Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Stories and Tales >> The Unknown Masque: A Sketch of the Crescent City >> Page 204

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Short Stories | U of South Carolina P | 1974
Transcription 204THE UNKNOWN MASQUE
"My dear Madame, no more than this, that, however grateful to
me is what I now gather from your lips, this is the first moment
when you have spoken to me on the subject."
"What! you forget ! "
"On my honor"
"Ah, Monsieur, how can this be so—when but a few moments
ago, we were interrupted by that ever troublesome Parisian who
would be a Count Poniatowski."
"You have been deceived. I was not with you at that moment.
I was not present at such an interruption."
"Impossible."
"It is true! This is the first moment to-night, when I have been
honored with your conversation."
"Ciel ! and to whom have I spoken! There are two then."
"Two!"
"Yes ! yes! Two Egyptians. Monsieur F if you love me,
find out the other, and bring him to me. Remember no strife, no
quarrel—I must not be compromised."

This was the substance of what I got from F., and what took
place between himself and the woman he pursued, and who certainly
seemed to favor him. I told him what I had seen of the Egyptian
whom I had approached, and who did not seem to know me.
"He, then, is the intruder, for I have not been near you since we
parted, when you were looking at your watch. You must join me in
the search for him. We will separate for this purpose. I will take
one route, you the other. The word between us shall be what?"
"Right! Ready ! "
"Be it so! Spoken only by myself. You will need none ! "
Turning to separate, we met the very person we were preparing to
seek. His habit seemed the very fac simile of that of R. F. His
person was the same in height and bulk. No wonder that Madame
de B should be deceived. R. F. instantly approached him. His
anxiety as to what had taken place between the stranger and the
lady, the doubt lest she might be compromised, the vexation that
the other had listened to words meant only for him, and words too,
which, if they were of the kind to which he had been a brief listener,
were of too precious a description to be lavished idly,—these con-