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AND there!" said the Abbntc Lotrclli to
the swarthy captain of the swift felucca,
"there by those three tall cypresses 1''
His delicate white hand pointed across
the moon-mad waters to three pointed
shapes that stood like ragged iron lancc
hcads against the star-strewn sky. A
day and a night from Tunis in this
corsair craft, and now the Abbate was
once more close to his native town
romantic Scylla, set high upon the ex
treme mainland of Italy on the Strait of
Messina. The sharp prow of the felucca
ran with a gentle shock into the gravel of
"Good-by," my friend," said the Abbate In a low
voice, and shook the hand of the dark-skinned skipper.
Then he descended the plank a sailor had flung from
deck to sand. He carried a parcel which seemed heavy
and was wrapped in leather. The barbarous mariners
saw their strange, silent passenger kneel upon the
strand; it shone like a stretch of silver in the moon
light. He buried his hands in the sand and bent low,
as though to kiss it.
Cordage creaked in the pulleys, the great sweeps
groaned in their locks, and the felucca, resetting her
red sails, glided like a bird through the night The
Abbate Lotrelli arose, his hat in his hand. His pale,
austere and handsome face showed like marble above
his black traveling cloak; his dark hair made his
features paler still.
It was the strange, mystic hour of universal hush
just before dawn, that hour when the giant energies
of nature seem for a moment to flag, when there is a
sudden pause in her respiration and the unborn day
falters and trembles upon the threshold of Time. The
Bilcnce, was full of awe; the stars were like the pas
sionless eyes of the gods looking serenely down. The
Abbate stood still, his back to the sea; the mystery of
this morning and the significance of his presence here
overmastered him. On his right, hidden by the rising
wood, lay his native village. Three years had passed
since last he had seen It. The road lay like an argent
river in the lunar light. Through the Abbate's mind
rushed this oft-recurrent thought:
"I will swiftly make my way to the Church of Our
I.ady, open the door of the sacristy with my key, and
leave the bundle upon the tiny altar there. Satullo,
the sexton, will then find it when he comes to ring for
the first mass. No one is about no one will see me
now no one will see me again."
Before him rose the Three Virgins so the peasants
railed those slender cypresses. Rcyond them the crest
'inc of a hill was visible, from which the old Roman
niin he knew so well since bojhood days loomed Into
ihc sky. To his left lay the moon-decked Medit
'erancan: across the strait he saw Sicily, the beacons
if Messina with their tossing cresset fires, and faint
md far and ghostly the towering white pyramid of
Mount Aetna. Opposite Scylla, on the Sicilian shore,
he sinister headland of Charybdis frowned. Between
these two cliffs at the changing of the tides howled
3nd roared the ship-engulfing whirlpools that smote
K hearts of ancient mariners with dread. The waters
rf the blue Mediterranean and those of the green
Tyrrhenian Sea, cliarging through the narrow strait,
met here in hideous, foaming frays.
A hint of the dawn was in the east. The Abbate
Lotrclli ascended the road that led into the main street
of the elevated village. Scylla, gray and old, with
its three thousand souls, was built compactly upon
the top of the sea cliff, close to its brink. As he climbed
toward the town thoughts deep and strange came to
the priest. He felt his resolute soul quail under the
onslaught of dear and treasured memories poignant
with pictures of the past On the way to the church,
of which he was once the head, he would pass by the
house where Rosalia dwelt when he first knew and
loved her ere he became a priest and she the wife
of another. Farther on stood the house where Rosalia
now lived with her criminal husband, Vincenzo Pagalo,
ind their angelic little daughter Giulia. Then his
mother's house a mist rose to his eyes; and then his
church; relentless fingers of iron clutched his heart
He knew every house in the place and the inhabitants
of every house. Once they all knew and loved him
now, no doubt, they hated or had forgotten him.
Truly, great reason they had to hate him. Did they
but know he was approaching, they might even issue
from their doors and curse or stone him. Yet some
would feel compassion in their hearts; he knew them
well; they were his children once.
Walking in the dense shadows of the wood, the
Abbate Lotrelli, plunged in dark dreams, nearcd the
top of the road which thence sloped slightly downward
into the town. His eyes were hungry for a glimpse
of the beloved towers, streets and houses. He reached
the highest point of the road. An inarticulate cry
broke dreadfully from his Hps. He swayed dizzily, then
sat suddenly down upon a prostrate tree trunk. He
passed his hand over his bewildered eyes and looked
about him like one rudely aroused from deep slumber.
The shattered Roman ruin on the neighboring hill
caught his eye. Across his features swept a gust of
horror. The steely transparency of the dawn slowly
ascended the heavens behind the hills, and in this wan,
spectral light, mingled with the moon's, stood revealed
a scene of mighty desolation.
Sweeping sharply downward from the edge of the
broken road, the earth sloped in a tremendous curve
to the bottom of a vast hollow and then rose upward
to the opposite brink of the chasm. The sides of the
gulf ran evenly around like a crescent-shaped amphi
theatre and its bottom pitched steeply toward the sea.
It was as though some infernal god with otic stroke
of a gigantic spade had cut down the top of the bluff
n which Scylla stood and flung it into the Mediter
ranean. Dying trees with naked roots and tottering
trunk1! clung to the edges of the pit, boulders uptorn,
lirtuind to fragments or flung broadcast, littered the
newly exposed earth; a sprins loosed from some rent
in the rock wound seaward in a track of yellow clay.
i ne strata ot the cut! and iiiiiskic lay open iikc a raw
wound 1m tmirhr pi '1 c- .n rs had been ploughed
tt m ' "
By HERMAN SCHEFFAUER.
(Coprrtfhtti by Utrper A Urol.)
into the ground by the avalanche of plunging rock.
Of habitations no trace remained; the cataclysm had
made a void in the landscape and borne away all signs
of human existence. Scylla with all its people had
perished utterly from the earth; it was as though it
had never been; its wry site was eternally erased
from the eyes of men.
The sallow disk of the moon faded away; the indigo
of the sea turned to a clearer blue; star after star left
the skies. A flock of swallows winging south whirled
by overhead. The Abbate Lotrclli sat as one stricken
to the life. Then across his benumbed brain, like a
beam of revelation, shot the remembrance of vague
tidings brought into Tunis by a French missionary
who was seeking a companion to go with him to the
battlefields of Abyssinia. This man had spoken of
some Italian town which, with all its inhabitants, had
been swept into the sea by an earthquake. Its name
he did not know. Stunned and stupefied, the Abbate
once more dully surveyed the surrounding landscape.
There stood the crumbling edifice of Roman days, grim
in the dawnlight; across the strait monstrous Charyb
dis lifted its threatening head. The young priest was
overwhelmed by the realization of something too vast
for one human mind to grasp at once; he was crushed
by a grief too great to be contained wholly in one
human heart A groan burst from him and he buried
his face in his hands. Upon his knees rested the parcel
wrapped in leather.
An ocean of tumultuous emotions engulfed his soul;
a thousand agonizing memories crowded upon his mind.
Now he stood more than ever alone amid mankind, the
victim of a colossal bereavement, the martyr of a
mighty renunciation. By this dread judgment he stood
exalted suddenly to the loftiest eminence of tragic
isolation, cut off at one stroke from all that makes
lffc dear and which not even his religion bad caused
him utterly to renounce. For the first time he felt
in all its intensity the absolute, tyrannous power of
human tics and associations, of the claim of the natal
earth, and the links of social love. Thirty-four of his
thirty-seven years had been rooted fast in Scylla. Ab
sence had but intensified his love for the place and the
people. By one terrible clash of the shears of Fate
he stood sundered from all tics with the past; that
part of his life seemed as though it had never been,
its records and its results were expunged in the floods.
No man had been so deeply concerned in the affairs of
the community as the Abbate Lotrelli. In the bitter
ness of exile he had realized that his life would ever
remain inextricably bound up with the three thousand
human creatures he knew so intimately. Not a soul
was saved, the French missionary had said. Therefore,
he was doomed henceforth to wander alone in the
world, an ineffaceable brand upon his brow, to bear till
death the overwhelming and tremendous burden of
memories that none could share with him. Tic as the
solitary survivor would be the sole repository of the
life stories of the thousands be knew what they had
done and thought and suffered yea, the fact that they
had ever lived known to him alone. The dark secrets
of the confessional that lay entombed in his bosom
were now the secrets of the veritably dead. The
catastrophe released him from every link with the
former days; it rendered null his errand hither aud
futile his great sacrifice of three years ago and his
intended offering of to-day. The known consequences
of his own actions, good and evil, were now as naught.
He stood bereft of all antecedents, alone as never man
His dark eyes, in which a desolate light now-smouldered,
wandered listlessly out across the sea, still
verging into richer dyes of blue. Deep under those
restless surges Scylla lay in ruins and all its three
thousand hearts were cold and still. Rosalia, for whom
he had taken infamy upon his head, rested there with
Vincenzo whom she so loved in an everlasting sleep.
His old mother, too, was locked in that deep tomb of
water; her lips would never bless him again; his play
fellows of old were there, and the townspeople, their
wives and children oh, the many sweet and happy
children that always ran to meet him in the streets !
Rosalia's child, the little Giulia he loved her bright
eyes were closed in the deep and the brine was in her
baby heart. The pretty cottages filled with happiness,
the public buildings and the spangled gardens now
lay, a broken and chaotic heap of monstrous confusion,
in the black profounds where the whirlpools raved and
spun. His own loved church with its graceful campa
nile, its marbles, mosaics and paintings, where was
it now? Were its bells swinging to the currents in
the deep, pealing a requiem to the shattered village
and its people in the ocean's ooze? As though it had
been yesterday arose before him that awful sun-bright
morning when Rosalia came to him with terror writh
ing in her lovely countenance. Her very words rang
in his cars again:
"Vincenzo, my husband, last night stole the sacred
vessels from the sanctuary. He sold them to a Tunis
ian merchant who sailed this morning. Death and de
struction will fall upon us. Vincenzo took also the
golden monstrance which the great Pope Sixtus the
Fifth gave to our church so long ago, Oh, Paolo Lo
trclli, defend us from the curse of God and the law!
If Vincenzo be discovered he will be hanged. Oh.
Paolo, .save him for the love you once bore me for
the love you bear my little Giulia! If Vincenzo be
taken I shall die. I love him still beyond all telling.
If he be taken I shall die."
Again he saw the beautiful creature as she sank
to the marble floor, again he felt the clasp of her arms
bout his knees. Her agony that had been so terrible
then the memory of it was terrible now. He recalled
his own hollow voice as he had risen and said:
"Say nothing, do nothing leave all to me."
Then followed fierce combats with his heart and
soul arrayed in arms. But the fateful truth rose
triumphant love such as he still bore must ever be
borne. Ere that night had passed, without a parting
word to any one, without a farewell kiss from his
mother, with all the evidence of a guilty haste left
behind him, he had crossed to Messina anil taken the
"u l-"t for Tunis. For months he had wandered among
the Jews and Mohammedans, among Arabs and Bar
bary pirates, searching, everlastingly searching for the
stolen vessels of his church. He learned that the
chalices had been melted down; no trace of them rc
mained. But the monstrance still existed. From dens
of money-lenders to the tents of nomad chieftains he
traced the glorious, glittering thing that ever eluded
him like a golden ghost. When at last he found it
in the possession of a date merchant he was too poor
' ) buy it. So he had bound himself to labor for two
years on'thc plantations of tt"s Mussulman two years
of unspeakable slavery! Then the monstrance became
his. The last eight months in Tunis had brought him
certain riches which he converted into crude native
fcold until there was sufficient to cover the value of
the lost vessels. Then with his treasures he t-ct sail
for Scylla. They were to be his rcdemtpion and hi;
justification. Now he sat where Scylla once rose proud
ly to the day. and all that was left of it was himself
and his memories and the bundle on his knee.
"God be with you, Signorc," said a voice behind him
The Abbate started and turned his head. There
stood an old peasant woman, a stick in her hand, a
bundle of fagots on her back, ller face was tanned
and wrinklied like a withered apple, and her gray bait
straggled over it from under her red kerchief. Her
black eyes, deeply set, sparkled from their reddened
sockets. Her hands were gnarled and her feet were
She fled swiftly as
bare. She looked like the Woman of Endor or some
ancient Roman sybil cursed with immortality. The
Abbate returned, her salutation in a low voice. The
woman with a sigh flung her fagots to the ground and
sat upon them.
"All the morning have I been a-gathcring these,"
she said. "Ah, Signore, a weary work. Last night I
had but two arm f tils, but I slept in yon old ruin on the
hill. A man and his wife arc there poor folk, but
"Where do you live," asked the Abbate.
"At Mottolo, Signorc, over the hill," answered the
grandam and pointed a crooked forefinger toward the
northeast. "The Signorc has come to look for Scylla?
The saints guard the good, but that wicked town is
gone. Gone, gone, gone there !" she repeated, with
vehemence, then crossed herself and bent her red
rimmed eyes upon the strait. "With these old eyes
I saw it go in the dawn that was very dark six weeks
ago. Oh, Signore, it was terrible! That I should live
to sec it and still live! From Mottolo I had come in
the first dawn. I was gathering branches in the wood
above the town. Scylla was asleep like an innocent
child, Signore. But the curse of Heaven was upon it.
I think there were fiends in the forest that morning.
Perhaps there were angels and archangels, too who
knows? waiting for the town to die I felt much
afraid, I who for thirty-five years have gathered wood
and feared no demon, no brigand, ever since my good
Xicolo died. Vet, that morning I felt afraid; there
was something terrible in the air, Signore. I thought
a storm was coming. I was vexed because I had put
on my new silk kerchief brought me last Faster by
my grandnicce from Reggio. Even as I kneeled and
bound my bundles came a great shakinj of the ground
and a loud, groaning noise. The trees all shook and
made terrible whisperings. It was like the voice of
the Lord crying to our first parents hi Paradise. Then
the ground, shook again and a great wind came into the
trees. I called to the Virgin and looked down at the
village. The houses were all thrown together and
everything was sliding swiftly toward the sea. The
village tore away from the hillside see, Signore, where
that cypress is hanging a great crack opened there.
I thought madness was come upon me and closed
my eyes and prayed. Then came a great roaring and
crashing it was like the blowing up of the fortress
at Otranto when I was a girl and pirates raided the
town. Oh, Signorc, the cries that came to my cars
the cries of the lost I I opened my eyes and saw the
whole top of the cliff fall into the, sea with all the
houses, the streets, the church everything. Then I
saw muddy waves like hills that sprang up and
rolled over to Charybdis as in a storm. I gave a loud
cry and fell to the earth, and I heard the souls of the
dead fly through the air with a noise as of doves' wings.
I swooned, Signorc, and when I awoke I saw nothing
only this great hole and country folk standing about
it. The sea was very calm again, but black. Oh, the
many poor people that died! God rest their souls.
Vet, every one says it was because there was a curse
upon the town."
"Why," said the Abbate, pressing his hand upon his
brow "why was there a curse upon it?"
"Because, Signorc, three years ago its priest and he
a son of the village stole the holy vessels of his
own church and ran away. But most the curse fell
upon Scylla because he took hence its holy of holies
a gold monstrance, Signorc, beautiful as the sun, given
to the church by the great Sixtus himself. Often have
1 seen it. Hccausc of the theft of this by the Abbate
Lotrclli such was his name the curse came true."
A silence ensued. The Abbate sat with his head
bowed upon bis hands.
from an accursed place.
"Arc they all gone?" he asked at length in a mourn
ful tone. "Was no one, no one spared?"
"Not a soul, Signorc; man, child, and mouse all
are gone. But in yon old ruin live the father and
mother of Vincenzo Pagola. Very poor and very
old are they. For ten years they have been neigh
bors of mine at Mottola. Their son became the
richest man in Scylla, but a hard son. When Scylla
was gone these two said it was not because of the
anger of God. Think of it, Signore, they even said
the Abbate Lotrelli was never the thief! And that
were their son alive, it might be proved. For that
the peasants drove them out of Mottola. Now they
live in the ruin it is so cold and damp there. Some
times I bring them a fresh loaf."
The stately priest rose to his feet, a strange, keen
anguish in his fine face. As he rose the thongs that
confined the leather wrapping of the parcel he car
ried slipped loose and the bundle clattered to the
ground. The covering fell aside and revealed a mass
of gold gleaming upon fold9 of black velvet. Amid
ruJe bars of the yellow metal reposed a glittering
object like a radiant sun with beams of polished cold
and a spreading base chased with the Papal coat of
arms. It was the stolen monstrance of the Church
of Our Lady at Scylla.
The old peasant woman cast one bewildered look
upon the shining splendors on the ground, then
raised her hroror-stricken eyes to the priest's and
shrieked. In terror, abandoning her fagots, crossing
herself and calling upon the Virgin, she fled swiftly,
an from an accursed place, and vanished into the
The Abbate Lotrelli stood for some time i sj
attitude of deep abstraction. His eyes then sought
the sea. Across the strait the grim headland of
Charybdis was already luminous with the vanward
rays of the sun darting obliquely down from th
mountains behind him. The sunlight seemed to him
like a bright answer to the dark and iron questions
in his soul. He gathered up the treasure and walked
slowly toward the edge of the precipice above the
Below he saw the swirling and malevolent waters
slowly mustering for their foaming tidal battles.
The roaring of the seas in the caves of the cliff
f mote on his ears. Perhaps in that voluminous voice
he heard the call of the three thousand human beings
he had so loved? Perhaps mingled with it came to
him the tremulous tones of his dead mother, or the
unforgotten soft cadences of Rosalia's speech, or the
prattle of little Giulia? Perhaps the dear, thronging
faces of the many departed gazed up at him from
the shifting deeps? Or the sun-smitten towers and
red-tiled roofs of his native Scylh rose splendidly
from the floods? The Abbate made one swift step
forward, stretching out one arm toward the waters,
then stopped suddenly short. Whatsoever his Im
pulse may have been, it stood arrested by some,
supreme finger of Fate. Then, taking his precious
burden in both hands, he made as if to cast it Into'
the sea. Again betwixt the intention and its execu-.
tion some subtle power intervened and he paused..
The day grew greater and the sunlight advanced'
broadly over the sea.
The priest drew forth the beautiful monstrance
and gazed for a long time upon that golden mlradaj
of delicate art. Then slowly he lifted the sacred'
relic on high, and the ncaring sunbeams caught it'l
gloriously and turned it into a thing of life. It ir-i
radiated a dazzling mass of aureate flamej and therj
head of the man grew vague as with a halo in that
blinding core of reflected fire. With a powerful
s-wecp of his arm the Abbate hurled the refulgent
monstrance high into the air. It turned and twlstec?'
like a swift-winged bird and, describing a raagnifi-j
cent arc, darted its flashes of light in a thousand
directions. Then invested with all its glories anctj
gifts of grace and its centuries of consecration, itj
shot downward into the abyss. There was a boiling
of foam upon the face of the eager surges and thettf
the sacred object sank to repose forever amid thei
silent creatures that adored it and the fragments of
th church that ensrined it once. Solemnly and nai
jestically the Abbate Lotrelli made the sign of tha;
cross above the waves, and from his lips fell a fe
sonorous Latin words.
Then he took up the golden bars in their wrap
ping and strode swiftly toward the Roman nrln org'
the hill. Empty-handed, in the twilight of that dayVj
he emerged once more. The soft Italian night tank!
down like a mantle and its pure stars were one whS
the crystal soul of the loneliest of men. And of th
noble years thereafter always the Abysinniaa saadw
ALMANAC FOR NOVEMBER
IF in putting up your winter's supply of preserve
you find that your jelly will not jelL a sure method)
of giving it the requisite consistency is to mbci
three tablcspoonfuls of Portland cementwifh everyjf
pint cup of liquid juice. This will have the added!
value of protecting your preserves from the surreptitious
inroads on the part of the children, who will find themfl
impervious to their tender young teeth.
If on taking your furs out of the attic yoa find them
full of moths, lay the coat on the barn floor and ghre ft
a thorough beating with a flail. Then, combing the fur
out with a garden rake, run the lawn-roller over It i
half-dozen times, and drop into a tar-barrel ovamkjht;
In the morning you will be surprised to find how-iew
moths remain. J
In preparing your chestnuts for the turkey 3assatng(
on Thanksgiving Day be sure to remove the burrs before
running them through the wringer. WhfJe the borraf
will undoubtedly give a decidedly tangish flavor to thw
finished product, they are not altogether healthy eating,
bavins about the same result upon the digesbsa it
breakfast food made of pine or hemlock spills. J
While it is necessary to keep your cattle wannortj
cold nights, you are strongly recommended not t
attempt to do this by putting either an oil or a gasoTlmj
stove in the stalls with them. It will be cheaper rn the)
end to tie them to the piano in the drawing-room orj
to lock them up overnight in the bath-room. j
While we are not superstitious, we advise farmers' few
southern latitudes to keep a watch upon their turkeys
on cold autumn nights, especially if a dark man with!
kinky hair, who is unknown o you, has crossed your
path on your return from the coop at twilight. This
lias been invariably a forerunner of loss, and should
result in your immediate gathering of all your feather em
stock together, and locking them op in your barglaM
proof safe at nightfall. 4
If upon awaking in the morning you find that all thdj
water-pipes in your house have frozen up, tnd that the!
well is covcrea with a coating of ice six inches thicleJ
it is safe to conclude that the cold weather is at laD
upon you. Your strawberries shotild therefore be piw
vided with a couple of extra counterpanes for theil(
beds, and vott will do well to see that vour leeka-aM
carciuiiy looked alter.
If vour numnkins still continue ffreen. wrao fnem
carefully in yellow newspapers and keep them thfl
covered until they take on, through association of idea
that mellow golden glow which is a pumpkin's trno
sidcrcd wholly safe until it is securely immured in aJ
pie. Two bulldogs leached in the pumpkin patch wilt
protect them against a too early nipping by the JacW
o'-lantcrn bug, which is very rife at this season of th
Potatoes freshly dug should be kept in a dry plicew'
If you live in a damp neighborhood have them carefully?
boxed or barreled and ship them into some prohibition!
State where the law is strictly enforced, if vou can fintS
such a thing on your map. Lacking this, an excellent
method of treatment is to place them in your furnace
and after lighting a fire watch them carefully and eatf
them as they pop. In this way you will get a great deal
of immediate good out of them, and keep the bulk oif,
them from spoiling.
An excellent fcrtilircr for your fields is now providedf
free of charge by Nature herself in the vast quantities
of seaweed cast upon the coast in the November storms'
If you live two or three hundred miles inland, a dozen!
or more carloads of this can be delivered at your doo
for not more than $250 a load, and will be found very
satisfactory. A ten-acre farm can be thus fertilised
at an expense of about $5,000, or possibly $4,050.
might come to even less if you can arrange a barter o(
eggs at $85 a dozen or, if of such rare vintages as th
cges of 1004, from $125 to S150 per dozen. To this
will have to be added, of course, the cost of postage
in arranging the matter by correspondence.
Be careful not to leave your melodeon out of doors
either upon the porch or the lawn, overnight at tins seal
son of the year. There are numerous influenza germs
nhout on November nights, and a melodeon thus careU
lesalv treated is quite liable to get some sort of huS
trouble that will make it wheezy all through the wintcrj
ciorv. near in mmn. mo. tnrir no nnmnk-m mn hj mm-