ined. The officer's incredulous gaze grew more so as the lad went on with his story. When the lad had finished, he said simply:
"I don't believe you!"
Hal was angry in a second. He took a step toward the officer.
"What do you mean by that?" he demanded.
The officer stood his ground.
"Just what I say," he replied. "I don't believe you. The tale you tell is impossible."
Chester stepped into the breach. He took Hal by the arm.
"Of course such a tale is hard to believe," he said. "But, nevertheless, it is true. We carry an important message for the Grand Duke."
"Well," said the officer, "I don't think you will see him. He is too busy to give up his time to listen to such a tale as yours."
But at this moment a second officer, apparently the other's superior, approached. To him, upon request, Hal repeated his story. This officer also looked incredulous, but the result was different.
"You tell a very strange story," he said, "but it is not for me