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By C. N. and A. M. WILLIAMSON,
Author* of "/IV Lltfht nlntf Conductor," "Roit
niary In Search or ? Father," Etc. J? -J*
COPYRIGHT. 1007. BY McCLURE. PHILLIPS Is CO.
; OiAPT?? flVL J
^4 A^fvjA("? hlmroell" oxclaimed
Frau Y or van, and
i rWf? "A<?h?i hlinmol!" she
Jtmia^L1 exclaimed again, her
/^^''?'i'X^fl/ Vu'?? rising to a wnll,
Qj^ir^Kui* wnii n fra?tic uplifting
of tbe hands.
Tin? grand duchess grow pule, for tUe
apple chocked lady suddenly exhibited
tlieso nlarmlng Bigns of emotion while
I>asslng a window of the private dining
room. Evidently Home scene of horror
was being enacted outside, and Vir
ginia and Miss l'ortmau had been
away for many hours.
It was the time for tea In England,
for coffee in lthuetia. Frau Yorvan
bad JiiHt brought In coflfeo for ouo,
With heart Shaped sugared cakes
Which would have appealed more
poignantly to the grand duchess' appe
tite If the absent ones had Iwen with
her to share them. Naturally at tho
good woman's outburst her Imagina
tion Instantly pictured disaster to tho
one she loved.
"What, oh, what Is It you see?" ehe
Implored, her heart leaping, then fall
ing. Hut for once the courtesy duo
to an honored guest was forgotten, and
thi> distracted Frau Yorvan fled from
the room without giving an answer.
Half paralyzed with dread of what
she might have to see, Uie grand duch
ess tottered to the window. Was there,
- yes, there was a procession coming
down the hilly street that led to town
from the mountain. Oh, horror upon
horror! They were perhaps bringing
Virginia down, Injured or dead, her
beautiful face crushed out of recogni
tion! Yet, no; there was Virginia her
self, the central figure in the proces
sion. Thank heaven! It could be noth
ing worse (hau an accident to poor,
dear Miss Portman. Hut there was
Miss Portionn, too, and a very tall,
bronzed peasant man, loaded with
cloaks and rucksacks, headed the band,
while the girl and her ex-governess
Unspeakably relieved, yet still puz
zled and vaguely alarmed, the grand
dUChCSS threw up the window over
looking the little village scpiare. But
as she strove to attract tho truants'
attention by waving her hand and
crying out a welcome or a question,
whichever should come first, tho words
were arrested on her lips. What could
be the matter with Fran Yorvan?
The stout old landlady popped out
through the door like a Jack out of his
box on a very stiff spring, flew to the
overloaded peasant and, almost rudely
elbowing Miss l'ortmau aside, began
distractedly bobbing up and down,
tearing at the bundle of rucksacks and
cloaks. Her Inarticulate cries ascend
ed like incense to the grand duchess at
the open window, adding much to the
lady's Intense bewilderment.
"What has that man been doing?"
demanded the grand duchess In n
loud, firm voice, but nobody answered,
for the very good reason that nobody
heard. The attention of all those be
low was entirely taken up with their
"Pray, mein fr au, let him carry our
things Indoors," Virginia was insist
ing, while the tall man stood among
the three women, motionless, but ap
parently a prey to conflicting emo
tions. If the grand duchess had not
been obsessed Wfth a certain idea
which was growing In her mind she
must have seen that his dark face be
trayed a mingling of amusement, Im
patience, annoyance and boyish mis
chief, lie looked like a man who had
SOmellOW stumbled Into a false posi
tion from which it would be difficult to
escape with dignity, yet which he half
enjoyed. Torn between a desire to
laugh and fly Into a rage with the
Officious landlady, ho frowned warn
ingly at Krau Yorvan, smiled at the
princess and divided his energies be
tween quick, secret gestures intended
for the eyes of the Hhaetlaji woman
and endeavors to unburden himself In
his own time and way of the load he
With each Instant the perturbation
of the grand duchess grew. Why did
the man not speak out what he had to
say? Why did the landlady first strive
to seize the things from his back, then
suddenly shrink as if In fear, leaving
the tall fellow to his own devices? Ah,
but that was a terrible look he gavo
her at last-the poor, good woman!
Perhaps he was a brigand! And the
grand duchess remembered tales she
had read-tales of fearful deeds, even
in these modern days, done in wild
mountain fastnesses and remoto vil
lages such ns Alleheiligen?not in
Khaotla perhaps, but then there was
no reason why they should not hap
pen In Khactla at a place like this.
And If there were not something evil,
Something to bo dreaded, about this
big, dark browed fellow, why bad Frau
Yorvan Jittered that exclamation of
frantic dismay at sight of him and
rushed like a mad woman out of the
It occurred to the grand duchess that
1lie man must be somo notorious des
perado of the mountains who had ob
tained her daughter's confidence or got
her ami Miss Portman into his pow
er. Hut, she remembered, fortunately
some or ail of*tho mysterious gentle
meu stopping at the inn had returned
mid were at thin moment assembled In
tlio room adjoining hers. The grand
diiehcHB resolved that at the llrst slgu
of Insolent behavior or threatening on
tbe port of the lugguge carrier these
noblemen should bo promptly sum
moned by her to tho rescuo of her
Her anxiety was even slightly allay
ed at this polut lu her reflections by
tbe thought (for she had not quite
outgrown on Innate love of romance)
that the emperor himself might go to
Vlrglnla'8 assistance. Ills friends were
in the next room, hnvlug come down
from Iho mountain about noon, and
there seemed little doubt that he was
among theui. If he had not already
looked out of his window, drawn by
tho landlady's excited voice, the grand
duchess resolved that In the circum
stances It was her part ns a mother to
make him look out. She had promised
to heli> Virginia, and she would help
Iht by promoting a romantic first en
In a penetrating voice which could
not fall to reach tho ears of the men
next door or the actors In tho scene
below she adjured her daughter In
'Phis lnnguage was the safest to
employ, she decided hastily, because
(ho brigand with tho rucksacks would
not understand, whllo the flower of
lthactlan chivalry lu the adjoining
room were doubtless acquainted with
all modern languages.
"Helen!" she screamed, loyally re
inem bering In her excitement tins part
she was playing. "Helen, where did
you come across thnt ferocious look
Tfie ?font old landlady flew to the over
Ing ruftian? Can't you see he Intends
to steal your rucksacks or?or black
mall you or something? Is there no
manservant about tlie place whom the
landlady can call to help her?"
All four of the actors ou the little
stage glanced up, aware for the llrst
tlmo of an audience, and had the
grand duchess' eyes been younger she
might have been still further puzzled
by the varying and vivid expressions
of their faces. Dut she saw only thnt
the dark browed peasant man who luul
glared so haughtily nt poor Fran Yor
van was throwing off his burden with
hunte and roughness.
"I do hope he hasn't already stolen
anything of value," cried the grand
duchess. "Hotter not let him go until
you've looked Into your rucksacks.
Remember that sliver drinking cup
you would take with you"?
She paused, not so much in deference
to Virginia's quick reply as In amaze
ment at Frau Yorvan's renewed ges
ticulations. Was It possible that the
woman understood more English than
her guests supposed and feared lest
tho brlgnnd, perhaps equally well in
structed, might seek Immediate re
venge? His bare knees alone were
evidence against his character In the
eyes of tho grand duchess. They gave
him a brazen, abandoned olr, and a
young man who cultivated so long n
spneo twtwoen stockings and trousers
might lie capable of any crime.
"Oh, mother, you're very much mis
taken!" Virginia was protesting. "This
man Is a great friend of mine and has
saved my life. You must thank him.
If it were not for him I might never
have come back to you."
At lost the moaning of her words
penetrated to tho Intelligence of tho
grand duchess through an armor of
"Ho saved your life?" she echoed.
"Oh, then you hovo been in danger!
Honvon lie thanked for your safety,
and also that the man's not likely to
know English or I should never for
give myself for what I've said. Hero
Is my purse, dearest. Catch It as 1
throw and give it to him Just ns It is.
There is at least ?20 In It. and I
only wish I could afford more. But
what is the matter, my child? You
look ready to faint."
As she began to speak she snatched
from a desk at which sho had been
writing a netted silver purse. Hut
while she paused, waiting for Virginia
to hold out her hands, tho girl forbade
the contemplated act of generosity
with an Imploring gesture.
"He will accept no reward for what
he has done except our thnnks, and
those I glv?. him once ngnln," tho girl
answered. Hhe then turned to the
ehnmoln hunter and made him n pros
eut of her hand, over which he bowed
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with the alr'of a courtier rather ton
the rough mini nor of a peasant. And
the graud-duchoss ?tili hoped that the
emperor might he at the window, as
really It was a pretty picture and, it
seemed to her, presented a pleasing
phase of Virginia's character.
She eagerly awaited her daughter's
coming, and, having lingered at the
window to watch with Impatience the
rather ceremonious leave taking, she
hastened to the door of the Improvised
sitting room to welcome the moun
taineers as they returned to tell their
".My darling, who do you think was
listening and looking from the win
dow next ours?" she breathlessly In
quired when she had embraced her
newly restored treasure, for the secret
of the adjoining room was too good to
keep until questions bad l>een put.
"Can't you guess? I'm surprised at
that since you were so sure last night
of a certain person's presence not far
away. Why, who but your emperor
The princess laughed happily and
kissed her mother's pink cheek. "Then
he must have an astral body," said
she, "since one or the other has been
with me all day, and it was to him?
or his doppolgangor?that you offered
your purse to make up for accusing
him of stealing."
The grand duchess sat down, not so
much because she wished to assume a
sitting position as because she experi
enced a sudden uncontrollable weakness
of the knees. For a moment she was
unable to speak or even to speculate,
I but one vague thought did trail dimly
across her brain: "Heavens, what
I have I done to him? And maybe some
day he will be my son-in-law."
Meanwhile Fran Yorvan?a strange
ly subdued Frau Yorvan?had droop
Ingly followed the chamois hunter into
"My dear old friend, you must learn
not to lose that well meaning head of
yours," said lie in the hall.
"Oh. but, your majesty"?
"Now. now, must 1 remind you again
that his majesty Is at Kronburg or
Petorsbruck or some other of his rest
deuces when I am at Alleheiligen? This
time I believe he's at the baths of Me
llon. If you can't remember these
things I fear 1 shall be driven away
from here to look for chamois else
where than on the Schneehorn."
"Indeed, 1 will not be so stupid
I again, your?I mean I will do my very
best not to forget. But never before
have I been so tried, to see your high
born, Imperial shoulders loaded down
as If?as If you had been a common
gepacktragcr for tourists Instead of"?
"A chamois hunter. Don't distress
yourself, good friend. I've had a day
of excellent sport."
"For ?hat I am thankful. But to B06
your?to see you coming back in such
an unsuitable way has given me a
weakness of the heart. How can I or
der myself "lvllly to those ladles who
"Who have given peasant Leopold
some hours of amusement. Be more
civil than ever for my sake. And, by
the way, can you tell me the names of
the ladles? That one of them?a com
panion. I judge?Is a Miss Manchester,
I have heard In conversation, but the
"They are mother and daughter, sir.
The elder, who In her Ignorance cried
out such treasonable abominations
from tho window, as I could tell even
with the little English I have picked
up, Is Lady Mowbray. I have soen tho
name written down, and I knew how
to speak it because I have heard it
pronounced by the companion, tho
Mees Manchester. The younger, tho
beautiful one, is also a mees, and the
mother cnlls her Helene. They talk
together in English, also in French,
and. though I havo so few words of
either language. I could tell that 1/nv
lion was mentioned between them more
than once while I waited on tho table.
Besides. It Is painted in black letters
on their traveling boxes."
"You did not expect their arrival?"
"Oh. no, sir! Had they written be
forehand at this season, when I gen
erally oxpect to Iks honored by your
presence, I should have answered that
the house was full or closed or any
excuse which occurred to mo to keep
strangers nwny. But none have ever
before arrived so late In the year, and
I was taken all unawares when my
son, Alois, drove them up last night.
He did not know you had arrived, as
the papers spoke so positively of your
visit to the baths, and i could not send
travelers away. You have bidden mo
not to do BO once they are In the
house, i'.ut these ladles are here but
for a day or two more on their way to
Kronburg for a visit, and I thought"?
"You did quitO right, Frau Yorvan.
Has my messenger come up with let
"Yes, your^.-yes, sir. Just now also
a telegram was brought by another
messenger, who came and left In a
The chamois hunter shrugged his
shoulders aud sighed an impatient
Blgh. "It's too much to expect that I
should ho left in pence for a single
dny, even here," he in uttered ns he
went townrd the stairs.
To reach Frau Yorvan's best Bitting
room (selfishly occupied, according to
one opinion, by four men nbscut all
dny on a mountain) be was obliged to
pass by a door through which Issued
unusual sounds. So unusual wore Ihoy
that the emperor paused.
Some one was striking tho prelim
inary chords of a Volkslied of bis fa
vorlte Instrument, a Itbaetlan varia
tion of the zither. As ho lingered, Iis
tenlng. a voice began to sing. Ah. whnl
Softly seductive It was ns the cooing
of a dove In the spring to its mate,
pure ns tho purling of a brook among
uShc's an English girl, yet .s-/ic sings our.
meadow flowers, rich as the deep notes
of n nightingale In his passion for tho
moon. And, for the song. It was the
heartbreaking cry of a young Rhaetlau
peasant who, lying near death In a
strange land, longs for one ray of sun
rise light on the bare mountain lops of
tho homeland more earnestly than for
his first sight of an unknown heaven.
The man outside tho door did not
move until the voice was still. lie
knew. well, though he could not see.
who the singer had been. It was im
possible for the plump lady at tho
window or the thin lady With the
glnssos to own a voice like that. It
was the girl's. She only of the trio
could so exhale her soul in the very
perfume of sound, for to his fancy it
wns like hearing the frngranco of a
rose breathed aloud. "I have heard an
angel," he said to himself, but In
reality ho had heard Princess Vir
ginia of Baumenburg-Drippe showing
oil her very prettiest accomplishment
In the childish hope that tho man she
loved might hear.
Leopold of Hhaetia had heard many
golden voices?golden in more souses
of the word than one?but never be
fore, It seemed to him, a voice will h
so stirred his spirit with pain lb.nl
was bittersweet, pleasure aa bliuding
as pain and a vague yearning for
something beautiful which be bad nev.
If he had been asked what that
something was ho could not. If ho
would, have told, for a man cannot ex
plain that part of himself which he
has never even tried to understand.
Before he had moved many paces
from tho door tho lovely voice, no
longer plnlntlve, but swelling to bril
liant triumph, broke Into the national
anthem of Khaetln?warlike, Inspiring
as the "Marseillaise." but wider, call
ing her sons to face death singing In
"She's an English girl, yet she Sings
our llhactinn music as no Rhnctinn
woman I have ever heard can sing
It," he told himself, slowly passing
on to his own door. "She is a new
type to me. I don't think there can be
many Uke her. A pity that she is not
a princess or else?that i/copold, the
emperor, and Leo, the chamois hunter,
nre not two men. Still, the chamois
hunter of Hhaetia would be no match
for Miss Mowbray of London, so tbe
weights would balance in the scales
ns unevenly as now."
lie gave a sigh and a smile that
lifted bis eyebrows. Then bo opened
the tloor of his sitting room to forget
among certain documents which urged
the Importance of an immediate return
to duty the difference between Leo
pold and I.eo, the difference between
women und a woman.
"Cloodby to our mountains tomorrow
morning," he said to his three chosen
companions. "Hey for work and Kron
She wns going to Kronburg in a few
days, according to Frau Yorvan. Hut
Kronburg was not AUehoiligen, and
I^iopold, tho emperor, was not nt his
palace In the way of meeting tourists
or even "oxplorers."
"She'll never know to whom she
gave her ring," he thought, with the
dense Innocence of a man who has
studied all books save women's looks.
"Anil I'll never know who gives her a
plain gold one for tho linger on which
sho once wore this."
Hut In the next room, divided from
tilin by a single wall, sat Prlncoss \ ir
glnla of Haumenburg Hgppe.
"When wo meet again at Kronburg
he mustn't dream that I knew all the
time," she was snylng to herself. - That
would spoil everything-Just at first.
Yet, oh, some day bow 1 should lovo
to confess nil- all! Only I couldn't pos
slbly confess except to a man who
would excuse or perhaps even approve
because he had learned to lOVO mo
well. And what shall I do, how Shall 1
bear my life now I've seen him, if that
day should nevor cotsc?"
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