ePub 版

some one.

[ocr errors]

me ?".

atos dragged past like hours, when up Brown, superciliously, “though an drove a drosky. The deep blue eyes artist and proud to servo you my were looking around, as if in search of present circumstances allow me to work

Brown was in the shade— for what I please." he advanced in the twilight, pictures in “What am I to understand by that, hand, and made a bow. The lady sir ?" seemed surprised, there was evidently "Nothing-your beauty has amply a doubt on her mind. Was that per- repaid me?" son there (Brown was a consummate Sir, have I been mistaken ?" nob when he wanted to be) the art-stu- Suppose, went on Brown, as dent of the day before, in the slouch- jealousy soured him, “it pleases me to bat?

refuse the money you persist in offer“Madame," said Brown, hat in hand, ing me,” he answered, “it is from no “my task is accomplished.”

inock sentiment. Honest wages is but “Ah-it is you ?" Brown felt chill- the fair reward of honest toil—50 pray ed. “ Have you, indeed, the medallion ? give your purse to the first beggar you Ob, give it me. Thanks, thanks !" and meet, or drop it in the street." she kissed both pictures..." Beautiful, “You bumiliate me, sir,” answered each lineament of his dear features, the lady, with a look of scorn, “you and you have worked day and night for forget who you are talking to."

Whether it is I who make a copy “We do not work at night," answer- of your lover's face, or somebody else ed Brown, surlily:

what does it matter ?" he savagely re"Pray excuse me," she said appa- plied in a downright passion—he was rently not noticing his humor," I about saying more, when he saw the should have remembered your-your lady tremble-then burst into a flood face from yesterday," and she gavo of tears. Vandyke a sidelong glance, “but I "You have insulted me--you break miss your yesterday's costume;" then, my heart with your foul suspicions ; apparently confused at her own scru- and though I treasure the copy-not tiny, she drew her veil over her face for your sake, sir-your bands have Brown was in despair. “Here," she defiled it--rather than keep it as the said, holding a well-filled purse in her price of a rudeness—" so far, she had hand,“ tako this—and believe I cannot managed to look as 'rigid as marble sufficiently repay you for your labor." again-all excepting the eyes, that Brown felt himself humiliated; there flashed like fire-but clasping both was a tinge of constraint in her manner; hands, the two pictures tumbled to the his hands wero resting on the carriage bottom of the coach-and she burst door, bo withdrew them and thrust them anew into tears. in his pockets.

“I am an ass—an idiot-anything“Oh! pardon me,” she cried, “I a scoundrel! Ob, keep the picture! I have hurt your feelings. Pray take have wronged you-I shall blow my this, in return for the kindness you brains out, if you do not forgive me! have done me.” Still, Brown was in. I believe you to be true and honestexorable, and kept his hands à l'Ame- as honest as was iny mother-the pic. ricaine.

ture is your father's, brother's, hus"Do not suppose, for a moment, I band's—that I have been brutally rude consider this å task imposed for to you." Vandyke felt what he said, wages"-here she faltered a moment, and was about leaving precipitatelylifted up ber il, and looked imploring- when he gave a last look. The veil ly, with her beautiful eyes, fall in was tightly drawn-she was motionless. Brown's face..

“Adieu to you," cried Brown in deHe withdrew one hand and replaced spair; he thought he saw her hand move it on the window. "Madame- I am -just a single finger-he lingered. not at all hurt-but, pray, keep your Perhaps," at length said a voice in money." Brown said this rather kindly. & melancholy tone, “I am to blame,

“What? you will not let me pay coming, thus, alone-meeting, you at you? Sir, I cannot, will not, be your this unusual hour"-here sho shudderdebtor," and a tinge of angry red suf- ed—"gave reason for suspicion. My fused her face.

anxiety to have the picture of my "My fair employer," answered father—the strange circumstances.. As it is, I have been taught a bitter and Stchiastchek, deuce take that lesson."

Vandyke's heart gave one gipsy name—a fair cast. I have half jump from bis breast to his throat. “It a mind to go. Don Juan! That suits was her father's, and, infernal scoun- memthe denouement may do me good." drel that I was, I have not respected here be gave a deep groan. the purest of affections! How I have That evening the countess found wronged you!"

Brown a stupid

fellow, with not a word “I will try to forget,” she said to say. At ten o'clock he became comcalmly.

municative. “ You are an angel of goodness,” pas. “There-madame-tell me quickly, sionately interrupted Vandyke. “May who is it?" I dare to take that hand again in token “Who-what-where? you Ameriof your mercy ?” Here Vandyke got can Iroquois." inspired, and talked in Italian, English, (Madame de Bricquebeck's Indian and German, mixing up all kinds of was entirely taken from Cooper.) idioms; it was perfectly ludicruus. • The lady in the loge opposite ?” “ If years of regret could efface the “Ah-and have you found her out ?" suffering I have caused you—if you “Yes—no. For heaven's sake, Ma. knew all the tortures I feel-I tell you dame la Comtesse !" I deeply respect you—that I shall “So you are going to the Lybian never cease to cherish the short mo- desert ? Now, if you promise me a ments I have passed in your presence, Nubian slave with gold-armlets, I will To-morrow, I leave for a strange and answer you." wild country, another continent- "A horde, if you like." there"—here the silly fellow broke “That young person is the daughter down-gave a downright sob, took of a mixed race- - Venetian and Ausber band-dropped a tear on it, “and trian; you can see the extremes in her now, will you forgive--not despise mo? face. Some think her handsome. She Though under that veil, I see your is slightly mysterious. Her father, suseyes are downcast, an artist's heart pected of a tendency toward those and memory must ever recollect those Utopian ideas of Italian liberty, is features. Good-by to you; and re- threatened with Spielberg, and some member that, in leaving you-the pun. say the daughter is implicated. You ishment I inflict on myself is-was—" know I never see such people at the amhere be broke down a second time, and bassado-republicanism, I can't bear, strode hurriedly away,

always excepting some of your people. At the hotel, Vandyke doubly lock- I suppose she is here to supplicate for ed his door and commenced tearing up her father's grace. That stout man beand down the room. • Impossible to hind her, in the Uhlan uniform, is get to Trieste in time for the steamer- ecuyer to the emperor's grandmother. It can't go for a week-how shall I spend is well that her highness is in her dotage; ww-night?" He looked at his razors, for the poor man is of too ridiculous

an they were dull and jagged — he had been embonpoint for a cavalier. He is a relacutting his crayons with them. He tive of the young person, and combines, picked up his Colt, it was rusted and in his elegant self, the advantages of a wouldn't work he threw it down. roué and horse-jockey. They say he is There was a newspaper, the Austrian aur petit soins about her. As his influLloyd, mechanically he perused it. ence may be useful, I suppose she will " Trieste steamer leaves for Marseilles marry him. Well, allow me to remark, this day week, stopping by the way


fan is a Boucber, and that you
at-;' tore it up, then picked up a have broken it. You must paint me
note on his table. A note! Ab, from another-some scene of your own coun-
Madame de Bricquebeck's? What does try."
she want? •Madame de Bricquebeck's "A war-dance-willingly," answered
compliments to her young Choctaw sav- Vandyke, intent on the loge opposite.
age--and has just heard of his arrival. Their eyes met—the unknown seemed
She incloses a ticket for the opera ; will struck dumb, and dropped her lorgnon,
be in her logo at nine o'clock; will keep then disappeared in the back of the box.
a place for him. Soirée at the ambas- "Vous disiez ?" said the countess.
sade afterwards.' What is played to- " That he looks like a villain-I could
night? Don Giovanni, with Wagner kill him !"



[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

• Pray, who is going to be scalped ? Venica to Trieste was but a stone's You are elegant-80 true to your na- throw across the Adriatic." ture, adorablement feroce."

In Venice, Vandyke, with the idea Just then the trumpet-brays in the of taking the very next steamer from finale commenced.

Trieste, hired the third story of an old “Sweet musio !” said Vandyke, “a palace for six months, after having consummate humbug."

purchased enough canvas and colors “Sweet? I should say terrible just for the decoration of a drop-curtain. At hear the dire howlings of those trom- his window, one particular afternoon. bones, as the marble commander strides he commenced a sketch of a house on toward his victim-ce chèr comman- the other side of the canal. He took a deur"

sheet of paper; drew in the mobile base “The loge is empty, they have of the ever-rippling canal ; made two gone."

strong crayon strokes for the side-lines "Yes—the people opposite-I was of the house ; dashed in the roof next; surprised to see them here. One of our dotted in the three hitching-posts for attachés I overheard to say she was the restless gondolas, and then comordered to Venice. I believe Monsieur menced the filling up. The

apper de Bricquebeck was to have been inter- story was Lombard-he knew that by ested in her case ; but he can do no- heart-in a twinkling he had it; the se. thing-of course, the ecuyer goes to cond was renaissance, there was no difVenice. I read it this morning in the ficulty in it. Ruskin had made him as paper-he wants garrison duty."

familiar with it as with his own Ameri• Might I ask her name ?"

can church bank-style; but the third “ Lelia-her family name I forget, story—that was a poser. Capriciously her ancestor & doge or sombody; but Byzantine, it had twined columns as delipray be silent, you are making me lose cate as vine-tendrils, interlacing themthis grand finale, and I cannot afford to selves-gliding upwards, until they miss the emotion; be good enough to ended in a classic snarl, probably, an have my cassolette in readiness." inspiration of Cyprus wine upon an

Presently, the curtain dropped, and eastern imagination. More and more Vandyke, with a promise of returning interested in this particular story, Vanto the ambassado, saw the lady to ber dyke leaned over the balcony, as if decarriage, then drove, post-haste, to the termined to lose his balance; as it was, American minister's. His excellency his sketch fell from his hands; the breeze was absent, and upon Hannibal Hig- caught it, fluttered it here, rustled it gins, esq., of Loudon county, Virginia, there, until it attracted the attention devolved the imposing responsibility of of some ono opposite, who withdrew a attending to the court-prosentations and curtain and watched the flying sheet publio exhibition admissions demand- skim over the canal and nestle on the ed by our free and enlightened people. steps, within an inch of the water. (It Higgins, the attaché, owed his post to is a matter of regret for the romance of old Brown, and was an intimato friend the thing, to say that Vandyke know of Vandyke's. The young men talked perfectly well where Lelia lived, though steadily for an hour, at least, smoked this was the first time he had seen her.) some embassy cigars, and took down From behind his curtain, Vandyke from the shelves of the legation library watched the effect. A servant woman Vidocq, Silvio Pellico, Picciola, and presently appeared, looked aroundBaron Trenck, then, with an earnest picked up the paper-hesitated a moshake of the hand, Vandyke left him ment-crossed the bridge, and the next and returned to Madame de B.'s hotel, minute there was a knook at his door. where he made himself most agreeable. "Signor artist," said the woman,

For the next three days, Vandyke “this is probably some of your mer• acted in the strangest way; went into chandise.” the oddest corners of Vienna ; met all “ Your mistress-your master sont kinds of grim-looking people in out-of

you with it ?" the-way places; called at unexpected “No-not exactly. My lady perhours on the Countess de Bricquebeck; cieved it in the air-and, seeing it alight drew strong bills on his sire, and then where it did, bade me pick it up and suddenly left for Venice, remarking, as find its owner. I had seen you at work he got into the carriage, "that from at your window for these last three days, and supposed it to be yours. It ain't day playing with a leaf, next it was her much damaged--a drop of water or 80;" beautiful face, looking at its own reflex. and she gave it a rub with her sleeve. ion in the water. Rapid love was made.

“ It is mine—and thank you; pray Nina, the servant, carried notes; sig. take this ;" he slipped a piece of gold in nals were interchanged, and Vandyke her hand. “Be good enough to wait an vainly attempted to explain to Lelia instant, whilst I express my thanks to the necessity of an electric telegraph your master."


under water. Only once, “No, mistress—but, signor artist, how accompanied, for a wonder, by Nina, have I gained this piece of money—are (her aunt was ill), had he managed to your goods so precious, after all ?" talk to her, their gondolas baving got in

“Now or never,” thought Brown, as such a desperate tangle that it took full he took a small picture from bis drawer, ten minutes to disengage them. and wrote a few lines.

She was very wretched and loved "Give this to your lady, and, above him-loved him from the hour she had all, be discreet-you understand ?” The seen him—was miserable when an acciwoman looked surprised-curtsied, and dent prevented her getting a note from left. This was what he had written : him. Her father was not in Spielberg,

she had been forced to leave him. In " It has been impossible to forget you, and I have dared to trace, from memory, your

Vienna all his papers and pictures had beauteous traits. When I had finished this been catalogued by the police. She bad remorse seized me: what right bad I to gaze desired a copy of the portrait before the upon tho semblance of ope I had so grossly seizure, which had taken place, and so slanderod, wbo, perhups, despised me? I send it you-I have not the courage to destroy their strange acquaintance. Her fait. Pray, do not bid me quit Venice, let me ther, her dear, patriot father, she had stay a day or so, or tomorrow will see me heard, was well, but where he was she and my misfortunes far away."

did not know; there was some mystery Nothing could have been more diplo- about him, and this terrified her. About matic than this note; to say it was written the ecuyer? Yes, he was in Venice; in the glorious non-sequitur of a love-let- acted as her protector; was, she thought, ter, is all nonsense ; it positively placed too attentive to her; she disliked, hated the lady in the position of either return him; would rather die than be his wifeing or retaining it; did she keep it, she since now she Her friend must be was retaining what did not belong to careful-she feared they had been her did she return it-ah then ! sbe watched. Agreed, that if all went well, was only giving back what honestly be- she would hold a leaf in her hand ; longed to him. At any rate, something did she drop it in the canalsomemust come from it. Vandyke watched thing bad had happened ; did she draw his messenger enter the opposite house, to the curtain of her room something and, a' moment afterwards, the curtains dreadful had taken place. Then she of the third story were hurriedly closed. gave her hand to kiss, seemed to search Vandyke was in despair; it might be, him through and through with her big though, to keep out the burning sun ; eyes—said," she was compromising hertowards evening one was slightly opened self," then became cold and constrained. -perhaps, only to let in the evening Vandyke' reassured ber, and she smiled breeze. The beautiful sun down, came the again, but rather sadly; she allowed soft crepuscule—the evening zephyr him to take her glove, and, without her ruffled the canal; but no word or mes- knowledge, to slip a ring on her delisage. Vandyke commenced prepara- cate hand. The ten minutes sped fast, tions for departure. It was awful to see and they were separated. the way in which coats, pants, linen, and The day before Zambetto's acquaintboots were stowed away, when came a ance, Vandyke had a long letter. The low knock: Brown sprang to the door- substance was, “that this, she feared, a small parcel was handed in-he tore was the last letter she could write him. open the envelope, it was her portrait, Nina was to be dismissed, she believed, and he commenced an Indian dance, to that very day-to keep the shades of the affright of the woman, who crossed his window down-should she pass on herself.

the canal only to show his hand-should The acquaintance was recommenced ; she drop a leaf-Nina'was sent awayshe ventured to withdraw the curtain of she loved him always

would rather die her gondola, it was first her hand, one than have tho ecuyer-she had always the convent as a resource. Thought have it. What can be easier than for a Americans tho only nobles in the world. splendid fellow like myself to mako Sbe was still in the dark about her love to Nina? I must be irresistible ?" father, and the ecuyer had frightened he put a lump of nougat in his mouth. her with dreadful stories about him. She “But, pshaw! this Nina is old and ugly, was seriously alarmed. Her aunt had and, besides, turned adrift—and where openly declared for the ecuyer," etc., the devil can I find her ? That won't do. etc.

The fact is, Zambetto, the case is a diffi. The next day, a trembling hand drop- cult one; and, for this time only, I forpod a leaf into the canal; and, precisely give you. San Pantaleone, my patron, I at the same moment, a paint-brush fell am iu a quandary. You know perfect. into Zambetto's eye.

ly well the purity of my intentions, and We repeat, nothing could have been that I am not one of those stupid felmore natural.

lows who importune you incessantly

about nothing. If, at this present moIII.

ment, you would only give me the least “ Is it the lark that is gay? Pshaw, possible bint at a plan-just a cuogood people, you deceive yourselves; anything-I shall be very grateful. for the lark is a raven in comparison to Come, now, just some little inspiration, Zambetto!". So said this very indi- if you please, to help out a poor fellow vidual, as he elbowed his way through - to unite two hearts, and discomfit an the motley crowd in the Riva dei Schia. enemy (who, by the way, is an Ausvone, the exhibition-ground of the Vene- trian, and your sanctissime. can't bear tian mountebanks. • Leave of absence them) and our rival. Ab! I am heard. for this afternoon? Glorious! How I vow a wax taper, a bracciot long, to may I deign to amuse myself ? Shall I you; for here comes an idea ;" and, patronize that man entangling himself with that strange mixture of religion in a knot, and pitch bim a copper? or and superstition, Zambetto hurried to must I have an exbibition of Punchinel. the nearest fortune-teller. lo all to myself ?-myself the audience, This mysterious character stood besomething especially genteel and select. hind a rickety table covered with a I can assuredly afford all kinds of dis- dingy strip of black velvet, on which sipations; for I am a perfect rolling cabalistic signs were chalked ; his stock Zecca ;'* and be jingled his month's of divining tools—a pack of greasy wages in his new pockets. “Strange cards, an hour-glass, and a stuffed owlto say," a shade of melancholy pervaded were conspicuously displayed. He was his features, “my tastes and appetites drawing an audience by the astounding have wonderfully changed sinoe this feat of making a needle, placed on a morning. To bo possessor of a pound sheet of paper, follow his hand, below

sugared almonds, I thought to be the which was concealed a magnet. He was very end of happiness; and now, have commencing his harangue-the pasteing consumed seven-eighths of the con- board funnel of his pointed bat taking fectionery, I declare I have not tho the place of a speaking-trumpet. least zest for the remainder. After all, "To all fortune and good luck, by a surfeit is a rich man's privilege, and the great Abracadabras! Wbat numI am determined to be magnificent. ber was it that carried away the

gr-r-rand But stop-bast! May it not be that prize in the last lottery! Why, the the sense of my own importance has one I recommended.

The happy possomething to do with it? Have I not sessor has already bought three palaces the welfare of the Signore Boun's (be and a country house, and is now living made a desperate struggle over the in two of them. Why did I not buy "W") and the Signorina Lelia's on my the ticket myself ? some intelligent shoulders ? Am I not expected to be mind may inquire. Because being of incalculable benefit to them? Let me what I am-knowing all the good luck see what must be done? In the first on this earth, and capable of imparting place, establish communications. Yes, it--did I prophecy for myself, I should but how? Zambetto, I am perfectly dis- get so rich that all the rest of the world gusted with you-I shall discharge you would become poor; and believe me," he unless you answer that how. Ab! I laid his hand on his breast, “I am

• A mint.

Braccia a measure not quite a yard long.

« 上一頁繼續 »