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robbers, Charles began to fancy himself secure, and wished Mary, whose fatigue was evident, to rest herself again; but her fears had not yet abated, and she would go on, till what between terror, anxiety, and want of repose, her strength failed altogether, and they were obliged to stop for more than an hour, during which time Charles endeavoured to cheer her with his own hopes; but the idea still hung upon Mary's mind, that the robbers would discover their flight, and pursue them, and this made her eager to follow their journey as soon as she was at all able to do so.
In the mean time the moon went down, and left them in utter darkness. Charles endeavoured to keep the track on which they had set out; but being now without any thing to guide him, he got confused in the various turns of the mountains, and soon had the mortification of feeling that he had deviated into some other road, which might lead him quite in a contrary direction, or perhaps even bring him back
amongst the banditti. He, however, con. fined his alarm to his own bosom; for to have informed Mary, would only have been to increase her terror for no purpose.
After proceeding for some way in this state of suspense, they at length arrived, weary and exhausted, at the summit of one of the highest hills, from whence the first rays of daylight were to be seen dawning in the east; and soon after, the sun rose majestically over the eastern states of Italy, displaying to their view one of the grandest scenes that nature can present.
For a moment Charles gazed with delight over the far landscape, extending in undulating lines to the extreme horizon, just wakening in the early beams of sunshine. But Mary's eye rapidly traces along the windings of the valleys that lay stretched at their feet-a faint chillness came over her heart, and turning deadly pale, she pointed with her hand.—“Oh,
Charles," Charles,” she exclaimed, “ they are there! they are there !" .
It was too true; and following the direction of her hand with his eye, Charles immediately perceived the banditti in pursuit of them. The daylight, which shewed their pursuers to Charles and Mary, equally discovered to the robbers the position of the fugitives, standing as they were upon the brow of the hill, at scarcely half a mile distance. j, Agitation, fatigue, and terror, had quite deprived Mary of the power to move a step. But it was no time for ceremony, and Charles, catching her in his arms, carried her on as well as his own weariness would permit. But the banditti followed them over the mountain with the certainty of bloodhounds, and scarcely could Charles, burdened as he was, reach the valley on the other side, when they appeared on the height, Death seemed now inevitable. There was some thick woody ground skirted along the bottom of the hill.
ger there, ought to have convinced me at once. But the worst part of my tale is to come;" and he entered upon the history of the baroness, without giving her name.
“ Hush, hush, Charles !” exclaimed Mary, before he had got half through it; “ do not let me hear any more; I forgive you all freely, and now let us return to the house, for Frederic will think I am lost-and I am tired; a good deal has happened to agitate me this morning.”
Charles guessed, and guessed rightly, that she alluded to the rejection she had been obliged to give to the young nobleman he had seen with her in the morning; but he asked no questions, and turned slowly towards the house, willing to prolong the moments as much as possible,
As they approached, they saw lord Burton descending the steps which led into the garden where they were. Mary clung to Charles's arm for support. Ever before that time she had quitted him to fly to her brother; but now every feeling
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