It is not often that an honorable man commits a theft and yet leaves no stain upon his honor. It can happen still less often that a man of honor robs the lady he loves and honors above all womankind, and wins her hand in marriage by the act. Yet before we were married I robbed my wife of forty thousand pounds, breaking into her house to steal it; and here-now that we are both old-she is still so proud of me for having done that, that she must needs make me tell the story.
at he is not telling the truth, but I fenced for a time.
"And the count's alive, you say?"
"Alive? I saw him barely six weeks ago. I'll tell you all about it." He leaned forward in his chair, and I would have sworn that he was inventing as he went on. "I was at a little place called Itzia, in the Tyrol, when by pure chance I stumbled on a fellow I had known in Paris and Vienna--a fellow named Reschia, Lieutenant Reschia. He was on General Radetsky's staff when I knew him first--an empty-headed fellow rather; but a man's glad to meet anybody in a place like Itzia; and when he asked me to dine with him at the fortress, I was jolly glad to go. 'We've got an old file here,' he told me, 'the Italians would give anything to get hold of if they only knew where he was. I believe they'd tear the place down with their nails to get at him.' It was after dinner, and he was ridiculously confidential. He pledged me to secrecy of course, and of course I told him that I should respect any confidence he reposed