Save for this derelict figure and some few dirty utensils
"Is it not a compliment," said a heavy voice, "to bring six large men to subdue monsieur?"
"Oh, you are there, my frien'! In the rear - a little in the rear, I think. Ha, ha!"
The Frenchman's play with his weapon was a revelation of skill, the more extraordinary as he held in his hand only a light dress sword. But the ring closed about him, and his keen defense could not avail him for more than a few moments. Lady Mary's outriders, the gallants of her escort, rode up close to the coach and encircled it, not interfering.
"Sir Hugh Guilford!" cried Lady Mary wildly, "if you will not help him, give me your sword!" She would have leaped to the ground, but Sir Hugh held the door.
"Sit quiet, madam," he said to her; then, to the man on the box, "Drive on."
"If he does, I'll kill him!" she said fiercely. "Ah, what cowards! Will you see the Duke murdered?"
"The Duke!" laughed Guilford. "They will not kill him, unless - be easy, dear madam, 'twill be explained. Gad's life!" he muttered to Molyneux, "'Twere time the varlet had his lashing! D'ye hear her?"
"Barber or no barber," answered Molyneux, "I wish I had warned him. He fights as few gentlemen could. Ah - ah! Look at that! 'Tis a shame!"