Come on, I tell you. There, I'm not speaking boastingly, Denis, my lad. I am no master of fence, but I can do precisely what I please with your weapon, disarm you at every encounter, or turn your point whichever way I choose. There: you see." For nettled by his words, and in a futile effort to prove that they were untrue, the lad attacked sharply once again, made about a dozen passes, to find himself perfectly helpless in his adversary's hands, and at last stopped short, lowered his point to the floor, and stood with both hands resting on the hilt.
"You are right, sir," he said. "It's horrible. I thought I could; but I can't fence a bit."
At that moment there was a sharp click of the outer door, and the doctor hurriedly began to sheathe his rapier, but not quickly enough for his action to be unseen. The arras was thrown aside, and a tall handsome young cavalier strode into the ante-chamber and stopped short in astonishment.
"Words and wonder!" he cried. "A duel? or young Denis defending h