Newspaper Page Text
p&nv's," replied Obenreizer. "Those exe om
casks of wine." He wee singing to himself', enc
lighting a cigar.
''I bave been drearily dull company to-day,'
said Vendale. " I don't know what has been th?
matter with me."
'.You had no sleep last night ; and a kind o:
brain congestion frequently comes, at first, o
such cold, said Obenreizer. " I have seen ii
often. After all, we shall haTe our journey foi
nothing, it seems."
" How for nothing?"
" The house is at Milan. You know, we are i
wine beuse at Nenobatel, and a silk hones al
Milan ? Well, silk happening to press of a sud?
den, more than wine, Defreenier was summoned
to Milan. Rolland, the other partner,
bas been taken iii emce hie departure,
and the doctors will allow bim to see no one. A
letter awaits you atNeuchatel to tell you so. ]
have it from our chief carrier whom you saw
me talking; with. He was surprised to see me.
and aaid he had that word for you if he met
you. What do you do? Go back?"
" Go on," said Vendale.
"On? Ten. Across the Alps, and down to
Obenreizir stopped in his smoking to look et
Vencfl?e, and then smoked heavily, looked up
the road, looked down the road, looked down at
the stones in the road at his feet
"I have a very serious matter in charge,"
said Vendale; '"mere of these missing forms
may be turned to bad account, or worse; I um
urged to loee no time lu helping the house to
take the thief; and nothing shall turn me
"No?" cried Obenreizer, taking out his cigar
to smile, and giving his band to his fellow-trav?
eler. "Then nothing shall turn me baok. Ho,
driver 1 Dispatch. Qui'* there 1 Let us [push
They traveled through the night There had
been r.now, and there vas a partial thaw, and
they mostly traveled at a foot-pace, and always
with many stoppages to breathe the splashed
and floundering horses. After an hour's broad
daylight, they drew rein at the inn-door at
Nouchatel, having been some eight-and-twenty
hours m conquering some eighty English miles.
When they had hnrrledlv refreshed and changed
they went together to the honse of bnsinees of
Defresnier and Company. There they found
the letter which tbe wine-carrier had described,
inclosing the tests and comparisons of hand?
writing essential to the discovery of the forger.
Vendale's determination to iress forward, with?
out resting, being already taken, the only ques?
tion to delay them was by what pass could they
cross the Alps? Respecting the state of the
two pass?e of the St. Gotthard and the Simpl?n,
the guides and mule-drivers differed greatly;
and both passes were still far enough off, to pre?
vent the traveler* from having the benefit of
any recent experience of either. Besides which,
they well knew that a fall of snow might alto?
gether change the described conditions in a sin?
gle hour, even h* they were correctly stated. But,
on the whole, the Simpkin appearing to be the
hopefuller route. Vendale decided to take it.
Obenreizer bore little or no part in the discos
?ion, and scarcely spoke,
i Ta Geneva, to Lausanne, along the level mar?
gin of the bike to Vevay, so into the winding
valley between the spurs of the mountains, and
into the valley of the Rhone. The sound of the
carriage wheels, as they rattled on, through the
day, throngii the night, became as tho wheels
of a great dook, recording the hours. No
change of weather varied the journey, after it
bad hardened into a sullen frost. In a somber
yellow sky they eaw the Alpine ranges; and
they saw enough of snow on nearer and much
lowerjkill-tops and hillsides to sully, by contrast.
the purity of lake, torrent and waterfall, ana
make the villages look discolored and dirty.
But no snow tell, nor waa there any snow-drift
on tht road. Tbe stalking along the valley of
more or less of white mist, changing on their
hair and dress into icicles, was the only variety
between them and the gloomy sky. And still by
day, and still by night, the wheels. And stid
they rolled, in the hearing of one of them, to the
burden, altered from the burden of tbe Rhine :
"The time ie gone for robbing him alive, and I
must murder him."
They came, at length, to the poor little tr wn
of Brieg, at the foot of the Simpl?n. They
came there after dark, but yet could see how
dwarfed men's worka and mon became
with the immense mountains towering over
them. Here they must lie for the night ;
and here was warmth of fire, and lamp,
and dinner, aud wine, and after-conference
resounding, with guides and drivers. No human
creatnre had come across the Pass for four days.
The snow above the snow-line was too soft for
wheeled carriage, and not hard enough for
sledge. There was snow in the sky. There had
been snow in the sky for data past, and the
marvel waa that it had not fallen, and the cer?
tainty was that it must fall. No vehicle could
cross. Tbe journey might be tried on mules, or
it might be tried on foot; but the best guides
must be paid danger-price in either case, and
tuat, too, whether they succeeded in taking the
KT travelers across, or turned for safety and
brought them back.
In this discussion, Obenreizer bore no part
wha'ever. He sat silently smoking by the fire
until the room was cleared and Vendale referred
"Bah ! I am weary of these poor devils and
their trade," he said, in reply. "Always the
same story. It is the story of their trade, to?
day, as it was the story of their trade when I
was a ragged boy. What ao you and I want?
We want a knapsack each, and a mountain-staff
each. We want no guide; we should guide him;
he would not guide us. We leave our portman?
teaus here, and we cross together. We have
been on th? mountains together before now,
and I am mountain-born, ana I know this pass
-pass 1-rather high road I-by heart. We will
Isave thete poor devils, in pity, to trade with
others; but they must not delay to make a pre?
tense of earning money. Which is all they
Vendale, glad to be quit of the dispute, and
to cut the znot, active, adventurous, bent on
fettftg forward, and, therefore, very snscepti
le to the last hint, readily assented. Within
two hours they had purchased what they
wanted tor the expedition, bad packed their
knapsackE. and lay down to sleep.
At break of day they found half the town col?
lected m the narrow street to see them depart.
The people talked together in groups ; the
guides and drivers whispered apart, and looked
up at the sky ; no one wished them a good
As they began the ascent a gleam of nun
shone from the otherwise unaltered sky, and for
a moment turned the tin spirea of the town to
"A good omen !" said Vendale (though it died
out while he spoke). "Perhaps our example
will ODen the Pass on this side."
"K?; we shall not be followed," returned
Obenreizer, looking up at the sky and back at
the valley. "Wo shall be a.ono up yonder."
ON TEE MOUNTAIN.
The road was fair enough for stout walkers,
and tho air grew lighter and easier to breathe
as the two ascended. But the settled gloom re?
mained as it had remained for days back. Na?
ture seemed to have come to a pause. The aei.ee
of bearing, no less than the sense of sight, was
troubled by having to wait so long for the
change, whatever it might be, that impended.
The silence was as palpable and beary as tho
lowering clouds, or rather cloud, for there
seemed to be but one in all the sky, and that
one covering the whole of it.
Although the light was thns dismally shroud?
ed, the prospect was not obscured. Down in
tho Yaller ai the Rhous behind them the atraam
could be traced through all its many windings
oppressively somber and solemn in it:
one leaden hne, a colorless waste. Far anc
high above them, glaciers and suspended ava
lanches overhung tbe spots where they must Dasi
by and by ; deep and clark below them on the::
right were awful precipice and roaring tor
rent ; tremendous mountains rose in every vista
The gigantic landscape, uncheered by a toucl
or changing light or a solitary ray of sun, wat
yet terribly distinct in its ferocity. The hearts
of two lonely men might shrink a little if the;
bad to win their way for miles and hours amone
a legion of silent and motionless men-men
men uko themselves-all looking at them witt
fixed and frowning front ; but bow much mon
when the legion is of Nature's mightiest works
and the frown may turn to fury in au instant I
As they ascended, the road became graduall]
mors rugged and difficult. But the spirits o:
V?ndale rose as they mounted higher, leaving sc
much more of the road behind them conquered,
Obenreizer spoke little, and held on with a deter
mined purpose. Both, in respect of agility anc
endurance, were well qualified for the expedition,
Whatever the born mountaineer read in the wea
ther tokens, that was illegible ta the other, h<
kept to himself.
"Shall we get across to-day?" asked Vendale,
" No," replied the other. " You see how mud:
deeper the snow lies here than it lay half t
league lower. The higher we mount, the deepei
the snow will lie. Walking is bau* wading ever
now. And the days are so short 1 If we get ae
high as thc Filth Befuge, and be to-night at thc
Hospice, we shall do well."
"is there no danger of tbe weather rising bi
the night," asked Vendale, anxiously, "and
snowing us up ?"
"There is danger enough about us." said
Obenreizer, with a cautious glance onward and
upward, " to render silence our best policy. You
have heard of the Bridge of the Oanther ?"
" I bave crossed lt once."
" In the summer ?"
" Yes ; in tbe traveling season."
"Yes ; but it ls another thing at thin season ;"
with a sneer, as though he were out of temper.
" This ia not a time of year, or a state of things,
on an Alpine pass, that you gentlemen holiday
travelers know much about."
" You are my guide," said Vendale, good
humoredly. "I trust to you." '
" I am your guide," said Obenreizer, " and I
will guide yon to your Journey's end. There is
the bridge befcre us."
They had made a turn into a desolate and dis?
mal ravine, where tbe snow lay deep below
them, deep above them, deep on every side.
While speaking Ooenreizer stood pointing at the
bridge, and observing Vendale's face, with a
very singular expression on his own.
"If I, as guide, had sent' you over there, in
advance, and encouraged you to give a shout or
two, you migh have brought down upon yourself
tuns and tuns and tuns of snow, that would not
only have struck you dead, but buried you deep
at a blow."
" No doubt," said Vendale. .
"No doubt. But that is not what I have to
do as guide. So pass silently. Or, going as we
go, our indiscretion might else crush and bury
i me. Let us go on I"
There was a great accumulation of snow on
I the bridge ; and such enormous accumulations
of snow overhung tuarn from projecting
masses of rock, that t'loy. might nave been
making their way througn a stormy sky of white
clouds. Using his ?taff skillfully, sounding as
he went, and looking upward, with bent
shoulders, as it were to resist the mere
idea of a fall from above, Obenreizer softly led.
Vendale closely followed. They were yet in the
midst of their dangerous way, when there came
a mighty rusb, followed bv a sound as of thun?
der. Obenreizer dapped his hand on Vendale's
month, and pointed to the track behind them.
Ita aspect bad been wholly changed in a moment.
An avalanche had swept over it, and plunged
into the torrent at the bottom of the gulf below.
Their appearance at tbe solitary Inn not far
beyond this terrible Bridge, elicited many ex?
pressions of astonishment from the people shut
np in the house. " We stay bat to rest," said
Obenreizer, shaking the snow from his dress at
tho Are. "This gentleman has very pressing
occasion to get across f tell them, Vendale.'
" Assuredly, I have vory pressing occasion. I
" You hear, all of you. Hy friend bas very
pressing occasion to get across, and we want no
advice and no help. I am as good a guide, my
fellow countrymen, aa any of you. Now, give
us to eat and drink."
In exactly tbe same way, and in nearly the
same worda, when it was coming on dark and
they had struggled through the greatly-in?
creased difficulties of the road, and hal at last
reached their destination for the night, Oben?
reizer said to the astonished people of the Hoc
pice, gathering about them at the fire, while
they were yet in the act of getting their wet
shoes off and Shaking the snow from thou*
" It is well to understand one another, friends
all. This gentleman-"
" Has," said Vendale, readily taking him np
with a smile, "very pressing occasion to get
across. Must cross."
"Yon hear?-bas very pressing occasion to get
across, must cross. We want no advice and no
help. I am mountain-born and aot as guide.
Do not worry us by talking about it, but let us
nave supper, and wine, and bed."
All through the intense cold of the night, the
same awful stillness. Again at sunrise, no son?
ny tinge to gild or redden the snow. The same
interminable waste of deathly white ; the same
immovable air ; the same monotonous gloom in
"Travelers I" a friendly voice called to them
from the door, after they were afoot, knapsack
on back and staff in hand, as yesterday; "re?
collect I There are five places of shelter, near
together, on the dangerous road before you ;
and there is the wooden cross, and there is the
next Hospice. Do not stray from the track. If
the Txmrmente comes on, take shelter instantly I"
" The trade of these poor devils 1" said Oben?
reizer to his friend, with a contemptuous back?
ward wave of bis hand toward tho voice. " How
they stick to their trade 1 You Englishmen say
wo Swiss are mercenary. Truly it does look Like
They had divided between the two knapsacks
such refreshments as thsy had been able to ob?
tain that morning, and as they deemed it pru?
dent to take. Ooenreizer carried the wine as
his part of the burden ; Vendale the bread, and
meat, and cheese, ana the flask of brandy.
They bad for some time labored upward
and onward through the snow-which was
now above their knees in tbe track, ? and
of unknown depth elsewhere-and they were
still laboring upward and onward through
tho most frightful part of that tremen?
dous ('.eaolation, when snow began to fall. At
first, but a few flakes descended slowly and
steadily. After a little while the fall grew much
denser, and suddenly it began without apparent
cause to whirl itself into spiral shaper. Instantly
ensuing upon this last change, an icy blast carno
roane T at them, aud every eound and forco im?
prisoned until now was let loose.
One of the dismal galleries through which the
road is carried at that perilous point, a cave elcod
out by arches of great strength, was near at
band. They struggled into it, aud the storm
raged wildly. The noise of the wind, th9 noiso
of the water, tho thundering down of displaced
mashes of roca and snow, the awful voices with
which not only that gorge, but every gorge in
the whole monstrous range seemed to bo sud?
denly endowed, tho riarkness as of Dight, tho
violent revolving of the snow which beat and
broke it into spray and blinded them, the mad?
ness of everything around insatiate for destruc?
tion, the rapid substitution of furious violones '
for tran atar al calm, and h os ta of appalling ?ont
for silence: theae were things, on the edge o
deep abyss, to chill the blood, though the fiei
wind, made actually solid by ice and snow, t
failed to chill it."
Obenreizer, walking to and fro in the gall?
without ceasing, signed tu Vendale to help h
unbuckle his knapsack. They could see es
other, but could not have heard each oder spei
Vendale complying, Obenreizer produced his b
tie of wine, and poured eome ont, motioni
V?ndalo to take that for warmth's eak a, and i
brandy. Vendale again complying, Obenrei;
seemed to drink after him, and the two walk
backward and forward, side by side; "both w
knowing that to rest or sleep would be to die.'
The snow came driving heavily into the gall?
by the upper end at whica they would pass out
it, if they ever passed out; for greater c angers J
on the road behind them than before. The en
soon began to choke the arch. An hour mo
and it lay so high as to block out half of the i
turning daylight. But it froze hard now, ai
fell, and could be clambered through or ov
The violence of the mountain ?torin n
gradnally yielding to a steady snowfall. T
wind still raged at intervals, but not incessant
aad when it paused, the snow fell in hea
They might have been two hom's in thi
frightful ? prison, when Obenreizer, now crane
ing into the mound, now creeping over it wi
his head bowed down and his body touching t
top of the arch, made his way out. Vend;
followed close upon him, but followed withe
clear motive or calculation. For the lethargy
basie waa creeping over him again, and mae?
lng bis senses.
How far lie had followed out of the gallery, i
with what obstacles he had since contended, I
knew not. He became roused to the knowledi
that Obenreizer had set upon hun, and that th
were struggling desperately in the snow. ]
became roused to tho remembrance of what I
assailant carried in a girdle. He felt for it, dr*
it, struck at bim, struggled again, etruck at hi
again, cast hun off, and stood face to face wi
" I promised to guide you to your journe-j
end." said Obenreizer, " and I have kept n
promise<. The journey of your lift ends her
Nothing can prolong it. Yon are sleeping i
" You. are a villain. What have yon done \
" Yoti are a fool. I have drugged yon. Yon a
doubly a fool, for I drugged you once lie fore DOC
the journey, to try you. You are trebly tne fri
for I am the thief and forger, and in a few nu
menta I shall take those proofs against the thii
and forger from your insensible body. "
The entrapped man tried to throw off tl
lethargy, but its fatal hold on him was so sm
that, even while he heard those words, 1
stupidly wondered which of them bad bee
wounded, and whose blood it was that he sa
sprinkled on the snow.
What have I done to yon," be asked, hea vi:
and thickly "that you should be-so base
"Done to me? Yon Would have destroyed mi
but that you have come to your journey's eoe
Your earned activity interposed between'me an
the time I had counted on in which I might hav
replaced the money. Done to me? lion hav
como in my Way- hot once, not twice, hut agai
and again and again. Did I try to shako yon o
in the beginning, or no ? You warn cot to b
shaken off. Therefore you die here. "
Vendale tried to think coherently, tried t
speak coherently, tried to pick up the iron-eho
a taff he had let fall; failing to touch it, tried t
stagger on without its aid. All in vain, all i
vain 1 He stumbled, and fell heavily forward o
the brm k of the deep chasm. s
fi tup jfied, dozing, unable to stand upon his feel
a vail bofore his eyes, his sense of h earing dead
ened, he made such a vigorous rally that, sup
porting himself on his hands, he saw tua enem;
standing calmly over bim, and heard bim speak
" You call me murderer," said Obenreizer.
with a grim .laugh. "The name matters ver;
little. But at least I have set my life agains
yours, for I am surrounded by dangora, and ma,
never make my way out of this place. Tb
Toumarnte is rising again. The snow is on thi
whirl. I must have the papers now. Ever;
moment has my life in it."
" Stop 1" cried Vendale, in a terrible voice
staggering np with a last Hash of i re breaking
ont of him, and clutching the thievish hands a
his breast in both of his. u Stop I Stand awa;
from me 1 God bless my Marguerite I Happih
she will never know bow I died. Stand off fron"
me and let me look at your murderous face. Lei
it remind me-of something-left to e?.y."
The sight of him fighting so baird for hil
sense?, and the doubt whether he might not foi
the instant be possessed by, the .strength of i
dozen men, kept his opponent el ill. Wildly glar
ing at him, Vendale faltered out the broker
M It Bhall not be-the trust-of the dead-be?
trayed by me-reputed parents-misinhorited
fortune-see to it 1"
As his head dropped on his breast, and he
stumbled on the brink of the chaiim as before,
the thievish hands went once mor s, quick and
busy to his breast. He made a convulsive at?
tempt to cry " No I" desperately rolled himsell
over into the gulf, and sank away from hie
enemy's touch, like a phantom in a dreadful
Th J mountain storm raged again, ?.nd passed
again. The awful mountain voices dind away,
the moon rose, and the soft and silent snow fell.
Two men and two large dogs came out at the
door of the Hospice. The men locked carefully
around them, and up at the sky. The dogs
rolled in the snow, and took it into their
mout h's, and cast it np with their raws.
Ono of the men said to the other: "We may
venturo now. We may find them : n one of the
five Refuges." Each fastened on his back a
basket ; each took in his hand a strong spiked
pole ; each girded under his arms ii looped end
of a stout rope, so that they were tied together.
Suddenly the dogs desisted from their gam?
bols in toe enow, stood looking down the ascent,
put their noses up, put their noses down, be?
came greatly excited, and broke into ii deep loud
The two men looked in the faces ol' the doge.
The two dogs looked with at least equal intelli?
gence, in the faces of the two men.
" Au secours, then 1 Help I To the rescue I"
cried tbo two men. Tho two doge, with a glad,
deep, generous bark, bounded away,
"Two more mad onoa !" said tbs men, strick?
en motionless, and looking away into the moon?
light. "Is it possible in such weather 1 And
one of thom a woman 1"
Each of the doge had the corner ol' a woman's
dress in ita mouth, and drew her ??long. She
fondled their heads ss she carno vp, and she
came up through the enow with tn accustomed
tread. Not BO tne large man who W?IB with her,
who waa epent and winded.
Dear guides, dear frionda of travelers 1 I
am of your country. Wo seek two gentlemen
crossing the Pass, who should have reached the
Hospice this evening."
"Tliey have reached it, ma'amsells."
"Thank Heaven I O thank Hea veal"
"But, unhappily, they have gone on again.
Wo are Betting forth to seek thom even now.
Wo had to wait until tho Tourmente paaaed. It
has boon fearful up here."
"Dear guides, dear frionda of travel
era I Let mo go with you. Let me
go witn you, for the love of Godl
One of those gentlemen ia to be my hus
oand. I love bim, O so dearly. 0 so dearly I
You see I am not faint ; you see I am not tired.
I am born a peasant girl. I will show you that I
know well how to fasten myself to your ropes. I
will do it with my own hauda. I wit. swear to be
brave and good. But let me go with you-lai
me go with Toa ! If any m?chanos should 1
befallen him, my love would find him, w
nothing else could. On my knees, dear trie
of travelers 1 By the love your dear mothers
for your fathers !"
The good, rough fellows were moved. " A
all," they murmured to one another, "
speaks but the truth. She knows the way
the mountains. Seo how marvelously ahe
come here 1 But aa to Monsieur ithere, ma'
"Bear Ur. Joey," said Marguerite, addr
lng him in his own tongue, "you will ren?
nt the house and wait for me, will you not V
" If I know'd which o' you two recommen
it," growled Joey Ladle, eying the two men i
great indignation, " Io fight you for sizpe
and give you half a crown toward your ex pe rx
No, miss. I'll stiok by you as long as there's
slicking left in me, and I'll die for you whe
can't do better." The state of the moon rem
ing it highly important that no time ? ahould
lost, and the doga showing signs of great
eu -lineas, the two men quickly took their re*
tion. The rope that yoked them together \
exchanged for a longer one ; tbe party were
cured, marguerite second and the ce ll arc
last ; and they set out for the Befnges. The
tual distance of those places was nothing ;
whole five and the next Hospice to boot be
within two miles ; but tko ghastly way waa wi
1 ened out and sheeted over.
They made no miss in reaching the gall
where the two had taken shelter. The sect
storm of wind and anow had so wildly aw
over it since, that their tracks were gone. 1
the dogs went to and fro with their noses doi
and were confident. The party stopping, h<
ever, at the further arch, where the eeoc
storm had been especially furious, and wh
i the drift was deep, the dogs became troubl
and went about and about, in queat of a i
The great abyss being known to lie on I
right, they wandered too much to the left, i
had to regain the way with infinite labor thron
a deep field of anow. The leader of the li
bad stopped it, and was taking note of the hu
mark, when one of the dogs fell to tearing
the anow a little before them. Advancing a
stooping to look at it, thinking that some o
might be overwhelmed there, they saw that
waa stained, and that the stain waa red.
The other dog was now seen to look over t
brink of the gulf, with his forelegs straighter
out, lest he should fall into it, and to trem
in every limb. Then the dog who had found 1
stained snow joined him, and then to ey ran
and fro, distressed and whining. Finally, tb
both stopped on the brink together, and sotti
up their heads, howled dolefully.
" There is some one lying below," said MJ
" I think ao," said the foremost man. " Sta
well inward, the two last, and let us look ovei
The last man kindled) two torches from 1
basket, and handed them forward. The lea?
taking one, and Marguerite the other, th
looked down ; now shading the torches, n
moving them to the right or left, now raiei
them, now depressing them, as moonlight :
below contended with black shadows. A pie
ing cry from Marguerite broke a long silem
" Mr Ood ! On a projecting point, when
wall of ice stretches forward over the torrent
see a human form 1"
" Where, ma'smselle, where ?"
" See, there I On the shelf of ice below t
The leader, with a sickened aspect, drew I
ward, and they were all suent. But they wc
not all inactive, for Marguerite, with swift a
skillful fingers, had detached both herself a
him from the rope in a few seconds.
" Show me the baskets. These two ara t
only ropes ?"
"The only ropes here, ma'ams ol le ; but at t
"If be is able-I know it is my lover-he w
be dead before yon can return. Dear Guide
Blessed friends of travelers! Look at no
Watch my hands. If they falter or go wron
make me your prisoner by force, fi they a
steady and go right, help me to save bim 1"
Shejrtrded herself with a cord under the brea
and arms, she formed it into a kind of jacki
she drew it into knots, she laid its end side I
side with the end of the other cord, she twist?
and twined the two together, abo knotted the
together, she set her foot upon the knots, el
strained them, she held them for the twe men
strain at. .
"She is inspired," they said to one another.
"By tbe Almighty's mercy !" she excloimei
" Yon both know that I am by tar the lighte
here. Give me the brandy and the wine, an
lower me down to him. Then go for assistant
and a stronger rope. You see that when
in lowered to me -look at this about m
now-I can make it fast and safe to h
body. . Alive of dead. I will bring hil
np, or die with him. 1 love him passionately
Can I say more ?"
They turned to her companion, but he wa
lying senseless on the snow.
"Lower me down to him," she said, taking tw
little kegs they had brought, and hanging thei
about her, or I will dash myself to pieces 1
am a peasant and I know no giddiness or feai
and thia is nothing to me, and I pasaionatel
love him. Lower me down 1"
" Ma'auwelle, ma'ameelle, he must be dying o
" Dying or dead, my husband's head shall h
upon my breast, or I will dash myself to pieces.
They yielded, overborne. With snch precau
tiona as their skill and the circumstances admit
ted, they let nor slip from the summit, gnidini
herself down the precipitous icy wall with he
hand, and tbey lowered down, and lowered down
and lowered down, until the cry came up
" Is it really he, and is he dead?" they callee
down, looking over.
Theory came up: "He is insensible; but hil
heart beats. It beats against mme. "
" How does he lie '"
The cry came up: " Upon a ledge of ice. It
has thawed beneath him, and it will thaw be
neath me. Hasten. If we elie, I am content."
One of the two men hurried off with the dogs
at such topmost speed as he could make; th<
other set up the lighted torches in the snow, and
applied himself to recovering the Englishman.
Much snow chafing and some brandy got him oe
hie legs, but delirious and quito unconscious
where he was.
The watch remained upon the brink, and his
cry went down continually: "Courage! They
will soon be here. How goes it ?" And the cry
came up: " His heart still beats against mine.
I warm him in my arms. I have cast ofi the
rope, for the ice melts under us, and the rope
would separate me from him; but I am not
The moon went down behind the mountain
tops, and all the abyss lay in darkness. The
cry went down: " How goes it?" The cry came
up: " We are sinking lower, but his heart still
beats against mine."
At length the eager barking of the dogj, and a
flaro of light upon the snow, proclaimed that
help was coming on. Twenty or thirty men,
lamps, torches, litters, ropes, blankets, wood to
kindle a great fire, restoratives and stimulants,
came in fast. The dogs ran from one man to
another, and from this thing to that, and ran to
the edge of the abyss, dumbly entreating speed,
speed, speed !
The cry went down: "Thanks to God, allis
ready. How goes it ?"
Theory came up : " We are sinking still, and
we are deadly cold. His heart no longer beats
against mine. Let no one come down, to add to
our weight. Lower the rope only."
The fire was kindled high; a great glare of
torches lighted the sides of the precipice; lamps
were lowered; a strong rep? vu l?wered. She
--f??- "% j?
I_. T^3 <
could be teen passing it round bim and makinj
The cn came np int' a deathly silence t
u Baise ! t?oftly i " They could see her diminished
figure shrink, as he was swung into thc- air.
They gave no shout when eome of them laid .
him on a Utter, and others lowered another
strong rope. The cry again came up into ?
deathly silence: "Baise; Soft I vi" But
when they caught her st the brink,
then they shouted, then they wept, thea
they gavi> thanks te heaven, then they kissed .
ber feet, Iben they, kissed her dress, then tnt
dogs caressed her, licked her icy hands, and
with their honest faces warmed her frozen
She brake from them all, and sank over hint
on his litter, with both her loving hands upon
the heart that stood still.
The pleasant ec ene was Neuchat el ; the
pleasant month waa April; the pleasant place
was a notary's office; the pleasant person in it
was the notary: a rosy, hearty, handsome old
man, chu f notary of Neuchate), known far and)
wide in 'the canton aa Ma?tre Voigt. Profes?
sionally and personally, the notary was a popular .
citizen. His innumerable kindnesses and his in?
numerable oddities had for years made him one
of the recognized publio characters of th?
; pleasant Swiss town. His long brown frock'
! coat and his black skullcap were among the in?
! etitutionii of the place; and he carried a ?nuff
box which, in point of size, was popularly be?
lieved to be without a parallel in Eure oe.
There was another person m the notary's of"
flee, not so pleasant as the notary. This was
An oddly pastoral kind of office it was, and ono
that woe ld never have answered rn England. It
stood in. a aeat back yard, fenced off from a -
pretty flower-garden. Goats browsed in the
door-way, and a cow was within half a dozen
feet of keeping company with the clerk. Mai tra
Voigt's room was a bright and varnished little;
room, with paneled walls, like a toy-chamber.
According to the seasons of the year, roses, sun?
flowers, hollyhocks, peeped m at the windows.
Maitre Voigt's bees bummed through the office
all the summer, in at this window and but ab
that. Ulringit frequently in their dav's work,
as if honey were to be made from Mai tra
Voigt's sweet disposition. A large musical box
on the chimney-piece often trilled away at th J
overturn to Ira Diavolo, or a selection from
William Tefl, with a chirruping liveliness that
had to be stopped by force on th? entrance of a
client, and irrepressibly broke out again the
moment his back waa turned.
"Courage, courage, my good fellow I" s*id;
Ma?tre Voigt, patting Obenreizer on the knee, in> ,
a fatherly and comforting way. "You wdl be?
gin a new lifo to-morrow morning in my office
Obeni-eizer-dressed in mourning and sub?
dued in manner-lifted his hand, with a white
handkerchief in rt, to the region of bis heart.
" The gratitude is here," he said. " But the
words to express it are not here."
'. Ta-ta-ta 1 Don't talk to me about gratitude I*
said M ?i tro Voigt. " I bate to. see. a man op?,
pressed. I eee you oppressed, and I bold out
my hand to you by instinct. Beside, I am not
too old yet to remember my young days.' Yous
fainer sent me my first client, (it was on a
question of half an acre of vineyard that seldom
bore any gripes.) Do I owe nothing to youl
father's son ? I owe him a debt of friendly ob?
ligation, and I pay it to you. That's rather
neatly expressed, 1 think.'- added Mm tro Voigt,
in high good humor with himself. " Permit me
to reward my own ment with a pinch of snuff!"
Obenreizer dropped bis eyes to the ground, as
though he were not even worthy to see the no?
tary take snuff.
*' Do mu one last favor, sir," he said, when be
raised his eyes. **Do not acton impulse. Thu?
far, you nave only a general knowledge of my
position. Hear the case for and against me, in
its details, before you take me into your- office.
Let my claim on your benevolence be recognized
by your sound reason as well as by your excel?
lent heart. In that case, I may hold np my
bead against the bitterest of my enemies, and
build myself a new reputation ou the ruins of
the character I have lost.
"AB you will," ?aid Ma?tre Voigt. " You speak .
well, my son. You will be a fine lawyer one of
"Thedetails are not many," pursued Oben?
reizer. "My troubles begin with the accidental
death of my Ute traveling companion, my lost .
dear friend, Mr. Vendale.* <
" Mr. Vendale," repeated the notary. "Just
so, I have heard and .Tread of the name, several
times'jwithin these two months. Tito name of
I the unfortunate English gentleman who was
killed on the Simpl?n. Wi,eu you ?ot that seal
upon your cheek and neck."
I "-From my own knife,'' said Obenreizeri
touching what must have oceu an ugly gash ab
i the time of its infliction.
; " From your own knife," assented the notary,
, "and in trying to eave him. Good, good, good,
i That was very gi od. Vendale, les. I have.
; several times, lately, thought it droll that I
! should once havo had a cheat of that uamo."
i " But tile world, sir,*' returned Obenreizer,
"ia se small I" Nevertheless, be miado a men
I tal note that the notary had once had a client of
i " AB I was saying, sir, the death of that dear
' traveling comrade begins my troubles. What fol?
i lows I I save myself. 1 go down to Milan. I am re?
I ceived with cold nc ss by De fres ni er a ad Company,
i Shortly afterward, I am discharged by Detres
! nier und Company. Why ? They gave no rea
I eon why. 1 asked, do they assad my honor ?
I No answer. I ask. what is the imputation against
me ? No answer. I ask. where are their proofs
I against mo ? No answer. I ask, what am I to
think V The reply ie. ? M. Obenreizer is free
to think what he will. What M. Obenreizer
thinks is. of no importance to Defresmer and
Company.' And that is all."
' ' Perfectly. That is ail," assented the notary,
taking*large pinch of snuff.
" Bat is that enough, sir ?"
"That is not enough," said Maitre Voigt.
" The House of Defresnier are my fellow-towns- _
men-much respected, much esteemed-but they T
House of Defrosmer must not silently destroy e
a man's character. You can rebut assertion.'
But how can you rebut silence?" gi
"Your sense of justice, my dear patron," an
swered Obenreizer, " states in a word the cruelty V-,
of the case. Does it stop there? No. For,. _?
whit follows upon that V a*
" True, my poor boy," said the notary, with ?' W
comforting nod or two ; "your ward rebels upoo
"Bebels is two soft a word," retorted Oben?- .?>
reizer. " My ward revolts from me with horror.? 3j.
My ward defies me. My ward withdraws her*1' Sj
self from my authority, aud takes shelter. x
( Madame Dor with her) ia the house of that ft'
English lawyer, Mr. Bmtrey, who replies to you? ?
summons to her to submit herself to my author*/ %
ity, that she will not do so." Si
'.-And who afterward writes," said tho notary, Sf
moving bis large snuff-box to look among the
papers underneath it tor the letter, "that be ia A
coming to confer with me."
" Indeed ?" replied Obenreizer, rather checked.
" Well, sir. Have I no logal rights ?"
"Assuredly, my poor boy," returned the S*j
cotarv. "All but felons have their legal right?." mm?
"And who calla me felon?" Bsid Ubcnreuer, S&
" No one. Be calm under your wrongs. If HK
tho house of Defresnier would cai! vou felon,
indeed, we should know how to deal with th^in.'' flfl j
While saying these words, he bad hauded L^M
Bintrey's very short letter to Obenreizer, who NW|
now read it and gave it back. VS?M
"lu aayinji," ybaervod Obenjeiza-6 fit^ cg