As I was more plainly dressed than Parabere, and had been giving no orders, I wondered how he knew; but I answered, without any remark, "Well, sir; and what of that?"
"You are in great danger," he replied.
He shrugged his shoulders. "Not I," he said, "but those who speak by me. Enough that you are in danger."
"From what?" I asked sceptically; while my companions stared, and the troopers and servants, who were just within hearing, listened open-mouthed.
"A one-eyed woman and a one-eyed house," he answered darkly. Then, before I could frame a question, he turned from me as abruptly as he had come, and, mounting a sorry mare that stood near, stumbled away through the ford.
It required little wit to see that the man was an astrologer, and one whose predictions, if they had not profited his clients more than himself, had been ominous indeed. I was inclined, therefore, to make sport of him, knowing that the pretenders to that art are to the true men as ten to one. But his words, and particularly the fact that he had asked for nothing, had impressed my followers differently; so that they talked of nothing else while we ate, and could still be heard discussing him in the saddle. The wildness of the road and the gloomy aspect of the valley had doubtless some effect on their minds; which a thunderstorm that shortly afterwards overtook us and drenched us to the skin did not tend to lighten. I was glad to see the roofs of Saury before us; though, on a nearer approach, we found all the houses except the inn ruined and tenantless; and even, that scorched and scarred, with the great gate that had once closed its courtyard prostrate in the road before it.
However, in view of the country we had come through, and the general desolation, we were thankful to find things no worse. The village stood at the entrance to a gorge, with the Creuse-- here a fast-rushing stream--running at the back of the inn. The latter was of good size, stone-built and tiled, and, at first, seemed to be empty; but the servants presently unearthed a man and then a boy. Fires were lit, and the horses stabled; and a second room with a chimney being found, Parabere and I, with Colet and my gentlemen, took possession of it, leaving the kitchen to my following.
I had had my boots removed, and was drying my clothes and expecting supper, when Boisrueil, who was beside me, uttered an exclamation of amazement.
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