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development. She waited tai Obenreizer's <
waa off ber, and then she looked at Vendale a
The time passed; the happy evenings w
Marguerite carno and went, lt wau tho tei
morning since Vendale had written to the Sv?
Him, when the answer appeared on bia de
with tbe other letters of the day :
"DEAR SIM: We beg to offer our excuses for
little mifttake which baa happened. At the sa
tune we regret to add that the statement of our erl
with which you have favored us, han led to a v
unexpected discovery. The affair is a most serii
one for you and tor us. The particulars are as
"Having no more champagne of the vintage 1
sent to you, we made arrangements to credit your fi
with the value of the six cases, as suggested by yo
self. On taking thia step, certain lorms observed
our moue of doing business necessitated a reference
oar bankers' book, as well as to our ledger. The res
is a moral certainty tuiit no suoh remittance ss 3
mention can have leached onr house, ?nd a literal c
taiuty that no euch remittance hos boen paid to <
account at the bank.
a. .. It is needless, at this stage of the proceeding?,
trouble you with details. The money hos unqucsd<
ably been stolen in tho course of its transit from y
to us. Certain peculiarities which wc observe, relati
to the manner in which the fraud has been per, etrai
lead us t > conclude that the thief may have calculai
oa beiug able to pay the missing sum to our bauki
before an inevitable discovery followed the anni
striking of our balance. This wonld not have hi
S?ned, ia tho usual course, for another three monti
ruing that period, but for your letter, we m?^ht hi
remained perfectly unconscious of the robbery tl
has been coinmittrd
" We mention this lust circumstance, as it may ht
to show you that we have to do. in this case, with :
ordinary thief. Thns far we have not even a BI
picton of who that thief is. But we behove you w
assist us In making some advance toward discovci
by examining the receipt (forged, of coarse) which h
no doubt purported to come to you from our bom
Be pleased to look and see whether it is a receipt e
tlrely in manuscript, or whether it is a numbered ai
printed toroa which merely requires the filling in
the amount. The settlement of this apparently trivi
question ie. we assure you, a matter of vital luipe
tance. Anxiously awaiting your reply, we remai
With high esteem and consideration,
" Dili RESNIEB & CIE."
Vendale laid the letter on his desk and waite
a moment to steady his mind under the shoe
that bad fallen on it. At tbe time of all othei
when lt waa most important to him to in?rese
the value of hiB business, that business wt
threatened with a loss ot live hundred ponndi
He thought of Marguerite as he took the ke
from his pocket and opened tbe'iron chamber i
tho wail in which tne books and papera of th
Arm were kept.
He was still in the chamber searching for th
forged receipt when be was startled by a voie
speaking close behind him.
" A thousand DardonB," said the voice ; "I ai
afraid I disturb you."
~\a turned and found himself face to face wit]
Mwguerite's guardian. '
" I have called," pursued Obenreizer, " t
know if I con be of any ure. Business of m,
own takes me away for some days to Manches
ter and Liverpool. Can I combine any bnsinesi
of yours with it ? I am entirely at your disposa
in the character of commercial traveler for tnt
linn of Wilding Si Go."
" Excuse me for one moment." said Vendale
" I will speaK to yon directly." He turned rounc
again and continued his search among tnt
papers. " Yon come at a time when friend]]
Oders are more than usually precious to me," ht
resumed. " I have had very bad news thu
morning from Neuchatel."
" Bad news I*' exclaimed Obenreizer. "From
Befresnier ? Company ?"
" Yes. A remi tance we sent to them bas
3eon stolen. I am threatened with a loss of irv?
nundred pounds. What's that !" .
Turning sharply and looking into the room fox
the second time, Vendale discovered his en
Telope-case overthrown on the door, and Oben?
reizer on bis knees picking up the contents.
"All my awkwardness!" said Obenreizer.
"This dreadful news of yours startled me; I
Stepped back-" He became too deeply inter?
ested in collecting the scattered envelopes to
finish the sentence.
"Don't tronbie yourself," said Vendale. "The
clerk will pick the things up."
"This dreadful news!" repeated Obenreizer,
persisting In collecting the envelopes. "This
dreadful news !"
"If you will read the letter." said Vendale,
yon v il find I have exaggerated nothing. There
ic is*, open on my desk."
He resumed hiB search, and in a moment more
discovered the forged receipt. It was on the
numbered and printed form described by the
Swiss firm. Veudale made a memorandum of
the number and date. Having replaced the re?
ceipt and locked np the iron chamber, be had
leisure to notice Obenreizer, reading the letter
in the reoees of a window at the far end of the
" Come to the fire," said Vendale. " You look
perished with the cold out there. I will ring for
some more coal?."
Obenreizer rose, and came slowly back to tbe
desk. " Marguerite will be as sorry to hear ot
this as I am," he said, kindly. " What do yon
mean to do ?"
"I am in the bands of Defresnier and Com?
pany," answered Vendale. "In mv total ig?
norance of the circumstances, I can only do
what they recommend. The receipt which I
have just found turns ont to be the num?
bered and printed form. They seem to at?
tach some special importance to its discovery.
You have bad experience when vdu were in the
Swiss bouse of their way of doing business. Can
yon guess what objeot they have in view ?"
Obenreizer offered a suggestion.
*. Suppose I examine the receipt ?" he said.
" Are you ill ?" asked Vendale, startled by the
change in his face, which now showed itself
?lainly for the first time. " Pray go to the fire,
on seem to be shivering ; I hope yon are not
going to be ill ?"
" riot 11 " said Obenreizer. " Perhaps I have
caught cold. Your English climate might have
npared an admirer of your English institutions.
Let me look at the receipt.*1
Vendale opened the iron chamber. Obenreizer
took a chair and drew it close to the fire. He
held both hands over the flames. "Let me look
lit the receipt," be repeated eagerly, as Vendale
reappeared with the paper in his hand. At the
"ame moment a porter entered the room with a
ussh supply of coals. Vendale told him to make
?x good liri. The man obeyed the order with a
TiBastrons alacrity. As he stepped forward and
raised the scuttle his foot caught in a fold of the
rag, and be discharged his entire cargo of coals
into the grate. The result was an instant
Hmothering of the flame and the production of a
tr earn of yellow smoke, without a visible morsel
. -jf fire to account for it.
" Imbecile I" whispered Obenreizer to him
?elf, with a look at the man which the roan re
? membered for many a long day afterward.
" Will you come into the clerks' room V" asked
^Vendale. "They have a stove there."
" No, no. No natter."
Vendale banded him the receipt. Obonreizor's
Interest in examining it appeared to hare been
j quenched as suddenly and as effectually as the
'Aire itself. He just glanced over the document,
%tnd said. "No ; I don't understand il I I am
korry to be of no use."
yf~ .'I will write to Neuchatel by to-night'9 post,"
Vaid Vendale, putting away the receipt for the
"Jeecond time. "We must wait, and see what
jcomes of lt."
' -'By to-night's post, repeated Obenreizer.
}'!*"Let me Bee. You will get the answer in eight
or nine day's time. I shall bo back before that.
If I can be of any sen ice, as commercial t rav?
ir] er, perpaps you will let me know between tbis
tand then. You will send me written instruc?
tions ? My best thanks. I shall be most anx- 1
j?OJW tot yow answer from Neuchatel, Who ?
knows? It may be & mistake, my dear fri enc
after all. Courage 1 courage I courage 1" E
had entered the room with no appearance of bi
ing pressed for time. He now snatched up b:
hat, and took his leave with tbe arr of a ma
who bad not another momont to lose.
Left by himself, V?ndalo took a turn though
fully in the room.
His previous impression of Obenreizer wi
shaken by what he bad beard and seen at tb
interview which had just taken place. He wi
i disposed, for the first time, to doubt whether, i
this case, he had not been a little hasty and har
in his judgment on another man. Obenreizer
surprise and regret, on hearing the news fror
Neuchatel, bore the plainest marks of bein
honestly felt-not politely assumed for the ot
easton. With troubles of his own to encountei
suffering, to all appearance, from the first ir
siciious attack of a serious illness, he had looke
and spoken like a mau who really deplored the die
aster that had fallen on his friend. Hither to. Vcr
dale had tried vainly to alter his first opinion c
Marguerite's guardian, for Marguerite's sake
All the generous instincts in hui nature noi
combined together and shook the evideoc
which bad seemed unanswerable np to this time
! "Who knows?" he thought, "I may have rca
that man's face wrongly, after alb"
The time passed; the happy evenings witl
Marguerite came and went ft waa again fl
tenth morning since Vendale had written to th
b vf ins firm, and again the answer appeared o;
his desk with the other letters of the day :
Dnxn BIBS: MT senior partner, M. Deiresnier, ba
been called away by urgent business to Milan. In bl
absence (sad with bia full concurrence and authority
I now write to you again on the subject of the m la Bin,
five hundred pounds.
" Your discovery that the forged receipt ls execute?
upon one of our numbered and printed forms, ha
caused inexpressible surprise and distress to my pari
uer and myself. At the time when your remittano
waa stolen, but three beys were in existence openini
the atrorg box ia which our receipt-lorms are lava
nably kept. My partner bad one key ; I bad the other
The third waa to the possession nf a gentleman who
at that period, occupied a position of trust ba on
house. We should aa soon have thought of suspect
lng one of ourselves aa of suspecting this person. Sus
picion BOW poluta at him, nevertheless. I cannot pre
vail on myself to inform you who the person ls, sc
long aa there ls the shadow of a chance that ba maj
come innocently out of the inquiry which must nov
be instituted. Forgive my allanes, the motive of it ti
" The form our investigation must now take is aim
Ele enough. The handwriting on your receipt mus?
e compared, by competent persona whom wa hiv?
at our disposal, with certain specimens of handwriting
in our pobsc?sion. I cannot tend you the specimens,
for business reasons, wolca, when you hear them,
you are sore to approve. I muat beg you to send mi
the receipt in Neuchatel, and, ba making thia re
quest, I moat accompany lt by a word of nocessarj
" lithe person at whom suspicion now pointa really
proves to be the person who has committed this for
gery and theft, I have reason to fear that arcum
B tances may have already put bim on bia guard. Th?
only evidence against him ia the evidence In youl
bunda, and be will move heaven and earth to obum
and destroy lt. I strongly urge you not to trust tb?
receipt to the post. Bead lt to me, without loaa ol
time, by a private hand, and choose nobody for your
messenger but a person long established in your own
employment, accustomed to traveling, capable of
speaking French ; a man of courage, a man of honesty,
and, above all things a man who eau be trusted to let
no ?tranger scrape acquaintance with htm on tbs
route. Tell no one-absolutely no one- but your mes?
senger of the turn this matter has now token. The
sale transit of the receipt may depend on your Inter?
preting literally the advice which I give you at the
end of thia letter.
" I have now only to add that every possible saving
of time ta now of the laat importance. More than one
of our receipt forms is .masing, and lt ta impossible to
say what new frauda may not be committed If we fail
to lay our Uanda on th? thief. Your faithful aoxvant."
" (Signing for Def recolar at Co)."
Who was the suspected man? In Vendale's
position, it seemed useless to inquire.
WLo was to be sent to Neuchatel with the re
ceipt ? Men of courage and men of honesty were
to be bad at Cripple Corner for the asking. Bat
where was tba man who waa accustomed to
foreign traveling, who could speak the French
l'inguage, ana wno could be really relied on to
let no stranger scrape acquaintance with him on
his route ? There waa but one man at hand who
combined all those requisites in his own person,
and that man was Vendale himself.
It waa a sacrifice to leave his business ; it waa
a greater sacrifice to leave Marguerite. But a
matter of five Lnndrea pounds was involved in
the pending inquiry ; and a literal interpreta?
tion cf M. Rolland's advice waa insisted on in
terms which there waa no trifling with. The
more Vendale thought of it, the more plainly the
necessity iaoed him, and said, " Qo 1"
As he locked np the letter with the receipt, the
association of ideas reminded him of Oben?
reizer. A guess at the identity of the suspected
man looked more poasibie now. Obenreizer
The thought bad barely passed through his
mind when tbe door opened, and Obenreizer en?
tered the room.
" They told me at Boho Square you were ex
Eected back last night," said Vendale, greeting
im. "Have you done well in the country ?
Are you better ?"
A thousand thanks. Obenreizer bad done ad?
mirably well. Obenreizer was infinitely better.
And now, what newt ? Any letter from Neu?
" A very strange letter," answered Vendale.
" The matter has taken a new turn, and the let?
ter insists-without excepting anybody-on my
keeping our next proceedings a profound secret.
"Without excepting anybody ?" repeated Oben?
reizer. As he said the words he walked away
again, thoughtfully, to tbe window at the
otner end of the room, looked ont for a moment,
and suddenly came back to Vendale. " Surely
they must have forgotten?" ho resumed, "or
they would not have excepted met"
'. it is Monsieur BoUand who writes," said
Vendale. "And, aa you say, he must certainly
have forgotten. That view of the matter quito
escaped me. I waa just wishing I had you to
consult, when yon came into the room. And
here I am tied by a formal prohibition, which
cannot possibly have been intended to include
yon. How very annoying I"
Obenreizer s filmy eyes fixed on Vendale atten?
" Perhaps it is more than annoying I" he said.
" I come this morning not only to hear the news,
but to offer myself as messenger, negotiator
what you will. Would you believe it f I have
letters which oblige me to go to Switzerland im?
mediately. Messages, documents, anything-I
could have taken them all to Deiresnier and Rol?
land for you.'
" You are the very man I wanted," returned
Vendale "I bad decided, most unwillingly,
on going to Neuchatel myself, not fivo minutes
since, because I could find no one here capa?
ble of taking my place. Let me look at the letter
He opened the strong room to get at the let?
ter. Obenreizer, after first glancing round him
to make sure that they were alone, followed
a step or two and waited, measuring Vendale
with bis eye. Vendale was the tallest man, acid
unmistakably the strongest man also of the two.
Obenreizer turned away, and warmed himself at
Meanwhile, Vendale read the last paragraph
in the letter for the third time. Tbere was the
plain warning-there was the closing sentence,
whlcL. insisted on a literal interpretation of
it. The hand which was leading V?ndalo
in tho dark led him on that condition only. A
large sum was at stake; a terrible suspicion re?
mained to be verified. If he acted on his own
responsibility, and if anything happened to de?
feat the object in view, who would be blamed ?
a.* a man of business. Vendale had but
ane course to follow. He locked the letter up
"It is most annoying," ho said to Obenrelze
" it ls a pieuu of forgettulness on Monsieur Ro
laud's part, which put? mu to serious inconvi
monee, and places mo in an absurdly false pos
tlon toward yon. What am 1 to do? I am ac
ing in a vory Morions matter, and acting entire
in tho dark. 1 have no choice but to be guide*
not hy tho spirit, but bv tho lotter of my matrin
tiona. You tindnrhtimd mo, I am sure? Yo
know, If I had not boen fettered in this wa]
how gladly 1 should have accepted your ser'
"flayno morel" roturnod Obenreizer. "1
your placo I should dave dono the same. M
good friend. I tsko no offense. I tbank you fe
your ootnpllmeul. We sball be traveling cou
pantons, at mtv rate," addod Obonreizer. "Yo
go, an I go, at ouon V"
"At oncn. I must ?peak to Marguerite firs
of oourso I"
'.Surely I surely I Speak to her this evening
Como and pick me up on the way to tho statioi
We go togethor i>y the mail train to-night ?"
"Dy tho mail train to night."
It was lutor Hun) Vendale had anticipate
when ho drove up to the house in Soho Squan
Business diflloulticw, oonaNioued by his sadde
departure, had prcised themselves by doz^m
A oruollv largo share of the time which, he ha
boped to devote to Marguerite bad been dalmo
by duties at his oflloe which lt was Impossible t
To his surprise and delight, abe was alone t
the drawiue-room when ho entered it.
" We have only a few mluuteo, George," sh
said. " But Madame Dor has been good to me
and we ean have tboso few minuter, alone." 8h
threw her arms ronnd his neck, and whisper e.
eagerly, " Bave you done anything to offend Mi
" 11" eiolaimed Vendale, in amazement.
" Hush I" she said, " I want to whisper lt. Yoi
know the little photograph I havo got of you
Ibis afternoon lt happened to be on the ohim
ney-pieoe. He to k it nw and looked at it, and
saw his fsce in the gla*s. I know you han
offended him I He is morciless; be is revenge
ful; be is as secret as tue grave. Don't go witl
him. George-don't RO with him 1"
" My own love," returned Vendale, " you ari
letting your fancy frighten youl Obenreize
and I were never bettor friends than we are a
Before a word more could be said, the suddei
movement of some ponderous body shook th?
floor of the next room. The shock was foUowec
by the appearance of Madame Der. " Oben
reizerl" exclaimed this excellent person in i
whisper, and plumped down instantly in her re
gular place by the stove. .
Obonreizer came in wit n a courier'] bag slrappec
over bis shoulder.
" Are you ready ?" be asked, addressing
Vendale. " Can I take anything for you 1
You hare no traveling-bag. I have got one
Here is the compartment for pairara, open al
"Thank you," said Vendale. "I have enlj
one paper of importance with mo, and that papei
I am bound to take charge of my self. Here ii
is," he added, touching the breast -pocket of hil
coat, "and here it must remain till we get tc
As he said those words, Marguerite's band
caught his, and pressed it signdican tly. She wai
looking toward Obonreizer. Before Vendale
could look, in bis turn, Obenreizer bsd wheeled
round, ana was taking leave ot Madame Dor.
"Adieu, my charming niece,'' he said, turning
to Marguerite next. "lin routs, my friend, foi
Nenchatell" He tapped Vendale lightly over
the breast-pocket of bia coat, and led the way to
Vendale's last look was for Marguerite. Mar?
guerite's last words to him were, "Don't go I"
UT TEX VALLEY.
It was about the middle of 'the month of Feb?
ruary when Vendale and Obenreizer set forth on
their expedition. The winter being a hard one,
the time was bad for travelers, clo bad was it
that these two travelere, coming to Strasburg,
found ita great inca almost empty. And even
the lew people they did encounter in tnat city,
who had started from England or from Paris on
business journeys toward the interior of Swit?
zerland, were turning back.
Many ol the railroads in Switzerland that tour?
ists pass easily enough now, were almost or quite
inpracticable then. Some were not begun; more
were not completed. On such tts were open,
there were still large gaps of old road where
communication in the winter Beuton was often
slopped; on others, there were Weak points
where the new work was not st.fe. either under
conditions of severe frost, or of rapid than. The
running of trams on this last class waa not to be
counted on in the worst time of the year, was
contingent upon weatber, or was wholly aban?
doned through the months considered the most
At Strasburg there were more travelers'
stories afloat, respecting the difficulties of the
way further on, than thero were travelers to re?
late them. Many o" these tales were as wild as
usual; but the more modestly marvelous did'
derive some color from the circumstance that
peop o were undisputably turning back. How?
ever, aa the road to Basie wan open, Vendale's,
resol otion to push on waa in nowise disturbed.
Obenreizer's resolution was necessary Vendale's,
seeing that be stood at bay thus desperately;
he most be ruined, or must destroy the evidence
that Vendale carried about hint, oven if bo de?
stroyed Vendale with it.
The state of mind of eaoh of those two fellow
traw lera toward the other waa thia: Obenreizer,
encircled by impending ruin through Vendale's
quickness of action, and seeicg the circle nar?
rowed every hour by V?ndalo s energy, hated
him with the animosity of a fierce, cunning
lower animal. Ho had always had instinctive
movements in his breast against him; perhaps,
because of tnat old Bore of gentleman and pea?
sant; perhaps, because of the openuees of his
nature; perhaps, because of his beuter looks; per?
haps, because of his success with Marguerite; per?
haps, on all those grounds, the tn o last hot the
least. And now he eaw in him, besides, tho
hunt r who was tmcking him down. Vendale, on
the other hand, always contending generously
against his first vague mistrust, now felt bound
to contend against it more than ever, reminding
himself, " He is Marguerite's guardian. We are
on perfectly friendly terms ; he is my companion
of his own proposal, and can have no interested
motive in sharing this undesirable journey."
To which pleas in behalf of Obonreizer, chance
added ono consideration more, when they came
to Basle, after a journey cf more than twice the
They had had a late dinner, and were alone in
an inn room there, overhanging the Bhine, at
that place rapid and deep, swollen and loud.
Vendale lounged upon a couch, and Obenreizer
waikod to and fro-now stopping ht the window,
looking at the crooked reflections of the town
lights in tho dark water, (and peradventure
thinking, "If 1 could fling him into it P) now
resuming his walk with his eyes upon tho floor.
"Where shall I rob him, if I can? Where
shall 1 murder him, if I must 7" So, as he paced
the room, ran the river, ran tbe mer, ran the
The burden seemed to him, at last, to be crow?
ing so plain that he stopped ; thinking it as well
to suggeet another burden to his companion.
"The Rhine tiounds to-night, ' he said, with a
smile, " like the old waterfall at home. That
watorfall which my mother allowed to travelers
(I told vou of it once). The sound of it changed
with the weatber, as does the sound of all falling
waters and flowing watere. When I was pupil of
tho watchmaker, 1 remembered it as some?
times Baying to me for whole days, ' Who are
you, my little wretch ? Who are you, my lit
tl'i wretch?' I remembered it M saying,
other times, when its Bound waa hollow
and storm was coming np toe pass: 'Boots
boom, boom. Bea; him, beat him, beat him.
Like mr mother enraged-if ahe was rn;
"If she was?" said Vendale, gradually chang
lng his attitude to a sitting one. "If alie waa'
Why do you Bay 'ii?'"
" What do I know?" replied the other negli
gently throwing up his hands and letting then
fall as they would. "What yon would have ? ]
am so obscurely born, that now can I say ? ]
waa very young, and all the rest of the tamil]
were men and women, and my so-called parenti
were old. Anything is possible of % case hk<
"Did yon ever doubt- ?"
"1 told you once, I doubt the marriage o:
those two," he replied, throwing np hie nandi
again, as if he were throwing the unprofitable
subject away. " But here I am in creation. ]
come of no fine family. What does it matter V
" At least yon are Swiss," said Vendale, af toi
following him with his eyes to and fro."
"How do I know?" he retorted, abruptly, and
?topping to look over bia shoulder. "leay tc
?on. at least yon are English. How do you
"By what I have been told from1 infancy."
" An I I know of myself that way."
" And," added Vendale, pursuing the thought
that he conld not drive back, " by my earliest
"I also. I know of myself that way-if thal
"Does it not satisfy von?"
"It must. There ia nothing like Mt must' it
this little world. It must. Two short words
those, but stronger than long proof or reason?
" Yon and poor Wilding were born in the same
year. Von were nearly of an age," said Ven?
dale, again thoughtfully looking after him aa he
resume d his pacing np and down.
" Yes. Very nearly."
Could Obenreizer be the missing man? Ia
the unknown assoc mtiona of things, was there a
subtle! meaning than" he ' himself thought, in
that theory so often on his lips about the small?
ness ol tho world ? Had the Swisa letter pro
sec tin g him. followed ao close on Mrs. Gold
straw's revelation concerning the infant who
had been taken away to Switzerland, because he
waa that infant grown a man ? In a world where
so many depths he unsounded, it might be.
The chances, or the laws-call them either-that
bad wrought ont the revival of Vendale's own
acquaintance with Obenreizer, and had ripened it
into intimacy, and had brought them here to?
gether this present winter night,were hardly less
curious ; while read by such a light, they were
seen to cohere toward Ure furtherance of a con?
tinuous and an intelligible purpose.
Vendale's awakened thoughts ran high while
his eyes musingly followed Obenreizer pacing np
and down the room, the river ever running to
the tone: "Where shall I rob him, if lean?
Where shall I murder him, if I must ?" The se?
cret of his dead friend waa in no hazard from
Vendale's lips ; but jost as his friend had died of
its weight, so did he in his lighter succession
feel the burden of the trust, ana the obligation
to follow any cine, however obscure. He rapidly
asked himself, would he like this man to be the
real Wilding? No. Argne down bia mistrust
aa he might, he waaf unwilling to pot
such a Substitute in the place of bia late g?ilo
lees, outspoken, childlike pa. mer. He rapidly
asked himself, would he like this man to be rich?
No. Be had more power than enough over Mar?
guerite as it was, and wealth might inveet him
with more. Would he like thu man to be Mar?
guerite's guardian, and yet proved to stand in
no degree of relationship toward her, however
disconnected and distant ? No. But these were
not considerations to come between him and
fidelity to the dead. Let hun aee to it that they
passed him with no other notice than the knowl?
edge that they had passed him, and left him
bent on the discharge of a solemn duty. And
he did aee to it, BO soon that he followed hu
companion with ungrudging eyes, while he still
paced the room; that companion, whom he sup?
posed to be moodily reflecting on bis own buln,
and not on another man's-least of ?ll what
The road in advance from Basle to Neuchatel
was better than had teen represented. .The
latest weather bad done it good. Drivers, both
of horses and mules, had come in that evening
after dork, am' had reported nothing more diffi?
cult to be overcome than trials of patience, har?
ness, wheels, axles, and whipcord. A bargain
was soon struck for a carriage and horses, to
take them on in the morning, and to start before
"Do you lock your door at night when travel?
ing ?" asked Obenreizer, standing warming his
ban dB by the wood fire in Vendale's chamber,
before going to his own.
" Not L I sleep to soundly."
"You are so sound a sleeper?" he retorted,
with aa admiring look. "What a blessing I"
.'Anything but a blessing to the rest of the
house," rejoined Vendale, "if I had to be
knocked np m the morning from the outside of
my bedroom door."
"I too," said Obenreizer, "leave open my
room. But let me advue you, as a Swiss who
knows: always, when you travel in my country,
put yonr papers-and, of course, your money
under your pillow. Always the same place."
" You are not complimentary to your country?
men," laughed Vendale.
" My countrymen,'' said Obenreizer, with that
light touoh of his friend's elbows by way of good
night and benediction, " I suppose, are like the
majority of men. And the majority of men will
take what they can get. Adieu 1 At four in the
" Adieu I At four."
Loft lo himself, Vendale raked the logs to?
gether, sprinkled over them the wiite wood
ashes lying on the hearth, and sat down to com?
pose his thoughts. But they still ran high on
their latest theme, and the running of the river
tended to agitate rather than to quiet them. Aa
he sat thinking, what little disposition he had
had to sleep departed. He felt it hopeless to
lie down yet, and Bat dressed by the fire. Mar?
guerite, Wilding, Obenreizer, the business he
woe then upon, and a thousand hopes and doubt?
that had nothing to do with it, occupied bia
mind at once. Everything see m od to have power
over him but slumber. The departed disposition
to sleep kept far away.
He had sat for a long time thinking on the
hearth, when his candle burned down, and its
light went out. It was of little moment; there
was light enough in the fire. He changed his
attitude, and leaning hm arm on the chair-back,
and his chm upon that hand, sat thinking still.
But be sat between the fire and the bed, and,
as the fire nickered in the play of air from the fast
flowing river, his enlarged shadow fluttered on
the white wail by the bedside. His attitude gave
it an air, half of mourning, and half of bending
over the bed imploring. His eyes were observ?
ant of it, when ne became troubled by the disa?
greeable fancy that it was like Wilding's shadow,
aud not his own.
A slight change of place would cause it to dis?
appear. He made the change, and the appari?
tion of his disturbed fancy vanished. He now
eat in the shade of a little nook beside the fire,
and the door of tho room was before him.
It had a long cumbrous iron latch. He saw
the latch slowly and softly rise. The door
opened a vciy little, and came to again; as
though only tbe air had moved it. But he saw
that the latch was out of the hasp.
Tho door opened again very slowly, until it
opened wide enough to admit some one. It af?
terward remained still for a while, as though
cautiously held open on the other side. The
figure of a man then entered, with his face
turned toward the bed. and stood quiet just
witaia UM door, V&tli li mi? in * law cali
whiuper, at the ?ame time taking one step for?
ward, " Vendale I"
" What now f" he answered, springing from
his seat; " who is it I"
It^waa-Oberrretzer, and he uttered a cry of sur?
prise as Vendale came upon bim from that un
expo?t?d d?eotion. "Not in bedr be said
catching hun by both shoulders with an instinc?
tive tendency to a struggle, " Then something
ii wrong 1"
"What do you mean?" said Vendale, releasing
" First tell me; you are not ill ?"
" I have had a bad dream about you. How ii
it that I see you up and dressed ?"
My good follow, I may as well ask you how ia
it that I soe you up and undressed."
" I have told you why. I have had a bad dream
about you. I tried to rest after it but it waa im?
possible. I could not make up my mind to stay
where I was without knowing yon ware safe; and
?et I could not make up my mind to come in here,
hr.ve been minutes herniating at the door. It
is so easy to laugh at a dream that you have not
dreamed. Where is your candle ?"
" I have a whole one Li my room. Shall I fetch
His room was very near, and he waa absent fer
but a few seconds. Coming back with the candle
in Ids hand, he kneeled down on the hearth and
lighted it. Aa ho blew with his breath a charred
billet mto flame for the purpose, Vendale, jfook?
mg down at him, saw that his hps were white
and not easy of control.
"Yeal" said Obenreizer, setting the lighted
candle on the table, "it was a bad dream. Only
look at mel"
Etit feet were bare; his red flannel shirt wu
thrown back at the throat, and its sleeves were
rolled above the elbows; his only other garment,
a pair of under pantaloons or drawers reaching
to the ankles, fitted him oloae and tight. A cer?
tain lithe and savage appearance waa on his
figure, and bu eyes were very bright.
'If there had been a wrestle with a robber, aa
I dreamed," said Obenreizer, "you see, I waa
stripped for it. '
" And armed, too," said Vendale, glancing at
"A traveler's dagger, that I always carry on
thc road," he answered carelessly, half drawing
lt from ita sheath with his left hand, and put?
ting; it back again. "Do you carry no snob
"Nothing of the kind."
"No pistole ?" said Obenreizer, glancing at th?
tallie, and from lt to the untouched pillow.
" Nothing of the sort,"
" YouKnglishmen ar? so confldeqtl You wish
" I have wished to sleep this long time, but I
cant do it."
" I neither after th? bad dream. My fir* baa
gone the way of your candle. May I oom? and
ait by yours 7 Two o'clock! It will so soon be
four, that it ia not worth the trouble to go to
"I shall not take the trouble to go to bsd at
all, now," ?aid Vendale: "ait here and keep rn?
company, rind welcome."
Going back to his room to arrange his dress.
Obenreucetf soon returned in a loose cloak and
shppers, and they sat down on opposite sides o?
th i hearth. In the interval. Vendale had replen
islied the fire from th? wood-basket in bis room,
and Obenreizer had put on the table the flask
and cup from his.
* Common cabaret brandy, I am afraid," he
?aid, pouring out; "bought upon the road, and
not like yours from Cripple Corner. But yours
is exhausted; so much the woree? A cold night,
a cold time of night, a cold country, and a
cold house. This may be Letter than notniu'
Vendale took the cup. and did so.
"How do you find it?"
P " It has a coarse after-flavor," said Vendale,
giving back the cup with a slight shudder, "'and
I don't like it."
"You are right," said Obenreizer, tasting,
and smacking bis Una: "it nae a coarse after*
flavor, and I dona like it. Booh! it burns,
though 1" He bad flung what remained m th?
cup, upoa the fire.
Each ene of them leaned an elbow on the ta?
ble, reclined his head upon bis band, and sat
looking at the flaring logs. Obenreizer remained
watchful and still : but Vendale, after certain
nervous twitches and Jarte, in one of which he
roje to bis feet and looked wildly about bim, tell
iniio the strangest confusion of dreams. He car?
ried his papers in a leather ease or pocket-book,,
in an inner brlast-pocket of bis buttoned travel?
ing coat ; and whatever he dreamed of,' in the
lethargy that not possession of him. something
importunate ut these papers caliea bim out ox
that dream, though he could not wake from it.
He waa bela tod on the steppes of Russia (some
shadowy person gave that name to the place)
witb Marguerite: and yet the sensation o?a
hand at the breast, softly foeling the outline of
th? pock e-book as he lay asleep before the fire,
wt? present to him. He was shipwrecked in an
open boat at sea, and having lost his clothes,
bad no other covering than an old sail; and yet
a creeping hand, tracing outside all the other
pockets of the dress he actually wore, for papers,
and finding none rnswer hui touch, warned him
to rouse hin self. He was in the ancient vault
at Cripple Corner, to which was transferred the
very] bed substantial and present in
that very room at Basle ; and Wilding
(not dead, as he had supposed, and yet
he did not wonder muon) shook hun,
and whispered, "Look at that maul Don't
?ou see he has risen, and is turning the pillow?
?hj should he turu the pillow, if not to seek
those papers that are in your breast ? Awake I"
And yet he slept, and wandered off into other
dreame. ? >
Watchful and still, with his elbow on the table
and his bead upon that hand, bia companion at
length ssid :
"Vendale I Vf e are called. Past four 1"
Then, opening his eyes, he saw, .turned sid?
ways on bun, the filmy face of Obenreizer.
"You have been in a heavy sleor," be said.
" The fatigue of constant traveling and the c ld 1"
"I am broad awake now," cried Vendale, spring
inj; np, but with an unsteady footing. " Haven't
you slept at all?"
"I may have dozed, but I seem to have been
patiently looking at the fire. Whether or no. we
must wash and breakfast, and turn out. B-Sat
four, Vendale ; past four 1"
It was said m a tone to rouse him, for airead
he was half asleep again. In his preparation for
the day, too, and at bis breakfast, he wae often
virtually asleep while in mechanical action. It
was not until the cold, dark day was clefting in
that he had any distincter impressions of the
ride than jingling bells, bitter weather, alippin
horses, frowning hillsides, bleak wood?, and
stoppage at some wayside houses of entertain
ment, where they had passed through a cow?
house to reach the travelers' room above. He
had been conscious of little more, except of
Obenreizer Bitting thoughtful at his side all day,
and eyeing him much.
But when he shook off his stupor, Obenrelzei
was not at his side. The carriage was stopping tc
bait at another wayside house; and a line of long,
narrow carts, laden with casks of wine, and drawn
by horses with a quantity of blue collar and head
ge ir, were baiting too. These came from the
direction in which the travelers were going, and
Obenreizer (not thoughtful now, but cheerful
and alert) was talking with the foremost driver.
As Vendale stretched his limbs, circulated bis
blood, and cleared of the lees of bis lethargy,
with a sharp nu to and fro in the bracing air.
tho line of carts moved on: the drivers all
saluting Obenreizer as they pa?sed him.
" Who are those?" raked Vendale.
" They ar? iu ea?Ti?r-,--Defrw?i?; and Qm?