"Do so, sir; do so!" replied the lieutenant obligingly.
After the departure of Captain Blomsberry, the lieutenant and some officers were standing together on the poop.
That is the cause of this embarrassment; that is the cause of this hesitation; that is the cause of this order -- `Monsieur the lieutenant
of my musketeers, be on horseback to-morrow at four o'clock in the morning.' Which is as clear as if he had said, -- `Monsieur the lieutenant
of my musketeers, to-morrow, at four, at the bridge of Blois -- do you understand?' Here is a state secret, then, which I, humble as I am, have in my possession, while it is in action.
There was something curious in this little in- tent pause of the lieutenant. He was like a babe which, having wept its fill, raises its eyes and fixes upon a distant toy.
The silent ranks were suddenly thrilled by the eager voice of the youthful lieutenant bawling out: "Here they come!
The concentrated gaze of a hidden observer provokes a warning sensation of nervous unrest in such as these, but though twenty pairs of savage eyes were gazing fixedly at Lieutenant Harold Percy Smith-Oldwick, the fact aroused no responsive sensation of impending danger in his placid breast.
Lieutenant Smith-Oldwick realized in a quick glance that the direction of their approach and their proximity had cut off all chances of retreating to his plane, and he also understood that their attitude was entirely warlike and menacing.
returned his civility, commended his resolution, shook him by the hand, and invited him to dine with himself and the rest of the officers.
Dudley pushed through the ranks from his place in the rear.
"Don't be alarmed," said the lieutenant
. "The heat has overcome her--that's all."
Lieutenant Charpentier ordered a clearing made and a circular abatis of underbrush constructed about the camp.
When all was safe as possible against attack of wild beasts and savage men, Lieutenant Charpentier placed sentries about the little camp and the tired and hungry men threw themselves upon the ground to sleep.