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utes dragged past like hours, when up drove a drosky. The deep-blue eyes were looking around, as if in search of some one. Brown was in the shade he advanced in the twilight, pictures in hand, and made a bow. The lady seemed surprised, there was evidently a doubt on her mind. Was that person there (Brown was a consummate nob when he wanted to be) the art-student of the day before, in the slouchhat?
"Madame," said Brown, hat in hand, "my task is accomplished."
Ah-it is you?" Brown felt chilled. "Have you, indeed, the medallion? Oh, give it me. Thanks, thanks!" and she kissed both pictures."Beautiful, each lineament of his dear featuresand you have worked day and night for me?"..
"We do not work at night," answered Brown, surlily.
"Pray excuse me," she said apparently not noticing his humor, "I should have remembered your-your face from yesterday," and she gavo Vandyke a sidelong glance, "but I miss your yesterday's costume;" then, apparently confused at her own scrutiny, she drew her veil over her face. Brown was in despair. Here," she said, holding a well-filled purse in her hand, "take this-and believe I cannot sufficiently repay you for your labor." Brown felt himself humiliated; there was a tinge of constraint in her manner; his hands were resting on the carriage door, he withdrew them and thrust them in his pockets.
"Oh! pardon me," she cried, "I have hurt your feelings. Pray take this, in return for the kindness you have done me." Still, Brown was inexorable, and kept his hands à l'Americaine.
"Do not suppose, for a moment, I consider this a task imposed for wages"-here she faltered a moment, lifted up her veil, and looked imploringly, with her beautiful eyes, full in Brown's face..
He withdrew one hand and replaced it on the window. "Madame-I am not at all hurt-but, pray, keep your money." Brown said this rather kindly. "What? you will not let me pay you? Sir, I cannot, will not, be your debtor," and a tinge of angry red suffused her face.
"My fair employer," answered employer," answered
61 though an
Brown, superciliously, artist and proud to serve you-my present circumstances allow me to work for what I please."
"What am I to understand by that, sir?"
"Nothing-your beauty has amply repaid me?"
Sir, have I been mistaken?"
Suppose," went on Brown, as jealousy soured him, "it pleases me to refuse the money you persist in offering me," he answered, "it is from no mock sentiment. Honest wages is but the fair reward of honest toil-so pray give your purse to the first beggar you meet, or drop it in the street."
"You humiliate me, sir," answered the lady, with a look of scorn, 66 you forget who you are talking to."
"Whether it is I who make a copy of your lover's face, or somebody else— what does it matter?" he savagely replied in a downright passion-he was about saying more, when he saw the lady tremble-then burst into a flood of tears.
"You have insulted me-you break my heart with your foul suspicions ; and though I treasure the copy-not for your sake, sir-your hands have defiled it--rather than keep it as the price of a rudeness-" so far, she had managed to look as rigid as marble again all excepting the eyes, that flashed like fire-but clasping both hands, the two pictures tumbled to the bottom of the coach-and she burst anew into tears.
"I am an ass-an idiot-anythinga scoundrel! Oh, keep the picture! I have wronged you-I shall blow my brains out, if you do not forgive me! I believe you to be true and honestas honest as was my mother-the picture is your father's, brother's, husband's-that I have been brutally rude to you." Vandyke felt what he said, and was about leaving precipitatelywhen he gave a last look. The veil was tightly drawn-she was motionless. "Adieu to you," cried Brown in despair; he thought he saw her hand move -just a single finger-he lingered.
"Perhaps," at length said a voice in a melancholy tone, "I am to blame, coming, thus, alone-meeting you at
this unusual hour"-here she shuddered-"gave reason for suspicion. My anxiety to have the picture of my father-the strange circumstances..
As it is, I have been taught a bitter lesson." Vandyke's heart gave one jump from his breast to his throat. "It was her father's, and, infernal scoundrel that I was, I have not respected the purest of affections! How I have wronged you!"
"I will try to forget," she said, calmly.
"You are an angel of goodness," passionately interrupted Vandyke. "May May I dare to take that hand again in token of your mercy?" Here Vandyke got inspired, and talked in Italian, English, and German, mixing up all kinds of idioms; it was perfectly ludicrous. "If years of regret could efface the suffering I have caused you-if you knew all the tortures I feel-I tell you I deeply respect you-that I shall never cease to cherish the short moments I have passed in your presence. To-morrow, I leave for a strange and wild country, another continentthere"-here the silly fellow broke down-gave a downright sob, took her hand-dropped a tear on it, “and now, will you forgive not despise mo? Though under that veil, I see your eyes are downcast, an artist's heart and memory must ever recollect those features. Good-by to you; and remember that, in leaving you-the punishment I inflict on myself is-was-" here he broke down a second time, and strode hurriedly away.
At the hotel, Vandyke doubly locked his door and commenced tearing up and down the room. 66 Impossible to get to Trieste in time for the steamercan't go for a week-how shall I spend to-night?" He looked at his razors, they were dull and jagged-he had been cutting his crayons with them. He picked up his Colt, it was rusted and wouldn't work-he threw it down. There was a newspaper, the Austrian Lloyd, mechanically he perused it. "Trieste steamer leaves for Marseilles this day week, stopping by the way at-;" he tore it up, then picked up a note on his table. A note! Ah, from Madame de Bricquebeck's? What does she want? 'Madame de Bricquebeck's compliments to her young Choctaw savage-and has just heard of his arrival. She incloses a ticket for the opera; will be in her loge at nine o'clock; will keep a place for him. Soirée at the ambassade afterwards.' What is played tonight? Don Giovanni, with Wagner
(Madame de Bricquebeck's Indian was entirely taken from Cooper.) The lady in the loge opposite?" "Ah-and have you found her out?" Yes-no. For heaven's sake, Madame la Comtesse!"
"So you are going to the Lybian desert? Now, if you promise me a Nubian slave with gold-armlets, I will answer you."
"A horde, if you like."
"That young person is the daughter of a mixed race-Venetian and Austrian; you can see the extremes in her face. Some think her handsome. She is slightly mysterious. Her father, suspected of a tendency toward those Utopian ideas of Italian liberty, is threatened with Spielberg, and some do say the daughter is implicated. You know I never see such people at the ambassade-republicanism, I can't bear, always excepting some of your people.
suppose she is here to supplicate for her father's grace. That stout man behind her, in the Uhlan uniform, is ecuyer to the emperor's grandmother. It is well that her highness is in her dotage; for the poor man is of too ridiculous an embonpoint for a cavalier. He is a relative of the young person, and combines, in his elegant self, the advantages of a Toué and horse-jockey. They say he is aux petit soins about her. As his influence may be useful, I suppose she will marry him. Well, allow me to remark, that my fan is a Boucher, and that you have broken it. You must paint me another-some scene of your own country."
"A war-dance-willingly," answered Vandyke, intent on the loge opposite. Their eyes met-the unknown seemed struck dumb, and dropped her lorgnon, then disappeared in the back of the box. "Vous disiez ?" said the countess. "That he looks like a villain-I could kill him!"
Pray, who is going to be scalped? You are elegant-so true to your nature, adorablement feroce."
Just then the trumpet-brays in the finale commenced.
"Sweet music!" said Vandyke, a consummate humbug."
"Sweet? I should say terrible-just hear the dire howlings of those trombones, as the marble commander strides toward his victim-ce chèr commandeur-"
"The loge is empty, they have gone."
"Yes-the people opposite-I was surprised to see them here. One of our attachés I overheard to say she was ordered to Venice. I believe Monsieur de Bricquebeck was to have been interested in her case; but he can do nothing-of course, the ecuyer goes to Venice. I read it this morning in the paper-he wants garrison duty."
Might I ask her name?"""" "Lelia-her family name I forgether ancestor a doge or sombody; but pray be silent, you are making me lose this grand finale, and I cannot afford to cannot afford to miss the emotion; be good enough to have my cassolette in readiness."
Presently, the curtain dropped, and Vandyke, with a promise of returning to the ambassade, saw the lady to her carriage, then drove, post-haste, to the American minister's. His excellency was absent, and upon Hannibal Higgins, esq., of Loudon county, Virginia, devolved the imposing responsibility of attending to the court-presentations and public exhibition admissions demanded by our free and enlightened people. Higgins, the attaché, owed his post to old Brown, and was an intimate friend of Vandyke's. The young men talked steadily for an hour, at least, smoked some embassy cigars, and took down from the shelves of the legation library Vidocq, Silvio Pellico, Picciola, and Baron Trenck, then, with an earnest shake of the hand, Vandyke left him and returned to Madame de B.'s hotel, where he made himself most agreeable.
For the next three days, Vandyke acted in the strangest way; went into the oddest corners of Vienna; met all kinds of grim-looking people in out-ofthe-way places; called at unexpected hours on the Countess de Bricquebeck; drew strong bills on his sire, and then suddenly left for Venice, remarking, as he got into the carriage, "that from
Venice to Trieste was but a stone's throw across the Adriatic."
In Venice, Vandyke, with the idea of taking the very next steamer from Trieste, hired the third story of an old palace for six months, after having purchased enough canvas and colors for the decoration of a drop-curtain. At his window, one particular afternoon. he commenced a sketch of a house on the other side of the canal. He took a sheet of paper; drew in the mobile base of the ever-rippling canal; made two strong crayon strokes for the side-lines of the house; dashed in the roof next; dotted in the three hitching-posts for the restless gondolas, and then commenced the filling up. The upper story was Lombard-he knew that by heart-in a twinkling he had it; the second was renaissance, there was no difficulty in it. Ruskin had made him as familiar with it as with his own American church bank-style; but the third story-that was a poser. Capriciously Byzantine, it had twined columns as delicate as vine-tendrils, interlacing themselves-gliding upwards, until they ended in a classic snarl, probably, an inspiration of Cyprus wine upon an eastern imagination. More and more interested in this particular story, Vandyke leaned over the balcony, as if determined to lose his balance; as it was, his sketch fell from his hands; the breeze caught it, fluttered it here, rustled it there, until it attracted the attention of some one opposite, who withdrew a curtain and watched the flying sheet skim over the canal and nestle on the steps, within an inch of the water. (It is a matter of regret for the romance of the thing, to say that Vandyke knew perfectly well where Lelia lived, though this was the first time he had seen her.) From behind his curtain, Vandyke watched the effect. A servant woman presently appeared, looked aroundpicked up the paper-hesitated a moment-crossed the bridge, and the next minute there was a knook at his door.
"Signor artist," said the woman, "this is probably some of your merchandise."
"Your mistress-your master sent you with it?"
"No-not exactly. My lady percieved it in the air-and, seeing it alight where it did, bade me pick it up and find its owner. I had seen you at work at your window for these last three days,
Give this to your lady, and, above all, be discreet-you understand?" The woman looked surprised-curtsied, and left. This was what he had written:
"It has been impossible to forget you, and I have dared to trace, from memory, your beauteous traits. When I had finished this, remorse seized me: what right had I to gaze upon the semblance of one I had so grossly slandered, who, perhups, despised me? I send it you-I have not the courage to destroy it. Pray, do not bid me quit Venice, let me stay a day or so, or to-morrow will see me and my misfortunes far away."
Nothing could have been more diplomatic than this note; to say it was written in the glorious non-sequitur of a love-letter, is all nonsense; it positively placed the lady in the position of either returning or retaining it; did she keep it, she was retaining what did not belong to her-did she return it-ah then! she was only giving back what honestly belonged to him. At any rate, something must come from it. Vandyke watched his messenger enter the opposite house, and, a moment afterwards, the curtains of the third story were hurriedly closed. Vandyke was in despair; it might be, though, to keep out the burning sun; towards evening one was slightly opened -perhaps, only to let in the evening breeze. The beautiful sun down, came the soft crepuscule-the evening zephyr ruffled the canal; but no word or message. Vandyke commenced preparations for departure. It was awful to see the way in which coats, pants, linen, and boots were stowed away, when came a low knock: Brown sprang to the door a small parcel was handed in-he tore open the envelope, it was her portrait, and he commenced an Indian dance, to the affright of the woman, who crossed herself.
The acquaintance was recommenced; she ventured to withdraw the curtain of her gondola, it was first her hand, one
day playing with a leaf, next it was her beautiful face, looking at its own reflexion in the water. Rapid love was made. Nina, the servant, carried notes; signals were interchanged, and Vandyke vainly attempted to explain to Lelia the necessity of an electric telegraph communicating under water. Only once, accompanied, for a wonder, by Nina, (her aunt was ill), had he managed to talk to her, their gondolas having got in such a desperate tangle that it took full ten minutes to disengage them.
She was very wretched and loved him-loved him from the hour she had seen him-was miserable when an accident prevented her getting a note from him. Her father was not in Spielberg she had been forced to leave him. In Vienna all his papers and pictures had been catalogued by the police. She had desired a copy of the portrait before the seizure, which had taken place, and so their strange acquaintance. Her father, her dear, patriot father, she had heard, was well, but where he was she did not know; there was some mystery about him, and this terrified her. About the ecuyer? Yes, he was in Venice; acted as her protector; was, she thought, too attentive to her; she disliked, hated him; would rather die than be his wifesince now she-. Her friend must be careful-she feared they had been watched. Agreed, that if all went well, she would hold a leaf in her hand; did she drop it in the canal something bad had happened; did she draw to the curtain of her room something dreadful had taken place. Then she gave her hand to kiss, seemed to search him through and through with her big eyes-said, "she was compromising herself," then became cold and constrained. Vandyke reassured her, and she smiled again, but rather sadly; she allowed him to take her glove, and, without her knowledge, to slip a ring on her delicate hand. The ten minutes sped fast, and they were separated.
The day before Zambetto's acquaintance, Vandyke had a long letter. The substance was, "that this, she feared, was the last letter she could write him. Nina was to be dismissed, she believed, that very day-to keep the shades of his window down-should she pass on the canal only to show his hand-should she drop a leaf-Nina was sent awayshe loved him always-would rather die than have the ecuyer-she had always
"Is it the lark that is gay? Pshaw, good people, you deceive yourselves; for the lark is a raven in comparison to Zambetto!" So said this very individual, as he elbowed his way through the motley crowd in the Riva dei Schiavone, the exhibition-ground of the Venetian mountebanks. "Leave of absence for this afternoon? Glorious! How may I deign to amuse myself? Shall I patronize that man entangling himself in a knot, and pitch him a copper? or must I have an exhibition of Punchinello all to myself?-myself the audience, something especially genteel and select. I can assuredly afford all kinds of dissipations; for I am a perfect rolling Zeoca;"* and he jingled his month's wages in his new pockets. Strange to say," a shade of melancholy pervaded his features," my tastes and appetites have wonderfully changed since this morning. To be possessor of a pound of sugared almonds, I thought to be the very end of happiness; and now, having consumed seven-eighths of the confectionery, I declare I have not the least zest for the remainder. After all, a surfeit is a rich man's privilege, and I am determined to be magnificent. But stop-bast! May it not be that the sense of my own importance has something to do with it? Have I not the welfare of the Signore Boun's (he made a desperate struggle over the "w") and the Signorina Lelia's on my shoulders? Am I not expected to be of incalculable benefit to them? Let me see what must be done? In the first place, establish communications. Yesbut how? Zambetto, I am perfectly disgusted with you-I shall discharge you unless you answer that how. Ah! I
* A mint.
have it. What can be easier than for a splendid fellow like myself to make love to Nina? I must be irresistible ?" he put a lump of nougat in his mouth. "But, pshaw! this Nina is old and ugly, and, besides, turned adrift-and where the devil can I find her? That won't do. The fact is, Zambetto, the case is a difficult one; and, for this time only, I forgive you. San Pantaleone, my patron, I am in a quandary. You know perfectly well the purity of my intentions, and that I am not one of those stupid fellows who importune you incessantly about nothing. If, at this present moment, you would only give me the least possible hint at a plan-just a cueanything-I shall be very grateful. Come, now, just some little inspiration, if you please, to help out a poor fellow -to unite two hearts, and discomfit an enemy (who, by the way, is an Austrian, and your sanctissime can't bear them) and our rival. Ah! I am heard. I vow a wax taper, a bracciof long, to you; for here comes an idea;" and, with that strange_mixture of religion and superstition, Zambetto hurried to the nearest fortune-teller.
This mysterious character stood behind a rickety table covered with a dingy strip of black velvet, on which cabalistic signs were chalked; his stock of divining tools-a pack of greasy cards, an hour-glass, and a stuffed owlwere conspicuously displayed. He was drawing an audience by the astounding feat of making a needle, placed on a sheet of paper, follow his hand, below which was concealed a magnet. He was commencing his harangue-the pasteboard funnel of his pointed hat taking the place of a speaking-trumpet.
"To all fortune and good luck, by the great Abracadabras! What number was it that carried away the gr-r-rand prize in the last lottery? Why, the one I recommended. The happy possessor has already bought three palaces and a country house, and is now living in two of them. 'Why did I not buy the ticket myself?' some intelligent mind may inquire. Because-being what I am knowing all the good luck on this earth, and capable of imparting it-did I prophecy for myself, I should get so rich that all the rest of the world would become poor; and believe me," he laid his hand on his breast, "I am
↑ Braccio a measure not quite a yard long.