Imatges de pÓgina

tions, and had insisted that in appearance him run the risk of offending his family and manner she was equal to any lady in and marrying him out of hand (the disthe south of France. So had Henrich Wet- appointment to be occasioned thereby to ter, head clerk and cashier in the bank Mademoiselle Krebs, a haughty and purseof Monsieur Krebs aforesaid, a tall, fair, proud young lady, being one of her keenest lymphatic young man, who, until his ac- incentives to the act), when another characquaintance with Pauline, had thought of ter appeared upon the scene. nothing but Vaterland and the first of ex- This was another Englishman, but in change, but who professed himself ready every way as different as possible to poor to became naturalised as a Frenchman, and Mr. Jenkins; not merely speaking French to take up his abode for life in Marseilles, like a Parisian, but salting his conversation if she would only listen to his suit. So with a vast amount of Parisian idiomatic had Frank Jenkins, attached to the British slang, full of fun and wild practical jokes; post-office, and in that capacity bringing impervious to ridicule, impossible to be put the Indian mails from London to Mar- down, and spending his money in the most seilles, embarking them on board the Pe- lavish and free-handed manner possible. ninsular and Oriental steamer, and waiting This was Tom Durham, who had suddenly the arrival of the return mail which carried turned up in Marseilles, no one knew why; them back to England; a big, jolly, mas- he had been to Malta, he said, on a "vensive creature, well known to everybody in ture," and the venture had turned out the town as Monsieur Jenkins, or the favourably, and he was going back to "courrier Anglais," who had a bedroom at England, and had determined to enjoy the Hotel de Paradis, but who spent the himself by the way. He was constantly whole of his time at the Restaurant du at the Restaurant du Midi, paid immense Midi, drinking beer, or brandy, or absinthe, attention to the dame du comptoir, and it was all the same to him, to keep the she in her turn was fascinated by his good landlord “square," as he phrased it, but temper, his generous ways, his strange, never taking his eyes off the dame du eccentric goings on. But Tom Durham, comptoir, and never losing an opportunity laughing, drinking, and spending his of paying her the most outrageous com- money, was the same cool, observant creapliments in the most outrageous French ture that he had been ever since he shipped ever heard even in that city of polyglot as 'prentice on board the Gloucestershire, strangers.

when he was fifteen years of age. All the If Pauline Lunelle had a tenderness for time of his sojourn at the Restaurant du any of them, it was for the sous-lieutenant; Midi he was carefully " taking stock," as at the Englishmen, and, indeed, at a great he called it, of Pauline Lunelle. In his many others — Frenchmen, commis-voya- various schemes he had long felt the want geurs, tradesmen in the city, or clerks in of a female accomplice, and he thought he the merchants' offices on the Quai—she had at last found the person whom he had laughed unmercifully. Not to their faces, for some time been seeking. That she was indeed, that would have been bad for busi- worldly-wise he knew, or she would never ness, and Pauline throughout her life had have achieved the position which she the keenest eye to her own benefit. Her held in Monsieur Etienne's establishment; worth as a decoy-duck was so fully appre. that there was far more in ber than she ciated by Monsieur Etienne, the proprietor had ever yet given proof of, he believed, of the restaurant, that she had insisted upon for Mr. Tom Durham was a strong believer receiving a commission on all moneys paid in physiognomy, and had more than once by those whose visits thither were unques- found the study of some use to him. Siptionably due to her attraction. But when ping his lemonade and cognac and puffing they had retired for the night, the little at his cigar, he sat night after night, talktop bedroom which she occupied in con ing pleasantly with any chance acquaintjunction with Mademoiselle Mathilde would ance, but inwardly studying Pauline ring with laughter caused by her repetition Lunelle, and when his studies were comof the sweet things which had been said pleted he had made up his mind that he to her during the evening by her admirers, saw in her a wonderful mixture of headand her imitations of the manner and strong passion and calm common sense, nn. accents in which they had been delivered. scrupulous, unfearful, devoted, and capable So Adolphe de Noailles had it all his own of carrying out anything, no matter what, way, and Pauline had seriously debated which she had once made up her mind to within herself whether she should not let | perform. “ A tameable tiger, in point of

66 And

made up

fact,” said Tom Durham to himself as he I was expecting some one-a gentleman stepped out into the street and picked his -to meet me. He will probably come in way across the filthy gutters towards his time for the next." home, “and if only kept in proper sub- “You will have a longish waiting bout,” jection, capable of being made anything said the man; “next train don't come till of.” He knew there was only one way by two forty-five, nigh upon three o'clock.” which Pauline could be secured, and he “That is long,” said Pauline.

his mind to propose to her the the next ?” next night.

Only one more after that,” said the He proposed accordingly, but Pauline porter, “ eight-forty; gets into Weymouth begged for four and twenty hours to con- somewhere between ten and eleven at sider her decision, and in the early morn- night. You'll never think of waiting ing went out into the Prado to think it here, ma'am, for either of them! Better all through, and deliberately to weigh the go into the town to one of the hotels, or merits of the propositions made respec- have a row on the river, or something to tively by Adolphe de Noailles and Tom pass the time.” Durham; the result being, that the sous- “Thank you,” said Pauline, to whom a lieutenant's hopes were crushed for ever— sudden idea had occurred. “ How far is or for fully a fortnight, when they blos- it from here to how do you call the somed in another direction -and that place—Hurstcastle ?” Pauline, dame du comptoir no longer, “To where, ma'am ? Oh, Hurst Castle; linked her fate with that of Tom Durham. I didn't understand you, you see, at first; Thenceforward they were all in all to each you didn't make two words of it. It is other; she had no relatives, nor, as he Hurst Castle, where the king was kept a told her, had he (“I have not seen Alice prisoner—him as had his head cut off; and for five years," he said to himself, “and where there's a barracks and a telegraph from what I recollect of her, she was a station for the ships now?" stuck-up, strait-laced little minx, likely Yes,” she said, “exactly, that's the to look down upon my young friend, the place : how far is it from here ?” tiger, here, and give herself airs which the Well, it's about seven mile, take it tiger certainly would not understand, so altogether, but you can't drive all the way. as they are not likely to come together, it You could have a fly to take you four will be better to ignore her existence alto- miles, and he'd bring you to a boat, and gether"). In all his crooked schemes, and he'd take you in and out down a little they were many and various, Pauline took river through the marshes, until you came her share, unflagging, indefatigable, clear to a beach, on the other side of which the in council, prompt in action, jealous of castle stands. But lor' bless me, miss, every word, of every look he gave to any what's the use o' going at all, there's noother woman, at the same time the slave thing to see when you get there!" of his love, and the prop and mainstay of “I wish to go,” said Pauline, smiling. his affairs. Tom Durham himself had not “You see I am a foreigner, and I want to that quality which he imputed to his half- see where your British king was kept a sister : he certainly was not strait-laced, prisoner. Can I get a fly here ?” but his escapades, if he had any, were care- The porter said he would find her one fully kept in the background, and Pauline, at once, and speedily redeemed his prosuspicious as she was, had never felt


mise. real ground for jealousy until she had wit- Through neat villages and wooded lanes nessed the scene at parting at the South- Pauline was driven, until she came to a ampton station.

large, bare, open tract of country, on the The Prado and its associations had faded borders of which the fly stopped, and the out of her mind, and she was trying to flyman descending handed her down some picture to herself the various chances steps cut in the steep bank and into an which could possibly have detained her old broad-bottomed boat, where a grizzled husband, when a porter halted before her, elderly man, with his son, were busy mendand civilly touching his cap, asked for ing an old duck gun. They looked up what train she was waiting:

with astonishment when the flyman said, “ The train for Weymouth," she replied. ' Lady wants to go down to have a look

“For Weymouth!” echoed the porter ; at the castle, Jack: I'll wait here, ma’am, “the train for Weymouth has just gone." until they bring you back.”

“Yes, I know that,” said Pauline, “but They spread an old jacket for her in the stern of the boat, and when she was seated, their owners. In the course of further took to their oars and pulled away with a conversation the man said that the Massilia will. It was a narrow, intricate, winding had anchored there during the night, had course, a mere thread of shallow, sluggish got her steam up and was off by daybreak; water, twisting in and out among the great he took watch and watch with his comrade, grey marshes fringed with tall flapping and he turned out just in time to see her weeds; and Pauline, already overexcited start. and overwrought, was horribly depressed Pauline thanked him and returned to the by the scene.

boat; but she did not speak to the old man “ Are you always plying in this boat?" on her return passage, and when she reached she asked the old man.

the fly which was waiting for her, she “Most days, ma'am, in case we should threw herself into a corner and remained be wanted up at the steps, there,” he re- baried in thought until she was deposited plied, “but night's our best time we at the station. reckon."

A few minutes after, the train bound for “Night!” she echoed. “Surely there are Weymouth arrived. Through confusion, no passengers at night time ?”

similar to that of the morning, she hurried "No, ma'am, not passengers, but officers along, criticising the passengers on the and sportsmen : gentlemen coming out gun- platform and in the carriages, and with the ning after the ducks and the wild-fowl,” same vain result. The train proceeded on he added, seeing she looked puzzled, and its way, and Pauline walked towards the pointing to a flock of birds feeding at hotel with the intention of getting some some distance from them.

refreshment, which she needed. Suddenly “ And are you out every night ?” she she paused, reeled, and would have fallen, asked eagerly,

had she not leant against a wall for sup“Well, not every, but most nights, port. A thought like an arrow had passed ma'am.”

through her brain-a thought which found “Last night, for example?”

its utterance in these words: “Yes, miss, we was out, me and Harry “It is a trick, a vile trick from first to here, not with any customers, but by our last! He has deceived me he never in. selves; a main dark night it was too! tended to meet me, to take me to Weybut we hadn't bad sport, considering." mouth or to Guernsey! It was merely a

“Did you—did you meet any one else trick to keep me occupied and to put me between this and Hurst Castle ?"

off while he rejoined that woman!" “ Well, no, ma'am,” said the old man, with a low chuckle.

" It ain't a place where one meets many people, I reckon. DON JUAN IN BRANDENBURG. Besides the ducks, a heron or two was about the strangest visitors we saw last " It was long my opinion,” said Maxinight. Now, miss, here we are at the milian, “that the story of Don Juan of beach; you go straight up there, and you'll Seville and the stone-guest stood alone find the castle just the other side. When among popular traditions; but I have you come back, please shape your course lately found a faint resemblance of it among for that black stump you see sticking up the legends of Stendal. there; tide's falling, and we shan't be able “You mean the city in the Old March to bide where we are now, but we will of Brandenburg—the Altmark, as it is meet you there.”

called ?" inquired Laurence. Lightly touching the old man's arm, “Precisely,” replied Maximilian. Pauline jumped from the boat, and rapidly “Well, certainly,” observed Laurence," ascending the sloping head, found herself, “ if you want to find a horrible story you on gaining the top, close by a one-storied, could not go to a better place. If I recolwhitewashed cottage, in a little bit of re-lect right, there is a pathway near one of claimed land, half garden, half yard, in the gates of Stendal, that at midnight is which was a man in his shirt-sleeves wash- haunted by ghosts so various, that one ing vegetables, with a big black retriever seldom has a chance of seeing the same dog lying at his feet. Accosting him, apparition twice. Sometimes there is a Pauline learned that the house was the procession of spectral nuns, with Saint telegraph station, whence the names of Catherine at the head; sometimes a troop the outgoing and incoming ships are tele- of monks, with large books in their hands; graphed to Lloyd's for the information of sometimes a couple of knights on horse

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back; sometimes a skeleton hand, supposed was to be devoted to the improvement of to have belonged to a murderer, who the sacred building, and caused an image avoided execution by suicide.”

of the lamb to be carved in stone in com“Does the hand walk or ride?" inter- memoration of the event." rupted Edgar.

“The shepherd, I presume, was content "That I cannot say," said Laurence, with the reward which virtue claims as its "nor do I know the stories with which own," observed Edgar. these apparitions are connected. There is, “Even the old story of the Prentice however, another spectre appertaining to Column in Roslin Chapel, near Edinburgh, the same spot, of which a more satisfactory is to be found at Stendal in reference, not to explanation is given. This is a great he- a column, but to a gate. Some time in the cat, who sits on a tree, looking greedily at fifteenth century, a skilful architect had a coin which lies upon the ground, and built a gate at Stendal, and a few years springs upon any luckless wanderer who afterwards another gate was built by one attempts to pick it up. His attacks, how- of his pupils. The work of the pupil ever, are generally confined to the male proved to be better than that of the master, sex, and he is sometimes accompanied by whereat the latter was so highly incensed a number of she-cats, who vent their spite that he slew the former with a blow of upon trespassing females. Now it is ex- his hammer. A stone, which still exists, plained that these feline apparitions are was raised to mark the spot where the the ghosts of a spendthrift, and the ladies crime was committed.” upon whom, no doubt, he wasted his sub- “ That is the story of the Prentice Column stance."

exactly,” exclaimed Edgar. “I wonder,” remarked Edgar, " whether “With the slight addition," said Lauthese various ghosts, who seem actuated by rence, “that, according to popular belief, such diverse motives, ever jostle one the form of a pale youth may be seen on a another, or whether there is some mutual moonlight night, gloomily contemplating understanding that prevents a collision. the pupil's gate, while round the battleAn unexpected meeting of the monks, ments on the top of it floats a skeleton, the nuns, the two horsemen, and the armed with a hammer, with which it beats cats, to say nothing of the skeleton hand, down stones from the wall.” would, I opine, cause something like a “Nay,” interposed Maximilian, “there

is a similar story told in reference to “You are getting beyond me,” said another stone cross, set up at GrossmörinLaurence; “ I can only repeat what I have gen, in the vicinity of Stendal, though here heard. Certainly, it is strange to find one the cause of wrath was a bell, which an narrow spot associated with superstitions assistant had succeeded in casting, after scarcely traceable to one common source. an abortive attempt on the part of the Now, there is a rude image of a sheep or master, and was stabbed accordingly. a lamb on St. Mary's Church, at Stendal, “ The disposition to crush rising talent which probably points to something like a is so very common," observed Laurence, fact. It seems that, ages ago, a shepherd, that these three stories, in spite of their watching his sheep while they grazed out- similarity, probably record three separate side the city walls, was suddenly overtaken events. Still the similarity is remarkable.” by sleep. When he awoke he found that “Especially in the cases of Stendal and his flock was dispersed in all directions, Grossmöringen, which are about two and though, with the assistance of his dog, leagues distant from each other,' he soon brought the other sheep together, marked Maximilian. “Grossmöringen, by one lamb was not to be moved, but re- the way, seems always to have made a mained bleating on the spot to which it noise with its bells. A swineherd once had strayed. The shepherd followed the noticing a hollow place where one of his sound, and found the animal standing upon sows had deposited her pigs, discovered a heap of gold, silver, and precious stones, that it was lined with metal. Digging which it had scratched out of the ground deeply, he further discovered that the with its foot. Of this treasure he possessed metal belonged to a fine church bell. No himself, and carried the lamb into the town, sooner was the event made known, than but the troublesome little animal effected its the bell was claimed by the authorities of escape, and took refuge in the church, where the cathedral at Stendal, who built an esthe bleating was renewed. The shepherd pecially large waggon, and attached thereregarded this as a sign that the treasure to sixteen horses, in order to bring the



the city.'

prize bome. But all the men and all the Nay, gratitude was not their only mohorses of Stendal were insufficient to make tive,” replied Laurence.

They mainthe bell stir a single inch. So the peasants tained the horse, not merely because they of Grossmöringen thought they would try respected, but because they considered him their luck, and succeeded in taking the bell useful. And good use they made of him. to their village, though they employed only Whenever a fire occurred, the burgomaster eight horses. Nay, according to some ac- mounted the back of the steed, went counts, one peasant and one horse were through the process prescribed on the prefound enough for the operation."

vious occasion, and with a like fortunate “We'll let the eight horses have the result. At last the horse died, and the benefit of that doubt," suggested Edgar. whole city, plunged into mourning, re

“The bell,” proceeded Maximilian, " was sounded with the shrieks of children and hung up in the village church, and now the sobs of adults. To make matters the people of Stendal grew disagreeable, worse, a fire broke out, adding terror to and, as the fox found the grapes too sour, grief. Fortunately the burgomaster thought considered the bell of the village too loud. he might as well try whether he could not It was a nuisance, they declared, and do without the horse, and stay the spreadmoreover, a misleader, for whenever it ing mischief by walking round the flaming rang, the sound seemed to come from the edifice, praying as before. The walk proved belfry of one of their own churches.” to be as good as the ride, and so thoroughly

“Although it was two leagues off! The was the efficiency of the process estabcitizens of Stendal were quick at hearing,” lished, that it was upheld, on the occasion said Edgar.

of a fire, by successive burgomasters down “At all events," retorted Maximilian, to the year

1840." “it seems to be an undisputed fact that “Were not the date so recent,” observed the villagers were obliged to close the Edgar, “ I should suspect that some satiriopening in the belfry that looks towards cal rogue had invented the second part of

the story, as what some people call a “The story of the burgomaster of Sten- 'skit' upon the first. If we take the whole dal and the white horse is rather curious," tale together, as of one piece, the horse interrupted Laurence," and the more so looks very like a humbug; indeed, he puts that it is not of ancient date."

me in mind of a certain bear, of whom “What is it?" inquired Edgar.

mention is made in a well-known political "They say,” answered Laurence, “that work entitled the Rights of Man." in the seventeenth century many fires took “An odd place to look for legends," place in the city, and that at last there was sneered Laurence. one which defied every effort to extinguish ' Many years have passed since the book it. Indeed, as the available means of extin- was in my hands,” retorted Edgar; “but guishment were scanty, the efforts were whether I looked for the story or not. I far from prompt. Under these inauspicious am pretty sure I found it there. It appears circumstances, the burgomaster betook that the inhabitants of one of the Swiss himself to prayer, and his supplications cantons maintained a bear at the public were apparently answered by the appear expense for many years, the death of each ance of a stranger, mounted on a white particular bear causing a vacancy, which horse, from which he alighted, desiring had to be filled with the least possible the burgomaster to take his place in the delay. The bear was not expected to do saddle, and to ride round the burning any especial good or harm, but public house, still continuing his prayers in si- opinion had decided that a bear was the lence. If he did this, the spread of the proper sort of animal to keep, and that the fire beyond the precincts of the house canton could not possibly thrive without would be prevented.

The counsel was one. In the course of time a difficulty arose. followed, and the plan succeeded; but A bear died, and a successor was not to be when the burgomaster dismounted the found. There was a scarcity of bears such stranger had disappeared. A stable was as never had been known in the land. accordingly built for the horse, and abun- Week after week did a council sit discuss. dant provision was made for his sustenance ing how the frightful loss was to be reat the expense of the city.”

paired; but though this council resolved “On this occasion,” remarked Edgar, itself into special committees, appointed “ the citizens of Stendal seem to have sub-committees, and offered rewards that been more amiable than usual. At least would have drained the resources of the they showed their gratitude."

land, no bear was forthcoming. At last

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