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He had not, however, much time to spare, for the banditti were upon him in a moment, with loud Italian execrations. There were five of them; but only one had a carbine, which he instantly levelled at Charles, and another moment would have stretched her defender at Mary's feet; but Charles was too quick for the robber, and stopped his shot by a bullet, which seemed to strike him in the knee, and falling immediately, his carbine went off in the air. This caused a moment's confusion amongst their assailants, and Charles cast an anxious, almost despairing glance, towards his cousin. She had not fainted, as he supposed would have been the case, but remained with her hands clasped, and her eyes fixed in agonizing terror on the scene before her, expecting every moment to behold Charles's death, and to share his fate. He had now but one pistol left undischarged, and was meditating how to use it
it most effectually, while the robbers seemed preparing to rush upon him at once. But at that moment Mary started, listened, and with a scream of joy, cried out — “ Cavalli 1 cavalli 1" – (Horses : horses') The banditti also heard the sound, and had scarcely time to raise their wounded companion, and endeavour to escape, when a body of Austrian cavalry rode up, headed by Mr. Wilmot. He leaped from his horse. Mary sprang into his arms, exclaiming—“Frederic' dear Frederic!” and fainted on the breast of lord Burton. “My sister! my dear, dear Mary!” exclaimed he, pressing her again and again to his bosom—“ but how, in -Heaven's name, has all this happened?” It is an useless endeavour to attempt describing what is indescribable, and such were the feelings of lord Burton and Charles Melville. The scene that followed when Mary recovered herself is nearly so; a thousand questions and answers suc- ceeded ceeded each other so rapidly, that scarcely any of the party fully understood the other: they had all something to congratulate themselves upon, and all something for surprise. *
Mary was astonished to find her brother so soon after her in Italy; but her wonder very greatly increased, when she learnt that he had been for long travelling with Charles Melville under the title of his tutor; and indeed, unacquainted as she was with the scheme which had been in agitatation for uniting her to her cousin, to her lord Burton's motives were perfectly incomprehensible. To Charles himself they were scarcely less so; and he had some matter for speculation, when he came to consider that his cousin's disguise had never been betrayed by any circumstance, either in France or England. But when we are without suspicion, a thousand occurrences pass us by unnoticed, which the slightest degree of jealousy would convert into positive proof.
Lord Burton himself was not a little surprised to find that his arrival had been as seasonable a relief to his sister as it had been to Charles, who was in reality the only person for whom he sought. On Mr. Melville's first encounter with the robbers, it may be remembered that he had with him both a guide and a servant, who instantly fled back over the mountains, bringing the news to lord Burton, whom they looked upon as Charles's tutor. Blaming himself as the cause of all that had occurred, Frederic instantly applied to the Austrian authorities, and found means to inspire some degree of speed into their operations. His hopes of finding Charles alive were but faint; but he immediately set out with the cavalry who were sent after the robbers, resolved at least to punish those who had injured him, without at all supposing that his sister was involved in the same accident. Lord Burton, however, was one of those men who combine so quickly, that they WOL. II. I Seem
seem to comprehend almost by intuition; and before Mary and Charles had time to tell him their story, he appeared at once to understand how they met, and stopped them to ask what had become of lady Anne Milsome. Charles soon satisfied him upon that point, as, in fact, lady Anne had been far the most fortunate of the whole party; and it was agreed that all the minor details should be reserved till they could enter into them more fully. -- " In the mean while the Austrians had been pursuing the robbers; and whether it was by accident or connivance, matters little, but the banditti, though burdened with their wounded companion, contrived to make good their retreat, the troopers riding up and down the paths, appearing to look for them, and giving them a great many abusive epithets, calling them cowardly bloodsuckers and dastardly carbonari, and a great many opprobrious names beside; but as they suffered the robbers