or evaporation, which experimenters assumed was due to

Published on 2023-12-03 00:03:11 source:Spring Breeze and Summer Rain

"But, sire," I answered, looking sternly round the grinning circle, "am I mad, or is there some mystery here? I assured your Majesty yesterday that Mademoiselle D'Oyley was not in my house. I say the same to-day. She is not; your officers may search every room and closet. And for the woman whom M. Pimentel has carried off, she is no more Mademoiselle D'Oyley than I am; she is one of my wife's waiting-maids. If you doubt me," I continued, "you have only to send and ask. Ask the Portuguese himself."

or evaporation, which experimenters assumed was due to

The King stared at me. "Nonsense!" he said, sharply. "If Pimentel has carried off anyone, it must be Mademoiselle D'Oyley."

or evaporation, which experimenters assumed was due to

"But it is not, sire," I answered with persistence. "He has broken into my house, and abducted my servant. For Mademoiselle, she is not there to be stolen."

or evaporation, which experimenters assumed was due to

"Let some one go for Pimentel," the King said curtly.

But the Portuguese, as it happened, was at the door even then, and being called, had no alternative but to come forward. His face and mien as he entered and reluctantly showed himself were more than enough to dissipate any doubts which the courtiers had hitherto entertained; the former being as gloomy and downcast as the latter was timid and cringing. It is true he made some attempt at first, and for a time, to face the matter out; stammering and stuttering, and looking piteously to the Queen for help. But he could not long delay the crisis, nor deny that the person he had so cunningly abducted was one of my waiting-women; and the moment that this confession was made his case was at an end, the statement being received with so universal a peal of laughter, the King leading, as at one and the same time discomfited him, and must have persuaded any indifferent listener that all, from the first, had been in the secret.

After that he would have spent himself in vain, had he contended that Mademoiselle D'Oyley was at my house; and so clear was this that he made no second attempt to do so, but at once admitting that his people had made a mistake, he proffered me a handsome apology, and desired the King to speak to me in his behalf.

This I, on my side, was pleased to take in good part; and having let him off easily with a mild rebuke, turned from him to the Queen, and informed her with much respect that I had learned at length where Mademoiselle D'Oyley had taken refuge.

"Where, sir?" she asked, eyeing me suspiciously and with no little disfavour.

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