The Lighted Match (Chapter 19)

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Chapter 19 : Page 1 of 10

"When the Duke avowed himself to be kidnaped, he committed an error so
grave that it can hardly be--overestimated." The speaker used the last
word as an afterthought. His first inclination was to say, forgiven.

Monsieur Jusseret sat upright in the brougham, scorning the supporting
cushions at his back. His small, shrewd eyes frowned his deep
disapproval over the roofs of Algiers outspread below him. He scowled on
the gaudy and tatterdemalion color of the native city. He scowled on the
smart brilliancy of the French quarter basking along the Place du
Government and the Boulevard de la Republique.

The Countess Astaride leaned back and smiled from the depths of the
cushions.

"It is usually a mistake to be made a prisoner," she smiled.

"But such a foolish mistake," quarreled Jusseret. "To permit oneself to
be lured into so palpable a trap. It is most absurd."

"Now that it is done," inquired the woman, "is it not almost as absurd
to waste time deploring the spilled milk? We must find a way to set him
free."

"I have done all that could be done. I have stationed men whom I can
trust throughout Puntal and Galavia. They are men Karyl likewise thinks
he can trust. The distinction is that I know--where he merely thinks."

"And these men--what have they done?" The Countess laid one gloved hand
eagerly on the Frenchman's coat-sleeve.


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