Anxious to turn the subject, Servadac took the earliest opportunity of asking, "And what about Madame de L----?"
"Madame de L-----!" exclaimed the colonel, taking the words out of his mouth; "the lady is married long ago; you did not suppose that she was going to wait for you. 'Out of sight, out of mind,' you know."
"True," replied Servadac; and turning to the count he said, "Do you hear that? We shall not have to fight our duel after all."
"Most happy to be excused," rejoined the count. The rivals took each other by the hand, and were united henceforth in the bonds of a sincere and confiding friendship.
"An immense relief," said Servadac to himself, "that I have no occasion to finish that confounded rondo!"
It was agreed between the captain and the count that it would be desirable in every way to maintain the most rigid silence upon the subject of the inexplicable phenomena which had come within their experience. It was to them both a subject of the greatest perplexity to find that the shores of the Mediterranean had undergone no change, but they coincided in the opinion that it was prudent to keep their bewilderment entirely to themselves. Nothing induced them to break their reserve.
The very next day the small community was broken up.
The _Dobryna's_ crew, with the count and the lieutenant, started for Russia, and the Spaniards, provided, by the count's liberality, with a competency that ensured them from want, were despatched to their native shores. The leave taking was accompanied by genuine tokens of regard and goodwill.