"Without that we be so advanced in the Count's intimacy," replied Arafrantz, "I cannot deny, madame la comtesse, that we have taken advantage of his graciousness all day. After inviting us to nuncheon, he accompanied us to an execution, and thereafter granted us the liberty of his eagle."

"You know him then?"

"Yes and no."

"I see that you have spent too much time in the company of us elves," said the Countess. "Will you not tell me the story?"

"Wait at least until the story has achieved its dénouement."

"What is his name?"

"The Count of Monte Fato, simply."

"And who presented you to him?"

"He presented himself to us."

"And did you meet the lovely spider-woman?"

"No, though I think we heard her sing. Sad and sweet was the sound of her voice in the clear night air."

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