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for me. The signor speaks truly, all this has lasted too long. Do now with me as you please. I have no more to say."
As he ceased speaking, as if driven in by a sudden gust of wind, which came with an absolute roar to the entrance of the cavern, old Ninny the ostler of the inn, walking much more briskly than was usual in the presence of his mistress or her guests, made his appearance, and, approaching the tavvney-haired chief, all weather-beaten and rain-drenched as he was, without noticing Guiseppe in the shadow in which he stood, exclaimed, breathlessly, "Signor! Comrades! There is danger abroad! A soldier has just arrived at our inn, gent forward, of course, to reconnoitre; I have stolen his sword," and he flung the soldier's missing weapon with a ringing sound upon the table. "I have also disabled his horse—jaded as he is already, he will not find travelling the easier for having a good inch of rusty nail in his hoof; but you must hasten down; something may arouse his suspicions at any moment. If he is not secured you are all lost 1"
"Scoundrel 1" burst from the indignant lips of the amazed Guiseppe, who had alwavs believed undoubtingly in the simplicity and honesty of the ostler. "Scoundrel I it was you then, who, in unsuspected league with bandits, always gave them the information about the travellers at the inn, which led to their being robbed and often murdered; if I could but use my hands for one moment, wretch, I would strangle you where you stand I"
"Yourself first," cried; the old fellow, as he sprang swiftly towards him, an unsheathed dagger in his hand; but he was held back by the Neapolitan, who, ever anxious to shift the scene, exclaimed : "No, no, not until we show him alive first to his betrothed, and wring all we can from her, then, of course, he must die, as he has discovered this secret. Gag him, he must not speak again to tell it; and, as we must also provide for this accursed spying soldier fellow, I propose that we go in a body to the inn and hang the two dogs to-day 1"
"Be it so," replied the chief, and, with a savage shout, all rose simultaneously to their feet, saw to their arms carefully, and set out, carrying their prisoner with them on their cowardly expedition.
"Force the door of the miserable kennel!" exclaimed the chief, impatiently; "if the girl is inside she evidently has no intention of admitting us; we can't lose more time in this way. Carl, you are foremost there, make your great shoulder useful and get us in."
The Austrian, who was the one addressed, now stepped forward from amid the other bandits, who had, after a short quarter of an hour's march, surrounded poor Juanita's
dwelling, and was about to obey, when the Roman said:
"Have a care, the spy may lurk in waiting for us within; did anyone hear if he had pistols r"
"No, no; the hound carried none," replied the Neapolitan; "the more fool he."
"Come, come, Carl, he may escape us; I am impatient to get in."
"I should like to hear that confirmed by Ninny," said the German, stolidly, "I have no particular fancy for getting myself shot in a wretched affair like this."
"I tell you he has no pistols," repeated the Neapolitan, *' and even if he has, I will hold the prisoner under cover of mine: if you fall, down he goes too."
"Small comfort that to me," laughed Carl, grimly. "Suppose I hold him under cover of my pistol and let you try your luck inside, or perhaps Andrea there," he continued, turning to the Roman, who had first given voice to the suspicion of an ambush, "would like to try his luck in the business," but Andrea only gave one of his fierce scowls at his gigantic comrade, and drew back a step or two more towards the road.
"Stand aside, dogs," shouted the chief, with a fierce oath, bis anger roused and his spirit chafed at their delay. "The girl herself could make you all fly before the bodkin that holds her hair if she had the wit to threaten you with it. Stand aBide, I say, and give me room," and tossing his tawney mane back upon his shoulders, he set the whole force and weight of his powerful frame against the frail entrance, and in a moment more the door was forced from its hinges and the whole party swarming through the kitchen, stable, and up-stairs into the salone, tossing everything about in their rude haste to find the trembling Juauita, or better still, the soldier, whom they had already doomed to a hasty and disgraceful death.
Almost immediately an exclamation from one of the bandits announced that the horse had been removed; and as the closest search failed to discover either the young hostess or her military guest within the walls of the hostelry, a messenger was despatched to where Ninny had staid behind, as he did not wish to be seen approaching the house where he had for so many years preserved his undeserved character for honesty in the compromising company of the robbers.
On his arrival, they questioned him. eagerly as to the possibility of there being any place of concealment about the building difficult to be discovered by strangers; but he assured them there was none, reiterating, at the same time, his statement, that he had so disabled the soldier's horse, that if he could move at all, he could only do so so slowly as to render an ordinary day's journey at least one of three days to him. As to Juanita, he declared he had not the least fear about her, that she had merely gone down, he knew, as she had told him she should, to the Padre, to consult him as to the best mode of raising the money necessary to release Giuseppe on her vineyards. On the whole, he assured them they had, as the chief had already heard from other sources, full three days before the soldiers could be upon them, so his advice to them was not to hang Guiseppe until after the return of Juanita ; but to keep him still, of course, gagged and bound, so that she could see him alive when they had got the money from her for his release, which would be quite time enough to finish him off, as they, of course, should do eventually. Meanwhile he knew the best bin in the cellar : let them all ascend to the talone then, and make as merry as they could while waiting.
His arguments sounded reasonable, and his advice seemed so good, that it was acted on without delay; and the bandits, already a good deal heated by their carousal in the cavern, sat themselves down to a second one at the expense of their absent hostess.
It would be impossible to describe with what bitter impatience of his own helplessness poor Guiseppe heard and saw all that passed around him, or with what readiness he would sacrifice fifty lives if he possessed them to shield his pretty, loving, modest betrothed from the insult of being looked upon even by the wretches who held him captive. Yet fret and fume, as he would, he could do nothing but keep his eyes fixed constantly on the door of the tale, where they were all by this time assembled, he being placed in one of the corners at its further end, while they had piled their arms in the opposite one, every moment his horrible dread increasing that he should see her enter on her bootless errand of trying to ransom him. Oh, if the Madonna would only have pity and save her from coming!
Meanwhile, the hours passed on and all had drunk deeply; even the chief, who sat at the head of the great table, having indulged far more than was usual with him in the wine cup; and yet some thought seemed from time to time to sting him into uneasiness, and amidst the boisterous, and (by this hour, approaching evening) almost frantic revellers, he alone lapsed into total silence, sticking the point of his dagger, which he held unsheathed in his band, abstractedly into the board before him, or glancing round him with a sudden uneasy stare. But the villainous ostler was, beyond all the rest, the oracle and hero of the entire party. His little slanting reptile eyes absolutely danced in his head from the mingled effects of wine and excitement as he again detailed the incidents of the morning to his fellow-conviviants.
"Mel Maledetto Soldato," he said, "has escaped us. After all, had he but waited one little hour longer we should have trapped him like the wolf in a snare. He must have caught at some suspicion; it was not from the little one, though, she knew nothing, and beside, she is as innocent as a child; but never mind, brave comrades, old Ninny will give you many a good hint yet. There's better prey than him
in store for us, better weighted with coin to stiffen our limp purses."
"Yes," remarked the chief, gloomily, "but he is one of a species that hunt in packs like ourselves. I should not wonder for one, if he outwitted us after all, and should return much sooner than we expect, with a posse of his comrades.
"Orine!" exclaimed the ostler, contemptuously, "Podesta growing cowardly! He has caught the contagion from Andrea, who is always fearful of something. He sits too near him."
In a moment the Roman's ready dagger flashed out and was glittering at the throat of the old man; but it was instantly struck down by the as-ready blade of the chief, who cried out, authoritatively:
"Be silent, hound; and back, Andrea, to your place. Hark, there is a step. Look to your arms, men I"
But before they could obey him, the door opened —not to admit anyone against whom there would be need to use them; but poor frightened Juanita, who rushed in, crying, "O, good signors, have pity! when I saw the door burst in I guessed it must be you. Do not injure my betrothed; I have done all I can to get the money. I shall have it, certainly, in two days—all you demand. O, may all the saints bless the good signors. They will have patience, the Madonna will reward them."
"Come hither, girl," said the chief, roughly; "come hither, and cease your silly babbling. Look yonder. There stands your betrothed, utterly unable to assist either you or himself in any way. First, then, tell us all you know of the movements of the soldier who arrived here this morning, and next pay us down whatever money you possess at present, and we will without more delay set him free—and this can be even still if you please your wedding-day. Refuse, or try to deceive us, and his blood be on your head; for in either case we shall shoot him where he stands, and in your presence, like a dog. Come, speak quickly; we have no time to lose."
Paralyzed for the moment by the sudden and unexpected joy of seeing her lover bound even as he was, Juanita had stood immoveable, while the bandit spoke; but as he ceased, as if a spell had been broken, with one bound she was beside her lover, hanging on his neck and heedless of the rough witnesses of her endearments, putting back the hair that fell over his brow, and covering his face with her kisses. With eager trembling hands she strove even to tear off the gag from his mouth, while the poor fellow himself was suffering the most exquisite torture of loving pity for her at the sight of her innocent delight, knowing well how bitter a disappointment was to follow that delirium of joy.
"Come, come, bella mia, I object to that," said the Neapolitan, as her fingers busied themselves with the thongs at the back of his head: "you shall hear his sweet voice all in good time; but we wish to hear your soft accents first. What of this soldier? Come, tell the whole story—nothing concealed. Yrs, pretty one, tell it all; and you can tell it very comfortably here," said the great German Carl, as he drew her down on his knee, while the dark cheek of Guiseppe flushed deeply in his powerless indignation; but the poor child, in her eagerness to get her lover free, had no time to take offence at the bandit's freedom; but with her great black eyes flashing through her tears, commenced her story. She had seen the ostler among her unwelcome guests, without, in her excitement, feeling any surprise at it, as people see the most incongruous things in a dream, and she now spoke of him as if he were absent, or that she did not know what had become of him. Yes, she said she would tell all she knew, of the soldier of course.
"He sent me," she commenced, "to look for Ninny when I had told him of my trouble about my Guiseppe, poor fellow! and I could not find him. Then he missed his sword, and was very angry and alarmed, and said he should look to his horse—and he did, and found him lame; but he drew, O such a piece of rusty iron from his poor hoof,and then he poured something from a bottle he took from his pocket into it: I do not know what; but the horse walked quite well after it. And then he said I should not stay here alone! that Nanny was a vecchio birbone, and he made me go down before him to the village, and told me to stay there until his return; to leave all to him. But I had not patience. I would return, and try to find Ninny, to take a message to the good signor's that I had seen the good Padre about the vineyards, and should have the money very soon. So I came and found you all here—and, O Madonna! good signor, I am but a poor lonely girl, and have no more than the vineyards. Take them all, and let Guiseppe go free."
"You hear, comrades. We have not a minute to lose. This fellow may return at any moment," cried the tawny-haired robber. "Give me whatever money you have, girl, at once, and go."
"Go," she repeated, wonderingly; but added quickly, " Yes, yes," as she drew a purse from her bosom, containing her little all, "here it is," and, springing from the bandit's grasp, she forced it into the Podesta's hand. "Now," she exclaimed, "order him to be set free, now I have told you. I have given you all."
But the ruffian only laughed hoarsely as he replied: "I believe the other signers have something to say to that. For my part I care little what they do with him; but I believe they mean to stretch his neck a bit before we leave."
"What does the signor mean )" questioned
the poor girl, with a white scared face; and once more drawing near Guiseppe, she clung to him as if no human power could ever again unwind those soft, round, twining arms, from their embrace of him.
"Once more I advise you to go quietly," said the chief: "these signors intend, as I have just told you, to hang him; but if you go without giving more trouble, I shall ask them, as a personal favour, to shoot him instead. It will be a decentcr ending."
It was a fortunate circumstance that at this moment a succession of frantic screams burst from the lips of the horrified Juanita, as they helped to dull the tramp of the measured steps now quickly ascending the staircase without, until the entrance of a company of soldiers (their rifles on full cock) told the bandits that their hour of retribution had arrived. Resistance was out of the question, as the robbers had, unfortunately for themselves, left their arms (as we have already said) piled in a corner where it was now impossible to reach them, surrounded as they were by their enemies; so they surrendered without a struggle, the only one who made the slightest attempt to escape being the Podesta, who dashed to the ground two of the soldiers, and would have probably succeeded had not a bullet from a musket of a third arrested his career, crashing through his brain, and laying him dead upon the floor. Meanwhile, in the general confusion, Juanita had grasped a knife from the table, and cut the bonds of her lover; so that when terrified at the bandit's death, and exhausted by her previous exertions, she fell fainting on his bosom, his arms were at length free to support and to embrace her.
Three weeks after, however, saw her recovered from all her trouble, the prettiest of village brides, given up for life to the love and care of Guiseppe, the gayest and happiest of brides,grooms, by her friend the venerable Padre; the most honoured guest at their wedding being Ricardo Alberti, the soldier who had been so
Erovidentially sent to their assistance in their our of greatest need, for the rest, the entire band of bandits, among whom we of course include the treacherous ostler, were sent to the galleys for life.
The old inn was soon after razed to the ground, as its young owners could not persuade themselves to inhabit it again. They, however, built a pretty cottage in their largest orchard, where they live most happily, and where many a sun-browned, black-eyed boy and girl come prattling to their knees, and where they often tell the story of their first sorrowful weddingday.
IN THE SEA.
Tell lis, kind stars, with jewelled sandals pressing
We would bat know where we might run and find
We miss them from the old accustomed places,
We call them fondly when the night-priest swingeth
His silver censer in the templed sky;
And when the lark soars gnyly, singing ever,
Oat through the golden gateway of the morn,
Have ye not Melt their angel pinions gleaming
And did ye hear the songs of the immortals,
The while their harps flashed back Heaven's glorye
hue, And the strong warder's welcome, as the portals
Wide open flew?
Do not soft eyes look down yon shining vistas?
Do not sweet voices chide our long delay?
With restless feet we pace our narrow prison,
Oh, Stars I ye shine bnt coldly on our sorrow, Nor will ye heed Affection's urgent quest; , And we most wait till God's sure-coming morrow Gives us, too, Rest.
The salt wind blows upon my cheek,
As it blew two year ago, When twenty boats were crushed among
The reeks of Norman's Woe. 'Twas dark then; 'tis light now,
And the sails are leaning low.
In dreams, I pull the sea-weed o'er.
And find a face not his,
More pitying than this:
They take what hope there is.
My life goes on as thine would go,
My God, why should one heart of two
Through heart-wreck, or home-wreck, Thy happy sparrows build.
Though boats go down, men build anew,
Whatever winds may blow;
We trust again and sow,
The sunshine into snow.
Some have their dead, where, sweet and soon,
The summers bloom and go:
The bar when tides are low,
Can have the heart to grow!
Flow on, O unconsenting sea,
And keep my dead below; Though night—0 utter night!—my soul,
Delude thee long, I know, Or Life comes or death comes,
God leads the eternal flow.
Good Advice.—It is best to hope only for things possible and probable. He that hopes too much shall deceive himself at last, especially if his industry does not go along with his hopes j for hope without action is a barren nndoer.—Feitham
THE ELECTRIC GIRL OF LA PERRIERE.
Eighteen years ago there occurred in one of the provinces of France, a case of an abnormal character, marked by extraordinary phenomena, interesting to the scientific, and especially to the medical world. The authentic documents in this case are rare; and though the case itself is often alluded to, its details have never, so far as I know, been reproduced from these documents in an English dress, or presented in a trustworthy form to the public. It occurred in the Commune of La Berricre, situated in the Departement of Orne, in January, 1846.
It was critically observed, at the time, by Dr. Verger, an intelligent physician of Bellesme, a neighbouring town. He details the result of his observations in two letters addressed to the "Journal du Magne'tisme," one dated January 29, the other February 2,l 846. The editor of that journal, M. Hubert (de Gamy), himself repaired to the spot, made the most minute researches into the matter, and gives us the result of his observations and inquiries in a report, also published in the "Journal du Magne'tisme." A neighbouring proprietor, M. Jules de Faremont, followed up the case with care, from its very commencement, and has left on record a detailed report of his observations. Finally, after the girl's arrival in Paris, Dr. Tanchon carefully studied the phenomena, and has given the results in a pamphlet published at the same time. He it was, also, who addressed to M." Arago a note on the subject, which was laid before the Academy by that distinguished man, at their session of February 16,1846. Arago himself had then seen the girl only a few minutes, but even in that brief time had verified a portion of the phenomena.
Dr. Tanchon's pamphlet contains fourteen letters, chiefly from medical men and persons holding official positions in Bellesme, Mortagne, and other neighbouring towns, given at length and signed by the writers, all of whom examined the girl, while yet in the country. Their testimony is so circumstantial, so strictly concurrent in regard to all the main phenomena, and so clearly indicative of the care and discrimination with which the various observations were made, that there seems no good reason, unless we find such in the nature of the phenomena themselves, for refusing to give it credence. Several of the writers expressly affirm the accuracy of M. Hebert's narrative, and all of them, by the details they furnish, corroborate it. Mainly from that narrative, aided by some of the observations of M. de Faremont, I compile the following brief statement of the chief facts in this remarkable case.
Angelique Cottin, a peasant-girl fourteen years of age, robust and in good health, but very imperfectly educated and of limited intelli
gence, lived with her aunt, the widow Loisn&rd, in a cottage with an earthen floor, close to the Chateau of Monti-Mer, inhabited by its proprietor, already mentioned, M. de Faremont.
The weather, for 8 days previous to the 15th of January, 1846, had been heavy and tempestuous, with constantly recurring storms of thunder and lightning. The atmosphere was charged with electricity.
On the evening of that 15th of January, at eight o'clock, while Ange'lique, in company with three other young girls, was at work, as usual, in her aunt's cottage, weaving ladies' silk-net gloves, the frame, made of rough oak and weighing about twenty-five pounds, to which was attached the end of the warp, was upset, and the candlestick on it thrown to the ground. The girls, blaming each other as having caused the accident, replaced the frame, relighted the candle, and went to work again. A second time the frame was thrown down. Thereupon the children ran away, afraid of a thing so strange, and, with the superstition common to their class, dreaming of withcraft. The neighbours, attracted by their cries, refused to credit their story. So, returning, but with fear and trembling, two of them at first, afterwards a third, resumed their occupation, without the recurrence of the alarming phenomenon. But as Boon as the girl Cottin, imitating her companions, had touched her warp, the frame was agitated again, moved about, was upset, and then thrown violently back. The girl was drawn irresistibly after it; but as soon as she touched it, it moved still farther way.
Upon this the aunt, thinking, like the children, that there must be sorcery in the case, took her niece to the parsonage of La Perriere, demanding exorcism. The curate, an enlightened man, at first laughed at her story; but the girl had brought her glove with her, and fixing it to a kitchen-chair, the chair, like the frame, was repulsed and upset, without being touched by Angelique. The curate then sat down on the chair; but both chair and he were thrown to the ground in like manner. Thus practically convinced of the reality of a phenomenon which he could not explain, the good man reassured the terrified aunt by telling her it was some bodily disease, and, very sensibly, referred the matter to the physicians.
The next day the aunt related the above particulars to M. de Faremont; but for the time the effects had ceased. Three days later, at nine o'clock, that gentleman was summoned to the cottage, where he verified the fact that the frame was at intervals thrown back from Ange'lique with such force, that, when exerting his utmost strength and holding it with both hands, he was unable to prevent its motion.