underfoot. At the top of the hill she glanced back. Harwin
"Perhaps so; but is it a practical one?"
"I see o reason why it should not be."
"Indeed, then, you look at the thing in a very different manner to myself. We are too far advanced, my dear doctor, to be our own masters. We must go on, and have no option to do otherwise. To beat a retreat would simply be to invite our enemies to fall upon our disorganized battalions. We must give battle; and as the first to strike has always the best chance of victory, we must strive to take the initiative."
"The idea is good, but these are mere words."
"Was the secret that we confided to De Croisenois only words?"
"Do you mean that you think he would betray us?" said he.
"Why should he not if it were to his interests to do so? Reflect, Croisenois is almost at the end of his tether. We have dangled the line of a princely fortune before his eyes. Do you think he would do nothing if we were to say, 'Excuse us, but we made a mistake; poor as you are, so you must remain, for we do not intend to help you?' "
"But is it necessary to say that at all?"