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with his eyes fixed on the fire, and his skinny fingers clasped over each knee.
“H-e- --m!” muttered Carl, his eyes, as it were, glued to those of his guest.
“ Well, Carl,” said the stranger, suddenly, as if starting from a revery ; "it grows very late, and I must begone ere long, having far to travel, and on pressing errands. So shall we discourse a little touching philosophy, or proceed at once to business ?"
“Proceed to business?"
“ Yes, I say, proceed to business. Is there anything so very odd in that ?" inquired the old man, slowly, with a surprised air.
"Business! Business !” exclaimed Carl, muttering to himself; and he added, in a louder tone, addressing himself to his visiter—“Why, what the dev-"
“Pho, pho, Carl! We have nothing whatever to do with the devil--at least I have not,” replied the old man, with an odd leer. “ But, with your good leave, Carl, we will settle our business first, and then proceed to discourse on a point of Doctor Von Dunder's lecture of this morning." So this extraordinary personage had been present at Doctor Von Dunder's that morning-and, further, knew that Carl had !
“Carl," continued the stranger, abruptly, still anxious for the bracelets ?"
The question suddenly blanched Carl's face, and his eyes seemed starting from their sockets, as he muttered, or rather gasped in faltering accents, “Devil! devil! devil !-what want you with me? Why are you come hither ?" He shook in his seat; for a certain circumstance occasioned a suspicion of the stranger's being an emissary of the Inquisition to flash across the mind of the affrighted student.
“Who sent you hither ?" he inquired, in faltering accents.
"Why, in Heaven's name, are you so disturbed, Carl? I am really neither the devil nor one of his minions
having neither wit nor power enough for either," said the stranger, mildly.
“Then you are worse-you are from the INQUISITION —and are sent to ensnare my soul to hell, and my body to tortures horrible!” rejoined Carl, a cold sweat suddenly bedewing his whole frame.
Why, if it were so, I must surely be bolder than wise, to venture on such odds as are here. I am old and somewhat shaken of strength; you young and lionlike. Which would have the better, think you, in a struggle ?" continued the stranger, meekly.
Why,” replied Carl, still shivering with the fearful suspicion, “you speak fairly and reasonably; and let me then as fairly tell you, that whoever you be, if you be but mortal, and wrong me, or attempt me mischief, I will put you to death as calmly and surely as I show you this”—and he drew a small poniard from his vest, clasped it fiercely in his hand, and extended the keen, thirsty-looking blade to the stranger, who merely crossed his hands on his breast, and looked upward with an innocent air.
“Did I not say I was in your power, Carl ? And is it probable I shall seek an offence with you? Would L an old feeble man
“ What brought you hither? What made you cause the
uproar my door just now?” inquired Carl, with some show of self-possession.
« Oh, faith—that is easily answered. Businessbusiness! I have much to do with you, and but small time to do it in. Truly, your fears are all false! I am, I repeat it, but a man, even as you are--with the difference of an odd year or two-ugh! ugh! ugh!" continued the stranger, with a feeble asthmatic laugh. “But, to be short. If your heart is still set upon the bracelets—I may, perhaps, put you in the way of obtaining them.”
Carl strove to look calm—but the thing was impossible. His colour faded, his heart seemed fluttering
about his throat as though it would choke him, and his eyes emitted coruscations of fire.
“ Old man! whoever, whatever you are-I supplicate you to tell me how you know anything about the matter you speak of! How came you to know that I had any care about the-the-the bracelets ?"-he could scarce get out the word—" for I have not breathed a syllable about them to any one human !"
How did I know it? Pho! it might be a long, perchance a dull tale, were I to explain how I came by my knowledge in this matter. Enough that I know your soul gapes to get the bracelets. In a word, I came not here to tell you how I know what I do, but simply to put you in the way of obtaining your wishes."
A cold stream of suspicion flowed over Carl's mind while the stranger spoke-and when Carl reverted to the many subtle devices known to be adopted by the Inquisition for entrapping their prey. Still Carl's anx ious curiosity prevailed over his fears. The old man, after fumbling a while about the inner part of his girdle, took out what seemed to Carl a large snuff or tobacco box. Opening it, he slowly removed two or three layers of fine wool; and then there glistened before the enchanted eyes of the student one of the most resplendent bracelets that had ever issued from the hands of cunning jeweller. He was lost, for a second or two, in speechless ecstasy.
“Oh, rare ! oh, exquisite-exquisite bracelet !” he gasped at length, so absorbed with the splendid bawble that he did not notice the almost wolfish glare with which the old man's eyes were fixed on his. “ And may this be MINE ? Did you not say you could put it into my power?"
' Ay, Carl, it may be yours !" replied the stranger, in a low, earnest tone, still fixedly eying his companion's countenance.
" Ay, ay! it may ? Name, then, the price! Name your price, old man !” exclaimed Carl, eagerly. Check- · ing himself, however, he added suddenly, in a des
ponding tone, " But why do I ask its price? Fool that I am, my whole fortune-ay, the fortunes of all our family, would not purchase one only of these jewels !"
The more Carl looked at the gorgeous toy, the more was he fascinated. It was studded with gems of such amazing brilliance, as to present the appearance of a circle of delicate violet and orange hued flame, as the stranger placed it in different points of view. Carl could not remove his eyes from the bracelet.
“ Take it into your own hands-it will bear a close scrutiny," said the 'old man, proffering the box, with its costly contents, to the student, who received it with an eager but trembling hand. As he examined the gems, he discovered one of superior splendour and magnitude ; and while his eyes were riveted upon it
was it merely his nervous agitation-or, gracious God! did it really assume the appearance of a human eye, of awful expression?
Carl's eyes grew dim, the blood retreated to his heart, and his hands shook violently as he pushed back the box and its mysterious contents to the stranger. Neither spoke for some seconds. The old man gazed at Carl with astonishment.
“ What—what shall I call you ?” murmured Carl, as soon as he had recovered the power of speech.
6 What means that—that—that damned eye that looks at me from the bracelet? Do your superiors, then, use even sorcery to inveigle their victims ?” His teeth chattered. "Away with your damned magic!
Out on you! Away—or I shall call for help from without !" "And Carl drew half out his poniard.
“ Tut, man," rejoined the stranger, calmly, after listening with patience to Carl's objurgations. Now, to hear you rave in this wiso ! You-a man--a scholar! The days of sorcery, methinks, are gone for ever; and as for the INQUISITION that you din into my ears, I myself fear, but more hate, that cruel and accursed institution." This was said slowly and deeply -the speaker's eyes searchingly fixed on those of him
he addressed. The student, however, answered not, and the old man resumed.
“ 'Tis but your own heated fancy, that has likened one of these jewels to an Eye-he, he, he!” said he, with a poor attempt at laughter. " What is it that has frightened you but a large diamond ? A human eye, i'faith-he, he, he ! But, to away with these womanish fancies, I would know, at once, Carl, whether you wish to call yourself the owner of this bracelet ?"
“ Ay--Heaven knows I would fain be its masterfor 'tis an enchanting, a dazzling-yet a fearful—"
“ Pshaw !” exclaimed the old man, impatiently.
“Well, then," continued Carl, doubtingly, "since temper
you, I will to the point. Suppose, then, I were in a manner disposed—mean-hem! What I would say, is—in short, if it were to come to pass that I were earnestly desirous (which I am not) of having this bracelet--not for myself, mark me, but for another"
“ To the point, man!--to the point !" interrupted the stranger, with anxious asperity.
“Well, I say, if I were disposed to purchase the bracelet, what would be your terms ? What must I do? What give ?"
“ Oh, my terms are most easy and simple. You may perchance laugh at hearing them. Find but the fellow to this bracelet--and both shall be yours."
Carl suddenly became cold and pale. The stranger's peculiar words and manner had roused painful suspicions in the breast of the student-transiently, however
-that certain doings of his must be intimately known in certain awful quarters; and the stranger's plan was but a subtle trap for making him develope them. This feeling, however, gradually yielded to one of sheer astonishment, as the stranger repeated his terms, in a significant tone, and with great earnestness of manner.
"1-I, Carl Koëcker-find you the fellow to this