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Austin's Hawaiian weekly. (Honolulu [Hawaii) 1899-190?, December 25, 1899, Image 5

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Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85047152/1899-12-25/ed-1/seq-5/

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AUSTIN'S HAWAIIAN WEEKLY.
the act of smothering a sepulchral yawn; another leaned forward with
both arms resting in the handle of its swords; a third stood with nrms
akimbo.
Hut the climax was raiiheii when. I discovered at the end of the gal
lory, an object crouching on the floor. Shivering with fright, but drawn
'pit
by uncontrollable curiosity, 1 approached. The moon at this moment
came out from behind a cloud and shone full on a figure in armor
kneeling by a window; oiv .ir.n rested on the sill, supporting the heavy
casque. Fiom behind tho liais of the closed visor, 1 fancied ghastly eyes
were gazing meditatively down into tho valley of tho Rhine!
i held tho light aloft. Above tho door stood the horso of Otto Von
Stauffcnborg but liderless! With a yell 1 dashed tho candlo to tho
floor, rushed down the gallery and burst through the tapestry. I tore
open a window and noticing that thick ivy ran up tho buttresses I
grasped a handful tlucw myself out and clinging to tho ivy, reached
the ground in safety. I ran down the hill and did not stop until I found
myself in my room in the "Stauffenberg Arms." Exhausted, I sank
upon the bed and almost immediately, .toll into a deep sleep.
The sun was beating mil in my face through the little latticed win
dow, when I awoke. To my aniazemont( in consulting my watch 1
found it was noon. Suddenl the events of the previous night flashed
on my mind. I had just concluded 1 had been tho victim of nightmare,
when Oeneial Werner euttud the room the door being open,
I told iny stoiy. The suicrnl laughed loud and long. "The punch my
boy. I felt it myself, " he added.
I was nettled by his skepticism and told him I would prove the truth
of my statement.
"Come up and lunch with me then; lm carriage is at tho door, ' ho
said. I thanked him and in a few minutes, once moie found myself in
the gieat banqueting hall i..iiibio oven at midday.
After a hearty meal, we again ascended the spiial sl.iliciise. Tho
geneial unlocked the door .i-id quivering witli excitement, I reentered
tho pottiait gallciy. A blight object glittered on the floor. I ran for
ward and picked up the silver candlestick.
"So!" gtowled the geiuual, pulling at his grizzled moustache, "Hut
whero Is Von Staufleuberg.' Ah, sir, 1 salute you!" and ho raised Ills
cap as he pointed to the figure in armor seated on tho wooden horse.
"Ah; but general you surely remember how the right gauntlet rested
on the sword hilt, and no,v the arms are folded."
"My God! that Is true," ho said. Then after a pause "Those boys,
would they dare? but no, 1 alone possess the key. Forgive me for
laughing at you, my friend.''
Thoughtfully wo descended the staircase and passed out of tho castle
to the rampaits. As wo sat on a gun carriage and smoked our cigars,
tho general promised me to thoroughly investigate the matter and let
me know tho icsult. He urged me to stay with him, but 1 replied; that
much as 1 appreciated his hospitality, nothing In tho world would in
duce me to spend another night in Castle Stautfenberger. Shortly after,
1 took my leave.
Years passed by. I never licanl from tho general and the incidents of
that oxtiaordinaty night, gi initially faded from my memory. They were
recalled with a shock, however, one morning in the winter of 189
when reading the "Times" as I sipped a cup of coffee in my chambers in
Piccadilly, my eye caught the following paragraph:
"Sudden death of a well known oflicer General Werner, a dis
tinguished veteran of the Kinnco-German war, for many years com
mandant of the ganison at Castle Stauffenberg on the Rhine, was found
by an attendant on the morning of Dec. 2C, dead in the great portrait
galleiy of the castle. Investigation showed that he had occupied the
bod in tho ancient guest chamber, the previous night. This room opens
out of the galleiy, to which he alone possessed the key, and the physi
cian who examined the body asserted positively, that there was no
sign of foul play. Heart fi iluie was supposed to bo the cause of death,
though General Werner had never been known to complain of any
warning symptoms. '
It will not interest tho "wider, to know the circumstances that led to
my being in the vicinity of Staurfcnbeig on tho Rhine, in tho winter of
1SS-. Sufilcient to say, that an artist prefers not to follow the beaten
ti tick of tho multitude; or at least to choose a time when the high roads
of tiavel are unfrequented, it compellel to ti averse them.
That I should be eating my Christmas dinner in the great banqueting
hall of Castle Stauffenbenj as a guest of General Werner, commandant
of the garrison, was, however, an occurrence out of the common and
was as novel as unexpected. Tho previous afternoon, while ascending
a zig-zag toad cut out of the tocky clitf, on the summit of which stood
the grim old quarters of tho Karons Von Stauffenberg a race now ex
tinct I had mot the genoial .accompanied by his orderly, on his way to
the village post office, and to my surprise, recognized In him an officer
I had known well during the German occupation of Paris, where I had
the misfortune to bo entrapped during the solge. Tho general seemed
pleased at the chance meeting and insisted on my eating my Christmas
dinner at the castle. I gladly consented, nothing loath to sit under
"The Stauffenberg Aims" the little inn at the foot of the hill, where
1 was tho only guest.
The general was a good deal of a martinet. He chafed at the isola
tion of his position and iU nppaicnt Insignificance, yet he preserved the
strictest discipline and toon his meals in solitary grandeur, rarely
visiting the officers" mes-s. I lis sense of the dignity befitting his sta
tion, moreover indnctd nlni to eat in the banqueting hall of the Von
Stauilcnbei'g ,a loom so nst, that one spoke with a certain sense of
awe, owing to a tendency m tho remote corkers, to produce an echo.
The old fashioned chandelleri, on the dining table too, utterly failed to
light up the room, merely serving to accentuate tho surrounding gloom.
However, a most subslinitiiil and well-served dinner, washed down
by rate eld Bui gundy, .dissipated a sense of the incongruous that the
extiaoidinaiy surioundings induced. Hugo, the serving man, had re
moved the dishes, brought black colfco and cigais, and was in the act of
brewing a punch for futtuo consumption.
As I stretched my legs before tho wide hearth and watched the
wreath 3 of smoke curling up tho chimney, followed by fitful spurts of

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