Beverly of Graustark (The Best Sellers of 1904)

 
9780742611368: Beverly of Graustark (The Best Sellers of 1904)
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Excerpt: ...snarled Marlanx. "Why don't you do it, sir, and let us have the benefit of your superior intelligence? No, gentlemen, all this prating of loyalty need not deceive us," he cried, springing to his feet. "The fellow is nothing more nor less than an infernal spy-and the Tower is the place for him! He can do no harm there." "If it were my intention to do harm, gentlemen, do you imagine that I should withhold my information for days?" asked Baldos. "If I am a spy, you may rest assured that Count Marlanx's kindnesses should not have been so long disregarded. A spy does not believe in delays." "My-my kindnesses?" cried Marlanx. "What do you mean, sir?" "I mean this. Count Marlanx," said Baldos, looking steadily into the eyes of the head of the army. "It was kind and considerate of you to admit me to the fortress-no matter in what capacity, especially at a critical time like this. You did not know me, you had no way of telling whether my intentions were honest or otherwise, and yet I was permitted to go through the fort from end to end. No spy could wish for greater generosity than that." An almost imperceptible smile went round the table, and every listener but one breathed more freely. The candor and boldness of the guard won the respect and confidence of all except Marlanx. The Iron Count was white with anger. He took the examination out of Lorry's hands, and plied the stranger with insulting questions, each calm answer making him more furious than before. At last, in sheer impotence, he relapsed into silence, waving his hand to Lorry to indicate that he might resume. "You will understand, Baldos, that we have some cause for apprehension," said Lorry, immensely gratified by the outcome of the tilt. "You are a stranger; and, whether you admit it or not, there is reason to believe that you are not what you represent yourself to be." "I am a humble guard at present, sir, and a loyal one. My life is yours should I prove otherwise." Yetive whispered...

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