"Have you got anything for me?"
"No, sir," she replied. "But her Ladyship wishes to meet you. You are pleased to make a rendezvous."
This was clever and suited me; knowing that she must have procured something of importance, I selected a little café, the Boulanger, close to the station, and after giving the girl a louis, I jumped into a carriage and drove there. In a short time I was joined by the Countess who had thrown a hooded mantle over a brilliant evening gown. Quietly slipping into a chair next to me she took some folded papers out of her glove, and while fastening a little rosebud into my lapel slipped them into my pockets with the words:
"All I could obtain, but you'll find it sufficient. I'm leaving for Rome to-morrow night. Bon voyage!"
I looked at my watch and saw I had time to catch the train for Milan. No sooner was I locked in my coupé and the train in motion, when I had a good look at the papers. They were two half sheets of note paper, embossed with the princely coat of arms and containing abbreviated sentences of dates, and names and a route, all in the handwriting of Delcasse and the Prince. The whole gist with her repeated, overheard snatches of conversation showed clearly an intended secret visit of the President of France to the Czar of Russia, the names of the officials to be present and the meeting place, the Czar's yacht, the Staandart, off Kronstadt. This meeting, however, did not take place, the Kaiser forestalling it by his quick action on.