CAUGHT AT LAST; OR, THE FELON'S BRAND. [ALL BIGHTS BESERVNDj CHAPTER XI. ALIVE OR DEAD? ty June, 1848, disorders took place in Paris streets. Desperate men raised barricades, and fought for Socialism and lie ence. The miserable, the hungry, the jigged, and the vile—all who had everything to gain, Md nothing but their wretched lives to lose—joined the insurrection. Fearful stories are told of that Distracted time. Men and women, born of the nation which, by its own account, always marches in the van of civilisation and of progress abnegated humanity, Md became, in the wild delirium of the season, brutes. Shuddering Europe heard of captive youths belonging to the Garde Mobile, faint and wounded we'1-nigh note death, dragged behind barricades and siowly" roasted alive'; of National Guards, bleeding aad exhausted from sword or bullet wounds, backed to pieces with cruel saws and rusty iron hoops of he!p- jtCSS infants, spitted shrieking upon bayonets, and toesed with fiendish glee from one to another of the frantic horde. Ghastly stories these let us hope they were untrue. Hard by a foreign bank upon the Goldsmith's Quay, stretching across the streets from the houses to the river, one of the most for(-iiidable, barriers was raised. Some overturned carts and omnibuses, with furniture taken from adjoining houses, had been built m with paving stones, rammed tight with gas-drenched Mrth. The upper windows of the houses behind the barricade were lined with men in Mouses, the pre- cision of whose lire was attested by the numbers who had already fallen in this assault. In the rear of the barrier stood a crowd of defenders, livid and S&vage faces mostly, biackened w'ith smoke and powder, many bleeding from wounds. From time to time a boy would be hoisted up, to peep over th" barricade, and report the movemen's taking place among the troops in front. "More cavalry! Look o-tt, up there!" cried the Scout to these in the windows. Pick off the horses of the leading then the pf&cers! cried a man with a bttshy, black beard, « They'11 stop the way, and you can deat with the rest a.t leisure. "Bravo, Nap!" exclaimed one of his companions, etapping the speaker on the shou!der. Good advice, that, my boy. Do they teach the art of war, too, down tliere, among the other little accomp'ishments ? Pestilence! 'tis a better boarding-school than I thought." Silence, Poing growled the other. Wilt never hold that chattering tongue of thine ?" He cast an uneasy glance around, ''o see if his comrade's banter had been overheard, then continued: Dost not know there are many traitors who would cast us over those Stones this moment to the aristocrats, if they guessed i)tt the reward ? A still tongue man, is safest for the present." The clattering hoofs of the charging cavalry inter- )'Upted further exhortation, as a volley from the dragoon's carbines spattered against the stones of ths Barricades, or sang harmlessly over the heads of its defenders. The biouses in the windows returned the Sre with the effect Nap had foreseen. In less than a minute a phinging and confused heap of kicking Worses and dying men effectually barred their com- edos' advance. The insurgents behind the barricade scaled the heap, and fired with comparative impunity into the struggling mass. After much useless effort, the omcer in command ordered the retreat to be rounded, and the bamed cavalry drew off. "Fools!" sneered Nap. "They might as well Charge a stone wall. Up, boy, and see what will be their next game." The agile lad obeyed. I can't make them out Row," be said, doubtfutty. A lot of soldiers are Standing round a mounted omcer, who seems speak- ing to them. Hark!" Down the street come the sound of cheers, as of welcome, with a cry of Hurrah for the Genera)!" They are gathering in columns for another charge," said the boy. "infantry now. The column to the right is headed by an old man with white hair, ]ttt a grey blouse, wearing the cross and several medals upon his breast." A savage exclamation broke from the man called Na.p, and he hastily clambered up beside the boy. It is he he muttered, between his clenched teeth. "F<M!<e/ Where shall I go? He will shoot me like a dog!" "Look out!" cried the boy, shrilly. "Guns' They are unlimbering. I see the port-fires. Ah, me?trs ("Alas! I die!") Shot by a rifle-bullet through the brain,.the lad feL quivering in his comrades' midst. Nap sprang from the barricade. They are coming They are coming and lte is with them he yctied. Save himself who can! Fly Sy Poing caught him by the arm. "Art mad, fool?" he whispered, fiercely. Stand fast' We have beaten hack the others—why not these ? Look out a.bove there," he shouted to the blouses. Give them pepper, my braves And thou," turning to Nap, "if thou stirrest, I drive my knife into thy breast!" Shaking in every limb, his hands trembling so that )ie could scarcely grasp his musket, the son awaited the attack led by the father. On came the regulars with firm and steady step, the drums beating the charge. When within about a, hun- dred'yards of the barricade, a halt was called and the troops drew off beneath the shelter of the bouses. All this time the blouses were loading and firing with terrible effect. Numbers of the regulars fell, but their comrades were not discouraged. This time the fate of the barricade was sealed. The troops had hardly cleared the road when the bugle rang out the signal. With a roar as of a dozen cataracts, the guns opened upon the barri- cade. The iron hail soon rendered it passabie- Its fragments were driven back upon its defenders, Crushing many who had drawn close to the hou-.e- walls, to avoid the storm of grape and that showered around. A breach was effected, and through it poured the furious assailants, in a long; restless, living tide. Little mercy was shown, Scant quarter was given. Shot, brained, stabbed, Slaughtered in any manner that was quickest, ieii the miserable defenders. Foremost among the assailants was honest Jean Parlandet, the brave old workman with the cross of honour and the medals on his breast. Though more than seventy, his nervous, ptajw!u't sinews did that. das the work of a man in his
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prime. Did he guess that beneath the ruins lay the bodyofhisson? Late that night the door of the foreign bank hard 1 by the barricade was cautiously opened, and a head J peeped forth. Seeing that the street was clear, the proprietor of the head—a, taU, fair-haired !ady—fully unclosed the door, and ventured out. With her came two other women, the elder being the governess, the younger a servant The lady was the ,ÖÎe of Fabian van Flewker, who kept the banking-house upon the Goldsmith's Quay. She had come forth upon an errand of mercy, to see if woman's care and tenderness could avail to fan some lingering spark uf ii:'e in the poor battered wretches that lay around, into a steady vigorous name. Shudderingly, though kindly, the three women turned over the bodies of the slaughtered insurgents but, alas! in every instance with the same melancholy result—dead! It is no use, Natalie, I fear," said Madame van FIewker, at last, mournfully. The dreadful work has been done only too surely. The wretched men have all been slain. Stay," she continued, raising her hand. Hush! What was that ?" They listened intently. Not a sound was audible. The moon still shone upon the ghastly features of the killed, strewn over the street in the attitude in which they had rendered up their breath. Fnence, the stillness of the charnel-house—so dead, so pro- found, that a stone rolling from a heap beside the women almost made them shriek. They turned round hastily. A man's body was half hidden underneath the stones, which covered his head, shoulders, and breast. His legs alone protruded. See see exclaimed the lady. The stones move The man beneath them still lives Quick, Natalie quick, Justine; help me to release the poor, struggling creature. With eager haste they flung away the supe<FCum- bent stone, and brought into view the features of a man with a bushy, black beard, bruised, battered, and bleeding, yet still recognisable as human traits. As the cool night air blew upon him, the man unclosed his eyes. "Look!" exclaimed madame, "here is one who Kves, at least. Justine, call monsieur." The girl went into the house, and monsieur speedily a.ti;red. Yielding to his wife's entreaties b< &etped to carry the injured man into his house, where ge was placed in bed, and given over to the care of che women. This was the introduction of Monsieur Napoleon- Victoire Parlandet to Mynheer Fabian van FIewxer. With better fortune than his poltroonery deservsd, Nap had been hidden by the falling stones of the barricade from the death which would have surely overtaken him by the bayonets of the troops. Even his hurts were not severe. A fortnight's careful nursing nearly brought him round. Mynheer Fabian van FIewker, conversing with his guest, was capti- vated by the oily tongue which none knew better how to employ, and nnding, or believing that he found, in him a mind and talents of no ordinary kind, determined to take him into his service. When the banker left Paris for London, he was accompanied by Nap, henceforth known as Par], who had gradually been brought forward by Van Flewker to his present post. You see now why Par!, speaking to his employer, generaHy managed to introduce the words, my patron," my benefactor." It was an allusion pleasant to the banker's mind, calling to memory a past charitable deed. CHAPTER XII. FAMILY HISTORY. MENTIOè'< has just been made of Madame van FIewker; and you have, of course, a perfect right to be told something more respecting that lady than you already know. When Fabian van FIewker's mother returned to Paris and to the stage, after the catastrophe which made shipwreck of her fortunes at Rotterdam, she took to live with her as companion, as confidante, as dresser, if you like, her younger sister Claire. Con- ndential intercourse with some other of her sex is essential says the cynic, to woman's existence. It is as the breath in female nostrils: if she have it not, she dies. To this circumstance, the same authority states, is due that benevolent provision in the laws of modern Utopia, wirch prohibits the punishment of any female convict with more than three days' solitary confnempnt. A longer com- pulsory silence than this, it is averred, she could not survive. How this may be I know not; but I do know that it was pleasing to the widowed Rosaiba to have some one constancy by her side to whom she could dis- course upon the brilliant destiny which she had so narrowly missed. Another circumstance rendered her companionship with Claire agreeable. The sister acted as a foil. She had been, in former years, a. dancer; but, by an unlucky fall down an open trap, had been rendered lame. it was not displeasing to Rosalba to contrast her own equable and graceful gait with her sister's halt. I do not say her conduct in this was peculiarly sisterly or feeling but she had been an actress from her childhood, and paint and 1, tinsel often kill sentiment. Save for her defect, Claire would have been a formidable rival. She was six yea<s younger than I Rosalba, and six years of a stage career equals in wear and tear a doxen of ordinary life. Six years' additional stage life with Rosalba meant six years' more use of cosmetics, of late hours, of exhaustion, of simulated yet fatiguing- passion. In beauty ot feature the sisters were nearly upon a par. Claire had the sweeter voice, and was the better musician. But, my little one," Rosalba would kindly re- mind her. "of what use are all t,hy small perfec- tions ? Who in his senses, particularly in beautiful and gracious France, would think of preferring a :amet('r ? For thee is reserved some raw-boned an-d red-whiskered islander, with the sinews of a beef and the manners of a horse. Better, far better, my little oaf. thou remainest single, and sharest thy sister's fortunes. So it was understood between the two tha Claire van Levissen should never marry. We know, however, who proposes and who disposes over human aftairs. Hearts, after al!, ''hough mar- vellously tough as well as elastic sometimes, have more feeling than so much india-rubber. Among the visitors at Rosalba.'s bouse at that period was an Enslis!) medical student,ArthurWharfe. He had walked the hospitals atVipnna, and was a constant attendant in Paris at the Hotel Dieu. it was his father's intention that, having studied his profession thoroughly abroad, he should nnish its pursuit at lioiie. Arthur wa.s captivated by the musical powers of Claire. and after a short acquaintance, proposed to her to marrT him.. He represented that his father, f
though slightly prejudiced wouTa easily forgive his only son if eonvinced that his future happiness was secured by the match but that the marriage must be kept secret until a favourable opp0r, unity of revealing it should arrive. Claire was ambitious, and she liked Arthur. The prospect of being the miatress of a comfortable home was more attractive in her eyes than that of passing her life in dependence upon Rosalba's humours. She consented and the marriage took place. It was not arranged' with so much secrecy that rumour of what had occured did not ooze out. Rosalba, in anger, expelled Claire from her house, a.nd the young wife was forced to fly for shelter to her husband's arms. A good-naturfd friend of Arthur's slightly acquainted with his father, took an oppor- tunity of casually mentioning the matter in a quarter whence he knew it would reach Mr. Wharfe's ears. The consequence was a peremptory summons to the son for his instant return home. Knowing that his future prospects depended upon obedience Arthur, ignorant of the impending storm, quitted his wife with repeated promises of speedy return to bring her to England, and went his way. Went his way, and never came back. From tha hour when her eyes lust rested upon her husband's departing fgure, Claire neither saw Ror heard of him again in life. To her, from that moment, Arthur died. Whether he was intimidated by his father's threats to disinherit him if he attempted to reclaim bis wife; whether fairer prospects and better worldly fortunes opened to him in his native land, and caused him to forget the trusting woman he had left behind, Claire never knew. It was enough for her that her husband was gone, and came not back again. Within a year after the marriage, Claire was in her last earthly rpsting-place, and a little helpless mass of female humanity lay gasping for feeble breath In Rosalba's arms. When Arthur's desertion had con- tinued so long as to be no further matter of doubt, the ties of nature and kinship prevailed over anger in the actress's mind. She brought CSaire back to her bouse, tended and comforted her in her affliction, stood by her in the thrice-crue! hour of a deserted woman's maternal agony, and finally closed her sister's eyes in death. The orphan left upon Rosalba's hands was brought: up at nrst with her own boy. Then, when the children grew older, was sent to a. boarding-school, while Fabian pursued 1-MS education abroad. After Fabian's return to Paris and his mother's death, the charge of his cousin fell entirety upon him. Not knowing very well how to get rid of the expense, and at the same time¡consicl8i'ing it a pity that the capital invested in A dele's board and education should benefit some one out of the family, Fabian came to the conclusion it would be cheapest in the long run to marry his cousin himself. For Adde, what better prospect could oH'er than the one thus opened ? Gratitude, habit—a. certain degree of affection, even-all bound her to her cousin, and she gladly accepted his offer. It is only honest to Fabian to add that he made her fairly happy. By the time when the slaughter at the barricade which brought M. Napoleon-Victoire Parlandet ac- quainted with Fabian van Flewker took place,Adèle had brought her husband a daughter, then about eight years old. In this child was garnered up as much of Van FIewker's heart as was not absorbed by his thirst for wealth. For his wife he entertained that calm and agreeable sensat'on with which a man regards a superior kind of housekeeper, who wards off from him, for a certain consideration per annum, the petty troubles of domestic life. His child, Gertrude,. he loved. For her education he had recently engaged a governess, Mademoiselle Natalie Lagrange, whom you will recollect as accompanying Madame van Flewker in her search for survivors among the ruins of the barricade. It became evident to the banker, after the June in- surrection in Paris, that continued residence in France was too hazardous. He had no faith in the per- manence of the order which is maintained by bayonets and grape. Accompanied by Parl, therefore, Mynheer Fabian van Flewker removed his entire establishment to Augustine-close, London, where it has since re- mained. For his own place of residence he selected Bloom sbary-square. ¡ Here a misfortune happened. Madame Van FIewker died, the cause of her'disease originating in the same Kind and merciful spirit which led to the rescus of P&rl. A female servant being seized with fever, her distress did not imitate that benevolent practice vhieh sends the help to the hospital or the work house, to live or die as best she may, but called ia t physician, and tended the patient herself. The fever proved contagious. The maid recovered, but the mistress died. ? Since that calamity, Natalie bad filled a mother's place to Gertrude-in reality, though not in name. Van Flewker had not the remotest notion of marrying again. He had, after all, often found the tie of wedded life inconvenient, and was not, perhaps, altogether discontented to be once more free. He could now devote his entire mind to his grand object. He knew that he could place full conndence in Natalie, who therefore, nominally merely governess, was practically "'he mistress of the household. CHAPTER XIII. GERTRUDE AND NATALIE. IT is January now. Thick snow covers the pavement in Bloomsbury Square. In the more frequented thoroughfares the flaky carpet has been trodden into mire, in which the testy foot passenger slips. In the square, where tranic is less, the foot falls upon the hardened, unmelted substance with a Breaking tread. The dirty visage of Mr. Fox looks dirtier and more woe-begone than usual, beneath the covering ot' snow that surmounts his head. An icicic depending from the tip of that eminent statesman's nose vividly suggests that, if statues can feel, this particular effigy is aiHictecl with a violent cold. No. 4:3 x is the house where Fabian vau Flewker and his family reside and here, in a warm and comfortable room, beside a cheerful fire, sit Gertrude and Mademoiselle Lagrange, engaged in woman's pleasant work. A tall and well-grown Dgure, of sumciently full development to remove the appearance of excessive height, with a fair skinned face, a good complexion, regular features, and dark-grey eyes, above which rises a broad forehead, crowned with a profusion of light- brown hair-a kind face, with a sensible expression shining out of every feature; this is Gertrude van FIewker. Her mind and character accord with her appearance. She is large and liberal in her ideas beyond the wont of woman. She worships with, perhaps, an exaggerated idolatry everything that is good or noble. A daring action, a gallant exploit. bring the light to her eye and the ready praise to her lip. The low, the base, the sordid, or the cruel, awa,ke as UIl:6tra.W.ed and traiik a. condeaMta.tioa. and con-