Newspaper Page Text
THE ARGUS, TUESDAY. MARCH 12, 1907.
Copyritfhted. 1894, 189S. by
IWI1 III1HII1IIII11 II
i'nr,( i:i)i; ciiap-
CHAPTKK I. Rudolf Rassendyll. onf
of yhose ain-stoi'i v:is th natural son
of one of tin- Klplitx-rtss. th ruling
limine in the kingdom "if Kiiritunia,
t ini i nt-s to visit that country.
ClIAI'TKK II. Kinlolf has the red
liair and florid eomph-xion of the K!h
lifrs. wliil his own family are ilurk.
Un his journey toward Strelsau, the
capital i Knri'tania. liudoll" ridt-s in
tlie same train with a beaut It ill woman.
Antoinette de Manlian. wlio is mueh
admired by a friend of Kudolf's, at
Jiresent domiciled in Paris. The cor
onation of the kiur of Uuritania is
near at hand, and Rudolf, therefore, in
stead of K'ditK Oil t to Strelsau. st'-os
iit a small jdaee nearby, where t he duke,
Hlack -.Michael." brother of the kiutf.
lias his castle.
1'HAI'TKK III. In the woods next
day. Rudolf meets Colonel Sapt and
1'ritz von 'I'arh riheim. bot h in the serv
ice of the kinij of Riiritauia. Tln-y
eomineni oti liudoli's marvelous r-sem-
blance to the kinu. whom RudoU later
meets, and by whom he is entertained
in a hunting Iodide. There the kinir.
after drinkinv.- :t i'ottlc of liiiior sent
lv liis brother. 1:1. n-k Michael, is stupo
Jied. cflAPTKR IV The ilext morninir.
the day set for the coronation the kinn
is still unconscious. Fritz and Sap:
think thai I'.lack Michael is responsi
ble for the kinu's condition and that if
the monarch does not appear nt the
coronation his brother will
reins of Kovernnieut. They
tb-cide to make Rudolf sh.'tv
company them to Strelsau in
of the kinjr. The kins is h
liuntinn lodLce in charge of a
Is known to be iHsi-, t.
CHAl'TKi; V. Rudolf is
S 1ZC t lie
ft in the
klnw cf Knritania.
CHAPTKK VI. Rudolf. Sapt and
l-'ritz tide hurriedly back to the hnnt
ini; lodne to -;et the real kin;;-. There
they find Josef, who had been left to
Kinird hir.i. muriler.d. and the king
CM A 1'TKIt VII. The Rrincess Klavia
of the royal blood semis to iiuiuire af
ter the health of Uudolf. wiiotn she
KC.pposes to be the kill ST.
ClIAI'TKK VIII Rudolf has an in
terview with Princess Klavia. whom he
finds very fascinating. The populace
is phased at the attention he shows
her. for she is xceedinuly popular.
C 1 1 A PT K R IX -All attempt is made
to decoy Rudolf t.i his death. With
the aid of an iron tea table, with which
he routs his assailan s. he co:itr:vts
liis escape. The real kiujr is believed
to be in a stone rooru in the castle of
P.lack Michael, who will kill him as
soon as he shall have got rid of Ru
dolf. CltAPTKR X. Rudolf, at a baU ";iv
in in honor of princess Klavia. is about
to propose to her when he i- interrupt
ed by Sapt. who has been listening.
was assailing me will now
lie understood. I would so
force Michael's list ml that he
must kill the king. I was in a position
to hid him delianoe anil tighten my
grasp on the erown not for its owe
sake, I't't because the kiir' of Kt:ri
tania w:;s to wed the I'r'uicess I'lavia.
Wh:t of Sapt and Frit:;? Ah, hut a
man cnnii.it lie held t. write down in
coJd Mood the wild and Mack thoughts
that stofni his lr:.in when an tmron
t rolled passion has battered a breach
for them. Yet. unless he sets up as a
saint, he need not hate himself for
them, lie is better employed, as it
humbly seems to me. in giving thanks
that power to resist was vouchsafed
to him than in fretting over wicked
impulses which come iinsomrht and ex
tort an unwilling hospita.ity from the
weakness of our nature.
It was a tine bright morning when I
walked, unattended, to the princess'
house, carrying a nosegay in my hand.
I'olicy made excuses for love, and ev
ry attention th;;t I paid her. while it
riveted my own chains, bound closer to
me the people; of the great city, who
worshiped her. I found l-'ritz's ina
morata, tlie Countess Ilelga. gather
ing blooms in the garden for her mis
tress' wear and prevailed on her to
take mine iu their place. Tlie girl was
rosy with happiness, for Fritz, iu his
turn, had not wasted his evening and
no dark shadow hung over his woo
ing save the hatred which tlie Duke
of Strelsau was known to bear him.
"And that." she said, with a mis
chievous smile, "your majesty has
made of no moment. Yes. I wilMake
the flowers. Shall I tell you. sire,
what is the first thing the princess
does with them'.'"
We were talking on a broad terrace
that ran along the back of the house,
and a window above our heads stood
"Madame!" cried the countess mer
rily, and Flavin herself looked out.
I bared my head and bowed. She
wore a white gown, and her hair was
loosely gathered iu n knot. She kissed
her hand to me, crying:
"Bring the king up, Uelga; I'll give
hint some cDffee."
The counte-s, with a pay glance, led
the way and took me into Flavia's
morning room. And. left alone, we
trroeted one another as lovers are
wont. Then the princess laid two let
ters before me. One was from Hlack
Michael a most courteous request that
she would houor hint by spending a
Iu oruer to prove to yo
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aay a'tliis castle of Zeu'Ua, as Lad been
her custom ouce a year iu the sum
mer, when the place and its gardens
were iu the height of their great lieau
ty. I threw the letter down la dis
gust, and Flavia laughed at me. Theu,
growing grave again, she pointed to
the other sheet.
"I don't know who that couies from,"
she said. "Kead it."
I knew iu a moment. There was no
signature at all this time, but the hand
writing was the same as .that which
had told me of the snare in the sum
mer house. It was Antoinette de Mail
man's. I have no cause to love you Tit rani,
but Cod forbid that you should full into
the power of the duke. Accept no invita
tions of his (io nowhere without a largo
B nard a regiment is not too much to
muke you safe. Show this If you can to
him who reigns In Strelsau.
"Why doesn't it say 'the king?' " ask
ed Flavia. leaning over my shoulder
so that the ripple of her hair played on
my neck. "Js it a hoax?"
"As you value lile and more than
life, my iiueen." I said, "obey it to the
very letter. A regiment shall camp
round jour house today. See that you
do not go out unless well guarded."
"An order, sire?" she asked, a little
"Yes. an order, madam? if yon love
"All!" she cried. And I could not but
"You know who sent it?" she asked.
"I guess." said I. "It is from a good
friend and. I fear, an unhapny wo
man. You must be ill Flavia,' and un
able to go to euda. Make jour ex
cuses as cold .and formal as you like."
"So you feel strong enough to anger
Michael?" she said, with it proud smile.
"I'm strong enough for anything
while you are safe." said I.
Soon I tore myself away from her.
and then, without consulting Sapt. I
took my way to the house of Marshal
StrakethV.. I had seen something of
the old general, and I liked and trusted
him. Sapt was less cuthudastie. bur I
had le ir.ied by now that Sapt was b st
pleased when he coi:l. I do everything,
and jealousy played some part in his
views. As things were now. I had
more work than Sapt and Fritz could
-manage, for they must come with n:e
to end;-, and I wanted a man to guard
what 1 loved most it: all the world ami
sufTer n:e to set about my task of re
leasing the king with a ijuh't mind.
The marshal received me with most
loyal kindness. To some extent I took
him into my confidence. I charged him
with the care of the princess, looking
!iin full and signiticantly in the face
as I bade him let no one from her
cousin the duke approach her unless he
himself were iliere and a dozen of his
men with him.
"You may be right, sire." said he,
shaking his gray head sadly. "I have
known better men than the duke do
worse things than that for love."
I could unite appreciate the remark,
but 1 said:
"There's something beside love, mar
shal. Love's for the heart. Is there
nothing my brother might like for his
T pray that you wroug him. sire."
'Marshal. I'm leaving Strelsau for a
few days. Every evening I will send
a courier to yon. If for three days
none comes you will publish an order
which I will give you depriving Duke
Michael of the governorship of Strelsau
and appointing you in his place. You
will declare a state of siege. Then you
will send word to Michael that you
demand an audience of the king. You
"In twenty-four hours. If he does
not produce the king" I laid my hand
on his knee "then the king is dead,
and you will proclaim the next heir.
You know who that is?"
"The Princess Flavia."
"And swear to me on your faith and
honor and by the fear c the livin
tlod that you will stand bv her to vour
death and kill that reptile and seat her
where I sit now."
"On my faith and honor and by the
Tear of r.od I swear it! And may Al
mighty (lod preserve your majesty, for
I think that you go on an errand of
"1 hope that no life more precious
than mine may be demanded," said I
rising. Then I held out my hand to
'Marshal," I said, "in days to come
it may be I know not that you will
.hear strange things of the man whoj
tpeaks to you now. Let him be what
I:e may and who he may, what say
you of the manner in which he has
borne himself as king in Strelsau?"
The old man, holding my hand, spoke
to me, man to man.
"I have known many of the Elph
bergs," .said he, "and I -have sewn you
And, happen what may, you have
Dome yourseicas a wise king and a
brave man aye, and you have proved;
;Ts courteous a gentleman and as gal
l iut a lover as any that have been of
"Be that my epitaph," said I, "when
the time couies that another sita on
the throne of Ituritauia."
"Uotl send a far day, aud may I not
tee it!" said he.
I was much moved, and the marshal's
worn face twitched. I sat UoVu and
wrote my order.
"I can hardly yet write," said I. "My
finger is stiff still."
It was, In fact, the first time that I
had ventured to write more than a sis
nature, and in spite of the pains I had
taken to learn the king's hand I wan
not yet perfect iu it.
"Indeed, sire," he said, "it differs a
little from your ordinary handwriting.
j It is unfortunate, for it may lead to a
suspicion of forgery."
j "Marshal," said 1, with a laugh,
"what use are the guns of Strelsau if
they can't assuage a little suspicion?"
He smiled grimly and took the paier.
"Colonel Sapt aud Fritz vou Tarlen
beiin go with me," I continued.
"You go to seek the duke?" he asked
in a low tone.
"Yes. the duke, and some one else of
whom I have ueetl aud who is at Zen
da." I replied.
"I wisli I could go with you!" he
cried, tugging at his. white mustache.
"I'd like to strike a blow for you and
"I leave you what is more than my
life and more than my crown," said I.
"because vou are the man I trust more
than all others iu Kuritania."
"I will deliver her to you safe and
sound." said he. "and. failing that. I
will make her queen."
We parted, and 1 returned to the pal
ace and told Sapt and Fritz what I had
done. Sapt had a few faults to lind
and a ftw grumbles to utter. This was
merely what I expected, for Sapt liked
to be consulted beforehand, not inform
ed afterward. On the whole he ap
proved of my piaus, and his spirits
rose high as the hour of action drew
nearer and nearer. Fritz, too, was
readv. though he. poor lcllow, risKed
more than Sapt did. for he was a lover,
and his happiness hung iu the scale.
Yet how I envied him! For the triuni
nhaut issue which would crown him
with happiness anil unite him t.) his
mistress, the success lor which we
were bound to hone stud strive and
struggle, meant to me sorrow more cer
tain and greater than if I were doom
ed to fail, lie understood something of
this, for when we were alone (save for
old Sa.pt. who was smoking at the o
er end ot tiio rooini he passed ins arm
through luii.e. saying:
'It's hard for you. Don't think I
don't trust you. I know yon have noth
ing but true thoughts in your heart."
l'.ut 1 turned away from him. thank
ful that he could not see what my heart
held, but only be witness to the deeds
that mv hands were to do.
Yet even he did not understand, for
he had not dared to lift his eyes to the
l'rincess 1'l.ivia, as I had lifted mine.
Our pi. ;ns were now all made, even
as we proceeded to carry litem out.
and iis thev will hereafter appear. The
next morning we were to start on the
hunting excursion. I had made all ar
rangements for' being absent, and now
there was ou'.v one thing left to do
tlie harde. t. the most heartbreaking.
s evening fell I drove through the
busy streets to Fiavia's residence. I
was recognized as I went and heartily
ch-'ered. 1 played my part, and made
shift to look tlie happy lover. In spite
of my depression 1 was almost amused
at the coolness and delicate hauteur
with which my sweet lover received
me. She had heard that the king was
leaving Strelsau on a hunting expedi
tion. "I regret that we cannot amuse your
majesty here in Strelsau." she said,
tapping iter foot lightly on the floor.
"I would have offered you more enter
tainment, but I was foolish enough to
"Well, what?" I asked, leaning over
"That for just a day or two after
after last night you might be happy
without much gayety." anil she turned
pettishly from me as she added, "I
hope the boars will be more engross
ing." "Fin going after a very big loar."
said 1; and. because I could not help
it, I began to play with her hair, but
she moved her head away.
"Are you offended with me?" I ask
ed in feigned surprise, for I could not
resist tormenting her a little. I had
never seen her angry, and every fresh
aspect of her was a delight to me.
"What right have I to be offended?
True, you said hist night that every
hour away from nie was wasted. Hut
a very big boar that's a different
"Perhaps the boar will hunt me." 1
suggested. "Perhaps, Flavia. he'll
Sh" made no answer.
"ion are not touched eyen bv that
Still she said nothing, and I, stealing
round, found her eyes full of tears.
"You weep for my danger?"
Then she spoke very low:
"This is like what you used to be,
but not like the king the king I I
have come to love!"
With a sudden great groan I caught
her to my heart.
"My darling." J cried, forgettinar ev
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erything but her, "did you dream that
I. left you to go hunting?"
"What then, ltudolf ? Ah. you're not
Well, it Is hunting. I go to eek
Michael in his lair."
She had turned very pale.
'"So, you see, sweet, I was not eo
poor a lover as you tnougnr nie. i
shall not be gone long."
"You will write to nie, ltudolf?"
1 was weak.' but I could ujt say a
word to stir suspicion in ner.
I'il send you all my heart every
day," said I.
"And you'll run no danger?"
"None .that I lie 'd not."
"And when will you be back? Ah,
how long it will be!"
"When shall I be back?" I repeated.
"Yes, yes! Don't be lol.t'. dear; don't
be long. I shan't shvp while you're
"I don't know when I shall bo back,"
"Soon, Kudolf, soon?''
"God know.;, my darling. Eut If
"Hush, hush!" and she pressed her
lips to mine.
"If never." 1 whispered, "you must
take my place.-' You'll be the only one
of the house then. You must reign
and not weep for me."
For ii moment she drew herself up
like a very nieen.
"Yes, I will!" she said. "I will reign.
I will do my part. Though all my life
will be empty and my heart dead, yet
I'll do it."
She paused aud. sinking against me
again, wailed softly:
"Come soon! Come soon!"
Carried away. I cried loudly:
"As God lives, I yes, I myself will
see you on.-e more before 1 die!"
"What do you mean?" she exclaim
ed with wondering eyes, but I had us
answer for her, and she gazed at me
with her wondering eyes.
1 dared not ask her to forget. She
would have found it au insult. I could
not tell her then who and what I was.
She war; weeping, and I had but to
dry her tears.
"Shall a man not come back to the
loveliest lady in all the wide world?"
said I. "A thousand Michaels should
not keep me from you!"
She clung to me a little comforted.
"You won't let Michael hurt you?"
"Or keep you from me?"
"Nor any one else?"
And again 1 answered:
Yet there war; one not Michael
who if he lived must keep me from
her and for whose life I wa.; going
forth to stake my own. And hi t fig
urethe lithe, buoyant .".g'.uv 1 had
met in the woods of 'enda; the dull,
inert mass I had left in the cellar of
the shooting lodge seemed to rise,
double shaped, before me and to come
between us. thrusting itself in even
where she lay. pale, exhausted, faint
lug, in my anus aud yet looking up at
nie with those eyes that bore such love
as I have never seen, anil haunt me
now and will till the ground closes over
me and (who knows?) perhaps beyond.
(To Be Continued.)
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Divorced for the third and last time, not from my wife but from
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body's prices square in two. Don't laugh now for I am here to show
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