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to become his mistress; and when Lennartson left the province, and went to Vienna, I followed him—and he loved me still, though where he once gave me days, he gave me hours. And when he went to Southern France, I forgot my people and my country, and followed him still thither-and still he loved me, though where he once gave me hours, he gave me moments. It is ever so with men's love! And there he saw HER. By night, as I crouched under the myrtle shrubs of her villa to see his shadow, where it fell, I saw him in her gardens; by day, hidden under the pines, watching for his horse's gallop, I saw them riding together. She beguiled him even as she beguiled you; he loved her, and he was lost to me for ever! For a while, I know scarcely how long, time was a blank to me. I remember nothing; people who tended me said afterwards that I went mad-it may have been so. The first thing I remember is, when I crawled out and found my way to his house, there was a crowd about-a crowd whispering and awe-stricken; and when I pushed my way through them, I saw him

A shiver ran through her frame, and her voice dropped; she waited one instant, then summoned back the proud and mournful calmness with which she spoke:

"I saw him, dead, shot by his own hand. . . . and those about him were saying how she had laughed and taunted him the night before, and how, maddened by her, he had left her presence and ended the life that she had made worthless. She had slain him!—and when they told her she felt no remorse for her work, but went to a ball in her diamonds and her loveliness with a laugh on her lips. And by his corpse, when it lay there, wet, pale, its beauty shattered, and its glory stricken, I took my oath to God and him to know no rest until I had revenged him!"

She paused again; and in the silence between them there sounded the melancholy lulling of the ocean like the endless ebb and flow of human passions, ever renewing, never at rest. Then her chanting and melodious tones took up their burden once more:

"And I have kept my vow. I joined my own people again; but, unseen, undreamt of by her, I have followed in her track, groping in the dark for some dropped clue, some broken thread to guide me to the redemption of my oath. She never saw me save once, when she bade her hireling strike me out of her path like a dog; yet I never let her escape me, but followed ever in her shadow, as her doom should follow a murderess. Oftentimes my errand seemed hopeless, and I said in my heart, 'Fool! can the field-lark cope with the falcon? can the emmet destroy the gazelle ?-how then canst thou reach her?' Yet ever again I took patience and courage, since ever in my ear his voice seemed crying Revenge! revenge!' and when my soul fainted because of the weariness of its travail, I thought of him as I had beheld him, driven to his death by her, with his beautiful face shattered and ghastly, and bathed in its blood! Then I gathered my strength afresh, and afresh pursued her, blindly, but yet in security, for I believed that the hour would come when the God of Vengeance at length would deliver her into my hand. And lo! the hour at last is here. Yet now that I have the knowledge my power is too weak to turn it against her. I, poor and lowly, and whose voice would never be heard, cannot use what I have found. But you, English lord, can do with it what you will. I, the Vagrant, and you, the

Noble, both hate; let the great take the key to his vengeance from the obscure. The worm has burrowed, let the tiger rend!"

Her voice ceased, and there was silence again between them, whilst the winds swept with hollow echo through the arched cloisters where they stood, these strange companions thus strangely drawn together, with the great chasm of social difference yawning between them, only bridged by the community of hatred, which, like the community of love, binds together those who are farthest asunder. He had heard her throughout without interruption, and as the moonlight fell about him she saw the varied passions that swept across his face, and the tiger glare darkening his eyes. As dried wood ready for the burning leaps up to the touch of flame, so the lust of revenge which was within him leapt up to the woman's words, "To see her suffer!" He, too, was athirst for it. All that was evil and merciless latent in his nature-and there was very much-had fastened on one desire to wreak the fulness of some hideous revenge where he had blindly doted. And he stood now silent, while many thoughts coursed through his brain, larvæ of evil which the hotbed of remorse was swiftly nourishing to deed.


A profound and rapid reader of human character and motive, this woman's soul was bare before him as a book, and in it he read-truth. Her history brought back to him that which had once been told him at Vernonceaux of Marc Lennartson's death and of its cause, and he saw that the heart of the Bohemian, untamed and untutored, knowing no god but its love, and no heaven but its hate, would make no erring flight to the quarry of its vengeance. He saw that this woman held, or believed she held, the key to the redemption of her oath; and he saw that, weak with her sex's tenderness, yet thereby strong as her sex ever is, ignorant, and malleable as wax in his guidance, yet with the tenacity of an Indian in tracking the trail she followed, she would be his tool to work as he would.

For one moment he paused; the pride of rank and of habitual reserve, rather, perchance, than any nobler principle, shrinking from association with the Gitâna, rejecting the employment of one thus far beneath him, loathing his instrument because he must make it even with himself if he once stooped to use it. That moment passed; then he motioned her from him:

"I will hear


follow me."

And she followed him in silence down the cloister as he went onwards to the entrance of the Abbey, which stood out, a grey, sombre, stately pile, in the moonlight that was shining white upon its delicate fretwork and its pointed windows, and leaving deep in shadow its masses of Norman stone and battled wall shrouded in their vast elm-forests.

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An hour afterwards the dark figure of the Bohemian moved swiftly and silently across the park of White Ladies, taking the road which led to the little hamlet beyond the gates, and at the window of the library where his audience had been given to this strange, unfitting guest, Strathmore stood leaning out to catch the coolness of the autumn night -fire seemed on his brain, fire in his blood, for the hatred of men of his race had ever outweighed and outstripped the sweetness and the madness of their love. And as a sleuth-hound scents the trail of what he would hunt downward to its death, so he now saw shadowed out before him the sure track of a deadly vengeance.


Here, beneath the roof of the Dominican Abbey, which once had sheltered both, both seemed beside him: the woman who had betrayed him, the man whom he had slain. The sweat of a great horror gathered thick upon his brow-flee where he would these must ever pursue him, wander where he would for ever on his lips must burn the delicious lie of her guilty kiss, for ever in his path must rise the spectre of that death-agony which he had gazed on with a smile. For Conscience is God; and hide us where we will, it tracks us out, and we must look whither it bids, we must listen to that which it utters, we must behold that which it brings, in the reeling revel as in the silent dawn, in the dull stupor of sleep as in the riotous din of orgies;-from its pursuit there is no escape, from its tribunal there is no appeal.

And where he stood, while through the silence there seemed to echo the mocking music of Marion Vavasour's sweet, accursed laugh, and down the hush of night there semed to tremble the dying sigh of him whom he had murdered at her bidding; good and evil strove together in his soul; the remorse that should have purified like fire, and the hatred which, like fire, would destroy.

Atonement! his soul hungered for it. It had been shattered from his hand to-night; yet, later on, it might be wrested back. If he gathered, by his will and by his wealth, about the young child whom he had orphaned, all that earth can know of gladness, shelter, riches, tenderness; if, for her father's sake, and in her father's trust, he made her future cloudless as the life of the flower which but opens to the light to rejoice through the sunny length of a fair summer day, and made her lips only speak his name in gratitude and blessing, the sin might be atoned? He had loved the man whom he had brutally slain: through the young life given by the dead, should expiation to the dead be wrought.

Expiation to the dead; but to the living Vengeance. The lust for it was in his blood as strong as at that hour when his hand had been upon her throat, her life within his grasp:-and the power of vengeance lay now within his grip. "To see her suffer"-suffer, and plead for mercy, and be denied, even as she had denied it, and find her loveliness of no avail to shield her from the doom of an unerring and a pitiless fate! For this his soul was athirst; to its purpose his life was set; he saw it looming through the darkness of the future; the pursuit in which his speed would never slacken, in whose success his will would never relent.

In this hour, when he stood alone in the autumn night, with no companion save the distant lulling of the weary seas; of his remorse was begotten his atonement, of his hatred his revenge.

Twin-born, must not one strangle the other in the birth? Or, twinnurtured unto strength and life, could both prosper side by side?


IN one of the narrow streets running from the Faubourg Poissonnière, a window was opened on a fifth floor on a September evening in 1782, and the powdered head of a very young man peeped out. There was not much to see in the street beneath, only dirty women and children, an oldclothes dealer, a man with a barrel of lemonade on his back, another with a basket of fruit, whose bruises were cleverly concealed by leaves and flowers; but the young man did not look down, but straight before him. In the gloomy house opposite there was a window open too, just such a small, modest window as his own. But a flower-pot and a birdcage were placed on the ledge and secured by gay ribbons, to prevent them being blown down by the wind. Inside the room were two beds, with a holywater vessel above them, and a wardrobe. Besides these there were a table and a couple of chairs, littered with things, a guitar, a dirty bouquet of artificial flowers, shoes which could only fit a child or a Cinderella, a pink silk apron, and so on.

We can hardly suppose that the young man's eyes were so sedulously fixed on these articles, and it is probable that he noticed them as little as did the blind old woman who was sitting in her arm-chair and sunning herself at the window, for upon the table there was something which deserved to be gazed at more than all the rest. Marion, the prettiest chorister at the Opera, had selected this remarkable seat in order to sew a silver braid upon a white skirt. In spite of her task, however, she found time to look across maliciously and sing a merry chanson. And she sang so loudly that she could not hear her name, which the young man repeatedly called, first gently and then louder. Her head hung lower over the skirt, so that her poor neighbour could see scarce more than her drooping forehead, the tip of her nose, the long powdered curl which hung on her left shoulder, a dainty hand which wielded the needle, and two feet in red-heeled shoes, which peeped out like mice from under the skirt and beat time to the tune she was singing.

"Little one, I fancy the old spinet-player, our neighbour, is calling you," the blind woman remarked.

"I have no time to trouble about him," was the reply.

The supposed old spinet-player disappeared from the window, but soon after the sounds of an old piano reached the ears of his busy neighbour. They must have been practised hands that touched the keys, and charming melodies filled the room like warbling birds.

"How beautifully the old man plays," the blind woman murmured; "his hands do not tremble like mine."

Who could have told her that their agreeable neighbour was old? Marion made no answer, but the needle fell from her little fingers, she raised her head, the petulant smile disappeared from her charming face, and her large black eyes looked across earnestly and longingly. Then the girl leaped from her seat, tripped to the window, leant her arm on the ledge, and listened attentively. The player suddenly broke off in the middle of a delicious passage. With one bound he was at the window, and cried laughingly to the surprised girl,

"Good evening, mademoiselle; good evening, my good mamma." "Good evening, monsieur," the two women answered, and Marion laughed. And she was very tempting when she laughed. Then she bent out of the window, so that they could whisper together without the old lady, who was rather deaf, overhearing them.

"Oh, I know that you would not hear me just now, for I called your name at least twenty times," he said.

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Why did you come home so late last night, and did not fetch me from the rehearsal ?"

"Because my music-master kept me to supper-and I was playing at battledore with Desirée."



that wearisome Desirée.'

"She is amusing, and a hundredfold kinder to me than you, Marion. And as I always talk to her about you, she would have cause to say, 'Always that wearisome Marion,' but she only said when I left, Remembrance to pretty Marion.""

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The girl pouted, and said, "I do not want any message from her. And in order that you may not break off your sport in future for my sake, I wish to tell you that I have chosen another escort. The first chorister will in future see me home. He did so yesterday. He is much older and more serious than you, and I'll wager that he would not play at battledore with Mademoiselle Edelmann, I can tell you."

"And I tell you that I would sooner stab him and take his place than surrender my right of escorting you. I advise you, mademoiselle, not to let him make love to you at the rehearsals. You have not yet seen me when jealous."

"Oh! I am not afraid of you; but I thank all the saints that I am not under the authority of such a tyrant at rehearsals. There I really enjoy my liberty. I must go there in an hour-it is a dress rehearsal, and I must be punctual. So good-by, sir; I wish you much pleasure with your battledore."

The little demon disappeared, the window was closed, and a green curtain drawn. Then her clear voice could be heard singing Blondel's song from Grétry's new opera:

Une fiêvre brûlante

Un jour me terrassait,
Et de mon corps chassait
Mon âme languissante.

All Paris was singing at this time the melodies from "Richard Coeur de Lion."

An hour later she slipped out of the house like a cat, with her music under her arm, and a black cloak thrown on her shoulders, the hood of which was pulled over her head. At the corner of the street, though she looked back to see whether the young musician-whom her blind aunt considered an old and safe protector of her child- -was not following her as usual in order to offer her his arm. But she did not see him, and he did not come, however slowly she might walk. It was not possible, in truth, to see him, for, tortured by jealousy, he had been standing for the last hour close to the entrance of the theatre.

It was a most important rehearsal, for on the following day the latest

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