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last farewell.—“ Will nothing but this Frenchman's life acquit the service that I owe thee?"

“Nothing,” returned Mark Antony.—“What other favour could ye grant me ? Hav'n't I the free use of my limbs, and ten dollars besides in my pocket ?

“Well—if it must be so—I will not let thee leave me in thy debt. Frenchman—thou art saved !”

“Then, Pauline, thou mayst yet receive from living lips, that blessing which a dying hand was tracing !” and springing from the bench, the voltigeur flung his arms around the fosterer, and pressed him to his bosom.

“ Heaven forbid,” said Juan Diez, addressing Mark Antony“that I had many creditors like thee! Well—no matter-have I now acquitted all claims upon me to the full ? ”

“No, Empecinado,” I returned—“I am as yet unpaid.”.

“Go on, my friend. - What wouldst thou have me do ?” said the Spaniard, graciously.

Complete the favour-and add liberty to life.” Juan Diez paused-looked at El Manco and the Cura. “ What shall I answer ? I swore that nothing should avert his doom -and thought nothing could have shaken the resolution.”

I know that nothing human should have shaken mine," observed El Manco. “Life spared, liberty is a trifle--grant it, Juan Diez, if you please.”

“And I,” said the Cura, “ will not object.—Great men have occasional weaknesses, and at times, I have found myself rather softer hearted than I should be. Empecinado, 'tis sinful to break an oath, but Holy Church is merciful. – Hang me the first half dozen of these robbers who fall into your hands, and thou shalt have absolution ; the penance—that thou shalt fast from flesh meat the first day when you cannot conveniently find it.”

At this merciful annunciation of the worthy clerk, Juan Diez laughed.

“ I thank thee, Cura,” he replied; “ but when I make my shrift, I will seek another confessor. Come, the morning passes, and 'tis time we were wending towards the mountains. Gentlemen,” he continued, turning to the fosterer and me, our short companionship is about to terminate. If gallantry could attach me to brave men, and make me regret a separation, I should have abundant reason to grieve that I am about to lose ye; but, sooth to say, for our wild warfare you are not exactly fitted, and, like my excellent camarado, the Cura, you

have a little too much softness at the heart. From intelligence I have received since we first met, I would advise you to abandon your original intention of crossing the mountains to Valencia. Suchet's movements are suspicious— the roads are unsafe -crowded with ladrones—all desperate men, who would respect no passports, were they guaranteed by every authority in Spain. If

you choose to persevere

No, Don Juan," I replied; “I will return to the allied cantonments. I have, in obedience to orders, endeavoured to reach my

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regiment. I have failed; and, to say truth, I don't regret it. I shall resign my commission, if required, and serve under Lord Wellington a volunteer.”

“ Such being your intention, I would recommend that you return by the shortest and openest route. Should you touch upon a French outpost, this gentleman will protect you,” and he pointed to Lieutenant Cammaran; “ if

you

fall in with the allied cavalry, you will return the compliment; and should you tumble upon any friends of ours during the journey, you carry a passport that every partida on the peninsula will respect. Ho, Diego ! bring me yonder writing-case. Fortunately, sir, you do not require it at present,” and the Empecinado smiled as he addressed the reprieved one.

“ Thanks to these noble Englishmen, I do not,” returned the lieutenant.

“ I beg your pardon,” replied Mr. O'Toole; “I can't exactly tell what countryman I am, because I was born at sea.”

I “ Wine !cried the Empecinado. “ Ho, landlord ! stir thyself. Thou know'st my taste-none of that sorry stuff that would poison a Manolo. Let's have some fit for christian men. Remember, honest Gonsalvez, thou hast rarely such honourable guests. Here are three foreigners of distinction ; and there a holy churchman. Of my friend here,” and he pointed to El Manco, “I shall say nothing; and modesty forbids me speaking of myself. Come, let thy wine be good, or, by San Juan, we'll quit thy venta altogether.”

With a low bow, the alarmed innkeeper hurried off. As he passed us, the expression of his countenance was ridiculously intelligent; and to the last sentence of the Empecinado, said, or seemed to say, “I wish to Heaven

you

would !” The wine that the host produced no doubt was excellent, for its effect upon

the
company

was marvellous. Juan Diez jested with the Curate; the Frenchman and fosterer conversed in broken English ; occasionally El Manco vouchsafed a relaxation of the facial muscles, which he intended to represent a smile. All seemed happy but the innkeeper; and on his dull countenance terror and anxiety were imprinted. On him the lively sallies of his distinguished visitors were lost; and the only occurrence at which his sombre features lightened was when a guerilla entered the apartment, and announced that the horses were saddled in the yard.

While the party resumed their cloaks and weapons, the Empecinado beckoned to me, and I retired with him to a corner.

“ Is there aught in which I can oblige you? Speak freely," he said.

I thanked him, and answered him in the negative.
“ How is thy pocket lined, my child ?” was his next question.
I assured him my purse was liberally supplied.
“ I can spare thee a dozen pistoles,” he added.
I acknowledged the kindness, but declined the offered subsidy.

He looked suspiciously around, and then took a packet from his bosom, and placed it in my hand, unseen.

“ Conceal these papers, and deliver them carefully, with my duty to

Let us go.

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Lord Wellington. They are written in cipher ; but I know that he has a key that will unravel their contents. I feel assured that they contain important information, for I have learned through a channel where I never was deceived, that the expedition of La Coste was originally intended for no other purpose, than to enable him to communicate with another commandant to whom he was directed to transfer these papers safely. A movement of two strong detachments to secure the delivery of a letter is a sufficient guarantee, my friend, that the contents are momentous.

El Manco is impatient. Outside the village we part — thou, to the low country; I to the mountains.”

“ Art thou hearing a confession in yonder corner, Empecinado ?” inquired the monk.

No, Cura, I would not usurp the functions of the church with one of its brightest ornaments immediately beside me. I was merely giving my young friend here a slight hint of what Juan Diez has experienced, and I'll once more repeat it.” Then, turning to me, he added aloud, “ 'Tis an uncertain world, and many a brilliant opening in a young life has darkly closed. Should fortune frown, friends fall off, enemies prevail-in short, should thy young career be darkened as mine was suddenly, take thy chance with Juan Diez; and thou, my friend,” and the Spaniard addressed the fosterer, “thou, too, wilt any time be welcome; and, as we crossed the Sedana, we'll swim or sink together."

So saying, the guerilla pointed to the door. We took the hint, and passed on. There the worthy host stood, cap in hand, bowing us out, as it became customers of distinction. I would have stopped and demanded a reckoning, but Mark Antony was of opinion that such a proceeding might have been an offence in the sight of our patrons and protectors. Certainly, I saw no bill paid or delivered ; and I have reason to believe that the guerilla leaders were of the school of ancient Pistol, and consequently gentlemen of too good taste to stoop to an inquiry into accounts. And yet proofs of disinterested regard were not wanting to Senhor Velasquez. I overheard the Empecinado, as he passed, impress on this favoured innkeeper the immediate necessity of replenishing his bins with better wine, and restoring his stable-loft, which needed repair sorely. In my presence certainly none of the circulating medium passed ; and, to use fashionable parlance, I verily believe the unfortunate proprietor of the posada was regularly victimized by all and every.

We entered the court-yard; and, thank Heaven, for the last time. A score of guerillas, mounted and dismounted, were in waiting. Cammaran passed through with averted eyes; but I ventured a look at the well-remembered spot which, within eight-and-forty hours, had witnessed a double execution. The voltigeurs were lying as they fell ; the bodies weltering in a pool of blood, or exhibiting in other cases, no mark of violence whatever. One I passed by was a mere lad. His death must have been instantaneous-one fracture in the jacket was opposite the heart-the countenance was tranquil; and a smile played upon the lip. Could that be death? I knew it was, or I could have

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fancied well that he was dreaming of absent friends, and calmly indulging in a siesta.

I was delighted when we cleared the court-yard. El Manco and the Cura were waiting for us—presently, Juan Diez rode up; and, followed by an escort of some score of cavalry, we, for the last time, passed along the street of Villa Moro.

I had witnessed enough of guerilla life to render it thoroughly disgusting. War at best is bad; but “war to the knife" is only tolerable for savages. All the romance of partida daring had passed away. I had seen it in its naked light, and found its real character—a ruthless, reckless disregard to every feeling which binds mankind by a common tie-by turns suffering without complaint, and inflicting without compunction. Such were my impressions as I slowly rode along the village street; and had they needed any confirmation, the scene reserved for me would have been quite enough.

On the huge beech tree I had already remarked in front of the house of the chief magistrate, three human bodies were suspended. The Empecinado's passing observation, and El Manco's sarcastic address while dooming the unhappy offenders, came back vividly to my recollection. The sentence had indeed been executed to the very letter, and alcade, postmaster, and muleteer, were hanging precisely as the 6 maimed one” had decreed it. • The worst feature of the savage picture remained—six wretched orphans who had witnessed the expiring agonies of their father were still screaming from the windows from which they had seen him die, and from fear, insensibility, or both, their immediate neighbours dared not, or did not, offer the slightest mark of sympathy under a bereavement that would have touched all but savage hearts. The fosterer turned pale ; the Frenchman shuddered; the Empecinado regarded the dead men with a marble look.

“El Manco," observed the Cura with a smile, “ Jack Hangman has done thy bidding, and the alcade overtops his friends.”

Ay,” returned the “ maimed one;" “this ever be the fate of traitors! Would that every oak in Spain bore such acorns as yonder beech tree !"

I was sick, nauseated, disgusted. Death-death in every shape ! and from the bottom of my heart, I blessed God that my acquaintance with my excellent friends was to determine so speedily. Until we cleared the village I preserved an unbroken silence; and when Juan Diez pointed to a place where our respective roads branched off at the distance of a furlong, my bosom felt as if it were lightened of a load, and, as Doctor Pangloss says, “I breathed again.”

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CHAPTER XXXIII.

THE GUERILLA'S GIFT.

Bring forth the horse !—the horse was brought ;
In truth, he was a noble steed.”

MAZEPPA.

A few minutes' easy riding brought us to the spot where the roads diverged, and where it had been previously arranged that we should part company. We took leave of El Manco and the Cura; the fosterer and Frenchman turning their horses' heads in the direction of Toledo, while the partidas took the mountain route. Consequently, the Empecinado and I were left alone, the escort passing on, with the exception of a single horseman.

“I know not wherefore, Mr. O'Halloran, but I feel more reluctance in saying the word 'farewell’ than is my wont. The chances against our ever meeting in this world are enormous. Well, it matters not'tis but a too frequent occurrence in life's history—the parting from those we esteem Believe me, I shall ever look back on our brief acquaintance with pleasure, and wish you the best fortunes that attend a soldier-death or distinction. If I live, you will hear of the Empecinado. The tale may not be flattering ; it may be of enemies destroyed, of villages laid in ashes. Men will speak of him as of a demon, and women cross themselves when they hear his name pronounced; and yet, Mr. O'Halloran, I was once such another as thyself. Mine, at thy own age, was the same ardent and disinterested courage, that at the posada risked life to save a stranger; and when the flush of blood had cooled, I would have recoiled, like thyself, from treading on a And I was happy. I had a home on the sweet banks

of the Huebra. I had a wife-a child. The Madonna's features at the altar, where we plighted our bridal vows, were not lovelier than Camilla's the infant's on the holy Virgin's knees, not sweeter than my boy's. I lost both, Mr. O'Halloran_lost them—but don't ask how! In one brief day, Juan Diez's nature changed, and he became what he is, cold to the misery he inflicts on others, from the fearful remembrance of what he underwent himself. But enough; sometimes recall the Empecinado to thy recollection, and think on the inn of Villa Moro. Thou shalt have one token to bring me to thy memory—'tis this horse. He is a fitting gift; black as the rider he carried in safety through as great extremity—ay, even as that we encountered the first morning that we met.”

I thanked him warmly, but declined to accept the charger.

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