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cumstances, which yielded no positive answered, and when she did, her tones deduction.
were so faint and tremulous that it was What was to be done? At first, I felt quite impossible to distinguish them. strongly disposed to return to the village “She has consented,” exclaimed the other and get my troops under arms. ; but my female; “ up then, if you be a man!" interest to discover whether Rusen and So intense was my excitement that the Dorothea met at so strange a time, and whole scene was, as it were, branded in so strange a place, was unconquer- upon my heart. The parties moved away, able, heightened too by their manifest and with stealthy pace I followed. A connexion with what I now began to minute after, the light was seen ascendconsider a watchword. I resolved finally, ing, as if spontaneously, the face of the since I was so far on the road, to satisfy cliff. Its position enabled me to hit upon myself first in this matter, and then the steps, which, without a moment's hasten to Salurn and Trent, and take the hesitation, I began to mount. They necessary precautions.
were almost perpendicular-slippery and Accordingly, I pushed on my way, dangerous; but, as if by instinct, my nor relaxed in my pace, although I had feet fixed themselves firmly in the friendly to struggle with sundry steep ascents and cavities. I quickly gained upon the light, rude crags, until I found myself at the whilst I felt my strength redoubled by foot of the immense rock whereon the that tiger-like feeling which works on castle stands. The grand difficulty now man when he finds almost within his was, to discover the direct rough-hewn grasp a deadly foe. Immediately above fight of steps leading up to the structure, us was a narrow platform running round in seeking which I explored the entire the base of the building, and here I circumference, and lost so much time overtook my rival. that it had grown dusk all round me. My advancing footsteps induced him What my sensations were during this to turn in surprise, and at the same ininterval it is impossible to describe! stant I rushed on him and seized him by
Thus situated, my quick ear detected the throat. “ Jesu Maria !” cried he, as the voice of Rusen. It sounded from his fingers convulsively sought some firm beyond a projecting corner of the cliff. hold upon me, “ Is it not time ?” Favoured by the darkness, I groped “ Yes !” I rejoined, “it is time !" and round, and had scarce doubled the point as the gleam of the lantern shewed him when the transient gleam of a lantern my features, his own expressed a mingled fell on three figures, in whom I recog- feeling of exultation and horror.
“ In nized Rusen, Dorothea, and a female the name of the king,” I pursued, “I whom I did not remember to have seen apprehend you as a traitor. before. This momentary light likewise resign yourself my prisoner ?” enabled me to attain a spot whence I “ Never !” shouted he. could hear, at least, whatever passed. “ Then down with you!" and with my
Complete silence was maintained by collected strength I dragged him to the all three for some time—and in the brink of the precipice. doubtful light their outlines reminded The Italian struggled desperately, and me of a group of marble statues. “Hear we hung together for several minutes me," at length exclaimed Rusen in a over the abyss. A complexity of passions rough and angered voice, “and let us nerved my arm. Personal antipathy to fully understand each other. I am, as the man, loyalty to my king, love of you know, not a Tyrolese. I have no Dorothea, all combined to animate me; personal feelings to gratify by setting but my antagonist possessed considerable this unhappy country in a blaze. muscular strength, and I doubt whether the contrary, those peaceful plans of the issue would have been successful for commerce which have brought me hither me, had he not relaxed his hold in order thrive best when public tranquillity is to draw a poignard. This action was established. If, therefore, I stand com- fatal to the unfortunate Rusen. I had initted to this confederacy, and throw obtained considerable celebrity in wrestinto the scale my money, influence, and ling, with which manly exercise we often credit, my reward must be rendered cer- beguiled a wearisome hour in garrison, tain. Pronounce therefore the word, and the instant he loosed his gripe, I Dorothea ; say that to-morrow you will got my foot between his, and fairly be my wife, and this moment will I tripped him up. spring up the rocky height. Speak He fell heavily and headlong from the clearly and firmly; for no longer, and platform upon the mass of rock beneath, least of all, here, will I be tritled with.” uttering a piercing yell. I stood a mo
A few moments elapsed ere Dorothea ment almost petrified; but having reco
-vered from this stupor, my next step was looking for any inscription—instantly to descend again the rocky stairs and burn both box and packet, and watch discover whether my victim yet lived. their gradual consumption to ashes. Do On reaching the spot whereon he had you promise this ?” fallen, I found already there Dorothea “ I do, on the honour of a soldier.” and her friend, bending with speechless The agitating occurrences of the night horror over the motionless body of Ru- had thrown my mind into a state of sen, at whose breast the lantern still chaos. I was incapable at the moment remained suspended and unextinguished. of any connected train of thought, and
“Are you here, captain ?” exclaimed my predominant feeling was the renewed Dorothea, half shrieking : “ merciful hope of at length attaining Dorothea's heaven, is this a dream?"
heart and hand. " Let us think of it hereafter but as I seized the lamp from the grasp of the one,” replied I. “You, at any rate, heroic though trembling girl, and having must have no share in this scene of crime once more climbed the precipitous steep, and death.”
gained its pinnacle without accident. I She answered not, but knelt and un- felt dizzy for a moment on reaching the loosened the lamp from the body of level from which the unfortunate Rusen Rusen. “ Leave me, leave me, Captain had been dashed; but with unflinching Lieber. I must hence, to obey the call resolution waded over broken stones and of a sacred duty. As poor Rusen, alas! rubbish, until I was at the foot of the no longer lives to perform it, I must ruined central tower. Its winding-stair complete his intention!”
was imperfect and dilapidated, and I was “ Dorothea !” exclaimed I, “this is half dead with fatigue ere I had reached the language of madness. You are at the top. The fresh air, however, which present strongly excited, and not able to then blew unimpeded over my head, did think for yourself. I must therefore in- much to revive me, and at length I apsist on conducting you from this accursed proached the mysterious packet. It was spot. Come, let us begone! my duty deposited on a stone which projected a summons me away.'
little from the wall. “ What duty ?” rejoined she, firmly True to my promise, I averted my but sadly. “You go to be the means of eyes whilst applying the flame to the betraying, perhaps to death, the ill-fated objects mentioned. The paper however, being you have said you loved." having probably become damp, would
“ Never, by heaven !” cried I: “not not readily ignite, and I was thus unby a word, not by a look.”
willingly forced to turn and look toward “ But there may be other witnesses of the stone whereon it rested, when I perthis transaction, and
_” she paused a
ceived its surface to be completely blank ! moment, and then resumed- “ In the An icy coldness shot through every centre turret of the castle above us are vein as I made this discovery. Meandeposited certain papers, which I am re- time, the paper had taken fire, and as it solved to demolish with the flame of this blazed, emitted sundry sparks as if from lamp: otherwise I cannot rest in peace.” gunpowder ; and having communicated
“ If that be all, I will accomplish it. to the box beneath, immediately a huge Give me the lamp.”
column of blue flame ascended, steadily, tain !”—and she shuddered into the air. as she spoke.
My mental perceptions became clear “ Nay, dearest Dorothea, hesitate no on the instant. All traces of confusion longer : time presses.”
vanished from my brain, and the whole The maiden wrung her hands and truth was at once developed. With sudwept aloud.
den impulse and supernatural strength, “ Do you fear,” resumed I, scarce I drew the stone from the wall, and knowing what I said, “that I should hurled it, box and all, into the void beexamine the papers, and betray their low: but it was too late!—the signal contents ?”
was given. From the summit of every “I confess that is my fear," she re- hill, far and near, fires arose, as if simulplied lingeringly.
taneously, tossing about their flames like « Shall I then swear not to do so ?” so many hell-spirits, in the blackness of
“ No, but promise by your honour, by night, replying to each other's call. The your love for me, that when you have next moment were heard the drums of ascended the turret, and found the packet the infantry, and the trumpets of the which is placed upon a small box on a dragoons, and these were quickly sucflat stone near its top, you will-without ceeded by the thunder of small arms and
cannon which echoed from valley to val- “ Briefly, then, Ephraim, might it
not be as well now as at any other time, How I descended, first the turret, and just for form's sake, to scratch down a then the rock, I have not the most dis- memorandum of your wishes respecting tant knowledge. Tearing myself from the disposal of your property?” the outstretched arms of Dorothea, I « Oh Lord !” said I, “is that the sprang like a maniac into the village. mouse your mountain laboured with ? Alas! I just arrived in time to see my My property! God forgive you, Frank! brave fellows, surrounded and over- Well, as Tom Moore sayswhelmed, cut to pieces by armed pea- • I give thee all ; I can no more;' santry. Every where around was shouted I will bequeath you my debts, with a the signal cry — “ It is time !"- -On proviso that you don't pay interest; but that fatal night the Tyrol was lost to seriously, I'll think of what you say; Bavaria !
and now, good night; and for heaven's Struck by a bullet, I fell ; and when, sake be punctual in the morning !” after great and protracted suffering, I “ Never fear that. Good night,” was once more enabled to conceive what said Frank; "and do you hear, Ephraim? passed around me, I found the mountain- You may take a pint of Madeira, if you land restored into the arms of Austria, have an inclination to it, to-night; but and recognized in my nurse its heroic not a drop of port, sherry, or brandy. patriot, Dorothea ; who-hostilities hav- I must have you placed with a cool head, ing ceased and no further national jea- clear eye, and a steady fist.” lousy existing between us-shortly after- “ Very well,” said I, “I promise you wards became my wife.—Metrop. Mag. to be observant of your orders ;” and
after once more exchanging greetings, MY FIRST DUEL.
the door closed, and I was left to myself.
Well,” said I, when I found myself “ This is an awkward affair, Frank.”. alone, “this is a delightful sort of di
“ Why, yes,” said Frank, “it is an lemma to be placed in. If I loved the awkward affair."
girl, there would be some satisfaction in “ But I suppose I must go through standing up to be shot at for her; but to with it,” I continued.
be blazed away at for a wench that “ No doubt,” rejoined my friend; I don't care a curse for—to be compelled “and you may rest assured that although to fight for mere flirtation—is certainly, the anticipation is not very agreeable, at the least, very disagreeable. Howyou'll find the thing a mere bagatelle ever, I suppose I must let the fellow when on the ground.”
have a brush at me, and so there is no “ You 'll take care to have every thing more to be said on that head. By-theready, and to call me betimes; will you, by, Frank hinted (with prophetic foreFrank ?”
sight, I presume) at the necessity of my “ Certainly, my dear Ephraim, rely disposing in writing of my movables. upon me; and now, as it is already Allons donc, let me see. First, there is twelve, and we have to go out at six, my linen and my clothes ; let poor Betty perhaps I had better wish you good have them, to recompense her in part for night, that you may rest and have a the colds she has caught in letting me in steady hand in the morning. Before I many a morning; the chances are, she'll go, however, there is one thing I wish catch no more on that errand. My coins to mention to you.”
and medals may be given to C. Then " And what is that?” said I.
there are my books, and chief of them Why,” replied Frank, hesitatingly, all, sinner as I am, my Bible, if I dare “it is bardly worth troubling you about; name it with the purpose of blood upon but the fact is, there is a custom—that my mind. I charge you, Frank, deliver is, people have on these occasions a sort it yourself to my dear and widowed of habit of making their-their
mother; tell her I revered its precepts, «« Their exit I presume you mean?” although I lacked the strength of mind
“Not so, my dear fellow; nothing that should have made me hold them was farther from my thoughts, as I hope fast and follow them; and, above all, (with God's will) nothing is farther never, never crush her bowed, and bruisfrom fact than the probability of such a ed, and lowly spirit with the truth of all catastrophe to the present
the weakness, the folly, the impiety, “ Farce ; but come, Frank, what is that will mingle in my end! Tell her this that you would require of me, or I fell by sword, plague, pestilence, or enjoin me to ?”
famine; but tell her not I fell at a task
my common sense my heart-my soul, the room, and we quitted the house which owns its divine origin-revolts silently, and in a few minutes were on from !—tell her not I fell as a duelist the ground. Down, down my heart ! the world must On arriving there, I found that my be worshipped. My other books may adversary (whom I had never seen before) be divided between - and
was beforehand with us; he was a tall, except my series of Ana, my Ho- raw, gaunt, muscular fellow, with an garth, and Viel's and Bachaumont's and enormous pair of mustachios, and having La Chapelle's and Langle's Journeys, altogether very much the appearance of and my Bigarrures; reserve them, with one of Napoleon's old sabreurs. We my Meerschaum, to yourself, and over saluted each other coldly, and then them remember the happy hours that turned away, while the seconds retired you have spent before with them and to settle the preliminaries ; their conhim who thanks you now for all your ference lasted some time, and appeared warm-hearted kindnesses. In the drawer to bear grievously upon my adversary's of my desk will be found a portrait and patience, for he seemed eager to despatch some letters; I need not say whose they me. are, but I entreat you, my dear Frank, At last he addressed them. " Gentle. I conjure you, to take them into your men,” he said, “I beg pardon, but I own hands—to let no other look upon think we may arrange in a breath all them, and to deliver them to her! Gloss that is to be arranged. First, then,” he the circumstances of my death, and let said speaking to Frank, “ do you choose the tidings fall gently on her ; but tell fifteen or twenty paces ?” her, amid all my sins and all my follies, Frank unhesitatingly named the latter, I remembered her, and loved her, and out of regard to my safety. her only, and more earnestly in the last “ Bon,” said the fellow, as he made a moments of my life than when I held scratch in the turf with his heel, and her on my bosom. Tell her
prepared to take the distance. I had written thus far when I was I confess I was rejoiced at the thought interrupted by a tapping at my door, of his measuring it, for I thought I perand when I opened it Frank was there. ceived an omen of salvation in the length
"Is it time then already ?” said I. of his legs; in this, however, I was dis
“ Yes,” said he. “I am glad to see appointed, for the vagabond stepped the you ready. Come, we have few moments ground as mincingly as a lady in pattens.
“ And now,” when he had finished “ The hours have flown with strange that part of the business, “ and now," rapidity,” I said ; “ but I am prepared. said he, with a coolness that matched You spoke to me last night of a will; that of the morning, and bespoke him doubtless it was a necessary precaution, terribly au fait to the business, “whose and I thank you for the hint. I have weapons are we to use ? Your's? They attended to it, and have noted down my are only a common holster pair; mine wishes; here is a memorandum of them, are rifle-barrelled and hair-triggered, and I confide the execution of them to and in every way superior to those you; I know you will not refuse the machines; what say you to using mine?
they 'll make shorter work of the busi“ God forbid," said Frank, taking my hand, “ that I should ; but God forbid " No doubt,” thought I. there should be occasion for my offices.” “ What say you; Ephraim ?” said
“ I also hope, my dear friend,” I re- Frank. plied, " that there may be no such neces- “O, by all means; what is good for sity; but I have a presentiment (and the goose is good for the gander,” I anmy presentiments have seldom boded me swered, with an attempt at a smile ; falsely) that this morning's work will be Frank therefore assented.
“ Bon," said the fellow again;
6 and “ Don't say that, Ephraim,” said now for the first fire; has anybody a Frank, “ if I thought that—but, good piece of money about them? Oh, here, God! how can I get you out of it ? I have one ;” and he handed it to his “Out of it!" I exclaimed, you mis- second, who flung it up, and the result
I cannot prevent my convic- was in his favour. tion ; but if I saw my grave dug at my Frank then came up to me, and, seizfeet, I would not retrace the steps I have ing my hand with passionate interest, taken. Come, come, I am ready;" and said to me, in a tone of agitation, taking him by the arm, I drew him from “ Ephraim, my dear boy, be of good
came across me.
cheer ; that hulking blackguard is evi- more than usually heavy. I held it by dently trying to bully you, but be of the barrel, and then I felt assured the good cheer ; let me place you; you are butt was plugged heavily with lead. but a lath, give him your side ; you The thought of treachery immediately know it is disputed whether on these oc
The first fire won at casions it is most prudent to give the his own call on the toss of a florin from front or the side, but let me govern you his own purse probably, and a piece conhere; you are but a lath, give him your trived for these occasions, with the same side, and the devil himself can't hit you. impression on both sides. My right God bless you, and keep you !” And arm shattered certainly by aim, and his so saying, and again pressing my hand, pistol of a weight that prevented all he withdrew. Immediately after which possibility of its being levelled with the we placed ourselves, and the next instant left hand; all concurred to assure me I the signal was given.
as I was the victim of a scoundrel. heard it, I looked straight at my adver- “ But it shall not go thus,” I said, as sary, and saw him raise his pistol and I thrust Frank on one side, and adsteady it ; I saw him eye me with the vanced towards the villain with the cool keenness of a hawk and the precision of purpose of blowing his brains out: “It a master ; it was but the fair half-second, shall not go thus !" And as I neared but I knew and was certain he had co- him, I poised the butt of the pistol with vered me. The next instant I felt a
my left hand against my chest, and put blow, as it were, on the outside of my my finger on the trigger to draw in his right elbow, and a something like ice face. Fortunately, Frank, who was igstealing along the arm as it dropped norant of my suspicions, closed on me at nerveless and with the weight of lead by the very critical instant, and wrenched my side, and I heard the report of his the weapon from my grasp, exclaiming, weapon. I was winged clean as a at the same time, “Would you commit whistle.
murder ?" Frank perceived how it was with me, “ With pleasure," I answered, “ upon and was by my side in a twinkling, ban- such a murderous villain as this !" But daging my arm with the handkerchief he was now secure from my fire, and he tore from his neck. “ Are you faint, seeing himself so, and safe in his superior Ephraim ?”
physical strength, he sneered at me with “ Not at all,” I said ; “but make such mean demoniacal insult, that unhaste, I long for my revenge.”
able to withhold myself any longer, I “ Is the gentleman hurt?" inquired rushed on him and grappled with him; my adversary, with a half-stifled sardonic but I was weak from pain and loss of grin.
blood, and I fainted. “ Not a whit,” said I; and he bowed. Suddenly I was aroused by some one
“Can you give him his charge?” in- shaking me violently. I looked up; it quired Frank.
“ Up, up, man,” he cried. “O never fear," I answered ; “let me Up,” I said, " for what?” have the pistol.” He handed it to me; “ For what,” he replied, “ to save my I grasped it, but I essayed in vain to character and your own, if you have care, raise it; my right arm was more dis- about either. Why, it wants but a abled than I had thought.
quarter to six, and at six we must be on “ Try him with the left,” said Frank. the ground.”
I did so, but found the pistol far “ What, have not I been shot, then ?” heavier than I had conceived, and much I said. heavier than I knew my own to be; it “ Shot!” he exclaimed, “ who the was impossible to level it with my left. devil has been here to shoot you? Why I looked at my adversary, and saw his you have been dreaming." features relax into a damnable Mephis- It was true; I had drawn my table to topholic grin. I maddened with un- my bed-side to make my will, and had speakable rage.
“Hell and the devil !” fallen back asleep, and dreamed what I I exclaimed, “is there no having a slap have related. at the long-legged rascal ?"
“ Then I suppose I must be shot “ I fear not,” said Frank; “but,” he again ?” added with affectionate warmth, “stand “ There's little fear of that, thank back, and I'll fight his second for you.” Heaven,” said Frank, “for I have just
“ That's out of the question,” I re- learnt that your adversary, in alarm at plied : “let me try my left again.” I your prowess, has bolted.” did so, and felt convinced the pistol was “ Indeed,” said I, as coolly as I could;