when it comes to a question of retaining an old
tenant. The room is let to another. It is finished."
Julien climbed the stairs thoughtfully to his apartments, locked
himself in and sat down before his desk. For an hour or more he worked.
Then there came a timid knock at the door. He looked around, frowning.
After a moment's hesitation he affected not to notice the summons, and
continued his work. The knocking came again, however, low but
persistent. Julien rose to his feet, turned the key and opened the
"Mademoiselle!" he exclaimed, genuinely surprised.
It was Mademoiselle Ixe who glided past him into the room. She signed
to him to close the door. He did so, and turning slowly faced her. She
was standing a few yards away, her lips a little parted, pale
notwithstanding the delicately artistic touch of coloring upon her
cheeks. Her hands were crossed upon the jade top of her lace parasol.
In her muslin gown and large hat she formed a very effective picture as
she stood there with her eyes now fixed upon Julien.
"Mademoiselle," he began, "I do not quite understand."
"Look outside," she begged. "See that there is no one there. I am so
afraid that I might have been followed."
Julien stepped out onto the landing and returned.
"There is no one about at all," he assured her.
She drew a little sigh.
"But it is rash, this! Monsieur Sir Julien, you are glad - you are
pleased to see me? Make me one of your pretty speeches at once or I
"But, mademoiselle," Julien said, wheeling a chair towards her, "who
indeed could be anything but glad to see you at any time? Yet forgive
me if I am stupid. Tell me why you have come to see me this afternoon
and why you are afraid that you are followed?"
"Why?" she murmured, looking up into his eyes. "Ah, Monsieur Sir
Julien, it is hard indeed to tell you that!"
Mademoiselle Ixe was without doubt an extraordinarily pretty young
woman. She was famous even in Paris for her figure, her looks, the
perfection of her clothes, the daintiness and distinction of those
small adjuncts to her toilette so dear to the heart of a Parisienne.
Julien looked at her and sighed.
"Perhaps, mademoiselle," he said, "you will find it hard also to tell
me whether you come of your own accord or at the instigation of Herr
She looked genuinely hurt. Julien, however, was merciless.
"It is, perhaps, because Herr Freudenberg has told you that I once lost
great things through trusting a woman that you think to find me an easy
victim?" he went on. "Come, am I to give you those sheets over there,"
he added, pointing to his writing-table, "and promise for your sake
never to write another line, or have you more serious designs?"
"Monsieur Julien," she faltered, -
He suddenly changed his tone.
"Am I cruel?" he asked. "Forgive me, mademoiselle - forgive me,
She held out her delicately gloved hand towards him; her face she
turned a little away and one gathered that there were tears in her eyes
which she did not wish him to see.
"Take off my glove, please," she whispered. "I did not think you would
be so cruel even for a moment."
He took her fingers in his, fingers which promptly returned his
pressure. His right arm stole around her.
"Monsieur Sir Julien," she continued very softly, "please promise that
you will speak to me no more now of Herr Freudenberg. Tell me that you
are glad I have come. Say some more of those pretty things that you
whispered to me in the Rat Mort."
His arm tightened about her. She was powerless.
"Julien!" she murmured.
He laughed quietly. Suddenly she struggled to escape from him.
"Let me go!" she cried. "Sir Julien, but you are rough. Monsieur!"
He flung her from him back into the chair. In his left hand he held the
pistol he had taken from the bosom of her gown - a dainty little affair
of ivory and silver. He turned it over curiously. She lay back in the
chair where he had thrown her, gripping its sides with tremulous
fingers, her eyes deep-set, distended, staring at him. He thrust the
weapon into his pocket.
"Really," he said, "I thought better of Herr Freudenberg. Why doesn't
he come himself?"
"Oh, he will come!" she answered.
"Will he?" Julien replied. "I should have thought better of him if he
had come first, instead of sending a woman to do his work."
She sat up in the chair. Julien had known well how to rouse her.
"You do not think that he is afraid?" she cried. "Afraid of you? Bah!
For the rest, it was I who insisted on coming. He was troubled. I knew
why. I said to myself, 'It is a risk I will take. I will go to Sir
Julien's rooms. I will shoot him. I will pretend that it was a love
affair. I will go into court all with tears, I will wear my prettiest
clothes, nothing indeed will happen. An affair of jealousy - a moment of
madness. One takes account of these things. Then Herr Freudenberg
himself has great friends here, friends in high places. He will see
that nothing happens.'"
"A very pretty scheme," Julien remarked sarcastically. "Supposing,
however, I turn the tables upon you, mademoiselle. You are here and I
have taken away this little plaything. Would Herr Freudenberg be
jealous if he knew, I wonder?"
She glanced at the door.
"Locked," Julien continued grimly. "Do you still wish me to come and
make pretty speeches to you?" he added. "You are certainly looking
very charming, mademoiselle. Your gown is exquisite. What can I do more
than echo what all Paris has said - that there is no one of her
daughters more bewitching? Can you wonder if I lose my head a little
when I find you here with me in my rooms - a visit, too, of pure
She rose to her feet. The patch of color upon her cheeks had become
"You will let me go?" she faltered.
Julien unlocked the door.
"Mademoiselle," he answered, "I shall most certainly let you go. Permit
me to thank you for the pleasure which your brief visit has afforded
The door was opened before her. Julien stood on one side. The smile
with which he dismissed her was half contemptuous, half kindly. Upon
the threshold she hesitated.
"If there were no Herr Freudenberg," she whispered, "if it were not my
evil fortune, Monsieur Sir Julien, to love him so foolishly, so
absolutely, so that every moment of separation is full of pain, every
other man like a figure in a dream - if it were not for this, Monsieur
Sir Julien, I do not think that I should like to leave you so easily!"
Julien made no reply. She passed out with a little sigh. He heard the
flutter of her laces and draperies as she crossed the passage and
commenced the descent of the stairs. Julien was closing the door when
he heard a familiar voice and a heavy footstep. Kendricks, with a
Gladstone bag in his hand, came bustling up.
"Julien, you dog," he exclaimed savagely, "you're at it again! Why the
devil can't you keep these women at arm's length? What has that pretty
little creature of Herr Freudenberg's been doing here?"
Julien laughed as he closed the door.
"Don't be a fool, David! She wasn't here at my invitation."
"Tears in her eyes!" Kendricks muttered. "Sobbing to herself as she
went down the steps! Crocodile's tears, I know. These d - d women,
Julien! Out with it. What did she come for?"
Julien produced the pistol from his pocket.
"It was," he explained, "her amiable intention to please her lord and
master at the slight expense of my life. Fortunately, the game was a
new one to her and she kept on feeling the bosom of her gown to see
whether the pistol was there still."
"What did you do?" Kendricks demanded.
"What was there for me to do?" Julien replied. "I took her little toy
away and told her to run off. This is the second time, David. Estermen
and Freudenberg have had a shy at me here themselves, and they'd have
gotten me all right but for an accident. I won't tell you what the
accident was, for the moment, owing to your peculiar prejudices. How
are things in London?"
Kendricks threw himself into an easy-chair and began to fill his pipe.
"Julien," he declared, "you've done the trick! I'm proud of my advice,
proud of the result. There isn't a club or an omnibus or a tube or a
public-house where that letter of yours isn't being talked about. They
tell me it's the same here. Have you seen the German papers?"
"Never was such a thunderbolt launched," Kendricks continued. "They are
all either stupefied or hysterical. Freudenberg left Berlin an hour
after he saw the article. You tell me you've met him already?"
"Yes, he's been here," Julien replied. "He offered to make me a Croesus
if I'd stop the letters. When I refused, well, we had a scuffle, and by
Jove, they nearly got me! He means to wipe me out."
"We'll see about that!" Kendricks muttered. "I'm not going to leave
your side till we're through with this little job."
"Madame Christophor suggested that I should go there and finish,"
Julien said. "What do you think of that?"
"Madame Fiddlesticks!" Kendricks retorted angrily. "The wife of
Falkenberg! Do you want to walk into the lion's jaws?"
"She is separated from her husband," Julien reminded him. "My own
impression is that she hates him."
"I'd never believe it," Kendricks insisted. "The fellow has the devil's
own way with these women. Look at that little wretch I met on the
stairs. A harmless, flirting little opera singer a year ago. Now she'd
come here and murder a man against whom she hasn't the slightest
grudge, for his sake. I tell you the fellow's got an unwholesome
influence over every one with whom he comes in contact."
"Have you read to-day's letter?" Julien asked abruptly.
"Read it! Man alive, it made the heart jump inside me! I tell you it's
set the war music dancing wherever a dozen men have come together. I
always thought you had a pretty gift as a maker of phrases, Julien, but
I never knew you dipped your pen in the ink of the immortals. I tell
you no one doubts anything you have written. That's the genius of it.
No one denies it, no one attempts arguments, every one in England and
France whose feelings have been ruffled is already wanting to shake
hands all over again. One sees that giant figure, the world's
mischief-maker, suddenly caught at his job. It's gorgeous! How about
"Half written," Julien declared, pointing to his table.
Kendricks went to the door and locked it, went to the cupboard and
brought out the whiskey and soda, undid his Gladstone bag, buttoned a
life preserver on his left wrist, and laid a Mauser pistol on the table
by the side of him.
"Julien," he said, "I feel like the biggest ass unhung, but I am here
with my playthings to be watchdog. Get to your desk and write, man. One
drink first. Come."
They raised their glasses.
"What have you called number three?" Kendricks asked.
"'A Maker of Toys!'" Julien replied.
"Here's damnation to him!" Kendricks said, raising the glass to his
lips. "Now get to work, Julien."
BY THE PRINCE'S ORDERS
Once more mademoiselle sat beneath a canopy of pink roses, surrounded
by obsequious waiters, with the murmur of music in her ears, opposite
the man she adored. Yet without a doubt mademoiselle was disturbed. Her
fixed eyes were riveted upon the newspaper which Herr Freudenberg had
passed into her hand. She was suddenly very pale.
"Send some of these people away," she begged. "I am frightened."
Herr Freudenberg smiled. With a wave of his hand they were alone.