"Magnifique!" ejaculated the Countess de Coude, beneath her breath.
The Countess de Coude beckoned to a passing steward.
It was he who sat opposite the new player, Count Raoul de Coude, whom at over-attentive steward had pointed out as one of the celebrities of the passage, describing him as a man high in the official family of the French minister of war.
"Why, this is Count de Coude, of France." "If I am mistaken," said the accuser, "I shall gladly apologize; but before I do so first let monsieur le count explain the extra cards which I saw him drop into his side pocket."
The man who had accused De Coude, and the two others who had been playing, stood looking expectantly at the count.
"No, monsieur," said De Coude. "I will submit to a search only at the hands of a gentleman."
De Coude had glanced from Tarzan to the man in his grasp.
"Let us hope not, monsieur," said De Coude; "but yet it will do no harm to be on the alert, and to know that you have made at least one enemy today who never forgets and never forgives, and in whose malignant brain there are always hatching new atrocities to perpetrate upon those who have thwarted or offended him.
In a nearby cabin the Countess de Coude was speaking to her husband.
De Coude took his wife's hands in his, and gazed upon her pale and troubled countenance for some time before he spoke, as though he would wrest from those beautiful eyes the real reason which prompted her to shield this man.
"I should today have liked to sample the consistency of his," growled De Coude grimly.
Squires were running hither and thither, or aiding their masters to don armor, lacing helm to hauberk, tying the points of ailette, coude
, and rondel; buckling cuisse and jambe to thigh and leg.