afternoon was dark—lighted by two swinging lanterns suspended from the low roof. By that illumination Father Anthony saw two men stripped naked, save for a loincloth, and circling each other slowly in the center of a ring which was fenced in with ropes and floored with a padded mat.

Of the two wrestlers, one was a veritable giant, swarthy of skin, hairy-chested. His great hands were extended to grasp or to parry—his head lowered with a ferocious scowl—and across his forehead swayed a tuft of black, shaggy hair. He might have stood for one of those northern barbarians whom the Romans loved to pit against their native champions in the arena. He was the greater because of the opponent he faced, and it was upon this opponent that the eyes of Father Anthony centered.

Like Father Victor, he was caught first by the bright hair. It was a dark red, and where the light struck it strongly there were places like fire. Down from this hair the light slipped like running water over a lithe body, slender at the hips, strong-chested, round and smooth of limb, with long muscles leaping and trembling at every move.

He, like the big fighter, circled cautiously about, but the impression he gave was as different from the other as day is from night. His head was carried high; in place of a scowl, he smiled with a sort of eagerness, a light which was partly exultation and partly mischief sparkled in his eyes. Once or twice the giant caught at the other, but David slipped from under the grip of Goliath easily. It seemed as if his skin were oiled. The big man snarled with anger, and lunged more eagerly at Pierre.

The two, abandoning their feints, suddenly rushed together, and the swarthy arms of the monster slipped around the white body of Pierre. For a moment they whirled, twisting and struggling.

“Now!” murmured Father Victor; and as if in answer to a command, Pierre slipped down, whipped his hands to a new grip, and the two crashed to the mat, with Pierre above.

“Open your eyes, Father Anthony. The lad is safe. How Goliath grunts!”

The boy had not cared to follow his advantage, but rose and danced away, laughing softly. The Canuck floundered up and rushed like a furious bull. His downfall was only the swifter. The impact of the two bodies sounded like hands clapped together, and then Goliath rose into the air, struggling mightily, and pitched with a thud to the mat.

He writhed there, for the wind was knocked from his body by the fall. At length he struggled to a sitting posture and glared up at the conqueror. The boy reached out a hand to his fallen foe.

“You would have thrown me that way the first time,” he said, “but you let me change grips on you. In another week you will be too much for me,bon ami .”

The other accepted the hand after an instant of hesitation and was dragged to his feet. He stood looking down into the boy's face with a singular grin. But there was no triumph in the eye of Pierre—only a good-natured interest.

“In another week,” answered the giant, “there would not be a sound bone in my body.”


“You have seen him,” murmured the tall priest. “Now let us go back and wait for him. I will leave word.”

He touched one of the two or three men who were watching the athletes, and whispered his message in the other's ear. Then he went back with Father Anthony. “You have seen him,” he repeated, when they sat once more in the cheerless room. “Now pronounce on him.”

The other answered: “I have seen a wonderful body—but the mind, Father Victor?”

“It is as simple as that of a child—his thoughts run as clear as spring water.”

“But suppose a strange thought came in the mind of your Pierre. It would be like the pebbles in swift-running spring water. He would carry it on, rushing. It would tear away the old boundaries of his mind—it might wipe out the banks you have set down for him—it might tear away the choicest teachings.”

Father Victor sat straight and stiff with stern, set lips. He said dryly: “Father Anthony has been much in the world.”

“I speak from the best intention, good father. Look you, now, I have seen that same red hair and those same lighted blue eyes before, and wherever I have seen them has been war and trouble and unrest. I have seen that same smile which stirs the heart of a woman and makes a man reach for his revolver. This boy whose mind is so clear—arm him with a single wrong thought, with a single doubt of the eternal goodness of God's plans, and he will be a thunderbolt indeed, dear Father, but one which even your strong hand could not control.”

“I have heard you,” said the priest; “but you will see. He is coming now.”

There was a knock at the door; then it opened and showed a modest novice in a simple gown of black serge girt at the waist with the flat encircling band. His head was downward; it was not till the blue eyes flashed inquisitively up that Father Anthony recognized Pierre.

The hard voice of Jean Paul Victor pronounced: “This is that Father Anthony of whom I have spoken.”

The novice slipped to his knees and folded his hands, while the plump fingers of Father Anthony poised over that dark red hair, pressed smooth on top where the skullcap rested. The blessing which he spoke was Latin, and Father Victor looked somewhat anxiously toward his protege till the latter answered in a diction so pure that Cicero himself would have smiled to hear it.

“Stand up!” cried Father Anthony. “By heavens, Jean Paul, it is the purest Latin I have heard this twelvemonth.”

And the lad answered: “It must be pure Latin; Father Victor has taught me.”

Gabrielle Anthony stared, and to save him from too obvious confusion the other priest interrupted: “I have a letter for you, my son.”

And he passed the envelope to Pierre. The latter examined it with interest. “This comes from the south. It is marked from the United States.”

“So far!” exclaimed the tall priest. “Give me the letter, lad.”

But here he caught the whimsical eyes of Father Anthony, and he allowed his outstretched hand to fall. Yet

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