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answer"--he muttered—and without another observation, rode for. ward and entered the yard of the posada.

It was crowded with dismounted partidas, whose horses were picketed and feeding--and in my life I never saw more savage countenances than those which were half hidden and half seen beneath the shadow of their dark-plumed sombreros. In a remote corner, some dozen French voltigeurs, bound two and two, were drawn up. An ominous silence prevailed in the pale faces of the prisoners, intense anxiety was marked—their guards only conversed in whispers --and it appeared that all were in expectation of some coming event, which seemed dependent on the arrival of the Empecinado.

From the living my eye turned to the direction where I had witnessed the execution of “the Student” and his friend. The bodies, however, had been removed, but the spot where they had fallen was readily discovered, for here and there, patches of cement had fallen on the ground, detached from the wall where the bullets of the firing party had struck the brick-work.-Juan Diez cast a gloomy look from the place his friends had met their death to that captive group, whose suspense as to their fate the presence of the dreaded chief would presently remove—and without uttering a word, he entered the wellremembered kitchen of the posada—the curate and El Manco following, and the fosterer and I with a few partidas bringing up the rear.

It appeared that this singular chamber was destined to present alternately images of life and death, and in quick succession the venta became the house of mourning and of feasting.-On the same table where I had supped with the Empecinado and La Coste, the bodies of the dead guerillas were laid out side by side, the village priest kneeling at their feet, and offering a mass for their souls' repose. Until the religious duty was performed, the partida leaders observed a respectful silence-but when the Cura rose up and departed, the Empecinado addressed his companions

“ You have heard,” he said, “the dying injunction of our lost comrade, when he confided to me the sacred duty of executing vengeance on those who murdered him. That hour is come, and ere high noon, blood shall be repaid with blood. To those without, their doom shall be speedily communicated ; and on the same spot, and by the same means by which our brethren perished, their slayers shall be slain. So much for retribution on the enemy. Another task is to be performed-greater criminals remain-and justice sternly demands her victims. Diego,” he continued, pulling out his watch, and turning to one of the partidas, who seemed to follow his movements as an orderly, “ Go out-apprise the condemned that in fifteen minutes they will be in eternity. The time is short—the priest must be the busier. Deliver this watch to Juan de Castro ; and when this hand stands there he knows the rest—and then conduct the other prisoners hither.”

He whom the Empecinado had addressed as Diego made no reply, but bowed, and left the kitchen. In a few minutes he returned, and we looked anxiously to the door to discover who the other criminals might be.

The first who presented himself, from dress and appearance, was

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evidently a hidalgo, or Spanish gentleman. The second bcre a lower stamp, and appertained to the middle order of society. The third, to our unbounded astonishment, was our quondam fellow-traveller, the muleteer. The arms of each prisoner were bound behind his back with a common halter, the end of which the partida, who conducted the criminal, held within his grasp.

On the countenances of the prisoners despair was plainiy written ; and if one ray of hope still remained unextinguished in their bosoms, the chilling address of Juan Diez would have quenched it.

In dead silence they were placed in a line, and at the foot of the table, where the bodies of “the Student” and his comrade were extended. Bending on the devoted wretches a scowl of indescribable ferocity, the Empecinado thus addressed them :

Spaniards—but in name- -false to your God, faithless to your country Shave ye aught to say why a felon death should not be instantly awarded ?"

The hopeless agony which the faces of the criminals thus addressed exhibited, shall never fade from my memory. Colourless—wordlesstheir white lips moved; but not a syllable was articulated but the single supplication, half lost, half heard, of “mercy !”

Mercy!” returned their stern judge, “ Mercy!”-and he laughed. -Oh! what a laugh it was !—“Mercy, and from me! Look roundgaze upon your victims-and then ask mercy from Juan Diez! But softly, we must be just. The mockery of a trial was extended to our comrades, and a similar act of justice shall be meted out to you. I shall be the accuser, and those shall be your judges ;” and he pointed to El Manco and the Curate. “ Yes, justice ye shall have ; and I swear, by the decree only of these worthy gentlemen, life or death shall be determined !

He placed his hand within his jacket, and then slowly pulling out several written documents, selected two or three, and then proceeded with his address.

Answer me briefly-speak truth—for, remember, the first falsehood ensures the transfer of yonder halters from arm to neck. Jose de Toro,” he continued, turning to the postmaster, “know'st thou this handwriting ?"

The person questioned gave a hurried look at the well remembered characters, and, with the sickly hope that, leaning on a straw, still clings desperately to life, he at once determined to betray his guilty companion.

“ Noble sir,” he muttered, “that writing is the alcade's.”

“ Thou hearest,” said the Empecinado, handing the fatal document to the Cura. “Honest Sancho, thou wert bearer of a letter, two nights ago, addressed to Captain St. Pierre. Wouldst thou know it, honest Sancho ?” and the word honest hissed sarcastically between his teeth.

To the unfortunate muleteer, life was dear as to the postmaster. He took the fatal packet in his hand, looked at it attentively, and then replied, that he had indeed received it from Jose de Toro, under a promise of ten dollars for its safe delivery, which promise had been faithfully fulfilled.

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“ Ho! ho !” exclaimed the Empecinado, “ said I not truly that thou wert honest ? 'Tis marvellous what virtue lies in a yard or two of hemp. There, Cura, read that letter also, and then thou and El Manco will know what will be due to justice. What proves the alcade's letter ?”

“ That the writer is a traitor, and in French pay,” was the brief reply. “And what, the worthy postmaster's ?” “ That he is a sworn confederate."

“ And what, Cura, wouldst thou term the caitiff who advisedly was bearer of treacherous intelligence ?"

“I would say that, in effecting the villany of others,' he was on a par, in guilt, with the traitors who employed him.”

“ And now, El Manco, be it thy duty to pronounce sentence on these offenders.”

The maimed one answered this appeal by directing a concentrated look of hatred and vengeance at the convicted. Neither the alcade or De Toro had power to speak a word ; but the luckless muleteer cried lustily, and in the name of every saint, for mercy and forgiveness.

“Well,” said the partida chief, “ 'twere wrong to keep you in suspense, as one fate awaits ye. But we will justly apportion it according to your respective ranks.”

Here the muleteer, under fallacious expectations, broke in with a loud torrent of future loyalty and everlasting gratitude.

Stay, fellow, keep thyself cool awhile,” said El Manco, drily. “ Thou know'st the proverb, surely—'Hallo not until ye clear the forest;' and now listen to your sentences. With due consideration for thy rank, alcade, thou shalt ornament a topping branch of your own beech tree. The postmaster must needs content himself with a lower bough. And for thee, good fellow," and he addressed himself to the trembling muleteer, no matter to what limb they attach thy worthless carcase, provided thy feet clear the court-yard by a yard or two. Off with them—let them have five minutes; and, by San Jago, that will be longer by four than the knaves deserve !"

Never, on a shorter trial, were men condemned, nor sentence more savagely delivered. To a ruthless judge, appeal or remonstrance would have been equally unavailing; and they were removed from the posada to the tree in a sort of sullen and stupid unconsciousness. Their shrift was short-the last sad ceremony hurried over-and, as the fosterer afterwards observed, “they were hanged before they could find time to bless themselves!”

The passing scene was one that would dwell long upon the fancy.One may view the dead with indifference—the trial's over- -the goal is past.--But who can look upon a thing of life,” whose thread of existence a few short minutes will sever, without recoiling at the thought? So much had these sad reflections occupied my mind, that I forgot there were others besides those on whom I had just looked my last, who were standing on the confines of eternity. But these musings were interrupted. Without, a rolling volley was suddenly delivered. It knelled the doom of the luckless voltigeurs—and by a

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