Newspaper Page Text
THE AKGUS, THURSDAY. FEBRUARY 28. 1D07.
int n h i wn
Copyrighted. 1894. 1898. by Henry Holt t Compmy
n m nK"H in mm mii i 1 1 1 ; i e i a4 i i.i hi nit
svstii'sis ok i'iikc i:ni; tiiAi-
t'HAITEK I. Rudoir Kassendyll. one
f whose ancestors was the natural son
f our of the Klphherps. the ruling
house in the kingdom of Kuritaulu, de
termines to visit that country.
CII.U'TKR II Uudolf lias the l . 1
hair ami timid tmi pli-x ii ri of the Klph
Iiitrk. while hi own family are dark.
tn his journey toward Strelsau. the
capital of Ituritnnin. Kudoll' rides in
the same train with a beaut it'ul woman,
Antoinette dv Mauhan, who is much
admired ly a friend of Rudolf's, at
present domiciled in l'aris. The cor- j
onation of th kin id' Kuritniiia is.
near at liaml. and Rudolf, t hei t foi r. In-I
stead of khiiik direct to Strelsau. stops
at a small place nearby, where t he duke,
'Black Michael." brother of the kini;. j
has his castle. I
1'H A IT Kit III In the woods next I
lay. Ruiloit meets Colonel Sapt and
Kriti von 'rarlenhelm. hoth in the serv
ice of the kintr of Ruritaiiia. They
comment on I:uioll'sniarvclous resem
blance to the kititf. whom Rudolf later
meets, and hy whom he is entertained
in a huntiut; h'dije. There the kiim.
after drinking a liottle of lupinr sent
bv his brother. Black Michael, is stupe
tied 'HAITKIl IV. The next morninir.
the day set for the corhnat ion tin- kintr
is still unconscious. Kritz and Sap',
ihink Hint Black .Michael is respensi
Ide for the kind's cc.ndition and that if
the monarch docs not appear at the
coronal ion his hrorhcr will
reins of KoverniiH iit. Tin y
decide to make Rudolf sha
company them to Strelsau in
if the kint.
is known to
The kin is
e in charge of
1 a I
i . for.
I I l. I'TKI. V.
'I'll l'rii'. vim Tar!
t' !oiH'l Sapt close
jf I (' !oiH'l Sapt close behind m,
i I I ..f I I... t.,,fV,.t ...v
-J-,j-l 1 .-ll " ll IM.I 1.1 111." I.IOI. . ...I
5fiA.in t , t!. Miaifoi iii. Tln Inst
tiling I tlitl was to fed if my tovulver
witi' han;ly ami iny sword loose i;i the
sea hi i.i rd. a ;;.! roup of ollii-ers and
li''h dignitaries stood wailini
their Iie:id a tall old man. covered with
medals and of military leriii!r. II(
wore the yellow and red ribbon of the
Hed ICose of Utiritania. which, hy the
wjty. decorated my unworthy breast
"Marshal Strakoiicz." whispered Stint,
and I knew- that I was in tlx" pivsouce
of tin' most famous veteran of the Ku
.Inst behind the marshal stood a
short, spare man in Mowing robes of
likiek and i-rimsuu.
"The hancellor of the kingdom,"
The marshal greeted tne in a few
loyal words and proceeded to deliver
Jin apology from the I (tike of Strels.ui.
The dllk it seemed, had been alllicted
with a sudden indisposition which
mndi' it impossible for hint to come- ti
tho stalion. but he craved leave to
await his majesty at the cathedral. I
expressed my concern, accepted the
marshal's excuses very suavely and
received the compliments of a large
number of distinguished personages.
No one betrayed the least suspicion,
and I felt my nerve returning and the
agitated beating of my heart subsid
ing. Hut Kritz was still pale, and his
hand shook like a leaf as lie extended
it to the marshal.
I'resently we formed procession and
took our way to the door of the station.
Here I mounted my horse, the marshal
holding my stirrup. 'I he civil dignita
ries went off to their carriages, and 1
started to ride through the streets
with the marshal on my right and
Sapt. who, as my chief aid-decamp,
was entitled to the place on my left. The
city of Strelsau is partly old and partly
new. Spacious modern boulevards and
residential nuarters surround and em
brace the narrow, tortuous and pictur
esque streets of the original town. In
the outer circles the tipper classes live,
in the inner the shops are situated, and
behind their prosperous fronts lie hid
den populous but wretched lanes and
alleys filled with a H)verty stricken,
turbulent and (In large measure) crim
inal class. These social and local divi
sion corresponded, as I knew from
Sitpt's information, to another division
more important to me. The new town
was for the king, but to the old town
Michael of Strelsau was a hope, a
hero a I n I a darling.
The scene was very brilliant as we
passed along the ( Ira ml boulevard and
o'l to the great square where the royal
palace stood. Here I was in the midst
f my devoted adherents. Kvery house
was hung with red and bedecked with
flags and mottoes. The streets were
lined with raised seats on each side,
and I passed along, bowing this way
and that, under a shower of chrrs,
blessings and waving handkerchiefs.
The balconies were full of gayly dress
ed ladies, who clapped their hands and
curtsied and ' threw their brightest
glances at me. A torrent of red roses
fell on me. One bloom lodged in my
horse's ma up. and 1 took it and stuck
it in my coat. The marshal smiled
grimly. I had stolen some glances at
his face, but he was too impassive to
show me whether his sympathies were
wit Ii mi' or not.
The red rose for the Klphbergs,
marshal." said I gayly, and he nodded.
1 have written gayly." and a strange
.word it must seem. But the truth is
that I was drunk with excitement. At
that moment I believed -1 almost be
lieved that 1 was in very truth the
king, and with a look of laughing tri
umph I raised my eyes to the beatify
laden balconies, and then I started.
For. I toking down on me. with her
haiiils-une face and proud smile, was
the I nly who had been my fellow
traveler. Antoinette de .Mauhan. , anil I
saw her also start, and her lips moved,
and she leaned forward and gazed at
me. And I. collecting myself, met her
eyes full and stpiare. while again I felt
my revohcr. Suppose site hud cried
aloud. 'That's not the king!"
Weil, we went by. and then the mar
shal, turning round in his saddle,
waved his hand, and the cuirassiers
closed round us. so that the crowd
could not come near me. We were
leaving my quarters and entering
1 'tike Michael's, ajid this action of tho
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"71 lir'x nil. 7i'k ihlit!"
marshal's showed 'me more clearly
than words what the state of feeling
in the town must be. I5ut if Kate
made me a king the least I could do
was to play the part handsomely.
"Why this change in our order, mar
shal?" said I.
The marshal bit his white mustache.
"It is more prudent, sire," he mur
mured. I drew rein.
"Let those in front ride on." said I.
"till they are fifty yards ahead. Hut
do you. marshal, and Colonel Sapt and
my friends wait here till I have ridden
fifty yards. And see that no one Is
nearer to me. I will have iny people
see that their king trusts them."
Sapt laid his hand on my arm. I
shook him oil". The marshal hesitated.
"Am I not understood V said I. and.
biting his mustache again, he gave the
orders. 1 saw old Sapt smiling into his
beard, but he shook his head at me. If
I had been killed in open day in the
streets of Strelsau Sapt's position
would have been a difficult one.
1'ernaps I ought to say that 1 was
dressed till in white, except my boots.
I wore a silver helmet w i th gilt orna
ments, and the broad ribbon of the
Hose looked well across my chest. I
should lie paying a poor compliment to
the king if I did not set modesty aside
and admit that I made a very line ti
tire. So the people thought, for, when
I, riding alone, entered the dingy.
sparsely decorated, somber streets of
the old town there was first a murmur,
men a cneer, anu a woman, irom a
window above a cookshop, cried the
old loval saying:
"If lie's red, he's right!" Whereat I
laughed and took off my helmet that
she might see that I was of the right
color, and they cheered me again at
It was more interesting riding thus
alone, for I heard the comments of the
"He looks paler than his wont," said
"You'd look pale If yoti lived as he
did," was the highly disrespectful retort.
lie's a bigger man than I thought."
"So he had si good jaw under that
beard, after all," commented a third.
"The pictures of him aren't handsome
enough." declared a pretty girl, taking
great care that 1 should hear. - No
doubt it was mere flattery. '
Hut in spite of these signs of approv
al and interest the mass of the people
received me in slh-nce and with stillen
looks, and my dear brother's portrait
ornamented most of the windows
which was an ironical sort of greeting
to the king. I was quite glad that he
had been spared the uuple.isint s!ght.
He was a man of quick temper, and
perhaps he would not have taken it so
placidly as I did.
At last we were at the cathedral. Its
great gray front. emlisUi.-lied with
hundreds' of statues ami lioasting a
pair of the lined oak tb.ors in Kurope,
rose for the first time before me, and
the sudden sense of my audacity al
most overcame me. Kverything was
in a mist as I dismounted. I saw the
marshal and Sapt dimly, and dimly the
throng of gorgeously robed priests who
awaited me. And my eyes were still
dim as I walked up the great nave
with the pealing of the organ in my
ears. I stw nothing of the brilliant
throng that tilled it: I hardly distin
guished thv stately tigtire of the car
dinal as h;' rose from the rchi-'iio-fiiil
throne to gre;'t me. Two faces ouly
tstood out side by side clearly before
my eyes: the face of a girl, pale and
lovely, surmounted by a crown of the
glorious Klphlierg Ifair (for in a wom
an it is gloriou , and the lace of a man
whose full blooded red cheeks, black
hair and (lark, deep eye told tne that
at last I wis in th,- presence of my
brother. It'acU AKchael. And when
he saw mo hi:; r.vl ch cks went p.il" nil
in a momca; a .d hi? h do. e' fed wit'.i
i clatter o'l the ii i ir. i ill tint mo
ment I believe that he hi I n it realize 1
that the king was in cry truth o:ii"
Of what followed next I remember
nothing. I knell before the altar and
the cardinal anointed my head. Then
I fine to my feet and strciched oat
rny hand aril took I nun him the crown
if l.'ni'iiaiiia and oyt it on my head,
and I swore the old oath of the king.
Then the great organ pealed out
ttgain. the marshal bade the heralds
proclaim me. and Kudolf V. was
crowned king, ol which imposing cere
mony an excellent picture hangs now
in my dining room. The portrait of
the king is very good.
The:i the lady with the pale face and
the glorious hair, her train held by two
pages, stepped from her place and
came to where l stood. Ami a nerniu
"Her royal highness the Trim-ess
She luriesie.l low Jind put her hand
under iiiiue and raised my hand and
kissed it. And for an instant 1
thought what 1 had best do. Then 1
i.rew her t me and kissed her twice
on the cheek, and she blushed red, and
why. then his eminence the cardinal
archbishop- : lipped in front of Itlaek
Michael a::d kissed my hand and pre
sented r.ic willi a letter from the pope,
the tirst and last which 1 have ever re
ceived from that exalted quarter!
Ami then came the Duke of Strelsau.
Ilis step trembled, I swear, and he
looked to the right and to the left, its
a man looks wh thinks on flight, and
his face was patched with red and
white, and his hand shook so that it
jumin-d under mine, and I felt his lips
dry and parched. And 1 glanced at
Sapt, who was smiling again into his
beard, and. resolutely doing my duty
in that station of life to which I had
been marvelously railed, I took tmy
t'.oar Michael by both hands and kissed
hint on the cheek. I think we were
both glad whti that was over!
Hut neither in the face of the prin
cess nor in that of any other did I see
the least doubt or questioning. Yet
had I and the king stood side by side
they could have told us in an instant,
or at least on a little consideration.
Hut neither they nor anyone else
dreamed or imagined that I could be
other than 1he king. So the likeness
served, and for an hour I stood there,
feeling as weary and blase as though
I had been a king all my life, and ev
erybody kissed my hand, and the am
bassadors paid me their respects,
among them old Lord Topham. at
whose house in ;rosvenor stpiare I had
danced a score of limes. Thank heav
en, the old man was its blind as a bat
and did not claim my acquaintance.
Then back we went through the
streets to the palace, and I heard them
cheering Itlaek Michael, but he. Fritz
told me, sat biting his nails like a man
in a reverie, nnd even his own friends
said that he should have made a brav
er show. I was in a carriage now. side
by side with the Princess Flavin, and n
rough fellow cried out:
"And when's the wedding''"' and ag
he spoke another struck him in the
face, crying. "Long live Duke Mll-hael!''
Laxative Water i
Half a glass
and the princess colored it was an ad
mirable tint ami looked straight in
front of her.
Now I felt In a difficulty, because I
bad forgotten to ask Sapt the state of
hiy affections or how far matters had
gone between the princess and myself.
Frankly, had I been the king the fur
ther they, had gone the better should I
have been pleased, for I am not a slow
blooded man. and I had not kissed
Princess Flavia's cheek for nothing.
These thoughts passed through my
head; but. not being sure of my ground.
I said nothing, and in a moment or two
the princess, recovering her equanim
ity, turned to me.
"Do you know. Rudolf." said he.
"you look somehow different today';"
The fact was not surprising, but the
remark was disquieting.
"You look," she went on. "more
sober, more sedate. You're almost
careworn, and I declare you're thin
ner. Surely it's not possible that
you've begun to take anything seri
ously?" The princess seemed to hold of the
king much the same opinion that Lady
Burlesdon held of nie.
I braced myself up to the conversa
tion. "Would that please you:" I asked
"Oh. you know my views." sa:d : he.
turning her eyes away.
"Whatever pleases you I try to do."
I said, and as 1 saw her smile and
blush I thought that I was playing the
king's hand very well for him. So I
continued, and what I said was per
"I assure you, my dear con-en. that
nothing in my life has a '.Tec ted nie
more than the re-option I've been
greeted with today."
She smiled brightly. I 'M in an in
stant grew tr.tve again and whisper
ed: "Did you notice Michael':"
"Ye.-:." said I. adding. "He wasn't
"Do be earefcl!" she we-it on. "You
don't -indeed you don't --l-:ee; enough
watch on him. Yo i know"
"l know." said I. "that be wants
what I've got."
Then, and I can't justify It. for I
committed the king far bev.od what
I had a right to do- -1 suppo-c- she car
ried me oft my fee I went en:
"And. perhaps. al.;o something which
I haven't got yet. but hope to v. in
This was my answer - had I be"n the
king T should have thought it encour
aging: "Haven't you enough ro--oi)sihirdies
on you for one day. cousin?"
Pang, bang! l'lare. blare! We were
at the palace. t;uns were tiring and
trumpets blowing. Hows of lackeys
stootl wailing, and. hamVn'g the prin
cess 'up tho broad marble staircase. I
took formal possession as a crowned
king of the house of my ancestors and
sat down at my own table, with my
cousin on my right hand, on her other
side Hlack Michael and on my left his
eminence the cardinal. Kehind niy
idiair stood Sapt. and at the end of the
table I saw Fritz von Tarlenheim drain
to the bottom his glass of champagne
rather sootier than he decently should.
I wondered what the king of Huri
tania was doing.
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