I choked back an exclamation The tavern keeper was staring at us curiously, so I motioned Nanette to come into the room I had, and, closing the door, I bade her tell me all she knew. First I repeated, briefly, how I had met Sir George; though I said nothing of the Royal warrant.

Then Nanette related how she had long been in the service of the de Guilfort family. Some years before, while in Paris, Sir George Keith had met Lucille, fallen in love with her, and they were engaged to wed. Then came the disclosure of how lightly Sir George held the honor of his promised wife. He had an affair with a notorious woman, and it was the talk of the court, in the circle of which the de Guilforts moved. Stung and ashamed at the effront, Lucille had quarreled with my lord, 188and, with bitter words, the troth was broken. Then, smarting under the tongue of gossip, M. de Guilfort, with his daughter and niece, had set sail for the new land, and Nanette accompanied them.

Then Lucille is not his wife?” I asked again, hardly able to believe the good news.

Never! Never! Never!” cried Nanette, with such earnestness that she could scarce cease her nevers.”

But does she not love him?” I inquired, tortured by a new doubt.

Voila!” burst out Nanette, with a shrug of her shoulders. You must know if she loves you, Captain, and that should be an answer enough for any man.”

It is,” I said, and I was as happy as I had been sad.

But where is Mistress de Guilfort, now?” asked Nanette.

Where?” I exclaimed. How should I know? I have not seen her since the day I sailed against St. Johns. You may have heard how, on the night of my return from Pemaquid, I was taken for a witch. I met Sir George that day, and learned from him that my promised wife was his wedded one.”

Which was a lie,” broke in Nanette.

Aye, so it seems.”

Then you have not seen her in Boston?” went on Nanette.

In Boston? Here? Why, how should I, having only just arrived? But what would bring her here?”

189Listen,” began the woman, speaking rapidly. She heard of your arrival in Salem, and thought you would have come to her at once.”

So I would, but for what Sir George told me,” I answered.

She sat long that night, expecting you,” said Nanette.

I choked back an exclamation. Lucille had been waiting for me when I looked in on her through the window, and whispered a good bye.

The next morning,” Nanette continued, word came of your arrest. My mistress, knowing full well, from a bitter experience, the temper of the witch-crazed people and that of the courts, wasted no time. She felt, she said, that reason would not prevail, and that you would be condemned, and so she resolved to go to Boston, and try to secure a pardon for you, from His Excellency, Governor Phips. This would be of more service than all the proofs of law, in freeing you from the sentence. She found a farmer who was going from Salem to Boston that day.