You are worthy to belong to the Grand Company! Retract that toast instantly, or you shall drink it in blood-retract, I say!" The guests rose to their feet in terrible uproar. The odor of this room stifles me!" "You are not going to leave us, Le Gardeur!" Varin called, across the table, "and break up good company? Babet Le Nocher, in a new gown, short enough to reveal a pair of shapely ankles in clocked stockings and well-clad feet that would have been the envy of many a duchess, sat on the thwart of the boat knitting. "Le Gardeur de Repentigny is the son of my dear old seigneur. Here and there a vacant or overturned chair showed where a guest had fallen in the debauch and been carried off by the valets, who in gorgeous liveries waited on the table.