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Synopsis

"Who is this Mornay?”

Captain Cornbury paused to kindle his tobago.

“Mornay is of the Embassy of France, at any game of chance the luckiest blade in the world and a Damon for success with the petticoats, whether they’re doxies or duchesses.”

“Soho! a pretty fellow.”

“A French chevalier—a fellow of the Marine; but a die juggler—a man of no caste,” sneered Mr. Wynne.

“He has a wit with a point.”

“Ay, and a rapier, too,” said Lord Downey.

“The devil fly with these foreign lady-killers,” growled Wynne again.

“Oh, Mornay is a man-killer, too, never fear. He’s not named Bras-de-Fer for nothing,” laughed Cornbury.

“Bah!” said a voice near the door. “A foundling—an outcast—a man of no birth—I’ll have no more of him.”

Captain Ferrers tossed aside his coat and hat and came forward into the glare of the candles. Behind him followed the tall figure of Sir Henry Heywood, whose gray hair and more sober garb and lineaments made the gay apparel of his companion the more splendid by comparison. Captain Ferrers wore the rich accouterments of a captain in the Body-guard, and his manner and address showed the bluster of a bully of the barracks. The face, somewhat ruddy in color, was of a certain heavy regularity of feature, but his eyes were small, like a pig’s, and as he came into the light they flickered and guttered like a candle at a puff of the breath. There were lines, too, at the corners of the mouth, and the pursing of the thin lips gave him the air of a man older than his years.

“Come, Ferrers,” said Cornbury, good-naturedly, “give the devil his due.”

Wynne laughed. “Gawd, man! he’s givin’ him his due. Aren’t you, Ferrers?”

The captain scowled. “I’ faith I am. Two hundred guineas again last night. May the plague take him! Such luck is not in nature.”

“He wins upon us all, by the Lord!” said Cornbury, stoutly.

Heywood sneered. “Bah! You Irish are too easy with your likes—”

“And dislikes, too,” returned Cornbury, with a swift glance.

“Faugh!” snapped Ferrers. “The man saved your life, but you can’t thrust him down our throats, Captain Cornbury.”

“He’s cooked his goose well this time, thank God!” said Wynne. “We’ll soon be rid of him.”

“Another duel?” asked Heywood, carelessly.

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