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CHAPTER 14 (continued)
"Such as he may care but little for house or shelter, and night dew can never wet a body that passes its days in the water," returned the scout, grasping the shoulder of Heyward with such convulsive strength as to make the young soldier painfully sensible how much superstitious terror had got the mastery of a man usually so dauntless.
"By heaven, there is a human form, and it approaches! Stand to your arms, my friends; for we know not whom we encounter."
"Qui vive?" demanded a stern, quick voice, which sounded like a challenge from another world, issuing out of that solitary and solemn place.
"What says it?" whispered the scout; "it speaks neither Indian nor English."
"Qui vive?" repeated the same voice, which was quickly followed by the rattling of arms, and a menacing attitude.
"France!" cried Heyward, advancing from the shadow of the trees to the shore of the pond, within a few yards of the sentinel.
"D'ou venez-vous--ou allez-vous, d'aussi bonne heure?" demanded the grenadier, in the language and with the accent of a man from old France.
"Je viens de la decouverte, et je vais me coucher."
"Etes-vous officier du roi?"
"Sans doute, mon camarade; me prends-tu pour un provincial! Je suis capitaine de chasseurs (Heyward well knew that the other was of a regiment in the line); j'ai ici, avec moi, les filles du commandant de la fortification. Aha! tu en as entendu parler! je les ai fait prisonnieres pres de l'autre fort, et je les conduis au general."
"Ma foi! mesdames; j'en suis fÉche pour vous," exclaimed the young soldier, touching his cap with grace; "mais -- fortune de guerre! vous trouverez notre general un brave homme, et bien poli avec les dames."
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