"No man could be more prudent than yourself, sir," said he, laughing, "to come to a rendezvous in a carriage; truly, that is a wise and, I think on this occasion, well-grounded precaution."
"A forethought which I have exercised on your account," said the baron, gravely. "You, sir, will require a carriage, and knowing you, as a stranger, had no carriage in Berlin, I brought mine. It shall be at your service."
"Vraiment! you are too good! I hope, however, not to make use of your offer."
Now, according to custom, Ranuzi drew near the baron to make a last attempt at reconciliation. He answered sternly: "You know that I am not to blame, and therefore will take no step in this matter. I suppose, Count Belleville is as little disposed as myself to make apologies."
"I intend to prove to you, sir baron, that I am a nobleman and a brave one; and as to the nuts which I cracked behind the queen, my only regret is, that they, like every thing else in your detested Berlin, were hollow--"
"No, sir, they were not at all hollow," said Baron Marshal, drawing up the cock of his pistol; "in one of those nuts I saw a death-worm, which will soon bore into your flesh."
He bowed to Belleville and took the place pointed out by his second. The second of Belleville then drew near, and led him to the outermost point of the line.
The Frenchman laughed aloud. "How," said he, "you will take me to the end of the world to secure me from the ball of my enemy?"