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      "Oh, it was very kind and polite; but it was not such a tremendous thing, after all," answered Isola, still occupied with the Persian. "He could hardly stand by and see one drowned. You have no idea what the rain was like."It is easy to see that the present state of affairs in France offered the most dangerous and the strongest temptation to private vengeance. Any one who had an enemy or who had been offended by any one else, or even who wished to remove some person whose existence was inconvenient to them, had only to denounce them for some trifle which they might or might not have said or done; they were sure to be arrested, and most likely to be put to death.

      PREFACEHe returned to Paris when he left Spain, and lived there, poor, sickly, and forgotten by all but Trzia, then Princess de Chimay. She was nearly his only friend. She visited him often, and though he would never take money from her, she persuaded him to accept a refuge in the house in the Champs-Elyses called the Chaumire, their first dwelling in Paris.

      You know. I want liberty.

      The Chevalier was taken back to his cell, and, knowing that he had now only a few hours to live, he made his will and wrote the history of this terrible adventure, saying that he could not but forgive the Marquis as he was mad. These papers he confided to a fellow prisoner, and a few hours later was summoned to execution with a number of others.

      "And to think of people living up there in the clouds, and going to sleep every night with the knowledge of this mighty wall and that dreadful abyss in their minds!" she concluded, pointing upward to where the little white town of Colla straggled along the edge of the hill.


      Nothing came of this splendid offer, though there were plenty of people in the district to whom fifty pounds would have seemed a fortune. Whether no one had seen the crew of the Vendetta landing or re-embarking in the night-time, or whether some wakeful eyes had seen, whose owners would not betray the doers of a deed done in a good cause, still remains unknown. Captain Hulbert was enchanted at the success of the conspiracy, and went to church next Sunday by the now notorious footpath, along which an unusual procession of villagers came streaming in the crisp, clear air, proud to assert a right that had been so boldly maintained by their unnamed but not unknown champion. Every one felt very sure that the flinging open of the gates had been somehow brought about by Martin DisneyMartin, whose[Pg 167] grandfather they could some of them remember, when he came home after the long war with the French, and took up his abode in an old house among the hills, and married a fair young wife. That had happened sixty-five years ago; but there were those in the village who could remember handsome Major Disney, with only one arm, and a face bronzed by the sun that shines on the banks of the Douro.A rouleau, Madame!



      Abibulla saw them off with great deference and a contrite air, and watched their retreat; then, as[Pg 260] I was about to send him to despatch the message, he was indignant. The police! What could they do to a sahib like me? It was all very well to frighten poor folksit was a sin to waste money in asking for a reply which I should never be called upon to showand so he went on, till I made up my mind to think no more of the matter. And whenever I met the chief at the bazaar or by the Jellum, he only asked after my health and my amusements.Mme. de Bouzolz delighted in novels, balls, and all the amusements natural to her age; was affectionate, good-hearted, rather thoughtless, but with no harm in her. She soon became devoted to Pauline, and fell a great deal under her influence.