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CAUGHT AT LAST; OR, THE FELON'S…

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CAUGHT AT LAST; OR, THE FELON'S…

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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

CAUGHT AT LAST; OR, THE FELON'S…