"Money is always useful, Frank," she said, when he protested that he was amply supplied, "and if you should ever find that your allowance is insufficient write to me. I know that you are not in the least likely to be extravagant or foolish, but you see what a scrape your brother has got into, without any fault of your own, and you may also find yourself in a position where you may want money. If you do, write to me at once."
"So he has not come back with you, Frank. It is dreadful. What are they going to do with him?"
"No. I asked the servant, when I got home at three, whether he had returned, though I did not expect him back so soon, and she said that he had not come in, and I am sure he has not done so since."
"It would be the best thing you could do, Julian, but, of course, there is no hurry about it. What part of the country would you prefer to settle in?"
"And quite good enough without any others," the Frenchman said.
"I will carry out the commission that you have given me to the best of my abilities, Count; and will endeavour to act as if my brother was an entire stranger."
"There is one thing I want to speak to you about, Sir Robert," he said presently. "It is about Strelinski. I have been thinking that perhaps, as war is about to break out between Russia and France, you might be kind enough to get a post for him as interpreter at the War Office or Foreign Office."
After three months the gunmaker no longer accompanied Frank to his shooting-gallery.
Laying the sleeping child down, he covered her over with his cloak. Then he broke up some woodwork, cut a portion of it into small pieces, mixed the contents of a cartridge with a little snow and placed it among them, and then drew the charge from his musket, put a little powder into it, and discharged it into the heap. In a few minutes a bright fire was blazing, and taking the child in his arms, he lay down before it, and was soon asleep. He was awakened some time afterwards by a strange noise. He sprang up at once, threw some fresh wood on the embers, and, grasping his musket, stood listening. In a minute the noise was renewed; something was scratching at the door, and a moment later he heard a pattering of feet overhead. Then came a low whimper and a snarl, and the truth at once rushed upon him. He was surrounded by wolves.
"To think that I should never have known it," Julian said. "If I had dreamt of it I would have attempted to break out from Verdun, and make my way home. I don't know that I should have succeeded, but at any rate I should have tried. But tell me all about it, Frank; my story will keep just at present."
FOLLOWING A TRAIL