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thing that Trelane would soon have an opportunity of once more meeting with Madeleine d'Elmar, a certain sense of the awkwardness that must of necessity attend such a meeting was not slow in finding its way into the Englishman's mind. Had he any right to pursue these ladies after they had so evidently shown their wish to keep out of his way? Was he not in danger of finding himself in what is called a false position? Nay, was he not even exposing himself to a risk of insult? Then he had not seen, or communicated with, these ladies since that day when, in the fever of an irritability produced by illness, and acting under something very like a sense of injury, he had so abruptly left the shelter of Madame d'Elmar's roof. Would not a meeting, the first after that sudden change of residence, have of necessity much of awkwardness attending it? To set against all these misgivings, Trelane had just one argument, but it was a very simple and powerful one-he must see Madeleine again. He must find out whether she herself wished that all intercourse should cease between them, or whether she was simply powerless in the hands of her aunt and Alexis d'Elmar, and under their influence acting against her own inclination. And once for all, also, he desired to ascertain what that influence of d'Elmar's was based upon, and whether this man had any hold upon the girl herself, other than that of a sort of self

constituted guardian, to whose advice she was compelled to listen. So Trelane set off for the Place de la Regence, a prey to a considerable amount of misgiving, but with a fixed purpose, nevertheless. M. Morlot, who had already found out the locality, went with him in the capacity of guide.

These two passed along the pleasant streets of Bourges, and by its pretty appetizing market, and so got at last to the outskirts of the town, and stopped at No. 14 in the Place de la Regence.

Our major might have spared himself all his misgivings as to what might be the nature of his interview with Madame d'Elmar and her niece. The landlady of No. 14, who confronted him as soon as he had put his foot across the threshold, did not leave him long in doubt as to what had become of her lodgers.

"Ah, monsieur," she said, in answer to his inquiries, "the lady, her niece, and her servant, all left this morning before break of day."

Trelane was speechless. He felt now how much he had depended on that interview which he had dreaded so much.

"Their departure," the good woman continued, "was very sudden, and had taken place before the expiration of the term for which they had taken the apartments-which they had paid for honourably, of course

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"Was there any motive for that sudden depar ture?" Trelane interrupted, hastily.


Monsieur, on the previous afternoon Madame d'Elmar received a letter, she" (the landlady) "believed it was a telegraphic despatch. Immediately after its reception, madame had announced her intended departure, and had, indeed, been busy packing up during the greater part of the night."

"And have you any idea where they are gone?" asked' Trelane, eagerly.


Ah, monsieur,” replied the landlady, "I know no more than the dead."

"But did they not go by railroad?"

"Monsieur, I think not. It was a carriage of Monsieur Legrand's."

"Who is Monsieur Legrand?"

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Monsieur, he is a horse-dealer in the town, who also lets out carriages. The carriage was packed as if for a long journey, and it did not go in the direction of the station."


'But, madame, did you not hear any direction given when they started?" asked our Englishman.

"Monsieur, none whatever. The coachman was closeted with madame and mademoiselle in the salon for some time before they set off, and it was then, probably, that he received his instructions."

Trelane remained silent. There could be no doubt now that these two ladies absolutely shrank from the chance of meeting him. But why? Was it

their own wish, then, to avoid him, or were they acting under some influence which they dared not resist?

Trelane was fully convinced that this last supposition was the right one. That letter, which was, no doubt, as this good woman supposed, a telegraphic despatch, came beyond question from d'Elmar. His friend and emissary, Lieutenant Tronchet, had heard Trelane asking for a ticket for Bourges; he had returned to his principal, and this last had at once telegraphed to his relative, bidding her leave the town without loss of time, and leave it in a way which should make it difficult to trace the direction in which she had gone.

Trelane was interrupted in making these reflections by the landlady of the house, who, speaking perhaps with an eye to business, said,—

"Would monsieur like to see the apartments; they are just as madame left them, a good deal disordered; but they are the prettiest apartments in the town, for all that, and have a charming view over the Place."

Trelane followed this honest woman almost mechanically, and soon found himself in a salon on the first floor, which, if it did not carry out the vaunt of its proprietress, was yet quite pretty enough to justify her in a high tone of eulogium when speaking of it.

There were not wanting evidences that the room

had been recently occupied. The furniture was displaced. Pieces of rope, used in cording boxes, lay about here and there. The remains of a meal, evidently breakfast, lay on the table. There was a "Galignani's Messenger" lying on one of the sofas, and on a small table drawn near to the window, and by the side of which was a little fauteuil covered with deep crimson velvet, was a portion of a tangled skein of cotton, such as ladies use in working on cambric. Trelane took it up gently in his hand. He had frequently seen Madeleine use such cotton when she sat at work in the old rooms at Versailles during the period of our hero's convalescence.

All this time the worthy lady of the house was entertaining our Englishman with more praises of her apartments, of which he did not hear one word, while Monsieur Morlot, who had not hitherto spoken, but had listened very attentively to everything that was to be heard, and observed everything that was to be seen with equal assiduity, was poking about the room, apparently with no object but the gratification of an inquisitive nature.

"Morlot, what are you doing?" at length inquired his master, suddenly becoming conscious that his eccentric attendant was on his knees before the fireplace grubbing among the ashes of the recentlyextinguished fire.

"Monsieur, I am seeking for traces of these ladies, something that might help to guide monsieur in his

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